Sunday, November 21, 2021

Calculating discounts and markups

These two basic math formulas are typically taught in, or at least reviewed in, seventh (7th) grade math these days.

Use these simple math formulas for a variety of everyday situations, like figuring out tips on a restaurant meal or other service, other markups, increases or decreases in productivity, clearance and sales price discounts in percentages, etc., etc.

For calculating percentage decreases (practical examples: percentages off a product or service, decreases in productivity by percentage)

1) Subtract the original amount (the original price, the original number of people, the original amount of productivity, etc.) from the new amount (new - original).

2) Take the answer to step 1, and divide that number by the original amount (new - original / original).

3) The final number you come up with (after completing the first two steps): multiply this number by 100 for your final percentage (new - original / original x 100).

For calculating totals after a known percentage increase is factored in (practical examples: tip on a product or service, increases in productivity, other markup increases)

1) Take the original amount (the original price, the original number of people, the original amount of productivity, etc.), and multiply this number by the known percentage increase.

2) Take the answer to step 1, and add that number to the original amount to get your final answer.

Example: A meal cost $25.50 at a restaurant. To figure out the final cost after a 20% tip is factored in, we take the $25.50 and multiply it by 20% (25.50 x 0.2). By doing this, we figure out that the tip itself is going to be $5.10. We then simply add the tip to the original cost of the meal, and we discover that the final cost will be $30.60.

Mixed numbers to improper fractions

How to convert mixed numbers (also called mixed fractions) to improper fractions

A skill typically taught in, or at least reviewed in, seventh (7th) grade math these days.

1) Multiply the denominator (the bottom part of the fraction) by the whole number.

2) Take the answer to step 1, and add that number to the numerator (the top part of the fraction).

3) The final number you come up with (after completing the first two steps) becomes your new numerator. The denominator stays the same.

Example:

mixed number to improper fraction

As we can see from the above example, we take the denominator (2) and multiply it by the whole number (which also happens to be 2). 2 x 2 = 4. We then add the numerator (1) to our answer of 4. 4+1 = 5. Therefore, 5 becomes our new numerator, while the denominator remains the same.

Career guide for persons with disabilities

Technology to Jumpstart Your Career: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities

Career guide for people with disabilities
Photo credit: Pexels.com

Persons with disabilities are historically underrepresented in the workplace, but the good news is that things are looking up. As the National Science Foundation reveals, technology is accelerating disability inclusion in the working world. If you are a person living with a disability, you can harness the power of cutting-edge innovations to improve your job opportunities and climb the career ladder. Presented by Mr. Robertson’s Corner, the following guide explains how persons with disabilities can use cutting-edge tools to get ahead in their professional lives.

Leverage technology to start a home-based business

Commuting to an office can be difficult if you have a physical disability that impedes your mobility. Why not work from home by starting your own business? Rolling Without Limits offers a list of home business ideas for disabled persons, from online trading to selling handmade crafts on Etsy.

When running a home-based business, the right software and hardware can make things easier. For example, a voice-activated assistant can help with everyday tasks like dictating messages. Small Biz Daily provides a roundup of useful technologies for home-based businesses, including time tracking tech, cloud-based storage, and collaboration apps. These innovations will save you time by streamlining your daily operations.

Whatever business endeavor you pursue, consider how you can use your disability to your advantage. Tuts+ explains that you have a competitive edge thanks to the unique life experience you possess. Make the most of it. For example, you may have a one-of-a-kind perspective on problems in your community or be able to identify unmet needs that you can address with a special product or service.

Rely on internet innovations to hire freelancers to support your business

Many entrepreneurs get hung up on the idea of doing it all themselves. The fact is that if you take a total DIY approach to your business, you're bound to burn out. Hiring freelancers such as web developers via online platforms can help alleviate the burden. If you’re unsure of freelance web developer rates, do a little research online; on average, freelance web developers make between $15 and $30 per hour, though these rates will vary.

Collaboration is also critical when managing a freelance team. Technology can help here too. Invision App provides a list of the top collaboration tools for remote workers. Options include the chat app Slack, video conferencing tool Zoom, and project management tool Trello. Git Lab explains that these technologies can support asynchronous communication, which may be necessary for remote teams.

Gain the skills you need to thrive as an entrepreneur via remote learning

Starting your own business can be scary at times. Equipping yourself with the right knowledge and skills will help quell any anxiety you may be having. According to the World Economic Forum, remote learning opportunities have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. This is excellent news for people with disabilities. You are no longer reliant on physically accessible spaces to get the education you need.

You can rely on digital education to sharpen your accounting skills, improve your leadership abilities, or enhance your marketing knowledge. There are many opportunities for growth. Technology doesn't just connect you with digital classrooms. It can also help with the practical aspects of learning. For example, if you have impaired vision, a screen reader can help you get information from your computer screen so you can keep up with your classes.

As a person with a disability, you face unique challenges in the working world. However, you also have a one-of-a-kind perspective that you can use to your advantage. The right technologies can help support your business’s success.

Monday, October 18, 2021

College students with disabilities

Why Young People With Disabilities Should Consider a Business Career
 
College students with disabilities
Image via Pexels

No matter what you are interested in, there is probably a business out there related to it. If you're looking for a career with great earning potential, flexibility, and a variety of options, consider a business career. As Mr. Robertson’s Corner details, enrolling in an online Master of Business Administration program can be an optimal pathway for young adults with disabilities to launch a successful career in business.

Benefits of Online MBA Programs

An MBA is an advanced degree in business administration. Students usually pursue an MBA after obtaining a bachelor's degree in a business-related field of study. Popular areas of focus include marketing, accounting, research, and economics. MBA programs are popular among working adults who have been in the industry for several years and are seeking to boost their careers. Graduates with an MBA earn a median salary that is 75% higher than employees with just a bachelor's degree, according to a recent survey. Possible career options for MBA graduates include business administration, business management, and general management.

One of the top benefits of an online MBA program is flexibility. If you are working a full-time job and taking care of a family, it may be difficult to find the time to take on-campus classes. Most online coursework can be completed on your schedule from the comfort of your home. Additionally, no commute to campus means no dealing with parking or buildings with accessibility issues. Online programs are often more affordable than traditional on-campus options. Online MBA programs are designed to be adaptable to the needs of students.

Choosing a Major

Before you can pursue your MBA, you first need to obtain a bachelor's degree. Some of the top-earning majors for business degrees include information systems management, finance, marketing, and supply-chain management. Students who pursue these majors are well-positioned to find jobs in some of the fastest-growing industries, such as environmental management, healthcare management, marketing, and finance.

Finding an Internship

Internships help students gain experience, make connections and build their resumes. Additionally, internships can sometimes lead to entry-level jobs. Businesses that offer internships to people with disabilities are 4.5 times more likely to hire people with disabilities, according to research. In addition to the usual sources of internships, such as college networking events and job fairs, some programs specifically seek to match people with disabilities with internship opportunities.

Landing Your First Job

Many job seekers fear that interviewers will judge them negatively or ask awkward questions because of their disability. Preparing for your interview will help build your confidence. Know your rights. Interviewers are not permitted to ask you about your disability, though some may anyway. If your disability may impact your ability to perform all required job tasks or you will require accommodations, you may be required to disclose this. Otherwise, it is up to you how much or if you talk about your disability. If you choose to talk about it, focus on the positives and explain how you can overcome any challenges you have. Research the company and your interviewer. Practice your answers to common interview questions, including any information specifically related to your disability.

The world of business offers a variety of flexible, adaptable, and high-paying job opportunities. Pursuing an MBA is a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates and boost yourself into the top-tier of whichever industry you choose.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Are the ACT and SAT still needed?

The ACT and SAT tests - still relevant?

Lately, there's been a lot of talk circulating about a growing number of colleges and universities across the country scrapping ACT and SAT test scores as part of their admissions requirements. Indeed, according to an article that appeared in a special section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel back on September 26, 2021, citing data from the educational consulting firm IvyWise, a whopping, "Seventy-two percent of colleges and universities adopted test-optional policies for the 2021-22 school year, and some schools are now extending that policy for the next one to two years..." (College & Career Guide, 2021, para. 5).

The article explains that the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly played a role in all of this, but that the practice of forgoing these test scores in the admissions process is not entirely new. In fact, according to the article, citing information from an education-focused financial planning resource called Edmit, "Since the mid-2000s, various universities have included test-optional clauses in their admissions policies" (College & Career Guide, 2021, para. 3).

Among the many colleges and universities that have eliminated, for now, ACT and SAT test score requirements, are, "...Cornell University, Penn State, Williams College, Amherst College, Boston College, and Columbia University" (College & Career Guide, 2021, para. 5).

But whether or not your top college choices are taking ACT / SAT scores into consideration at this time, it's still to your benefit to take the test(s), and to put forth your best effort with adequate preparation.

Even if the schools on your shortlist aren't looking at these test scores, the scores may still open doors to you in other ways. Try to see the test(s) more as a standalone, independent credential that can help pave the way to other academic and financial rewards and opportunities, rather than simply another standard item to check off on the college admissions "to do" list. Let's dive deeper and explore some examples.

The ACT / SAT and scholarship money

Many outside scholarship contests not affiliated with your chosen college(s) still look at these scores to differing degrees when determining who they are going to award. Many of these scholarships are local, coming from organizations like your own community's chamber of commerce; Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, Moose, and Elk service clubs; neighborhood businesses and perhaps even your parents'/guardians' employers; etc. In short, many organizations and businesses that award scholarships are still taking these test scores into consideration. Some may weigh test scores less or more so than others, but nonetheless, they are being taken into some consideration. It's to your advantage, then, to still take these tests seriously. Not doing so may cause you to leave serious scholarship money on the table.

A possible resume builder?

A noteworthy test score(s) can potentially be used to your advantage on your resume/CV, at least for a time being early on, during the remainder of your high school years and into your college years. Combined with some solid work and service experiences, an excellent score(s) can be an additional way you demonstrate to employers and academic institutions/opportunities that you mean business.  

An objective, proven measure of skill mastery and academic potential

While test scores are far from being the only tool to measure knowledge, ability, and potential, they arguably provide a more objective, at-a-glance, snapshot of your capabilities. Noteworthy scores demonstrate in a quick and easy-to-understand format that you not only possess a good amount of academic knowledge, but also, and perhaps more importantly, that you can think critically and act strategically, as well.

Preparing you for college

Finally, a solid score on the ACT, and/or the SAT if you choose to take this test, demonstrates that you are indeed prepared to handle college-level work. Now, even if the schools you're seeking admission to are not considering these test scores as part of their admissions requirements, at least demonstrate to yourself - for yourself - that you are prepared for college-level work. At the end of the day, you're the one responsible for ensuring you're capable and up to the task. It's not the school that's responsible. You may be admitted to your dream college or university without having to submit these scores, but you can just as easily find yourself burning out and perhaps even dropping/flunking out. That's the stark reality of it. Take the test(s) seriously, to the absolute best of your ability, and do it for you, if for no one else. Do it for you.

Now, doing well on the ACT demonstrates that you have at least been keeping pace with grade-level work all these years. In other words, you're where you should be at, generally speaking. You're performing at grade level. Doing well on the SAT, meanwhile, shows that you're generally performing above grade level.        

Conclusion

While many colleges and universities across the country are not taking ACT and SAT test scores into account at this time when deciding on who to admit, it is clear that these tests are still relevant, for a variety of reasons. Solid test scores can still come in handy when competing for outside scholarships. Scores can potentially be used as a resume builder, demonstrating to employers and various academic institutions/opportunities that you take your work seriously. And finally, if for nothing else, noteworthy scores will show you that you're ready to handle college-level work. 

Reference

College & Career Guide.  (2021, September 26).  Colleges extending test-optional practices.  College & Career Guide section, p. 5S.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Tips for avoiding burnout in college

Tips for avoiding burnout during your first year of college

Your first year of college is likely to be filled with new and exciting experiences. Unfortunately, with this significant lifestyle shift also comes the possibility of burnout. Here are three tips that can help you avoid burnout during your first year of college so you'll better succeed in your studies.

1. Keep your partying to a reasonable amount.

It's easy for students to fall into the trap of partying too often - especially if they live on campus. While the occasional party is a great way to release pent-up stress, too much fun can lead to burnout if you aren't careful. To avoid burnout during your first year of college, be sure to keep your partying to a reasonable amount.

2. Avoid all-nighters whenever possible.

It can be tempting to hold all-night study sessions when trying to excel in your classes. Unfortunately, such demanding study schedules often do more harm than good, as lack of sleep can make learning less efficient and burnout more serious. In a previous post that I wrote a while back, I go into more detail about how cram sessions/all-nighters are often useless and not worth it. To keep yourself from becoming burned out during your first year of college, try to maintain a regular sleep schedule with few all-nighters.

3. Don't sign up for too many extra-curricular activities and clubs.

Now, I'm a strong proponent of clubs and activities. The learning opportunities and the potential for building valuable networking connections and lifelong friendships that come with such participation are tremendous. But while extra-curricular activities and on-campus clubs can be both loads of fun and meaningful, joining too many can leave you feeling stretched too thin. It really is a delicate balancing act. To avoid burnout during your first year of college, limit yourself to joining only the clubs and activities for which you feel most passionate.

Burnout is a genuine issue for many first-year college students. Because of this, students should always keep the problem in mind and take the necessary steps to avoid it if possible. Hopefully, by following the advice outlined above, you will be better prepared to avoid burnout during your first year of college.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Setting up your college dorm room

Setting up a college dorm room
Photo by Pixabay
 
How to Set Up a Dorm Room for Your College Student

Setting up a dorm room with all the comforts of home - and none of the distractions - can be tricky, but it’s an important step in making sure your college-bound student is well taken care of. Whether they’re just starting school or need help with getting settled in, there are several easy things you can do to help them whip their dorm room into great shape. Think about pieces that can handle more than one job, as well as how to save space. There are many options on the market for furniture that doubles as something else, and you can get creative with things like over-the-door shoe organizers that can be used for storage.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your child has everything they need for doing homework and studying. Think about the details, such as noise-canceling headphones that will help them block out distractions while they’re reading. Also, remember that sharing a room with someone can be stressful for individuals who have always had their own space, so any items that reduce feelings of anxiety will be a good addition to the list as well.

Mr. Robertson's Corner shares a few tips on how to set up a dorm room for a successful year.

Look for Daily Deals

Stocking up on all the things your student needs for the school year can get costly. Not only do you have to worry about school supplies, but you also need to furnish their room and make sure it’s comfortable and distraction-free - and that can be a big task. One great way to cut costs is to look for daily specials, online savings, and coupons and promo codes. Often, companies will have big sales around back-to-school time; the week of Labor Day is a perfect time to look for deals. Just make sure you act fast since these sales are often updated hourly.

Get Organized

Dorm rooms aren’t known for being spacious, so it’s important to make sure your child has a way to stay organized. You can help by finding furniture that doubles as storage, storage solutions that can be mounted on the wall or hung from a door, and Business Insider suggests space-saving bags that can hold clothing or bedding that isn’t being used. Utilize any open space in a creative way to keep things neat. Combining form and function will make the room look comfy, cute and decluttered.

Clear Out Distractions

Living in a dorm room can be a difficult transition for someone who has never had to share a space before. In fact, even someone who’s used to having a roommate might find it challenging to learn how to study, do homework, and relax when there are a lot of distractions going on around them. Think about the details that might make your student’s life a little easier, such as a microwave, a comfy blanket, and a small fan. Having the ability to cook a meal without having to leave the dorm and stay comfortable will help your child focus on their priorities.

Plan for Bathroom Needs

Living in a dorm typically means sharing a bathroom with others, so it’s important to make sure your child has everything they need. A shower caddy, bathrobe, shower sandals or flip flops, and a good set of towels and washcloths are a great place to get started. It’s also a good idea to think about how they can easily do laundry; a lightweight bag or basket is perfect for hauling clothes to the laundromat, and of course, they’ll need detergent as well. The Spruce recommends strategically picking your laundry times and sorting clothes before heading to the laundry as ways to make doing the clothes a cinch.

Getting your child set up in a dorm room can be a big job, so don’t wait until the last minute to get it done. Start thinking ahead of time about what they might need and how you can help make their time at school successful, comfortable, and easy so they can focus on their grades.

Chair yoga

Improving your mind, body, and spirit connection with chair yoga

Chair yoga is the perfect exercise for those with reduced mobility who wish to improve their mind, body, and spirit connection. It is also an excellent activity to increase one's body awareness and helps develop overall flexibility and strength. If you would like to give chair yoga a try, then here is some advice on the topic to get you started.

To begin your journey, you should first determine which chair yoga positions will work best for you. One method for doing so is attending in-person yoga classes with a certified teacher. This method can be especially beneficial if you have specific medical considerations because the teacher can demonstrate safe yoga positions for your particular situation.

You can also participate in chair yoga from the privacy of your own home. This method is perfect for those who prefer a less-structured chair yoga experience. To try chair yoga at home, search online for videos describing various chair yoga positions and give some a try. Many suitable videos are currently available on YouTube, with new videos on the subject added regularly.

Before attempting chair yoga, please ensure you have a sturdy chair without wheels or a wheelchair with firmly-set breaks. It is also helpful if the chair's height allows you to comfortably rest your feet on the ground for maximum stability during the session. Finally, consider avoiding upholstered chairs. They are less supportive and can generate unwanted stress on your back.




Winter shoveling hacks

Winter Shoveling Hack: Use a Broom

Not all snowfalls are created equally. Sometimes, like after a light snowfall, it's just not worth breaking out the snow shovels. So long as the snow is light and not very deep, it could be more efficient to use an ordinary broom to simply sweep away the snow.

If such a snowfall occurs that conditions are right to sweep it away, you'll want to tackle the job before anyone walks or drives on the snow. That's because snow littered with footprints or tire tracks is not easily swept away. If you do end up sweeping away the snow in areas that have been tracked down by people or vehicles, most of the tracks will likely remain in place after you've finished sweeping. To finish the job in such cases, you'll need to quickly go over the remaining tracks with your shovel.

Please note that before attempting this winter shoveling hack, it's worth getting a second broom to use exclusively outdoors. This way, your only broom won't be rendered useless indoors while you wait for it to dry. Also, note that wet snow or any snowfalls deeper than a few inches are probably best removed using an actual snow shovel.

Winter Shoveling Hack: Cooking Spray

Have you ever tried to dig yourself out of a winter snowstorm, only to be slowed down by a shovel caked in snow? Not only is caked-on snow annoying for those who shovel, but it's also a health hazard since it leads to prolonged back strain from having to repeatedly carry around the same stuck-on pile of snow.

Would you be happy to know there is a way to stop this common problem from happening? Because there is - and it's such an easy fix. The next time you're getting ready to shovel some snow, grab a bottle of cooking spray from the kitchen and spray a layer of oil on the blade of the shovel. Once done, the snow should readily slide off of the shovel, thus making your job a whole lot easier.

Tip: If you don't have any cooking spray handy, use a paper towel to rub some vegetable oil on the blade instead. While this method of application is less convenient than applying cooking spray straight out of the bottle, it will still work just as well.

Preparing for unexpected wedding costs

Preparing for the unexpected when budgeting for your wedding

Budgeting for expenses is vital when planning a wedding - especially if you want to keep your overall spending under control. That's why it's essential to allocate some of your funds to unexpected expenses when apportioning your total budget. After all, no matter how thoroughly you budget, you're bound to run into things requiring extra money that fall beyond the scope of your carefully-crafted plans.

So, what types of issues might force you to spend more than you've budgeted for on your dream wedding? The possibilities are virtually endless. Maybe you'll need to pay extra for last-minute alterations to your wedding attire. Perhaps you'll have to redo the invitations after the rain accidentally ruins your first set. Will you be prepared if your chosen venue is no longer available and your only other option costs a little more? As long as you've budgeted some money for the unexpected, it doesn't matter what issue pops up because you'll have the spare funds to correct the problem.

In knowing you should budget for the unexpected, you may be wondering how much money should be set aside for unforeseen expenses. A good rule of thumb is allocating at least ten percent of the entire wedding budget to cover any surprise expenses. If you don't use all the money before the wedding, then no harm, no foul. Put the rest in a savings account for later, or give yourselves some extra spending money for the honeymoon. On the other hand, if you end up needing the money, you'll be glad you allocated some reserve funds in your budget.

Do I need landlord insurance?

Do I Need Landlord Insurance?

Are you currently renting or have plans to rent out a home you own? If so, you should seriously consider purchasing landlord insurance if you haven't already. After all, without this type of coverage, you could leave yourself open to severe financial losses that you may not be able to shoulder on your own. To better understand if landlord insurance is right for you, here's a brief description of property and liability protection - two common types of coverage offered through landlord insurance.

Landlord Property Protection

Landlord property protection helps landlords pay for fixing or replacing any physical property that becomes damaged or lost due to a covered event. Such protections cover the main dwelling itself and other structures on the rented property should a covered event like a fire, windstorm, lightning strike, or theft occur. In addition, landlord insurance may also cover certain maintenance items like lawnmowers and snowblowers, so always check the policy details. Please note that any property protection claims will have a specified monetary cap and will likely require you to pay a deductible when collecting on the policy. Any deductibles and limits, however, will factor into the overall cost of the policy.

Landlord Liability Protection

Landlord liability protection helps landlords pay for another person's medical and legal expenses if an injury occurs on their rental property. Please note that while landlords aren't usually required to pay a deductible when making a liability claim, the coverage will only extend to the policy's stated monetary limit.

Though many landlords are content with the basic protections offered by standard landlord insurance, additional types of coverage may be worth considering per your unique situation. Such additions may include building code protection, protection for a rental property under construction, vandalism protection, and burglary protection. If you are unsure about your rental property's best insurance configuration, don't hesitate to ask an insurance broker for their expert advice.

Working with an insurance broker

Four Key Benefits of Using an Insurance Broker

If you're currently in need of insurance - no matter what type of insurance that may be (car, home, life, business, renter's/landlord, legal, health, dental, or a specialty type of insurance) - then hiring an insurance broker may be your best bet. Not only can an insurance broker help you find your perfect policy, but their experience and industry connections can also offer additional benefits. Here are four key benefits of using an insurance broker.

1. An insurance broker can advise you on more coverage options than a company salesperson.

As insurance brokers aren't limited to a single company's products, they are more likely to find the plan that best matches your personal needs. Before advising you on your options, they can sort through many policies to find the one best suited to both your needs and budget.

2. An insurance broker will have your interests in mind rather than the interests of a single provider.

As insurance brokers aren't beholden to a particular company, they can keep your interests in mind while finding you the plan that most meets your needs. On the other hand, a company salesperson might be more inclined to sell you a policy that doesn't fully meet your needs to meet their sales quota.

3. An insurance broker can save you money.

As insurance brokers have close relationships with many insurance partners, they can compare more policies to find you a suitable plan with reasonable premiums. Brokers also have access to competitive group rates and are very experienced negotiators. Having more options and better bargaining power often means more significant savings for their clients.

4. An insurance broker can help speed up the claims process.

As insurance brokers advocate on behalf of their clients, they can help expedite your case with the appropriate insurance provider if you need to file a claim. Such assistance can help speed up the claims process, granting you faster access to some much-needed funds.

There are many benefits to using an insurance broker. Not only can an insurance broker advise you on a wide range of insurance options, but they can also help save you money and advocate for you in times of need. In addition, with an insurance broker on your side, you'll secure the policy most suited to your needs and budget - without the headache that often accompanies attempting the task on your own.

Buying insurance for your business

The Importance of Insurance for Main Street Businesses

You've finished the grueling process of building a small business from the ground up and are just about to move into your highly-anticipated new location on the main thoroughfare in your town. Just because you've secured an excellent location in the heart of your community, however, doesn't mean your business will be on easy street from here on out. Many unforeseen things can and do happen to the small businesses along Main Street, so to help ensure you are better prepared for anything life may throw at your business, you should seriously consider purchasing suitable insurance.

That said, why is it so important that your Main Street business is adequately insured? The answer is simple - you've worked hard to get your growing business to the point where it's at, so why risk leaving it unprotected against any number of situations that could leave both your business and yourself in serious financial trouble? By securing the right coverage tailored specifically to your business's unique needs, you can rest assured knowing you are prepared for many possibilities. With the protections granted by the right insurance policy, you can weather many kinds of storms and minimize any disruptions that may occur should a covered event negatively affect your business.

If you found this article helpful, you may also find our article presenting four key benefits to working with an insurance broker to be valuable.

Monday, September 20, 2021

My summer 2021

Hello! It's been a while. I hope this post finds you well. I had a very productive and fun summer this year, and I hope you did, as well.

Summer School

For starters, I worked my very first summer school. I assisted middle school students in three social studies -related courses: Geography Bee, Let's Plan a Trip, and Latin America. I love social studies. As evidence of that statement, I offer to you my college major, which was political science. I also graduated with minors in sociology and philosophy. I participated in Model United Nations for five out of my six years in college. And now, as a Ph.D. student, I'm studying China's rise to power on the international stage, as well as aspects of the Cold War and Soviet history and economics. Love social studies. Did I make myself clear on that point? If not, let me try again - I LOVE SOCIAL STUDIES!!!

But in all seriousness, and getting back on point here, helping with summer school was a very rewarding experience for me, and I hope to work summer school in my district next year.

What made it so awesome for me was that I got to learn with the students. Sure, some of the countries and topics discussed in these courses I was already familiar with. But there were also so many new things I learned. Let's Plan a Trip, in particular, was a really cool class. Students in this course were tasked with researching countries they would be interested in visiting. Each week, they gave a presentation to the class on their findings. If I remember correctly, summer school was five weeks long, so students in this course gave a total of five presentations, one new country or region each week. These presentations included details like hotels to stay at, attractions to see and experience, local cuisine and culture, interesting trivia and history, costs and budgets, and flight details.

Another wonderful aspect of my summer school experience was simply getting to meet and begin building connections with quite a few new students. Many of these students are incoming 7th graders at the middle/high school I work at (in the district I work for, middle school starts at 7th grade, and the school I work at is a combined middle and high school).

STEM Camp

Immediately after summer school ended, I got a chance to stick around for one more week to work a STEM -themed camp that my district organized. This, too, was very enjoyable, and again, I loved learning right alongside the students. I was in two sessions - one was on rockets, and the other was about coding. Check out the paper airplane I flew in the rockets class. At the end of the week, we flew - you guessed it - rockets. That was a lot of fun, and we were very lucky to have a beautiful, calm, sunny day for it.   

My trip to Key West, Florida

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Key West for the first time back in August. Over the course of the coming days and weeks, I look forward to sharing with you my trip to Key West through recollections, photos, stories, histories of the island and some of its more well-known residents, reviews, and travel tips. There will be a number of separate blog posts coming out of these adventures, but they'll all be unified through my Key West travel series tag.

How was your summer? Did you get to go on any fun trips? Learn a new skill? Work? I'd love to hear all about your summer, so please feel free to comment below!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Welcome back, students! - 2021-2022

Hello! It's certainly been a while. I hope you're all doing well and are off to a great start in this new school year!

I'm a little delayed in my usual welcome back to students and my recap of my summer. My apologies. It's been a very busy yet fruitful and rewarding last few weeks for me. You can read all about my summer by clicking here.

Welcome back! I hope you have an awesome year, one that is full of learning, growing, and fun. It's important to have fun, too. And never forget that learning can certainly be fun, and fun can be learning. It's exciting and uplifting when we learn something new that can help us out somehow in life and/or career, and that's why we're in school. That's why we're in sports and clubs and activities. That's why some of us may be receiving tutoring help outside of the school day. That's why some of us may have a part-time job outside of school. It's all about learning and growth, of self-improvement and self-discovery, and of exploring rewarding opportunities in the world - or even creating our own!

Here's to you and to an incredible year!

Mr. Robertson

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

COVID and job prospects for teens

Over the summer, the country witnessed a sudden, explosive need for workers to fill jobs of all kinds, due largely in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were, or remain, a number of factors that, when combined, have created a complex labor situation for our economy. 

With many consumers severely limiting their shopping, dining, and tourism/recreation habits - or even outright staying home altogether - during the pandemic, many businesses imposed heavy layoffs or even closed their doors for good due to the lack of demand.

When restrictions started to ease as a result of COVID numbers beginning to drop significantly, combined with a general antsyness to get out of the house more after a year-plus of this, demand naturally began to surge. But the workforce was no longer there to support all the demand, and it still isn't.

Fortunately, many teens stepped up over the summer where many adults chose to - or were forced to, due to economic circumstances or health concerns beyond their control - walk away for a while.      

A brief blurb appearing on the front page of the Business section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on July 7, 2021, explains the rise of teenage labor during the summer:

EMPLOYMENT: Teens step up as employers struggle to fill jobs

The owners of restaurants, amusement parks and retail shops, many of them desperate for workers, are sounding a note of gratitude this summer: Thank goodness for teenagers. As the U.S. economy bounds back with unexpected speed from the pandemic recession and customer demand intensifies, high-school-age kids are filling jobs that older workers can't - or won't. The result is that teens who are willing to bus restaurant tables or serve as water-park lifeguards are commanding $15, $17 or more an hour, plus bonuses.

The uptick in teen employment has managed to temporarily help a little, but many teens have to return to school. The overall labor situation is going to take more time and effort to fully resolve itself.

In the meantime, where I'm trying to go with this post, is that, if you're a high school student, or even in college, you have an incredible opportunity right now that you can take advantage of. There are so many job vacancies all over the place, in numerous fields and industries - far more vacancies than there typically are under more "normal" economic/labor conditions. Now, more than ever, is the time to really explore what's out there in the world of work and start gaining critical job skills and experience for your resume. Having to return to school after the summer break doesn't have to get in the way of this unique opportunity, either - so many jobs these days require evening, weekend, and holiday hours. Now's the time to break into fields and industries that may otherwise not really be available to you until further down the road. And with wages (along with bonuses, perks, and benefit packages) rising due to demand for workers - that makes this an even sweeter opportunity to earn while you learn.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Fun facts about Key West, Florida

 Some fun and interesting facts about Key West, Florida

Southernmost point buoy Key West Florida
Photo credit: Aaron S. Robertson
 

I visited Key West between August 16-21, 2021, and this blog post is part of my broader Key West travel series. Stay tuned for plenty more material in the series, as I look forward to sharing with you my trip to Key West through recollections, stories, histories of the island and some of its more well-known residents, reviews, travel tips, and of course, more photos!

The wealthiest city in the United States per capita during the 1830s

You read that right - Key West was the wealthiest city per capita in the country during the 1830s. TravelExperta points out that much of the wealth during this time was generated from, "...treasure retrieval from shipwrecks off the coast." Florida-Backroads-Travel.com notes that Key West was the wealthiest and largest city in Florida in the years leading up to the Civil War, and it still remained near the top of the list for the wealthiest cities in the country during this time.

The only Union city south of the Mason-Dixon line during the Civil War

There were definitely Confederate sympathizers in Key West, no doubt, but Union forces were able to retain a tight grip on the city, thanks in large part to their control of Fort Zachary Taylor on the island, as well as Fort Jefferson some 70 miles west. It also certainly helped, as this post from the MilitaryHistoryNow.com blog entitled, "Key West - The Confederate City that Seceded from the Civil War," points out, that good portions of the residential population at the time were originally either from New England or the Bahamas, and therefore had no particular interest in fighting for the South - or for anyone, for that matter. These factors combined to award Key West the unique distinction of being the only Union city in the South.

Never above 100 degrees 

While walking the streets of downtown Key West, I overheard the tour guide/driver of a tour trolley explaining to his passengers that Key West, as hot and as muggy as the climate is, has never recorded a temperature over 100 degrees. This blog post from June 2017 entitled, "10 Cities in United States That Have Never Been Above 100 Degrees," published on the Joe Dorish Weather blog, confirms this.

Duval Street - the longest street in the world?

At just 1.25 miles long, Duval Street, the heart of the downtown Key West scene, can playfully boast that it's the longest street in the world - it runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

That's a lot of bridges!

There are 42 bridges connecting the island to the Florida mainland. 

The Conch Republic - Key West secedes from the United States for a brief time in the 1980s!

You read that right, as well. For a very short time in 1982, Key West declared independence from the United States, and the Conch Republic was born. While the secession was largely in good fun and playful in nature, the frustration and annoyance felt by residents and business owners leading up to it was certainly real. The U.S. Border Patrol had set up a roadblock and checkpoint to inspect every car entering or leaving Key West for drugs and anyone here in the country illegally. You can read more about the formation of the Conch Republic on Wikipedia

Famous residents

Key West was home to, among others, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and Major League Baseball star John "Boog" Powell. President Harry Truman visited Key West 11 times, for a total of 175 days, during his presidency. He stayed at a house on a U.S. Navy base. That house is now a museum known as the Truman Little White House.

Tips for selling your home

Tips for higher sale price when selling your home
Photo from Pexels

What You Need to Know Before Listing Your Home


Are you faced with putting your home on the market? Consider tackling some minor improvement projects that will help you maximize the sale price of your home but not break the bank. Rearranging furniture or taking the time to declutter your kitchen countertops can go a long way in allowing someone else to envision themselves in your space. Here are a few things to consider when preparing your home for a sale, presented by Mr. Robertson’s Corner.

The Price is Right

When putting your home on the market, it’s important to consider a competitive pricing strategy. What are the average listing prices nearest your neighborhood ($380K is the average here in Muskego, Wisconsin over the past 30 days)? What is the average number of days a home is on the market? “Nothing turns a good buyer off faster than an overpriced listing,” advises HGTV. “Pricing your home right is one of the most important advantages of having a Realtor.”

Curb Appeal

How welcoming is your home? First impressions will make a big difference when potential buyers come to tour your home. If your front door is dingy, you might consider a quick paint refresh to make it more inviting, and you might even add a wreath. Installing new house numbers can add a quick curb appeal and also allow potential buyers to find your house more easily. Try matching your house numbers with the finish on your exterior lights, offers DIY Network. Strategically placed potted plants, or container gardens, can give your front yard some zest, in lieu of higher-priced trees and shrubs. Matching containers to your home’s style will serve to carry the theme of your home through to the street.

Finally, take a good look at the trees in your yard and determine if there are any that detract from your curb appeal. If you spot any that you think your yard could live without, call in a local tree service to handle the removal - this is definitely one job you shouldn’t DIY.

Kitchen and Bath Refresh

Full-on kitchen and bath remodels can break the bank. But, if your kitchen and bathrooms are outdated and in disarray, they will most likely turn buyers off. Look for inexpensive ways to transform those spaces with a little imagination and elbow grease. Cleaning clutter from countertops and removing art projects and school photos from the refrigerator is free. Put anything away that isn’t necessary or complementary to your space. Replacing outdated handles and pulls with something sleeker and more modern will instantly update your rooms.

If your cabinets are dingy and old, then a good old-fashioned scrub with soap and water won’t help. Instead, consider painting your cabinets or removing doors. Something as simple as placing a colorful rug in front of your sink, according to Good Housekeeping, can hide ugly flooring.

Declutter and Depersonalize

One major reason to declutter and depersonalize your home is to give buyers an opportunity to see themselves in your space. There are 11 key spots to focus on, according to Apartment Therapy, and you’ve tackled the kitchen and baths, so the rest is relatively easy. Organize the entry point into your house by carrying on the theme from the front porch and yard right into your foyer. Clean where needed, place a coordinating container plant inside and make sure the rug is clean and welcoming. Clear halls of clutter and too many family photos. You want new buyers to picture themselves in your home. Touch-up play areas by hiding (or donating) unused and unnecessary toys. Don’t forget to tidy up closets, as potential homebuyers will be checking to see if there’s enough room for their belongings.

The process of selling your home can make for stressful times. But by spending a little time and energy to address some smaller DIY projects and tidy up, you can maximize the potential asking price for not a lot of initial monetary investment.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Roosters in Key West, Florida

Throughout Key West, Florida, chickens can easily be spotted in abundance. They roam parking lots, graze in grassy areas, walk alongside tourists on the busy streets of downtown, and gladly accept meals put out by the locals. There seems to be many more roosters (the male chickens) than hens, as my photos below demonstrate.

According to this blog post on Key West Roosters that I came across in my research: 

Key West Roosters descend from roosters bred in Cuba and the Keys for fighting. For many years a winning fight rooster would be a source of income and, of course, bragging rights. Cockfights are no longer legal in the United States; because of this, a lot of chickens were released and left to their own on the Island. Today these roosters are prized for their gorgeous colored plumes and still have their fighting spirit of their ancestors...At one point, the rooster population grew so big that back in 2004 Key West hired a chicken catcher to reduce the population. The work of the catcher was very controversial so when the contractor quit the post was discontinued. The contractor didn’t even last a year.

I visited Key West between August 16-21, 2021, and this blog post is part of my broader Key West travel series. Stay tuned for plenty more material in the series, as I look forward to sharing with you my trip to Key West through recollections, stories, histories of the island and some of its more well-known residents, reviews, travel tips, and of course, more photos!

All photo credits here in this post: Aaron S. Robertson. All photos appearing in this post were taken between August 16-21, 2021.

Roosters in Key West, Florida

Roosters eating in Key West, Florida

A rooster walking in Key West

Chickens in Key West, Florida

Famous roosters in Key West

World-famous roosters in Key West

Chickens walking the streets of Key West

A rooster in Key West, Florida

Roosters are in abundance throughout Key West

A rooster enjoying a snack in Key West

A rooster eating in Key West, Florida

 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Pictures of sunsets in Key West, Florida

Following are photos of sunsets in Key West, Florida, including several pictures of the moon, which became visible within minutes of the sunsets.

I visited Key West between August 16-21, 2021, and this blog post is part of my broader Key West travel series. Stay tuned for plenty more material in the series, as I look forward to sharing with you my trip to Key West through recollections, stories, histories of the island and some of its more well-known residents, reviews, travel tips, and of course, more photos!

All photo credits here in this post: Aaron S. Robertson.

All photos appearing in this post were taken between August 16-21, 2021 at the Parrot Key Resort.

Sunset in Key West Florida

Sunset at Parrot Key Resort Key West Florida

The moon in Key West Florida

Parrot Key Resort in Key West at sunset

Parrot Key Resort Key West Florida

Key West Florida


Key West Florida travel tips

Key West Florida sky

Monday, August 23, 2021

Strategies for time and task management

Managing time and tasks | time management techniques
Image via Unsplash
 
Five Strategies for Time and Task Management

Organizing and managing your daily round of responsibilities can be challenging for small business owners. If you often find yourself stressed and overworked, learning new task management skills and implementing helpful tools could make a big difference in your ability to manage your time more effectively. Here are five solid strategies for task and time management for small business owners, presented below by Mr. Robertson’s Corner.

Take Advantage of Available Tools

As a small business owner, you have access to a wealth of tools designed to streamline and manage many of your regular tasks. Some of the most useful business apps focus on accounting tasks:

• Apps like QuickBooks Time can provide accurate tracking of employee timesheets, time worked by a specific employee, and time dedicated to a project. Time tracking is a must for managing payroll, timesheets, and personnel management tasks much more easily and effectively.
• TechRadar recommends the free app RescueTime, which offers insights into how you use your personal time. If you've ever wondered exactly how much time you spend browsing websites or talking on the phone, RescueTime can provide you with the actionable information necessary to adjust your behaviors and provide you with more free time at home and on the job.

Choosing apps that work with mobile phones, integrate with your existing systems, and offer real-time reporting for faster response times will help you achieve more on behalf of your company while saving some free time for yourself.

Automate Selectively

Pick and choose which tasks to automate to ensure the most effective use of your time and money. One of the best places to start is with repetitive accounting and administrative tasks. In 2017, CPA Practice Advisor found that, on average, small businesses spend 120 days each year managing bookkeeping and administrative tasks. Software packages that automate some or all of these tasks can be a good investment for your company.

Delegate Tasks Where Appropriate

Many managers and small business owners are afraid to delegate or outsource tasks. Letting go of some responsibilities by delegating them to your staff members or outside firms is essential to avoid burnout and stress. Tasks that can often be delegated to others include:

• Enlisting the help of a formation service can help you to create an LLC for your company more efficiently. These specialty firms have the experience and in-depth knowledge necessary to navigate the legalities quickly and effectively. Just make sure you look up accurate LLC Wisconsin information so you understand the guidelines.
• Jobs that have clear, easy-to-understand parameters or that are repetitive in nature can safely be delegated to staff members.
• Tasks that serve an educational purpose may include seminars, webinars, and online courses. By assigning these opportunities to key staff members, you can build a team of highly qualified individuals.

Plan for Downtime

It's easy to remember to plan for upcoming project deadlines and other work-related tasks. Setting aside time for yourself is also important to stay focused and achieve the best results. Bloomberg touts the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks up time and tasks into manageable segments with breaks in between. Planning for 50 minutes of work punctuated by 10-minute breaks can often allow you to be more productive and focused.

Prioritize Top Tasks

Not all tasks are equally important. Categorizing each activity according to its urgency and profit potential can allow you to put first things first for your small business. This can add up to increased revenues for your company in the competitive marketplace. Learning to manage your time and tasks more effectively isn't an overnight process. Working to implement these strategies can help you do more and achieve more every day.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Upcoming series on Key West, Florida

I just returned from a five-night trip to Key West, Florida last night. I traveled there with my parents in what was the first major vacation for any of us in quite a few years.

The last time I was to Florida was also with my folks and sister as a kid. We were to Florida three times as kids. We made it down to as far as Key Largo on one of those trips, but never to Key West.

Over the course of the coming days and weeks, I look forward to sharing with you my trip to Key West through recollections, photos, stories, histories of the island and some of its more well-known residents, reviews, and travel tips. There will be a number of separate blog posts coming out of these adventures, but they'll all be unified through my Key West travel series tag.

Stay tuned!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Making paper airplanes

My paper airplane, the “Robertson Express”, came in 1st place and then a respectable 3rd for amount of time in the air this morning during a STEM camp I'm assisting with. As a youngster, we made and launched paper airplanes behind the teacher’s back. Now there’s a class that teaches us how to make them!

If you're interested in learning a variety of folds and designs for making paper airplanes, then you'll definitely want to check out this Web site, Fold 'N Fly.





 


Friday, June 25, 2021

Resume / Curriculum Vitae (CV) of Aaron S. Robertson

Aaron S. Robertson, MSM
P.O. Box 771, Muskego, Wisconsin 53150
therobertsonholdingsco@yahoo.com   414.418.2278
www.linkedin.com/in/aaronsrobertson

Passionate about bringing out the best in students and helping them discover success in life and career. Teamwork, collaborative thinking, and building meaningful relationships are integral to accomplishing this and to all that I do.

Education & Professional Development

 
Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership with an expected graduation date of 2022
Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin – An interest in China’s artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, entrepreneurial climate, and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); classical realism and realpolitik in International Relations (IR); and U.S. – China Cold War theory.

Master of Science in Management (MSM) 2013
Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Minors in Sociology & Philosophy 2007
Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Additional Coursework in International Relations (IR)
All coursework taken through Udemy.com, non-credit 2020
 
• "International Politics Mastery 2020: Think Theoretically" – taught by Kamil Zwolski, Ph.D.
• "International Relations Theory: Realism" – taught by Kamil Zwolski, Ph.D.
• "International Relations and Politics: The Origins of NATO" – taught by Paul F.J. Aranas, Ph.D.
• "The Rise of China" – taught by Kasim Javed, political analyst
• "Understanding of U.S.-Russia Relations in the Asia-Pacific" – taught by Andrei S. Golobokov, Ph.D.

Software & Online Teaching and Learning Tools
  • Microsoft: Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel, Teams
  • Google: Gmail, Docs, Slides, Calendar, Meet, Blogger
  • Kami
  • Canvas
  • Zoom
  • QuickBooks

Advanced Training:
  • CPR certification through the Greenfield, Wisconsin Fire Department / American Heart Association, 2019-2021.
  • Online courses and certifications covering various special education, substitute teaching, online teaching, tutoring, and educational psychology subjects through Vector Solutions/SafeSchools, STEDI.org, Professional Learning Board, Udemy.com, and the National Tutoring Association (NTA). (2019 – Present)
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention certification through Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). Certified from July 24, 2018 – Present.
  • STEP – An intense, two-day workshop for Stericycle supervisors and team leads on effective management and coaching techniques. (May 2015)
  • Certificate in integrated leadership and a non-credit certificate for a course in entrepreneurship. (2006 – 2007)
  • Instructor-led online courses for a variety of professional certifications in areas including supervision and management, leadership, effective communication, and marketing – Waukesha County Federated Library System. (2015 – Present)

 

Professional Work Summary

 
Education Professional 2021 – Present
Broadscope Disability Services, Inc.
(Greater Milwaukee area)
 
Broadscope Disability Services, or BDS, is not my employer. Rather, private families are my direct employers, and BDS, through its BDS Fiscal arm, serves as fiscal agent, compensating me for my services. In this capacity, I primarily work with middle school and high school students outside of the school day on building daily living skills and learning how to access various community resources. Examples may include visiting a store with a set shopping list and budget while learning how to interact with store staff at checkout and when help is needed; or visiting the local public library and learning how to search for items and interact with library staff at checkout and whenever further assistance may be needed. I also provide mentoring and respite care. Strong, ongoing communication and relationship building with parents and families, along with occasional written reports, are critical for success in this role. I support students with disabilities and learning challenges ranging from Autism and ADHD to Down Syndrome and Emotional & Behavioral Disorders (EBD).  
Special Education Assistant – Cross-Categorical 2021 – Present
New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School
(School District of New Berlin, New Berlin, Wisconsin)

Provided 1:1 and small group academic support to students in grades 7-12; supported regular education students across all six grade levels and a variety of subjects; significant experience working with medically fragile students, including feeding and toileting assistance, utilizing various assistive technologies and equipment, and monitoring for possible health emergencies; responsible for maintaining my own detailed sub plans; responsible for maintaining worklogs for Medicaid billing through the Accelify platform.

Special Education Assistant – Foundations program 2019 – 2021
New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School
(School District of New Berlin, New Berlin, Wisconsin)

Provided 1:1 academic and behavioral support to students in grades 7-12 with significant disabilities; in some cases, provided feeding and toileting assistance, along with the dispensing of medication; responsible for maintaining my own detailed sub plans; responsible for maintaining worklogs for Medicaid billing through the Accelify platform; supported regular education students across all six grade levels and a variety of subjects; proctored practice ACT tests and supported an ACT science strategy session; volunteered for practice sessions to support the school’s academic decathlon team; served as a chaperone for the 2021 senior dance; assisted with the 2021 commencement ceremony; provided 1:1 academic and behavioral support for students enrolled in the 2021 summer school program and summer STEM camp.

Substitute Teacher and Paraprofessional Aide 2020 – Present
EDUStaff
(A company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Served as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional aide in an on-call capacity in several area school districts. Experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and in both regular education and special education environments. Primary focus at the high school level.

Private Tutor 2019 – Present
Working with middle school, high school, and college undergraduate students
(Greater Milwaukee area)

General subjects available, in no particular order:

ACT and SAT test prep - Research Skills - Study Skills - Self-Advocacy - Writing and Essays - AP courses: English Language and Composition, Comparative Government and Politics, Macroeconomics, Psychology, United States Government and Politics, United States History - Career Readiness & Workforce Development (mock job interviews, resume help, soft skills, career assessments, field trips, networking opportunities, help identifying majors and education tracks) - Business and Management - Marketing - Online marketing and social media for business - Entrepreneurship - Leadership - Personal Finance, Investing, and Economics - Organizational Culture - U.S. History - American Government - Political parties and movements in the U.S. (present and historical) - Soviet Union: general history, government, politics - China: general history, government, its current artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), its entrepreneurial climate, & U.S. - China Cold War theory - International Relations (IR) - Realism in International Relations (IR) - Political Theory - Economic Theory - Sociological Theory - Philosophy - Psychology - Test Prep - Advice on scholarship application essays

Publisher 2018 – Present
Mr. Robertson’s Corner blog
(MrRobertsonsCorner.com)

Meaningful reflections, stories, ideas, advice, resources, and homework help for high school and college undergraduate students. We explore history, philosophy, critical thinking, the trades, business, careers, entrepreneurship, college majors, financial literacy, the arts, the social sciences, test prep, and more.

Special Education / Instructional Aide 2018 – 2019
Whitnall High School
(Whitnall School District, Greenfield, Wisconsin)

Supported both special education and regular education students across all four grade levels and a variety of subjects; co-taught English 11; co-advised Film Club; authorized driver of district vehicles; prom chaperone; led marketing efforts for a golf outing to raise funds for the athletics/activities department; utilized my background in marketing and event planning to advise the booster club of various challenges and opportunities in a changing donor and volunteer landscape; served, on occasion, as an internal substitute teacher.

Substitute Teacher and Paraprofessional Aide 2018 – Present
Teachers On Call
(A Kelly Company, based in Bloomington, Minnesota)

Served as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional aide in an on-call capacity in several area school districts. Experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and in both regular education and special education environments. Primary focus at the high school level.

Head of Marketing and Public Relations 2018 – 2019
DandiLion Daze, formerly known as Muskego Community Festival / Muskego Fest

Responsible for developing and implementing a robust marketing and PR strategy that included social media messaging, signage, radio, and press coverage for an annual festival supporting nine local community service clubs and organizations; crafted a donation request letter for potential event sponsors; assisted with booking music acts.

Business Manager 2017 – 2018
Reidy, Inc., DBA Estate Services
(A Muskego, Wisconsin-based remodeling and construction contractor)

Leveraged expertise to perform in a broad scope of areas, including general bookkeeping, preparing written reports, office management including the paying of invoices and the billing of clients, negotiations with vendors, strategic planning, customer service, marketing, lead generation, and sales support.

Strategies included:
  • Performing the duties of a social media manager, guiding the company’s social media strategy and online presence.
  • Providing advice, guidance, and research on a broad scope of business and financial areas.
  • Producing creative and engaging copy for printed marketing materials.
  • Utilizing QuickBooks for general bookkeeping, payroll, and tax prep for the company’s accounting team.
Specific projects included:
  • Procured a $50,000 line of credit for the business.
  • Procured a legally-binding contract and a more detailed lien waiver form for use between the company and its clients.
  • Worked with a design team at GoDaddy to replace the firm’s existing Web site from before my arrival – I personally provided the site’s copy and engineered its search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Researched and hired a collection agency to pursue uncooperative clients.
  • Researched and hired a credit card processing firm to accept credit cards as a form of payment from clients.
  • Revived the company’s Facebook page after remaining dormant for some time before my arrival, building an engaged following and a viable lead source.
  • Redesigned the firm’s client invoice and estimate paperwork to better represent and showcase the company and, in effect, provide another viable marketing opportunity for the business.

Customer Experience Team Lead 2012 – 2017
Head of Online Marketing
Trainer
Spectrum Communications
(A telephone answering service and call center in Brookfield, Wisconsin acquired by Stericycle, Inc. in 2014, becoming part of the established portfolio of Communications Solutions)
 
As Customer Experience Team Lead, a position held from March 2015, I was charged with spearheading and overseeing a broad scope of staff development, coaching, and mentorship initiatives. Additionally, my responsibilities included staff scheduling, attendance, conflict resolution, disciplinary action, client relationship management, and submitting direct reports to senior leadership.

Strategies included:
  • Training a performance-driven team of customer experience agents (CEAs) on delivering enhanced account management services to best help bolster client relations.
  • Attracting, retaining and coaching a team of diverse professionals that span all aspects of Spectrum Communications/Stericycle with a common vision and mission.
  • Functioning in a myriad of areas pertaining to Web marketing and customer engagement strategies, personnel training and team development processes.
  • Influencing and handling customer inquiries for a variety of products and services by way of a prepared script and on-going professional training.
  • Managing the company’s Web site, blog, social media campaigns, and search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives, resulting in significant increase with online traffic and client engagement.
  • Providing exceptional customer service and value-added services to callers while maintaining strict adherence to corporate policies and government regulations.
  • Initiated, coordinated, and authored, The Spectrum Scoop, which became the firm’s most widely-read internal employee newsletter.

Correspondent 2011
Muskego Patch

Strategies included:
  • Developing highly-successful techniques for aggregating information and performing a variety of functions by way of key interviews, thorough research and analytical reporting.
  • Wrote on a broad scope of topics ranging from features and human-interest stories, municipal government, political, and business news, and opinion pieces.
  • Establishing exceptional, collaborative relationships and motivating coworkers to meet and exceed company goals.

Publisher 2010 – Present
MilwaukeeBusinessOpportunities.com

Strategies included
:
  • Writing, editing, organizing, researching and aggregating content for a well-trafficked blog.
  • Facilitating in a range of functions; performing exclusive interviews, gathering information on various metro-area business news, networking groups and events, festivals, attractions, and polls.

President & Shareholder 2007 – 2013
Intrepid Innovations, Inc.
(An Internet marketing firm specializing in strategic marketing solutions for businesses looking to generate online traffic, increase sales, and maximize Web growth)

Strategies included:
  • Developing a range of effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies aimed largely at small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Establishing online social media profiles and providing continual maintenance with updates and relevant activities.
  • Performing all content management functions including, but not limited to, press releases and editorial writing, advertising/copy editing, and promotional releases and distribution.
  • Cultivating strong client relations with full responsibility for networking, contract negotiations, client meetings, general bookkeeping, and operational management.

Additional Experience
Correspondent 2007 – 2010
Muskego Chronicle

Professional Licenses & Certifications

 
Level 2 Intelligence Analyst certification
Udemy.com – taught by Lt. Col. Robert Folker, USAF (Ret.)
Obtained August 2020. No expiration date.

Level 1 Intelligence Analyst certification
Udemy.com – taught by Lt. Col. Robert Folker, USAF (Ret.)
Obtained August 2020. No expiration date.

Special Education Program Aide License – 5 Year
State of Wisconsin, License 4070061674 – Valid July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2026.

Teaching – Short-Term Substitute License – 3 Year
State of Wisconsin, License 1910046232 – Valid July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024.

Notary Public
State of Wisconsin, License 204996 – My commission expires July 19, 2022.

Business Community Leadership Roles

 
Founder & Facilitator 2014 – 2018
Genesis Networking Group
(Business networking group that met over breakfast twice per month at Genesis Restaurant in Greenfield, Wisconsin to discuss relevant business and professional development topics of interest and assist members with referrals)

Secretary 2009 – 2019
Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce

Board Member, Ambassador 2008 – 2018
Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

Memberships & Affiliations


National Tutoring Association 2021 – Present
Member

Whitnall Park Rotary Club 2018 – 2019
Muskego satellite club

Past President 2014 – Present
Muskego Lions Club

Library Board President 2010 – Present
City of Muskego

Zoning Board of Appeals 2008 – Present
City of Muskego

Past 2nd Term President 2008 – Present
Kiwanis Club of Muskego

Public Service Campaigns


Candidate 2009
Muskego-Norway School Board

Candidate 2008 & 2010
Wisconsin state Assembly ▪ District 83

Elected Student Government Roles


Senator 2018 – 2021
Representing graduate students
Cardinal Stritch University

Vice President of Legislative Assembly 2006 – 2007
Cardinal Stritch University

President 2005 – 2006
Cardinal Stritch University

Publications

 
Competing in the Call Center Industry: The Case of Spectrum Communications 2013
Capstone Research Product Title
Advisor: Thomas A. Lifvendahl, Ed. D.
Available at https://digitalcommons.stritch.edu/etd/114

Beyond Majors and G.P.A.: A Real Philosophy for College and the World Ahead 2007
Second Edition. Lincoln NE: iUniverse
ISBN: 0-595-46517-X (pbk), 0-595-90815-2 (ebk)

Media Appearances


Simandan, V. M. (2014, June 24). “You have to embrace innovation”: Interview with Aaron S. Robertson from Spectrum Communications.
Retrieved from http://www.simandan.com/?p=11535

Laughtland, A. (2014, April 5). Meet Aaron S. Robertson, freelance journalist. With Five Questions. Retrieved from http://www.withfivequestions.blogspot.com/2014/04/meet-aaron-s-robertson-freelance.html

Shea, J. (2014, April 3). Interview with Aaron S. Robertson, head of online marketing at Spectrum Communications. Voices of Marketing.
Retrieved from http://www.voicesofmarketing.com/written-interviews/interview-aaron-s-robertson- head-online-marketing-spectrum-communications

Johnson-Elie, T. (2009, February 3). Networking club has youthful focus. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Lawrence, J. (2009, January 10). A new networking site for students and recent grads. OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved from
http://www.onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/intrepidnetworking.html

Catholic Knight. (2008, Fall issue). Book smart: Young author offers his philosophy on college and the world ahead, pp. 14-15.

Paulsen, D. (2008, March 6). Muskego man part of new business that taps the power of the Internet. Muskego Chronicle, Business, p. 1.

Interviews & Writing Credits


1. Branscombe Richmond, Hollywood television and film actor; stuntman. September 2011.
2. Dr. Terence Roehrig, professor, U.S. Naval War College; Korea expert. December 2011.
3. Carl Giammarese, lead singer, The Buckinghams; singer and songwriter. December 2011.
4. Alyssa Bolsey, filmmaker; director, The Jacques Bolsey Project. December 2011.
5. Godfrey Townsend, New York-based guitarist and singer. January 2012.
6. Carl Bonafede, legendary Chicago radio personality, band manager, music promoter, record producer, and booking agent. January 2012.
7. Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, drummer, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Creedence Clearwater Revisited (CCR). June 2012.
8. Mark Dawson, lead vocals and bassist, The Grass Roots. September 2012.
9. Chris Szebeni, lead singer, Boxkar. November 2012.
10. Rebecca Romney, rare books expert and occasional guest on the show, Pawn Stars. February 2013.
11. David White, founder, Danny & The Juniors; singer and songwriter. April 2013.
12. Stu Cook, bassist, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Creedence Clearwater Revisited (CCR). July 2013.
13. Mark Hall-Patton, administrator of the Clark County Museum and occasional guest on the show, Pawn Stars. May 2014.
14. Jefferson Grizzard, guitarist and singer. June 2014.
15. Samantha Lukens, designer and MFA candidate. September 2014.
16. Paul Spiegelman, best-selling author and culture executive. January 2015.
17. Bill Turner, former lead guitarist for Bill Haley in the 1970s; Front man, Blue Smoke. March 2015.

Selected Thought Leadership Writing Samples


Robertson, A. S. (2019, September 21). The importance of reflection. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2019/09/the-importance-of-reflection.html

Robertson, A. S. (2019, March 9). I was a slacker in high school. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2019/03/i-was-slacker-in-high-school.html

Robertson, A. S. (2019, January 31). The many benefits of volunteer work. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2019/01/the-many-benefits-of-volunteer-work.html

Robertson, A. S. (2019, January 26). The double-edged sword of technology. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2019/01/the-double-edged-sword-of-technology.html

Robertson, A. S. (2018, December 8). Creating a resume and applying for work. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2018/12/creating-resume-and-applying-for-work.html

Robertson, A. S. (2018, July 26). It’s time to think inside the box: The education moment delivered to the BNI Boundless Business networking group on July 26, 2018. Posted to https://www.milwaukeebusinessopportunities.com/2018/07/its-time-to-think-inside-box.html

Robertson, A. S. (2018, July 15). The value proposition in your business. Posted to https://www.milwaukeebusinessopportunities.com/2018/07/the-value-proposition-in-your-business.html

Robertson, A. S. (2018, June 27). How to generate more and better business ideas: The education moment delivered to the BNI Boundless Business networking group on June 28, 2018. Posted to https://www.milwaukeebusinessopportunities.com/2018/06/how-to-generate-more-and-better.html

References & Recommendations Furnished Upon Request
therobertsonholdingsco@yahoo.com   414.418.2278