J-Term 2018 Day 7 | Branding & Marketing

We kicked off day 7 of J-Term 2018 with a talk on branding and marketing led by Emeroy Bernardo, the CEO of Vision Paradox. He led a great discussion on the pros and cons of social media, and how to effectively market to engage your target market.

After more team time, class, and one on one time with Professor dean, we ended the day with an exhilarating elevator pitch tournament! Check out some highlights from the evening below, and congratulations to Robert Tarlanian for winning the tournament!



J-Term 2018 Day 6 | Pivot or Persevere

Today J-Term participants continued to turn their ideas into a reality. They worked within their teams to continue developing their company and final pitch!

In the afternoon, Marty Sharkey came to lead a discussion on personal branding. He is Occidental’s Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and he had a ton of great information and experience to share with us all!

In the evening, each group met with Professor Dean to discuss their company one on one. Professor Dean provided incredible, insightful, and useful feedback for each team. We ended the evening together with a quick check-in for all of the J-Term participants.

J-Term 2018 Day 5 | Pitching

Day 5 of J-Term was packed full of activities to help participants get more comfortable with their pitching skills. We started the day off with an elevator pitch workshop lead by Occidental College’s Hameetman Career Center. Later in the afternoon Rachel Geike of Snow Monkey came and lead a discussion on her experience as a young, female entrepreneur. Students loved her talk, and definitely loved her product!

Participants were then visited by Oxy alumnus and Oxypreneurship founder, Alex Keat! He lead a great talk on serial entrepreneurship and was able to connect with students on both a personal and professional level.

Lastly, we ended the day with J-Terms infamous sales pitch competition! Participants had to select a random and unknown object from a bag and them come up with a creative and effective way to pitch the object, all within 30 seconds! Congratulations to the winners – Kelly Fitzgerald, Jake Willemsen, and Alexis Hale, and thank you to all of our amazing judges!


J-Term 2018 Day 4 | MLK Day

For MLK Day, we took a moment to take a step back from J-Term’s focus on entrepreneurship to look at the bigger picture. Professor Dean began the day by teaching us about social enterprises and the importance of having empathy and ethics within the business world. We were inspired by her dream to not have the term “social enterprise” exist anymore because all companies should care about their impact on the world.

In the afternoon, the student leadership team (Ethan, Esmé, Liam, and Sharon) lead the group through a session focused on inclusive entrepreneurship. We discussed the importance of diversity within the leadership of businesses and within our own J-Term teams. Overall, we focused on developing a stronger understanding of our teams and the people in them. We learned to not only recognize diversity, but also to respect it, and how to utilize it to its fullest potential.

Lastly, to end MLK Day we watched Netflix’s The 13th as a group. The movie is an incredibly powerful documentary on the systematic and historical racism that engulfs our nation’s prisons. It is an eye-opening movie that we all highly recommend you take the time to watch. Learn more about it here.

J-Term 2018 Day 3 | The Idea

Today is the day! The day where all of the brainstorming and thinking from the past two days will culminate in the formation of teams centered around one, fantastic idea.

To begin, Professor Dean led us through a discussion on MVPs, or minimum viable products. This was a really important and great discussion to have because the end goal of J-Term is to create an MVP.

In the afternoon, we welcomed our first speaker of 2018, Gamal Palmer. Gamal is a very successful entrepreneur with an amazing life story. Driven by his story, Gamal created Global Eye Entrepreneurs. During his presentation he encouraged us to connect with our why’s and to dig deeper into our own stories. We also focused on collaboration with others and their ideas, to see how that diversity in thinking could help transform and change our own. Overall, it was an incredible and thought-provoking session, and we are so thankful to have Gamal’s support and expertise!

Lastly, we wrapped up the day by sharing all of our ideas and forming teams. Checkout this sneak peak of all the innovative ideas of the J-Term participants…

Don’t forget to check back and see how these amazing ideas continue to grow and develop over the next week!

J-Term 2018 Day 2 | Design Thinking

On the second day of J-Term, Professor Dean lead us through a discussion on design thinking, an idea inspired by The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Professor Dean is an incredible speaker and we were so grateful to hear her insights on the book. Specifically, we discussed how the best path to success for a business is to go through a process of building, measuring, and learning.

After the design thinking session, students broke into their first classes of the week! Students had the option to learn creative media skills with Professor Keeler, or computer programing skills with Professor Miller. This is a great opportunity for students to tailor their J-Term experience to their interests so that they can get the most out of it.

To end the day, Jason from Hameetman Career Center lead all of us through an in-depth networking session. We had a great time learning the do’s and don’t’s of networking, and how to build positive and mutually beneficial relationships. As you can see, J-Term is so much more than just an entrepreneurial workshop. At J-Term, you can build your professional skills, grow your self-confidence, and learn more about your ideas, passions,  and dreams.

J-Term 2018 Day 1 | Welcome

To kick off J-Term 2018, Professor Khagram lead us through story time! The book, What Do You Do With An Idea? is a children’s book written by Kobi Yamada that focuses on letting your ideas grow. Although simple, the story was a great introduction to J-Term and reminded us all to have confidence and faith in our ideas.

Next, Onma from Occidental’s very own Hameetman Career Center lead us through a discussion of The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. We learned that the best way to succeed is to have a mindset of permanent beta, in which we always work to learn more, do more, and grow more.

To end the day we enjoyed our 2018 Welcome Dinner at Spitz! Spitz is a delicious Mediterranean restaurant and was founded by Occidental alumnus, Bryce Rademan. We are so thankful for Spitz’s generosity and delicious food, and will all definitely come back in the future.

Overall, Day 1 was an exceptional start to J-Term 2018 and we are so excited to see where the rest of the week takes us!