CATEGORY: Intern’s Journal
It’s always good to compare notes when it comes to navigating the web. There are lots of services, programs, and applications that can make the web easier to explore, and we thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite tools with you. In this latest installment of the Intern’s Journal, Shikha Raturi provides links and details about a few of our favorite things.
Internet use has increased by 121% in the last five years, according to Forrester Finds, and the average American spends roughly 13 hours per week over the Internet. The web has different uses for different people; for some it can be a place to shop, a place to hang out with friends, a place to research, to learn new things, or a source of entertainment.
Regardless of how you use the internet, you can’t deny that managing your online life has become increasingly important. Whether you’re managing your contacts or juggling lots of documents, the web can be there to help. It’s always good to check out new tools and features, so here are a few of the applications and services that we just can’t live without.
- Gmail: A free email service provided by Google, and one of the most frequently used applications for communication, it provides more than 7 GB of free storage. It can be optimized for both personal and professional purposes. Google has added new and innovative features (voice and video chat, buzz, mail prioritization) to Gmail to make it more interesting and attract new and returning customers. We use it to keep track of our emails and to chat with members of our team both near and far.
- Dropbox: With this service you’ll never need a USB drive or external hard drive. It is a web-based free service that uses cloud computing to enable users to store and share files and folders. Share and sync your files with multiple users without ever buying a program or emailing a folder. It helps us stay connected with interns, associates, consultants, and more, all without ever paying a dime for storage and service.
- Flickr: This is an image and video hosting website that mainly targets amateur photographers and helps them get relevant feedback. As Albert Einstein once said, “Learning by example isn’t the best way to learn-it’s the only way to learn,” and this holds true for Flickr as it provides a great learning platform to budding photographers. We turn to Flickr for ideas and inspiration. Searching a simple phrase like “wedding cake” or “engagement party” can turn up beautiful photos that give us the right frame of mind for tweets, updates, blog entries, and more.
- TweetDeck: This amazing application helps you access Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, MySpace, and Foursquare–all in one screen. Initially it was just aimed at Twitter but now it integrates major social networking services; this, in turn, helps you bring your online network closer. Many social media gurus have recommended TweetDeck for its simplicity and many unique features, and we use it to keep track of the buzz about xtra xtra. It’s a great tool for managing and monitoring your online profiles.
These are just a few the tools that we use to manage our personal and business lives. Do not forget to share tools that you commonly use in a comment below!
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Our newest intern, Shikha Raturi, recently graduated from UMass Boston with her Masters degree. We asked her to share her experience in going through one of life’s biggest milestones–commencement!
Many of our friends are going through the excitement of graduating, and that is certainly an important milestone. It’s the end of an important chapter in life and beginning of a new one. That’s always little scary and anxiety provoking since students look forward to graduation from the time they start school. Sometimes graduation doesn’t bring the sense of relief students expected. Some students are excited for the new beginning and some get the graduation blues. Nonetheless, everyone celebrates graduation in a great style.
We asked some recent grads about the feelings, pressures, and excitement surrounding graduation. This is what they had to say…
- Harrison: “I feel elated! Like when you are taking the last drop at a roller coaster ride. The ride is over but all you can think of is the excitement you just had. While graduating may mean that some people you have come to really like may go their way, it also means that now you have a great excuse to go and visit! So, I think this is a win-win situation.”
- Jay: “I feel really good when achieving something so I am really excited about the graduation. So proud of myself now! However, at the same time, I have anxiety about getting a job. How life would be in the future? …I’m looking forward to to my commencement day.”
- Mayank: “Graduation day is one of the most complex days in one’s life as the range of emotions you go through is almost head-spinning! You’re excited, scared, unsure, relaxed, and waiting for the big GO… Graduation day also marks a new and important phase in our lives as it certifies that one has acquired the certificate that declares your accomplishment in a particular field and nudges you into untested water. I got placed in Unilever before the graduation ceremony, which made me feel even more proud of my degree and university! All in all, a helluva day!”
Graduation is an important event that celebrates both the memories of the past and promises of future success. To immortalize this special event, remember that you can share pictures and create milestones at xtraxtra.com for free.
xtra xtra congratulates all the graduates as they begin a new chapter in their lives.
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Mimi Alperovich has been a dedicated intern with xtra xtra since last fall. In addition to her schoolwork at UMass Boston, Mimi wears many hats in our office, and one of her key jobs is to represent the site to in local towns. We asked her to reflect on her time with xtra xtra and share a few of her favorite experiences in the community. Here’s what she had to say….
Over the past 6 months, I have attended many fun events in the community to get the word out about xtra xtra and to distribute our fabulous lunch bags. The lunch bags promote our partnership with the Boston.com “Your Town” pages, and they’ve been a hot item at races, events, and functions in the greater Boston area for the past few months.
These events have been a great way for xtra xtra to get out in the communities and support our local friends. Here are some highlights from extra special events I’ve attended…
- Chilly Half Marathon: Every November, over 1000 runners come from all across the state to Newton to run a half marathon. The 13.1 mile run looped around Newton on a brisk Sunday morning. Cooley and I handed out bags at the finish line as we congratulated the runners. In the background was an MC playing fun music and announcing the names of the runners as they crossed the line. Kelly Fattman of Fattman Productions organized the race with plenty of volunteers and sponsors, and proceeds went to the American Liver Foundation. We had a great time at this event because we got to talk with the runners and congratulate them on finishing the race—a real athletic milestone in itself!
- Hyde Park YMCA reopening: Over a year ago the Hyde Park YMCA closed its doors for a massive renovation. In the beginning of December 2010, the Hyde Park YMCA reopened to the neighborhood as part of Hyde Park Week. Old friends and members came to see the fully renovated facility. As part of their opening week festivities, xtra xtra handed out lunch bags to returning and prospective members during an Open House on a Saturday afternoon. The building looks amazing–from the Olympic size pool to the game room to the fully loaded fitness center. They even kept a bit of the old building by keeping the corner stone which is now in the middle of the facility due to the expansion. I loved meeting the people who came by the open house; everyone was sharing memories of the old facility and could not wait to get back to their own Y! Donna Sullivan, the executive director of the branch, coordinated the event with her staff and welcomed people with open arms!
- Fireman’s Benefit: One of the most memorable events I attended was a benefit run by Michael Paganelli, the CEO of Impact Initiative, a nonprofit event planning company that hosts some of the best events in Boston. The event was at West Side Johnnie’s in downtown Boston. Over 200 people came out to support the cause. Michael put on a great benefit that included a huge raffle, silent auction, music, food, a candy bar, dancing, and of course firemen! I loved handing out the bags to the guests, meeting new friends, and telling everyone all about xtra xtra. A big thanks to Michael for having us and giving xtra xtra a special shout out!
If you’d like to see xtra xtra at an event in your town, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. As Mimi’s story clearly shows, we’re always excited to get involved in local communities!
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