HITTING THE BOOKS (AND SURFING THE NET) IN 2008
December 31: Champagne Toasts, Auld Lang Syne, and the annual tradition of taking stock in your life and planning for the new year. Millions of New Years Resolutions will be made this week… what’s yours? Lose weight? Get your financial house in order? Travel more? Many promise that this is the year that they stop making excuses and go back to school.
With the convenience of the internet, going back to school no longer means giving up 2 nights a week to sit in an uncomfortable chair for 3 hours listening to a lecture. 20% of adult students and close to 10% of all students in U.S. degree-granting programs are online rather than in a classroom. Learning online isn’t a new concept – University of Phoenix established it’s online campus in 1989. However, in recent years we have seen more and more private, top-tier universities enter the online space. The perception today is that you absolutely can receive a quality education online. According to a study cited in a report by The Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the majority of employers believe that online learning is equal or superior to the experience of learning in a classroom. Zapwater client Deltak edu partners with these top-tier traditional universities to market and support their online programs and since we started working with them we have learned about the opportunities available.
Are you looking to differentiate yourself in the business world? Here at Zapwater, we are most interested in cutting edge programs. Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia is meeting an industry demand by offering a fully online Master’s in Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence is the science of how to use data to make effective business decisions. Business Intelligence may be a new, ‘hot’ degree program, but it is not a new concept. We see it when Amazon recommends products based on our previous purchases. We see it when Bill Belichick makes decisions about what players to sign and when to play them. We see it when Starbucks chooses the cross streets to open their next location. Employers are pounding down the doors of these MS-BI graduates and we believe the demand will only increase over the coming years.
Or we can look at what one school in upstate New York is doing about the increasing problems of Identity Theft and web security. Utica College is truly an industry leader with their Economic Crime Institute and Center for Identity Management and Information Protection. Utica offers online Bachelors, Masters, and Certificate programs in Cybersecurity, Economic Crime Investigation, and Fraud Management. Talk about a current issue – I assure you that when I was a Political Science major at Gettysburg College, they were not offering degrees in Cybersecurity!
Are you considering going back to school but you feel like you don’t have the time? Consider Mark – a graduate of the online Master’s in Organizational Leadership offered at Gonzaga University. Mark is a police officer in Orange County, California and was the first in his family to graduate from high school. After a few ‘false starts’ at different universities, he completed his undergraduate degree online and immediately started the Master’s program at Gonzaga. Mark’s schedule at work and family obligations with his 3 children prevented him from being able to attend a campus program. However, completing an online degree allowed him to complete his course work when his schedule allowed – which for Mark was from 3-6 am. He attended graduation in Spokane, WA this May with his wife, his 3 children, and his parents. Gonzaga also has many students in the military who are able to continue their education online even if they are deployed to the other side of the world. We have seen that it is a matter of commitment and finding the time in your busy schedule. (Hmm… that’s what my personal trainer says too…)
Online degree offerings are not only offered in Business fields. Gonzaga and Loyola University New Orleans both offer Masters of Science in Nursing degrees for nurses looking to further their education. Even teachers can use the power of the internet to further their degree. Are you a teacher interested in Reading and Literacy? Locally, Benedictine University offers a fully online Masters in Education to help you reach your goal. Looking to learn more about using Technology in the classroom? Check out Saint Joseph’s Master’s in Instructional Technology. Not a teacher yet, but interested in going back to teach angst-ridden high schoolers? St. Joe’s also offers a fully online Teacher Certification program.
As you raise a glass this Monday night and pretend like you know the correct lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, we encourage to make the resolution to go back to school in 2008. And if you are intrigued by one of the programs we mentioned, go to the website and call them to learn more about how the program can help you achieve your career goals. Tell them Zapwater sent you!
David M. Zapata
ZAPWATER KNOWS HOW TO PLAY ITS CARDS
Every year, Chicago Sun-Times’ Marketing Columnist Lew Lazare puts together his list of the best holiday cards from Chicago’s advertising and public relations agencies. Once again, Zapwater Communications made the list.
According to Lazare “These companies know how to play their cards. Ring in the superlatives. Looking back at the flurry of holiday greetings from local ad agencies; some were great, some weren’t.”
Singling out Zapwater’s card as the card with the “Most Public Relations Savvy,” Lazare says, “[Zapwater's] holiday card cleverly demonstrated how to put the best spin on some difficult PR scenarios, such as having inappropriate relations with an office colleague. The Zapwater spin for that? “There is no ‘I’ in team. Teamwork is a necessary component of all business ventures.
To read the full column, click here.
We especially loved Lazare’s callout “Zapwater Communications isn’t one of the biggest names — yet!”
Interested in reading past holiday card columns? We’ve included them below.
HAVE A HAUTE HOLIDAY
In past years, thinking of the perfect gifts for those on my list had a tendency to keep me up at night! Was that sweater too unoriginal? Will she know I got it on sale at Kohl’s? Will this tie go with anything in his closet? Luckily, gift giving got easier this year as I turned to the websites of some of Zapwater’s haute-est clients. From that high-maintenance friend to the boyfriend who thinks flannel pajama pants are a “staple” wardrobe item, this list has something for everyone!
She knows how to look fashionable at the beach. She has the perfect matching Burberry scarf and gloves for tromping through the snow. But what will she do in the pouring rain? For the girl who has to look chic at all times, Hunter Wellies from grace shoe boutique in Bucktown are the perfect gift! They come in assorted colors and can be paired with removable fleece linings ($30) to match any outfit. Best of all – they’re affordable at only $98 per pair! When your wardrobe isn’t waterproof, turn to Hunter Wellies to make a fashion statement even when you’re soaked.
He’s never purchased a suit. He can’t tie a tie on the first try….or third. When it comes to fashion, comfort is key for this guy. Luckily, even hoodies can look haute when they’re from TK Men, the designer menswear boutique in Bucktown. Check out the Wool Zig-Zag RVCA hoodie. It’s cotton lined and puts some pop into an outfit with no effort at all. RVCA hoodies are only $112 and come in assorted colors.
Know a guy who attributes his Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to video game playing? Get him a reservation for a night at the new Hotel Sax Chicago. The completely renovated space, once occupied by the House of Blues Hotel, offers technological amenities like nothing you’ve seen in hospitality. Specifically, the “Studio,” a technology lounge on the sixth floor of the hotel, allows guests to play with XBOX, Guitar Hero, Rock Band and countless other entertainment technologies at no cost at all. A technology butler is present at all times to ensure that no tech needs go unfulfilled!
For the girl who is always on top of the latest fashions and trends, K.Amato designs will fit her fancy and freshen her look. Jewelry designer Kristen Amato incorporates the trends of the moment into all of her latest designs. All of her accessories are stylish and chic and pair well with any outfit! The Clark necklace, an expandable 15.5-17 inch gold-filled chain with astrological sign pendant, is a favorite this season. All the hottest celebrities are making a statement with these understated pieces. Get this gift today. After all, its in the stars!
These haute picks only represent a handful of what Zapwater clients have to offer. From jewelry to technology, our clients have something for everyone this holiday season. Wishing you a happy holiday and only the haute-est gifts!
FOR THOSE HARD-TO-BUY FOR GUYS…
Everyone has them, that cousin, nephew, brother or dad that you just don’t know what to buy him this holiday season. This year I’ll help make it easy for you, TK Men, Bucktown’s fresh men’s boutique is carrying a little something for everyone and is your one-stop shopping store. Owner and celebrity stylist, Lindsay McKay, provides an easy solution for you. Simply bring in a picture of that difficult male to shop for in your life and she will do the picking. McKay will conceptualize a few different outfit ideas, or suggest accessories offering multiple methods of wearing them.
Recently McKay threw a closed-door shopping event for friends of her mother, Donna McKay, and the success was tremendous. She was able to satisfy all the shopping needs of the women from the Western suburbs, as they got a jump-start to their holiday shopping and a few cocktails to get them in the spirit!
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER–PLEASE EVERYONE WELCOME JOHN
Since arriving here at Zapwater Communications in July, life has been quite a whirlwind, from being knee deep in research in order to help bring success for the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, to being surrounded by Chicago’s jet-set at the Crimson and NV Penthouse openings. A vigorous appetite for achievement and excitement seem to be the standard at Zapwater; some days you might find me at my desk entrenched with magazines scanning the latest press clippings of K. Amato or other days enjoying a fine Spanish Blanc at a Swirl Wine Bar tasting. I do believe this lad from the Isle of Long (or New York) will keep himself at Zapwater and in Chicago for quite some time.
John H. Delaney
Office Manager/Special Project Manager
STEP INTO 2008 IN STYLE
The black-tie bash at Crimson Lounge includes appetizers and a premium open bar from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., plus a midnight balloon drop, party favors and a champagne toast all for $150. The DJ for the evening will be Matt Warren. Table pricing and bottle service packages are available starting at $500. Crimson is located in the lobby of the Hotel Sax at 333 N. Dearborn.
NV Penthouse Lounge includes a premium open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight, appetizers, a DJ and a champagne toast for $150. Also, if you reserve a table for up to six people you can indulge in bottle service packages ranging from $1,100 to $2,000. NV is located at 116 W. Hubbard Street.
New Year’s Eve events definitely offer a great excuse for adding a new pair of shoes to your wardrobe. So now that you have the hot spot in Chicago to celebrate, it is time to get the stylish shoes to match and what better boutique to check out then grace located at 1917 N. Damen. Ring in the New Year with fashion-forward style and beautify your feet with dazzling footwear from grace for New Years Eve. Below are my favorite two picks perfect to wear to Crimson or NV:
Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!