About Megan V Meade

I recently graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in advertising. Next fall I plan to attend The Creative Circus, a portfolio school in Atlanta GA, where I will refine my skills in copy-writing and photography. At the current time, I am interning at Ingenex Digital Marketing Firm in Ann Arbor MI. My hope is to gain a better understanding of the field of digital marketing, while earning some valuable re-world experience.

A Taste of Ann Arbor- Last Stop, Sheesh Mediterranean Cuisine

As the summer is coming to a close, so ends Lauren and my journey as Taste of Ann Arbor food critics and Eco-Friendly Interns at Ingenex Digital Marketing. So to celebrate our journey from wide-eyed interns to digital savvy marketers the whole Ingenex gang joined us on our lunch excursion.

Today’s lunch brought us to Sheesh Mediterranean Cuisine, a Lebanese restaurant, just a few blocks down from our office on Main Street.

Upon our arrival, the Ingenex team noticed the painted murals and lush burgundy curtains that adorned the space and gave the restaurant an authentic look and feel. As we took in our surroundings a booth was found to accommodate our 7 person group with plenty of leg and elbow room. We were promptly brought a few baskets of pita bread and the restaurant’s Middle Eastern salsa, along with glasses of ice-cold water. Among the buzz of conversation we also decided to order some homous to tide us over until our food arrived.

In Lebanon it is customary for meals to last a few hours because the host will urge their guests to take second, and many times third helpings because this shows that guests are enjoying their meal and are savoring the whole dining experience. To be expected our servers were very hospitable and frequently visited the table refilling our pita and water glasses, however the wait time between when we ordered our food and when it arrived was rather lengthy.

Ordering everything from Fatoush Tawook Feta to Mjadra and Falafels our team sampled a wide variety of Lebanese cuisine. The general consensus at the table was that despite the lengthy preparation time, Sheesh was worth recommending in the future.

Lauren and I would like to thank everyone that made A Taste of Ann Arbor possible and we know we will most definitely miss our Ingenex co-workers as we move on to the next stages in our digital marketing and advertising careers. Thank you for all the experience, it has truly been a pleasure.

A Taste of Ann Arbor Visits Google!

As Lauren mentioned in last Tuesday’s post, she and I visited a different kind of lunch spot today. This week’s trip took us inside Google’s Ann Arbor Office.


Now you may be wondering how Lauren and I were able to merit an invitation to one of Google’s private employee lunches. So here is the story…

While sitting at one of the Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing (LA2M) networking events, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching about all things marketing, I met a guy named Rob. Rob works for the Google Adwords team and oddly enough knows my roommate’s sister- small world. While talking with Rob about his job at Google and my internship at Ingenex Digital Marketing, where I dabble in Adwords, we discussed the fun, laid-back, colorful work environment that has become synonymous with Google’s name. And being that we were at a lunch event, we discussed the fabulous lunches that are served at his office each day. Long story short Lauren and I headed to the Google office, located on South Division just a few minutes walk from our office, this afternoon.

Upon entering the reception area we were greeted with a warm welcome and hello, and were asked to sign in. Rob arrived a few minutes later and we walked through the brightly colored halls to the Google cafeteria. Inside we helped ourselves to the buffet style lunch that had been laid out by the office’s culinary crew. The spread was delicious with fresh salads, fruit, veggies, rice, salmon and lamb linguine pasta. After our meal, the general consensus was that Lauren and I could not leave without tasting the peach cobbler dessert. So we walked around the corner and to our great surprise the tray was being filled with a brand new peach cobbler- still warm and gooey, fresh from the oven.

After the meal Rob gave us a tour of the building. We got to check out the employee rec room- with games, tvs and loads of snacks; a few conference rooms- each named after cities in Michigan; the employee work stations- each decorated with colors and personalized themes; and so much more. But I think it’s safe to say that Lauren and I enjoyed viewing the Lansing room best of all; being that we are grads of Michigan State University (I graduated last May and Lauren will graduate this coming spring) and Lansing and MSU are near and dear to our hearts. So it was neat to see the Lansing room with its mural of the State Capitol, and photographs of the MSU football stadium and campus.

We’d like to thank Rob and the rest of the Ann Arbor Google Team for allowing us the chance to sit in and enjoy such an exclusive lunch with you.

Up-Coming Events for MSU’s Alumni Club of Washtenaw County

Being a recent Michigan State University graduate, I have recently discovered the value of a strong alumni network. No matter what it states on that very expensive piece of paper I worked so hard to achieve, without the right connections and experience, very few job opportunities are open to myself and the rest of today’s graduates. And while joining an alumni network is no guarantee of employment, it can definitely open up the door to internship opportunities and other circumstances that help young, inexperienced grads gain much-needed “real world” experience.

I consider myself lucky enough to be a part of an alumni group that spans the nation, and to some degree the world, making it easy to find networking and support wherever life takes me.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Alumni Club of Washtenaw County, my current location, serves as a hub for networking, socializing and general relationship building for all MSU Alumni and supporters living and working in the Washtenaw Area of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Chelsea and Milan. The main purpose of the group is to support the continued success of Washtenaw citizens and businesses, while also allowing them to become active in their community through networking and activities.

As the month of August approaches the Alumni Club prepares for two of its big events- its First Monday meeting, and Annual Spartan Golf Scramble and BBQ.

First Mondays are social events that bring the Washtenaw branch of MSU’s Alumni Club together on the first Monday of each month. These informal meetings usually start around 6 pm and last as long as people want to stay and network amongst the group. The August meeting will take place on August 2nd at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti, located at 720 Norris St. The Corner Brewery is known for its large outdoor beer garden and tasting room. Behind the scenes, it is a production brewery that produces and bottles beer for distribution throughout the state of Michigan.

The Alumni Club’s other big up-coming event is the Spartan Golf Scramble and BBQ. The Spartan Golf Scramble and BBQ is an event that is held each year to raise money for a scholarship endowment fund that benefits Spartans from the Washtenaw Area as they attend MSU. Each year the group looks for avid golfers and die-hard MSU alum to come out and enjoy an afternoon of Spartan fellowship and networking, while supporting future Spartans through financial contributions to the event. The event will include 18 holes of golf on the Lake Forest Golf Club green, with each participate golfing in teams of four. Single players are welcome to sign up for the event and will be placed in a foursome on the day of the outing. All skill levels are welcome to come out and play. The Spartan Golf Scramble and BBQ will be held on August 14th this year.

For more information or to look ahead to more club events, visit the club calendar.

Currently in Transition

As the phrase “I’m currently in transition” becomes increasingly popular, it is no wonder that sites like indeed.com are garnering more and more attention. Indeed is a site that makes searching for jobs on the web easy… well easier at least.

Indeed.com functions like any other search engine, except that it is specifically for searching want ads and job posting sites. The concept is that users can log into indeed.com and by simply filling in their fields of interest, be given a list of related jobs. “Searchable” fields include salary, title, company, location, job type, and employer/recruiter.

A feature that makes recruiters and headhunters, like Collin LaLonde, recommend indeed.com is the trend capability. By hitting the trend button at the top left corner of the screen, users will see a graph of their chosen field pop-up. The screenshot below shows the graph that was produced for marketing professionals during the year 2009 and 2010. When looking at the graph it seems that marketing jobs were predicted to stay fairly consistent, as far as demand is concerned, throughout the year 2009.

Another feature on indeed.com that is drawing a lot of attention is the online forum. Forums are pages on websites that allow users to post comments, questions and/or concerns; while they also allow users to respond to their fellow users’ posts. This a great way for people to build a network– which is huge when searching for a job, maintain connections, and receive peer feed-back. Making indeed.com an important tool for anyone who is “currently in transition”.

A Taste of Ann Arbor- Zingerman’s Delicatessen

Image thanks to Flickr user: jhoweaa

Today’s journey took Lauren and I out of the familiar six block span on Main St that we usually frequent for lunch, and brought us to the streets of Kerrytown. Kerrytown is about a five minute walk from our office, at Ingenex Digital Marketing, on South Main Street in Ann Arbor. And is home to many local favorites, including Zingerman’s Delicatessen. We had both heard of Zingerman’s before our outing today and decided that if the locals were talking about it, then it was definitely a spot that needed to make our ‘Taste of Ann Arbor’ list.

Zingerman’s has been in business since 1982 when Paul Saginaw, Michael Monahan, and Ari Weinzweig began the deli; which serves (non-kosher) traditional European-Jewish delicatessen dishes and sandwiches.

Known for it’s fun atmosphere, friendly service and welcoming feel; Lauren and I had high expectations for the Ann Arbor deli that even President Obama couldn’t resist visiting, this past May when he delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan. And as luck would have it, we were not disappointed.

As we approached Zingerman’s we were greeted with a welcoming smile and a bubbly, “How are you today? Would you like to try some free samples before you head in and order?” So Lauren and I grabbed a toothpick and dug in while admiring the brightly colored buildings, and red brick road around us. Before ever stepping in the door, we felt right at home.

Upon entering Zingerman’s we were handed a menu so we could peruse through page after page of options. After about two minutes a man, named Tom, from behind the deli counter stepped down to help us narrow our choices. He highly recommended the Gemini Rocks the House sandwich. Which is normally a vegetarian option made with Zingerman’s own handmade fresh mozzarella, tomatoes & Italian pesto on grilled farm bread; but on this occasion Tom suggested adding bacon to the sandwich, which is what we ended up deciding on. Tom was also the one that suggested we split the sandwich and try some of their homemade salads. So in the end, Lauren and I ended up ordering the Gemini Rocks the House sandwich, a side of Mediterranean potato salad, and a side of fruit salad.

After placing our order at the deli counter we took a seat under Zingerman’s outside tent and seating area. The outside patio was colorful with umbrellas and picnic tables all around. Within ten minutes our food was brought out to our table with an amusing and creative flare. Servers carry out food and yell in almost a game-show fashion that your food is ready. Everything was delicious, and Lauren and I could not stop talking about how the mozzarella and Italian pesto, along with the fruit salad made our outdoor picnic lunch taste just like summer.

Next to the deli is a building, conveniently called Zingerman’s Next Door, with indoor seating, a barista house and gelato parlor. And although we did not get a chance to sample anything that this building had to offer, due to being so full from our wonderful deli lunch, Lauren and I will definitely be making another trip to Zingerman’s in the future and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a laid back, fun atmosphere for lunch.

Windows 8 – Fact or Fiction

What do facial recognition and faster start-up times have in common? According to Sydney Hill at TechNewsWorld, they may be the newest features in Microsoft’s plan for an operating system rumored to be called Windows 8. Earlier this week powerpoint slides detailing the operating system and its features were leaked to the public. Among the most talked about slides were ones which discussed the company’s goal of eliminating its long running problem of slow start-up times, and adding new cutting age technology which would allow for facial recognition.In addition, the slides mentioned Apple’s success in identifying with customers to build brand recognition and loyalty. However, at this point, the rumors have yet to be confirmed by Microsoft; which leads many to question the authenticity of the claims.

“The only way we will ever know if these slides are authentic is if Microsoft comes out and says they are — and that’s not likely to happen,” said Michael Cherry, vice president of research, operating systems, with the independent analyst firm Directions on Microsoft.

“I’m quite confident these are the real deal,” said Stephen Chapman, Microsoft Kitchen site operator. “I just feel bad for the poor sap who either leaked these or inadvertently shared these with the world.”

Only time, and Microsoft, will tell whether there is any truth behind the recently leaked slides. PC users around the world can only hope that Bill Gates won’t keep them in the dark for long.

A Taste of Ann Arbor- The Beginning

As Eco- Friendly Interns at Ingenex Digital Marketing, Lauren Weingartz and I have grown accustomed to writing press releases, coming up with headlines, and scouring the web for templates and how-to guides. But this week we have been given the opportunity to embark on a new kind of adventure. An adventure far from the likes of Adwords and Google how-tos. Every Tuesday we will be walking around Ann Arbor and exploring the wonderful world of Ann Arbor restaurants, eateries, diners and bistros and then blogging about our experience. Service, atmosphere and “melt-in-your-mouth” food quality will all be up for discussion. So grab your sunglasses and umbrella – this IS Michigan- and join us on our latest dining excursion.

Google = World Cup Fan 2010

In the 1930’s it was decided that “football”, or soccer as it is called in America, would be dropped from the summer Olympics that were going to be held in Los Angeles. The committee sited the sport’s lack of popularity in America as it’s reason for dropping the sport. After the decision was made Jules Rimet, the Federation Internationale de Football Association president, began organizing a football tournament of his own. Years later the tournament grew from one with 13 teams, to one which currently boast 32 competitive teams.

The sport has grown increasingly popular in nations around the country. And with another World Cup about to begin in South Africa, it is no wonder that the world has already started to prepare. While avid fans proudly display their team’s colors, and flags for each country are placed for passersby to see; one much more subtle preparation has occurred. When searching “World Cup” on Google people will find that the site has actually changed it’s display name at the bottom of the search page to read as “Goooooal”.

One journalist named Stan Schroeder commented that he can’t help but wonder, with the option to create custom Google pages, if Google is slowly losing it’s brand identity. Or is it possible that the name has become so synonymous with search engines that the changes won’t make a difference in Google’s brand recognition at all?

It brings up the question of how much freedom websites should provide their users, when it comes to customizing their personal pages. Does it hurt companies to allow users to tweet their image? Or does it help the company’s reputation in some way? Only time will tell. But one thing that I think most can agree on is that before customization occurs, companies need to establish a strong brand identity. And with the technology wave moving us into the future, websites are one of the best ways to establish that brand image.