Monthly Archives: December 2012

The influence of Internet in the current educational processes

Nowadays, the use of Internet is not only more common, but also more diverse, therefore, for activities such as the entrepreneurial and the financial, lacking an Internet connection can result unconceivable. Thus, competitiveness and productivity standards are, in some way, … Read more >

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REP: The Expert’s Opinion on ImpREssions in the Workplace

Recall my last blog about ImpREssions in the Work Place? I was having an IM discussion with my buddy Kevin about why I think it’s important for your attire be polished. I think it gives others a positive first impression of you, while Kevin thinks it’s more important to deliver good work results and dress comfortably (pajamas or otherwise). I asked for your opinions and got some interesting (and mixed) reviews. Now, I’d like to bring in another perspective—my friend Michael, who I’d like to call our case “expert”.

The case continued…

Me: I’d now like to call to the stand our presiding expert. Michael, you have a deep understanding of the impact of impressions, correct?

Michael: Yes

Me: Can you please share your thoughts with the jury and use real life examples and case studies to illustrate your point?

Michael: Sure—people like to think that they are rational calculating creatures, using reason to judge others without prejudice or bias. And if the world were a perfect place, as Kevin envisions it, you would be judged solely on the quality of your work and the strength of your character. Opinions would be molded over time and first impressions wouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, (for Kevin and the rest of us) they do matter. The fact is we instinctually form opinions of others at first glance. We don’t like to admit it but most of these opinions are made viscerally and within the first few seconds of meeting someone. We, as a species, are hardwired to judge a book by its cover. There is no better illustration of this than in the world of politics. Think to yourself, why is it that some seemingly unqualified politicians skyrocket to the top while other, brighter, policy wonks struggle unnoticed in the dungeons of some Washington think-tank? It’s charisma, presentation, attractiveness, style, and confidence; all of the superficial attributes that people like Kevin want to believe don’t matter in the big scheme of things but in actuality they do.

Me: Have you ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink?”

Michael: Yes. Malcolm Gladwell summarized this phenomenon in what he coined “the Warren G Harding effect” (named after the 29th President). Harding, in Gladwell’s analysis, was a feckless politician whose actual intelligence should never have allowed him to be considered for the highest office in the land. However, his impressive stature, presence, and determined look caused voters to subconsciously view him as a viable leader. He looked presidential and because of that, voters were more likely to consider voting for him. The way you present yourself can have a significant impact on how people view you and your actions. A well put-together ensemble or a clean look might make someone take a second look instead of just passing you by. And sometimes a second look is all you need. An extra millisecond of consideration can make the difference between winning an interview and being overlooked, between getting asked out on a date and watching “Samantha Who?” reruns alone with your cat, or becoming President of the United States instead of a has-been talking head on cable news.

Me: Are you saying superficial impressions are the only things that matter?

Michael: No, I’m not saying substance doesn’t matter nor am I saying image is everything (sorry Andre Agassi L). We work for a company that values results, and in the business world results (dollars and cents) matter. But just because we care about the bottom line that doesn’t mean impressions do not matter. Yes, results do matter, but those results don’t mean anything if you aren’t taken seriously in the first place.

Closing Remarks

Me: The corporate world is a jungle and it is survival of the fittest. If you don’t put yourself in the best possible light to succeed then it will be somebody else who gets the next big project, promotion, and recognition. So the next time you are thinking of just throwing on the same old pair of jeans for work because they are comfortable, easy, and they smell “sort of clean”, think about what your image is saying about your personal brand. What first impression do you want to make today? Who knows … someone might just take a second look.

Kevin: Sure, impressions matter. And sure, what you wear to work helps form others’ impressions of you. In fact, there are lots of variables that affect others’ impressions of you. Things like: how you speak, where you went to school, whether or not you’re nice, and even your age. Some variables have merit and others are questionable. My point is, at work (and in life), we should set aside superficial variables and focus on what is measurable—task orientation, results, and ability to make and meet commitments. Who’s to say it’s right or wrong to wear jeans? Who’s to say it’s right or wrong to wear a suit? We’re all Intel, and we all work toward one company goal.

Who do you agree with?


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Challenges and Opportunities in the Future of Mobile Applications

Over recent years, mobile applications have become key in providing solid experiences for both consumer and business smartphone users, increasing the rate of mobile application development. According to GigaOM Pro, mobile app development is poised to grow five to nine … Read more >

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Educational technology applied to children with print disabilities

Talking about children with special needs generally means kids with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or some kind of mental deficiency. Truth is, the spectrum of special needs is so wide that discussion may include not only many varied conditions, but … Read more >

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Intel CEO Honors His Veterans

Note from the editor: Eric is no stranger to the blog and once again he’s sharing his experience as a veteran at Intel. After 7 years in the Navy, Eric worked in a number of semiconductor related jobs before joining Intel in 2005 and has had a variety of roles ranging from Technical Marketing to Social Media Strategist.  

Last month, I had the honor of being part of a ceremony where our CEO, Paul Otellini spoke to a representative sample of Military Veterans and personally handed out commemorative coins (see pictures below) to each of the Vets. Honestly, it was a very touching event and Paul opened with some very heart felt words where he stated :

“We – our country, our company and I – owe you a huge debt as members of our armed forces who risked your lives to protect our freedom … to secure our homeland … and to defend democracy worldwide.”

He went on to make several other interesting points, such as how Veterans tend to exhibit the qualities that Intel values. Additionally, he explained how Intel is in the process of expanding its programs and services for US Veterans, as well as hiring two veterans specifically for the purposes of running these programs and as a dedicated military recruiter – a common practice among top performing companies. There was mention of the fact that Intel was joining with more than 75 other companies as part of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a coalition of companies with a goal to hire at least 100,000 military veterans by 2020. Altogether, I thought this was a great speech and, personally, I was very happy to hear it!

So, all in told, roughly 50 veterans were able to individually shake hands with Paul, get handed his or her coin, and snap a picture. It went smoothly, with the Veterans standing, row-by-row and getting in line smartly in typical military fashion. But, for those few seconds, we each got to shake hands with the man at the helm of the largest semiconductor company in the world, and that, truly was an honor. We had folks from Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and even at least one former Coast Guardsman.

It should be noted that Paul said there was one thing that he wanted to be very clear about. While he was very glad to be holding this event, he was adamant that this was not a “one-time Veterans’ Day” event, but rather a start of a long-term revitalization of a long-standing principle whereby Intel has been a great supporter of Veterans in general. While I won’t bore you with all the policies (but feel free to read them yourself), I have known that there are many things that Intel does to not only honor its Veterans, but also does various things to those employees that are in the reserves and the like that do have to, from time-to-time, have to deploy. Also, the American Veterans of Intel hosts local efforts, such as collecting toiletries for our troops overseas and raising money for efforts such as helping Homeless Veterans.

However, I don’t want to overlook the importance of hiring a specific person, who is a veteran, to lead the “military recruiting” efforts for Intel. In my opinion, this is critical because it is somewhat difficult to explain how hard it is for a member of our Armed Forces to transition into (or back into, if you will) “civilian life.” Not only does the day-to-day activities change greatly (I have YET to “march in formation” since working at Intel), but perhaps the biggest obstacle is how does the newly minted Veteran translate all the experience that he or she has had in the field into something that a prospective employer would find valuable.

To use specific example, there is a friend of mine that had worked as a Logistics Officer in the US Marine Corp. He left some 2 decades ago and started working in an Intel distribution center. Now, one could argue that Logistics for the USMC is completely different from shipping semiconductors all over the place, but in my opinion, those two activities have a lot more in common with each other than different! If you think about what Marines ship around – everything from bullets to beans – they’ve got to be really careful of what goes where, especially with the ammunition. Not only is it important for the troops that need it to get it, but it’s also important that they don’t get lost in transit and end up some place they shouldn’t. Similarly, a “box” of processors in trays can literally cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, so when it gets shipped, it is critical that it goes to the right place. Not only because it is very valuable, but also because if it doesn’t get to the right customer at the right time, it could impact their supply chain. So, when you take away what is *in* the boxes and pay attention to the activities *around* the boxes, the skills he learned working for Uncle Sam is the same that he needs to use working for Intel. Unfortunately, the vocabulary used to describe what he did in uniform could be (and usually is) VASTLY different than if had, for example, came from a different large company, say one in retail.

And he’s got one of the most clean cut examples – very much a (red) apples to (green) apples comparison. But what about the young Army Captain that was in charge of a Tank Division. Or the Naval Lieutenant that was on a Submarine (that would be me)? And, of course, the Air Force Captain that worked for Space Systems Command? How many Tanks, Submarines, or Spy Satellites do you think there are outside of the military? (Hopefully the answer is “none”.) So, does this mean that these young officers, or anyone of our fine enlisted folks that served this great land, have picked up zero transferable skills in the 5, 10, 15, 20, or more years in the military? In my opinion, the answer is “no” – but let me use an analogy to help explain.

Remember the original “Karate Kid” movie? One of the more interesting scenes was when Daniel Larusso was getting sick and tired of doing (what felt like) nothing but chores for Mr. Miyagi, such as waxing his car. So, Mr. Miyagi throws a punch and Daniel instinctively blocks. Another punch is thrown and it is matched with another instinctive block. In that critical moment, Daniel learns that all the “Wax On & Wax Off” motions he’s been doing are exactly the same motions he’s use in his Karate matches. In other words, the motions were the same, even if what they were called was different. And, in my opinion, that is what like hiring someone out of the military is like. That are innate qualities that most Veterans gain from their service that are invaluable in the world of business, such as discipline, attention to detail, the ability to work together as a tight nit team. I don’t care if you making semiconductors or wands for conductors, you want these qualities in your team. And that’s what hiring a Veteran usually gives you.

For more information on Intel’s Veteran Hiring program, check out our landing page on the topic or leave us a comment, and we’ll get back to you.


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Powering a New Era: Extreme Low Energy Servers Process Tasks at Hyperscale

Nothing in business is more important to me than spending quality time listening to our customers.  To enable the cloud-based experiences that we all enjoy, bleeding-edge cloud data center operators taught us early on that deploying applications at large scale … Read more >

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The development of new knowledge through the learning economies approach

Society nowadays can be described as in constant change, growth, content generation and learning methods. All these situations define what is known as learning economies: societies that generate content and innovative techniques through the promotion of better competitiveness standards. The … Read more >

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