Shadowing a Entrepreneur 2

I spent Thursday and Friday at the Sunscreen start up in Agoura Hills, except this was only a 10 hour day because we didn’t have a meeting afterwards.  I learned how to better use excel spreadsheets and we worked on the pricing for the different products that the company is offering for wholesalers and the retailers, which are different.  A wholesaler is like a distributor who can buy small or large quantities of the product and gets them at a lower rate that the retailer because they buy larger quantities and they deal with the venues, cities, or retailers that are buying the products which make our job as a distributor much easier.  I learned in importance of incentivising larger purchases so that we move more product, keeping the manufacturer’s happy, and make more money from moving more product.  The lessons I am learning from this startup can be applied to any business that I enter into, which makes me excited to go into work every day.

Fox’s Facilities

One of the things i really enjoy about working with Fox, is that they use so many other outside sources and post houses to help them with their work. This whole week i got to spend at Roundabout Entertainment, an outside post house that helps fox with its editing. However this wasn’t the kind of editing that one typically things of, in fact the guys over at Roundabout call what they do “post-post” editing, in other words they are basically the last step in getting a show ready to go either on the air, or into syndication. They do a lot of tedious work that looks really boring but once they explain what they were doing it was fascinating. For example they have a department called “final cut pro” which does nothing but edit down movies and TV shows for syndication, or to be sent to amazon. As well as working a lot with Fox, Roundabout also does the editing, trimming, sound, color correction, restorations, and in-coding for all of the shows that go on amazon prime. The place is huge and they all play a crucial, yet often looked over, role in allowing people to enjoy a TV show of movie.

Young and the Resltess

So the end of my second week has seen me doing about the same thing, but on Friday, I was able to do a little more than I was able to do previous days. I was able to mail off some fan mail to some actors, well 3 actors. I was also able to sort out the file cabinet with all of the actors head shots. This week, what I’ve really been able to learn is that, when you have absolutely nothing to do, just ask people around you if they need any help with anything. I did this pretty much everyday this week, and although the general answer was, “No.” I even asked a handful of people if they wanted coffer, which in hindsight wasn’t the most clever idea; there is a fully functioning coffee machine in the office. After asking about everyone in the office, I did eventually get something to do, and although it wasn’t the most fulfilling thing, it did feel go do be doing something. Thankfully, on Monday, the show will be back in production and I’ll have something to do, even if it is just watching people do their jobs. I think that for this up coming week, my biggest challenge will be gaining the courage to talk to people, everyone I know has been telling me that I should ask people about their jobs, and the people at CBS seem willing to answer any questions that I have. I’m just way to nervous to even talk to most of them, so on Monday or the days that fallow, I will have to swallow all of the bubbling fear and talk to people.

The Value of Education

For the past two days, I have been stuck trying to formulate a cirruculum for an Arduino camp that will be held at Trash for Teaching. To prepare and gauge how much time will be needed for the camp, I tried making a project myself which used some of the e-waste lying around in the warehouse. What I came up with was a game where you dropped a golf ball into a tube and tried to shoot it into a hole. The catch is that there is a rotating disc powered by a step motor with a hole in it which prevents you from scoring easily (the speed can be changed by changing the programming for the step motor). Today I tried adding a switch recovered from a chip eraser that would count up the amount of times the ball was scored and display the score on a seven segment LED display. It didn’t work. I tried fixing the code and all, but the problems persisted, so I think that the problem lies in the faulty hardware since there must be a pretty good reason that these things were donated to Trash for Teaching.
Speaking of donations, I overheard a conversation between Isai and Tito discussing a pickup of materials from Madera. If you all are unfamiliar with the location of Madera- it is FAR AWAY. So, I guess that depending on the value of the pickup, the Trash for Teaching members are willing to take most donations. I guess its a pretty good price to pay for something that you can sell for profit without buying it first.
My car got sold today. The truck I made last week for an upcoming project was dismatled (by my own hands, no less) so that a little girl can hold her birthday party at the facility on Sunday. Life and the material things that accompany it are all fleeting, though as Leah, the executive director of Trash for Teaching and also apparently a Business professor, told me at lunch, education stays with you forever. I told her about how I am going to have to take out loans, but she assured me that this is a good investment since, unlike a small business that is prone to failure, no one can take your education away from you. Five minutes passed, and then she rebukes the corporate nature of education nowadays, especially in the case of Pearson Education which controls the education process and feeds off of student stress and anxiety. Just think about CollegeBoard, and you’ll get what I’m talking about. Yet, while I was working today, I thought about what my future would be like after I get my first job. I forgot who told me this, but apparently after the first job you have, employers stop looking at where you went to college and solely focus on experience. I guess that “better” schools give you better chances in scoring working opportunities, but at this crossroads in my life, I’m starting to wonder whether or not I want to continue on the engineering path. Will I feel like I am leading a fulfilling life? I guess I’m just scared that I’m going to invest all this time into studying and all this money paying for an education and then end up hating every job that I might end up with. Oh well- I’ll save all that worrying for another time 4 years down the line.

Until next time~

Andre

Lots of stuff

They sent me the wrong motor. In 99% of cases this would be a disaster, but I really lucked out. instead of sending the $50 motor I ordered, I got the much better $90 motor I wished I could buy. This new motor is geared, and will give us 7 times more power (torque) than the old one. It is, however, slightly more difficult to mount, and slower, though it will still most likely go far above the legal limit, so we’ll have to limit it anyway.

I also got 10 of the batteries configured, instead of one 24 volt pack, we’re building 2 12 volt packs, which would be much easier to charge.

Oh and Ray (my mentor) is in the hospital currently due to an especially nasty infected cut. He will be in the hospital from now until Monday, but he’s recovering very well, and has been sending me guidance through email.

Also on my way to OSH today, I realized there was a problem with my brakes and had to dismantle them on the side of the road. As of now, the rear brakes work, but the front ones still need help.

Oh and I still need to saw something in half, then super glue it back together.

Week 2 Day 1-2

Since they did have school this monday I did not have to go to work that day. Instead I stayed home and worked on both of the videos and the playbill. I probably forgot to mention that I actually borrowed a computer for the school because they have really cool editing programs like Sony Vegas and Final Cut. It was very fun to work with those programs again but the computer in general was not very fast and gave me some trouble. The tuesday was when the trailer was due to show and I know I said I worked a lot on in, which I did, yet it is very short and not the advanced because there were a lot of things I was not allowed to put into the trailer since they wanted surprises. I would have attached it to this blog post but the school has very strict rules about publishing the kids in any public format so sadly you will all have to wait until I present back at school.

Day 4-5

After the set back on Wednesday there was not much to this day. I filmed a bit more, edited, we tried using microphones for the first time which went really well and it was a pretty solid day. I love getting to know these kids. They are a great group and they all get along pretty well. They have been nothing but welcoming and so has the faculty and alumni who are also working on the production as well. There is a Vistamar student who is working on it with me and there are several other Vistamar students that visit. The next day I went with my mentor to get the costumes from a store in Santa Monica. It was about a 15 minute drive there and then we packed our cars but on the way back there were blocked roads and such so it ended up taking me over an hour to get back which was really bad because it cut some of our rehearsal time in costumes.

Day 2-3

I know it has been a while since I have posted but it is because I have been extremely busy with my project and other work. So after the first day when I got to know the play and get to know the kids a bit more I spent most of the day filming theatre classes and helping the students write these short skits they have to perform. The filming was because I was to make a video to showcase the theatre department for the school’s back to school night and I also have to make the trailer for the musical. That took up most of my time because getting good footage was very difficult since we were not completely set up. The next day I did more filming again for both videos and started to edit but during our rehearsal time there the Eight Grade got pulled away because of some drama or issue. I did not learn what it was about until later so we had to run the play with just 2/3 of our cast. Not only did we not have all of our cast the eighth graders were most of the leads so it was really interesting and pretty significant set back.

Back at Pacific Design Center

On Wednesday, after finishing up with calling fabric companies to price fabrics by the yard, I took another visit to the Pacific Design Center. I was given a few samples that the clients liked or didn’t like, and then had to pick out more samples at PDC to present to the clients. It was stressful for me, because I didn’t have my mentor to ask for help, so I was worried I would pick the wrong fabrics or wallpapers, and then I would have to take yet another visit to PDC. I spent about three hours walking around the Blue building grabbing traditional wallpapers for a dining room for a client, and then another two picking out fabrics for barstools. It was quite exhausting, but its also hard not to stop at art stores to look at interesting paintings or furniture for fun. It was ultimately a 10 hour day on Wednesday, and I didn’t know how tired I was until I got home. I’m loving my senior project so far, and I’m so excited to continue it next week!

Day 9: End of Week 2

Well today was an even slower day than yesterday. Usually, there are not many programs on Fridays at the center, and since this week was the last week for all the programs, it was extra quiet today. I was at the reception all day and I got about only 4 phone calls. So I spend most of my time organizing things on the desk and taking pictures of the building.

This is what the building looks like when you first enter. And the reception is to the left.

This is what the building looks like when you first enter. And the reception is to the left.

This is a little plaza area in between the actual center and the pre school building.

This is a little plaza area in between the actual center and the pre school building.

As the second week finishes, I’ve been enjoying my time here. I’ve known most of the workers here since I was in pre-school and it’s interesting to get to work with them after them having been my leaders for a long time. And even though I’ve been coming to this place forever, I never really payed attention to what goes on behind-the-scenes, so now I finally know all the work that happens during the day.