Reflection Blog – Week 7

Hello!

Time has come to get into the final steps of our project.
After splitting up the work and giving each team member chores to do over the weekend, everybody of our team came perfectly prepared to class on Monday and we could work on the finalization of the project, solution, and script.

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That way it was not difficult to show our classmates a live presentation of our ideas for the video!
On Tuesday we had another hangout with Nancy. We presented her our storyboard and asked for any possible improvements we could do. With Nancy’s advise to change the direction of our purpose a little (not focusing too much on ConstruCasa but rather set our focus on the families and working for an improved life for people in Guatemala), we changed these points in our script on Wednesday! With an improved script we started to come together with the United Splits to start on first productions for the video.

All in all I like how everybody in our group is very integrated and motivated to work on the project. It becomes more and more fun every week since we rapidly changed the way of our team work.
I do not think that there was something very challenging on working specifically in our team together. However, it was we sometimes had some issues in communication with the United Splits. More minds coming together, having more people in a group, and that way maybe different kinds of working can make it difficult to cooperate with each other.
We are now on a good way in our video presentation and I am getting excited to show the end results!

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Success and Failure

Hello everybody!

Slowly we are feeling that we are in the end phase and everybody is motivated doing their tasks. It seems like we finally worked out our final version of the project called the awareness plan (see reflection blog of week 5).
Of course we all hope to see some success. But when do we actually know if we succeeded or not?
If you do not know the exact plan, please see in the reflection blog (week5) below.
A failure would be if there is no growing awareness after our suggested activities. Even though companies would not reply to the e-mails, they payed at least a little bit attention to ConstruCasa. However, a big success would if companies actually reply and ConstruCasa receives funds and donations from the homepage pozible.com and e-mails.
Also we are hoping that people become more aware of the NGO if they would refurbish and improve their newsletter.
In our opinion both the newsletter and the reaching out to companies are very important. However, I think the e-mail will be making the most impact (if successful) because companies can make a bigger difference than individuals.

Overall I think we are on a good way to finish up our project and start to work on the video presentation.

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Online and Offline Networks

Hello everybody!

This is a very interesting blog post of an experienced business person.
During my research of Online and Offline Networks I found this blog and the man really seems to have some useful tips for our NGO ConstruCasa.
First of all Online Networks are basically homepages on which you can easily connect with others online. Such as Highrise, GroupMe, Twitter, Forecast, Plancast or Foursquare.
So first of all I will make sure to suggest our NGO to check out those pages. It is very important to be present in all kind of social media. Having a higher chance of connecting with other business people or organizations also leads to building a higher brand awareness which is really important for our NGO since they are seeking for more attention and commercial to raise their funds.
The blogger talks about how important the Online Networks got in today’s world. Of course, everything goes way faster with some clicks in the internet than to actually go outside in the world and meet people in person (which means Offline Networks).
But his point in this blog post is that you can only build a brand awareness when you also use those Offline Networks and get your personal connection.
Following this rule, ConstruCasa should be present on more events such as NGO meetings, Congresses or Events where organizations have the chance to present themselves etc.
We will definitely bring that into our ideas.

Here is the Link for curious readers:

http://blog.journalistics.com/2012/networking-online-offline/

Reflection Blog – The countdown starts…

Week 5

The end of week 4 and the beginning of week 5 has been very successful for us.
On Friday we sat together to skype first with Nancy and Alan to get some advise and afterwards we had a skype meeting with Julie. This day, I would say, everything made much more sense.

While still being confused during the skype meeting with Nancy and Alan because we have not gotten in contact with ConstruCasa too much, after the talk to Julie everything was clear.
Nancy and Alan gave us the advise to still continue to work on a project on our own even though our NGO does not even know about it. In the end it can still have a great result!
We were feeling a little better after this meeting.
However, after skyping to Julie we actually got clear requests. Julia was mainly looking for more ideas of fund raising. Since they only get donations from a few individual people, they now want to look for a broader spectrum.
This was where we got back into the motivation and we could start to work on these things.

On Saturday our Team Leader Carolina went to a congress of ConstruCasa in Utrecht to listen to their presentation and get in contact to some of the dutch employees.
She was able to speak to two new employees which are responsible for more fund raising and advertisement.

After having some group time on Monday in week 5, we came up with following ideas to present to Julie on Wednesday:

1. The newsletter: We advised to set up an automatic e-mail respond after the subscription of the newsletter online, which would make people aware of being subscribed and call out more attention to the NGO. Furthermore we suggested to improve the newsletter (for example in design or quantity)
→ Julie liked these ideas, though she is not sure if they have enough staff to actually have the newsletter more often.

2. We came up with the fund raising plan:
We told Julie about the fund raising homepage called pozible. That way they could shout out for need of funds and increase them.
Another option we thought about is, that we make a list of companies, preferred construction companies, and try to contact them with a very convincing e-mail which includes a very nice looking booklet with all the information about ConstruCasa and their mission.
→ She was very interested in these ideas. However, also here they might have a staff problem and they would have to review the booklet to make sure the information is right.

During all those happenings our group unfortunately has never been complete. It was difficult to work as a good team because on the one hand someone was always missing and on the other hand we still struggle with our lack of communication.

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The two ConstruCasa teams are working hard!

We hope that we have good news about our progress in team work next week.

But it seems like especially this Wednesday gave us a reality check (with a little help) and we now got a clear idea about the most important terms of group work.
Working hard as an individual is not the key word here. No matter how good the individual work is, we only get good result if we really act as a team, communicate with each other, be honest, respect each other, and stay motivated.
It seems like it took us long to fully understand this but now we are ready to show our improved team work!

The beginning of a new Chapter

Hello everybody!

My name is Caroline and I have the honor to be a member of The Ducks! My cultural background is very easy: I am German. But I honestly never wanted to stay in one and the same country for my whole life. So I started traveling very early.
As the production manager I am hoping to help as much as possible in the progress of our team. I am looking forward to all the results, ideas, and fun we are hopefully going to have.

But now a little bit more about me as a person. This is me:

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Doing my favorite things: Hiking, discovering new areas and adventures, and meeting lots of different people and cultures on this way! By the way, this picture was taken in Moab, Utah. I can definitely recommend this place.
I am a very active and sportive person, so active that yoga and meditation wouldn’t be an option for me (already tried it).
Well, with studying here in The Hague I actually just continue with doing my favorite activities.
Holland helps me to stay active, I definitely haven’t been driving my bike as much as I do it here, thank you bike loving country! I am also pretty sure that I will discover a lot of new areas and adventures with living in another country. Only three weeks of living here made me learn so much more about this country. But also Industrial Design Engineering will give me a lot to discover and I am so excited to learn more in this study! And of course it is not a secret that you will meet a lot of different people and cultures in this very international city at this very international school.
The Hague with the beach around the corner seems to be the perfect place to be for me.

2015-09-09 21_09_08-Unbenannt 1 - LibreOffice WriterBut now to my super power. A lot of people probably wouldn’t guess this one. Besides my duck power I am starting to improve every day, I am also known as the child whisperer (especially in the USA). I got them all, no matter how wild and naughty those little ones are, I can make them wash my dishes! Not only because I know how to react but also because I just love to be as much as possible outside being active with kids so that they can barely keep their eyes open after dinner at night. Probably being an AuPair for two years in the States helped me a lot with it.

I am happy to start my new chapter in life here and hope that I can gain a lot more and new experiences. Please everybody help me with it!!

For now I don’t say goodbye but see you soon!

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