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J.A.M. – Job with Acronym Media

October 23rd, 2007Written by Gyutae Park

Acronym MediaHa, like the acronym? Following the recent Northwestern graduation post is this not-so-recent news regarding my employment status. I know I know, it’s been almost 3 months now since this actually happened, but better late than never right?

So a week after I came home to New Jersey from school in Chicago, I landed this sweet job at a search engine marketing agency called Acronym Media, which is rated as a top ten Search Engine Agency by Advertising Age and focuses on “Keyword-Driven Marketing”. I was hired as a search engine optimization (SEO) coordinator, which is awesome because this is exactly the type of work I was looking for after starting some of my own web projects in college. If anything, this job will help me to gain a lot of new experiences, skills, and knowledge by working with big corporate clients and experts in the industry. I know I want to start my own Internet venture in the future but this is my springboard to move forward and build a solid foundation. Gotta flip burgers at McDonald’s before you know how to operate one, right?

Anyway, the job itself is great. I work at the global headquarters on the 55th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City and commute by train from home in central New Jersey. It’s about an hour each way, but it’s not so bad considering I’m usually knocked out drooling all over the unlucky person next to me or reading a book I wanted time to go through anyway.
There are a lot of cool benefits at the company as well. Besides the usual health insurance, 401k, nice people, paid vacations, and tax-free transit and parking, we also get birthdays off, free lunch on Thursdays, and a variety of unlimited office snacks. In fact, I’ve already gained 15 pounds since I started working here by eating like a starving caveman and neglecting my work out routine. I didn’t know there was a freshman-15 after college. Living my glory days again…

So there you have it. My first real 9 to 5. (or 6 in this case)

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I’ve Graduated!

October 7th, 2007Written by Gyutae Park

Gyutae Park - Northwestern University Graduation 2007Ok so it’s been over 3 months since this miraculous event, but I thought I’d post it on this blog and give some sort of an update. So yes, it’s official. I’ve graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. (this stands for Bachelor of Science in case you were thinking otherwise) in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences. I switched majors about 5 times in a short 4 years, toggling between computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering until finally settling on industrial engineering. Yeah I know, it sounds like I’m an indecisive freak, but I’m glad I ended up as an IE because this field is very versatile, mixing the technical aspects of traditional engineering with the business, operations, and marketing skills I’m really interested in. Heck, I even got a minor in Business Institutions so I’m ready to change the world and make millions straight out of the box. Ha.

Like I said, Northwestern IE’s are very versatile and recent graduates have gone on to top firms for consulting, finance, investment banking, and other business fields. This is all good and gravy but if you ask me, that type of corporate culture just isn’t for me. That’s not to say that IE was a bad decision for me or that I wasted the ridiculous $120,000 I paid for college tuition. I just see a different path for my professional career, one that doesn’t involve 80 hour weeks, chains of slavery, and a cut-throat corporate environment.

So what am I looking for you ask?
Well, one of the most important ideas I learned in college is entrepreneurship, not just as a field or educational concept but as a lifestyle. I’m really not a big fan of working for work’s sake and sitting behind a desk all day watching life pass by in the name of “financial security”. I’d much rather take that extra risk involved, develop my own goals and dreams, and work on something that I’m passionate about and love to do. The possible financial rewards and personal fulfillment definitely make it all worth it to me. Being my own boss and working my own hours is a huge bonus too.

Professional Goals
That being said, I plan on developing my career as an Internet guru, creating online businesses and becoming an expert in the fields of Internet marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Sure it might take a while but I can honestly say I enjoy this stuff and am eager to learn even it if means making countless mistakes and initially losing a boatload of money.

Did I learn a lot in college? Yes, I did. Am I going to take the traditional path that society tells me to take? No, I’m not and I dare you to stop me.

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Blogging Update

October 6th, 2007Written by Gyutae Park

As you may know, I started this blog in order to house my online resume and to give some work-related updates on my ‘oh-so-exciting’ life. That’s fine and dandy, but considering that nothing revolutionary has occurred to me in the recent past and that I already have issues sharing my personal life for everyone to see on the Internet, you can see why this blog hasn’t been consistently updated in over a year.

That being said, I’m trying to turn things around and update more frequently with topics related to my work experiences, business, and Internet entrepreneurship with some personal stories and thoughts sprinkled in for extra flavor. Think of it sort of like a personal work and business journal.

Why am I doing this you ask? Well I basically do everything on the Internet – all of my work and all of my businesses rely on the Internet in order to function properly. In case you don’t know I’m an SEO and run multiple websites as businesses. I’d like to create a name for myself in the industry for credibility and for networking opportunities. A blog is a perfect avenue to accomplish this.

Look forward to much more frequent posting about my work experiences and personal thoughts on a variety of topics that I’m interested in. Get into the head of an Internet Entrepreneur.

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Need help on your college application essay?

September 18th, 2007Written by Gyutae Park

I’ve recently launched another web project with a journalist buddy of mine. The site is called and offers college application essay editing services for college applicants. Services range from $50 for proofreading to $180 for a comprehensive essay evaluation.

All services are provided by editors who are graduates for the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Sounds pretty prestigious, eh? Well good, ’cause that’s the way we’re trying to market ourselves. If you know any high school seniors who are applying to some of the top colleges and universities in the US, let them know that we exist and are willing to help. With so many qualified college applicants out there these days, it’s important to get the edge and well-written and clear college admission essay can provide that. We don’t rewrite essays or do anything that may be considered unethical. Rather, we try to help applicants get their message out in a clearer and more defined way – a way college admissions officers are looking for and can understand.

There are also sample essays and college essay writing tips if you’re new to the game and want some advice. Spread the word, people.

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T-Shirts For Websites

August 19th, 2006Written by Gyutae Park

As a way to promote some of my current websites, I’ve decided to create some custom design t-shirts to give away to members as a promotion. If anything, these will create user loyalty, as they’ll be thankful for the free shirt they received and keep coming back. The shirts will also help branding. With the site name, URL, and logo plastered on the shirt, the image and information will be implanted in the mind of the user. This is a good thing! Finally, when the user wears the promotional shirt around, it’s essentially advertising. If the shirt is catchy, others may see it and be urged to visit the website. Let’s see how this goes!

Below is an image of my first promotional t-shirt, made for Drum Set Connect and modeled by yours truly.

Drumset Connect Tshirt

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Working At Northern Trust

August 19th, 2006Written by Gyutae Park

Northern TrustAs I mentioned earlier, I got a job working as a consultant for Flair Interactive doing content management for Northern Trust in Chicago. It’s a very different experience working in the financial district in downtown Chicago. I take the El down to the city every morning to work and every evening back to Evanston and it’s interesting to see the city “rush”.
The corporate setting in such a professional environment can be pretty suffocating at times. There’s a key card to every entrance in the building and although you know you’re safe from intruders with such tight security, it sucks that I’m probaly the only one without a key card right now. It’s annoying when I have to wait for someone to pass through and explain my situation each and every time. Hopefully that’ll be worked out soon.

Everything seems so formal. There are meetings to discuss things, set appointment times, and assigned work that needs to be done at a certain time. To be honest, I kind of like the formal bureaucratic environment. It makes things so much more organized and a lot of guesswork is eliminated. Bosses are always right and have most of the authority. Unfortunately, there is always going to be someone higher up than you. And even more unfortunately, I am currently on the bottom of the corporate food chain.

I hate small talk. In corporate settings, it’s almost required that you talk about your kids, your interests, and what you’re going to do over the weekend. Everyone seems to put on a fake smile and act like they’re interested in their coworkers’ lives. But is this really the case? Or are they just being nice to try and be promoted? I also hate it when someone walks over and says, “Hi, how are you?” It almost seems ingenuine because they’re expecting you to say “Good” anyway. But maybe that’s just me.

Hopefully this will be a good experience for me. I’ve already learned a lot in terms of working environments and settings and how to survive in the business world. Whether or not I can actually survive is another story. Work is stressful and tiring to say the least but I’ll pull through.

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Job Interviews – Some Issues and Tips

August 19th, 2006Written by Gyutae Park

First impressions are everything and this is especially true for job interviews. Companies are most likely not going to know you personally. In fact, to them you’re just a piece of paper with some education and work history written down on it. Because of this, the interview is extremely crucial in making yourself stand out and in selling yourself as the right candidate for the job.

This past Monday I had an interview with Flair Interactive, an Internet consulting firm that I found a job listing for online. After the initial interest email reply they sent me, we sent up a time for a phone interview, which I’m guessing is a preliminary round for potential candidates for a job. During this phone interview, the woman at Flair asked me a couple questions about my resume and my background. She also described the job at hand and gauged my interest in such a position. During this stage, it’s important to really look over your resume and credentials and highlight some of the key assets that you have that are related to the job description. For example, if you’re applying for a position at McDonald’s as a burger flipper and you have past experience flipping burgers at Wendy’s, really emphasize this and build on it to hype up your experience and your qualifications. Remember that you’re trying to sell yourself to make it to the next round: the in-person interview.

The in-person interview is a little different because now you’re more than just a voice. You’re a face and it’s easier for people to judge based on looks, mannerisms, and first impressions. Of course this may not represent you as a whole or your working ability, but the company does not know this and they’re trying to minimize risk as much as possible. Therefore, it’s important to give off a good image at this point. You’ve made it this far so obviously you are at least somewhat qualified for the job. The in-person interview can make or break you. First things first, it’s a good idea to confirm your appointment a couple hours ahead of time to make sure someone is expecting you. Make sure you know where to go. If not, communicate with your interviewer any problems or issues you may have. They will be much more understanding if you do this. On Monday, I was interviewed at a place an hour away from where I live. Mapquest spewed out the wrong directions and I inevitably got lost on my way. In somewhat of a panic, I called the interviewer on my cell phone 10 minutes before appointment time and let her know the situation. She was very understanding and in fact redirected me to find the correct location although I was 15 minutes late. She most likely would not have been so kind if I had just barged in and made excuses for being so late. So always be prepared and communicate with the company.

Next, do your homework. This includes research on the company you are interviewing for, the job at hand, and your own related experiences and qualifications. You can almost expect what kinds of questions a company is going to ask based on the job description and your own resume. Be ready to back yourself up but never make anything up. This will just cause problems later on.

Just be yourself (as long as you’re not too weird or crazy). If a company doesn’t like your personality or style, another will. There are plenty of opportunities out there so don’t try to be someone you’re not just to get a job. You’re going to be spending a lot of time at work and you don’t want to make being fake a full-time job.

Dress nicely, be confident, and be ready. Good luck!

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Bingo! New Job With Flair Interactive

August 19th, 2006Written by Gyutae Park

Flair Interactive

Well after the conclusion of my internship with The Bradford Group, I decided to end work for good at least up until the end of the summer and leading into classes at Northwestern University in the fall. I really wanted to focus on my own independent online business and to work hard on my studies to get my gpa up before graduating next year. Unfortunately, that decision lasted about a week before I was back up searching for jobs on Craigslist and Monster. Why? Well the main reason was because I’m visiting California in September and I’m basically broke as of now. Sadly, it seems that money is required to have a little fun these days and some quick cash would really be nice. *hint hint* Also, for some reason I love applying for jobs and seeing what I can get, although I know I’ll hate waking up and actually going to the job. I guess it’s all just a game to me.

Anyway, I interviewed with a company called Flair Interactive, which is an Internet consulting group, and got the job. (Yeah!) Basically, they consult for clients of all different sizes including Northern Trust, McDonald’s, General Electric, and McGraw-Hill among others. They specialize in web-related things like interface design, content strategy, information architecture, usability, etc. My role is Assistant Content Manager for Northern Trust and I’ll be working on-site at the Northern Trust Company headquarters helping out with an intranet redesign project. Pretty cool, eh? I got a huge pay increase as well.

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Internet Marketing Internship at The Bradford Group

August 16th, 2006Written by Gyutae Park

After six long months with The Bradford Group, working as an Internet Marketing Intern, the internship finally came to a close. Apparently, it’s company policy that internships can only go for as long as six months. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience and I can definitely say that I learned a lot in the realm of marketing products online. Most of the work I did was for Collectibles Today, which is one of the biggest e-commerce sites for collectibles online. Usually, when people asked me what I was doing over the summer and I told them I was doing Internet marketing for collectibles, they would scoff at me and think I was working as a Toys R’ Us cashier or something. Of course, before I knew any better, I probaly would have thought the same thing. However, this is far from the truth. Some of the collectibles that the company offers are life-like baby dolls, collector plates, jewelry, home decor, figurines, music boxes, and artwork. A lot of times when I was going through the products, I would think to myself and wonder how someone would spend $200 on a life-like baby doll that would personally creep the freak out me. But nevertheless, there are people out there who cherish such things. Unfortunately, I never got to use the 50% employee discount.

Anyway, some of the things I did included search engine optimization, bidding for keywords on Adwords for online advertising, working with datafeeds and affiliates, and putting products on different shopping portals like Froogle and Another part of my duties included weekly sales and ROI reports where I basically made spreadsheets and analyzed them for key changes. Of course, this doesn’t sound so bad now, but when there are hundreds of sales and thousands of products it becomes quite a chore. At least now I can say that I’m an Excel wizard and I’m sure those spreadsheet skills will come in handy for future jobs.

Like I said, the internship was a good experience where I learned a lot about business, the corporate setting, the Internet, e-commerce, marketing, and useless collectibles that people waste their money on. The pay wasn’t spectacular but it did help to give me some extra spending cash while in college and to finance some of my own independent projects. If you’re interested in Internet marketing and e-commerce and live near Niles, IL, I suggest you apply for the internship. I believe they rotate interns every six months so you can get in whenever. The people are great, the food is good, the pay is decent, and the building and environment is wonderful with trees and streams everywhere. Well, it’s wonderful until you sit down in your secluded cubicle at least. Good luck!

The Bradford Group Building
The Bradford Group Garden

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