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Holiday Magic All Around the World

  In America, the tradition for most families is putting up a big tree full of lights, dress up in red and go visit Santa at the mall.  But what about the other countries around the world? Does Japan hang stockings above the fireplace? Do Russians believe Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer leads the head of Santa’s sleigh? Baker Creative is in the holiday spirit this year and since we are adding multicultural services to our agency, we wanted to do a little research and this is what we found. Brazil: Instead of Santa Clause delivering the gifts on Christmas, Brazilians have Papai Noel (father Noel). According to their legend, Papai Noel brings the gifts in silk clothing due to the hot summer.  Papai Noel also hold his residence in Greenland.  Fireworks go off at night and the there is a huge Christmas tree of lights that can be seen from San Paolo to Rio de Janeiro. Spain: The Magi, or the three Kings, are particularly revered in Spain.  Children put out their shoes to receive their gifts.  They would leave carrots, straw and barley for the horses of the Wise Men.  It is believed in some areas that Balthazar rides a donkey and is the one who leaves the main presents. On December 8th, there is a big celebration called the feast of Immaculate Conception and it is for the Virgin Mary. The elaborate dance that is performed by ten costumed boys is said to be moving and beautiful. France: In France, children believe in Pere Noel, who delivers gifts with his disciplinarian partner Pre Fouettard.  The job of Pre Fouettard is to remind Pere Noel how every child has behaved that year.  In some parts of France, children get a visit on St. Nicholas Eve and then again on Christmas by Pere Noel.  Most adults will generally wait on New Year’s Day to exchange gifts. Japan: Surprisingly Japan has adapted many of the Christmas traits of America. They decorate, exchange gifts and the story of Jesus being born fascinates them, especially the little children.  Jesus is said the have been laid in a cradle and in Japan the babies never sleep in cradles so they become fond of the baby Jesus. Hoteiosho is their version of Santa Claus and carries a huge pack of presents. The only difference is Hoteiosho is said to have eyes in the back of his head so that the children know he can see everything. Russia: The figure Babouschka is known to give the children their gifts.  The story is the when the Christ child was born, Babouschka failed to give shelter and food to the three wise men that were traveling to see the baby.  So tradition goes the Babouschka still roams the land to find the Christ baby and visits every home to give gifts to the children.  The Christmas Eve dinner is also prepared with no meat and the most important dish is a special porridge called kutya, which give good blessings to each family. Sweden: Lucia is the Christmas figure for Christmas and is celebrated by a feast held on December 13th.  Lucia was known for carrying food to Christians that hid in dark, underground tunnels because Christians were persecuted in the early days.  She wore a wreath lit with candle on her head so she was able to see her way.  Eventually Lucia was arrested and martyred.  To celebrate her life, on the day of her feast, the eldest daughter in each family wears a white dress, red sash and wreath on her head lit with seven candles.  She then delivers coffee and buns to each family member to thank Lucia for bringing hope to their dark days. No matter what country or ethnic group you come from, spending time with the ones you love is most important. Have a happy holiday, Feliz Ano Novo (Brazil), feliz navidad (Spain), Joyeuses Fêtes! (France), Tanoshii kurisumasu wo! (Japan), Счастливых праздников, (Russia) and Trevlig Helg! (Sweden) From Baker Creative.   Baker Creative  

Crains New York Giving Guide contributor

Breaking news! Check us out in NY Crane Business this week on pg 6: http://bit.ly/REGkkb NYTime Giving guide CNYB2012_GivingGuide

The Importance of Maintaining Your Brand

importanance of brand Everyone knows that keeping the look of your brand is important.  It is important for the public, employees and potential workers to know what the company’s values are so these potential customers are more apt to embrace what the company has to offer.  An unorganized website, out-of-date social media profile and confusing logo may not be perceived as professional. When graduates are on the search for employment, they take a look at the company website to see what it is all about.  For instance, a recent graduate that is employed with Baker Creative mentions that she likes to see what the layout of the website is. “When the website looks clean and organized, that shows me the company really cares how their brand is portrayed to the world.” Michele Cuthbert mentions. Websites, just like social media profiles, need to be organized in a manner that is easy to understand.  Nothing throws off a potential client like a confusing website. Social media and community engagement are two ways to step-up your brands image. Social media can easily hurt your brand.  Not only can the social media specialist post something that can be considered rude, but employees can post things on their personal page about your company that looks bad.  Usually if the post is bad enough, people can get fired and not even realize what they even did. For example, a 22-year-old had just been offered a job at Cisco and, like any young adult, wanted to announce it to the world. This may not have been the best way to do it: “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” When another Cisco employee saw this tweet, they passed it along to the hiring manager.  The young man lost the job offer before he could even start. A brand suffers even more when the social media blunder comes straight from the company. When Kenneth Cole used the #Cairo to announce his new spring line, followers became enraged. “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online…” A company using a hash tag that is related to a country crisis may not get the best reputation. Brands can also benefit by being involved with the community around them.  Being a local contributor to a charity or holding an event to raise money for a nearby school really makes the public they show they care. Keep your brand looking good and you will have a thriving business. For more informations please visit Baker Creative

Take Our Job for a Day: Senior Geologist

seniorgeo There is no doubt that women are starting to excel in the workforce and they are excelling everywhere. Baker Creative interviewed a woman who is involved in the process of drilling wells for natural gas. Lydia Sinemus is a Senior Geologist in the natural gas industry.  She has a Bachelor of Science in geology and a Masters degree in environmental science.  When we conducted the interview she told us there are not many women in this industry, but the opportunity for them in this line of work is growing. Lydia has been drilling in Virginia for four and a half years and has been in the industry for almost 20. Baker Creative (BC): “What exactly does a senior geologist do?” Lydia Sinemus (LS): “My job is to find areas to drill. My team and I do this by studying other wells and mapping locations to find the gas bearing formations. Since the target formation is one mile underground it takes a lot of research to make sure we have the right spot.” BC: “What are your top challenges and how do you deal with them?” LS: “I would have to say gathering information and the time constraints.  Making sure every detail is correct is very important so that we can find the right spots to drill.  The time constraints are mostly because we drill in the spring and summer so we have the fall and winter to get ready.  During these months we do all of our research to get ready for drilling season.” BC: “How do you believe you help grow the business?” LS: “When the wells are successfully drilled. If they’re not successful, I haven’t done my job.  I am also apart of the PR committee which works to educate communities about natural gas and all of its benefits.” BC: “What do you think people take for granted about your job?” LS: “I think some people believe we just grab a rig and start to dig.  They do not realize how much work and how long it takes to do background research on the drilling.  It takes 6 to 8 months to do the research and get prepared.” BC: “What are the two things that need improved in the business?” LS: “I believe every company can always be improving on communication and that goes for our company as well.  Internal communication is very important. There are many steps to starting a drilling job and if something is not communicated correctly it can really mess with the process. Also external communication, even though everyone is doing a great job with getting the word out about natural gas it can always improve. Natural gas is such a great story, we really need to spread the word!" BC: “If budget were not an issue, what is something you would want to perform the job better?” LS: “We do use high quality technology. There is seismic and micro-seismic technology out there that captures pictures of rock under ground through waves when the ground is struck. These waves are made by using a thumper truck to hit the ground. Companies use this technology, but it is a little hard for us because of the abundance of coal mines in the area.  Since there is space under ground because of the coal mines, the waves are not as accurate so we do not use this technology.” BC: “How does your contribution make a difference?” LS: “My team and I help find successful areas to drill. If our jobs did not exist, it may be a little hard to find the correct land spots to drill on. Each year our results are better and better so I believe that makes a difference.” Lydia is a great example of women who are working hard to be in a man’s field.  These jobs are growing all over the country and the demand is high.  We would like to thank Lydia Sinemus for taking us through the life of a Senior Geologist.

Take Our Job for a Day: Chef Cook

chefcook Welcome to part two of “Take Our Job for a Day” and this week Baker Creative interviewed a chef cook at an upscale restaurant in Columbus. This chef cook did not attend any schooling for cooking, but was trained and worked hard to get where he is today. He is 24 and from southern Ohio. Again, we do not release personal or company names Baker Creative: “What is your primary job role and a description of that job?” Chef Cook: “My role is a chef cook and I cook in different sections depending on where I am needed.  I can cook pasta dishes, run the fryer or the grill and cook appetizers.  I mostly work in the pasta station, which is the highest station you can work at aside from being a kitchen manager.” BC: “What are the top three challenges of your job and how to you deal with them?” Chef Cook: “The biggest challenges are not having the proper staff, stations being incorrectly set up and fellow cooks not participating the way they need to.  I try to pick up as much slack as I can and when I see another cook getting overwhelmed I go and help them catch up.  Basically, when I have to deal with this [challenges] I end up doing it myself.  That is all we can do as cooks.” BC: “So how do you think you help the business grow?” Chef Cook: “I am a certified trainer so when a new cook comes in I train them, which helps the business grow.  Also, if someone seems to be struggling, I show them tricks or something that can make their job a little easier.  Making sure the food a is quality product for the guests gets them to come back.” BC: “What do you think the staff takes for granted?” Chef Cook: “Some of the servers and managers don’t seem to appreciate the hard work.  We are standing in over 100-degree air and with so many of us in the kitchen, it gets really hot. Working in that heat can get exhausting. I also think people take my kindness for granted.  Some of the cooks are not as generous as I can be and they think we [cooks] are all alike, which isn’t true.” BC: “What do you think are the top two things management could do to improve a chef cook’s life?” Chef Cook: “Staff properly on the busy nights.  They mix together the talented chefs and the not so talented ones, which is fine, but the way they do it makes some of our jobs harder. The managers could also work on keeping the flow of the kitchen a bit smoother.  We have a back kitchen that preps the food and washes the dishes and then us, the front kitchen, that cooks. Sometimes those two sections are off beat which throws everything off.” BC: “So what if budget were not an issue, what two would you want to perform your job better?” Chef Cook: “ I would want more staff hired for the weekends when we are the busiest.  I would also like them to remodel the whole kitchen to make it larger.  There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen and the space is very tight so we end up burning each other and getting in each others way.” BC: “Last question. How does your contribution make a difference in the restaurant?” Chef Cook: “Well, since I am very well trained I can cook almost everything which helps when another chef needs to take a break.  I am also quick to get the food out quicker to the servers, which makes the guests happy.  If I were slow and did not pay attention to detail I would either be disliked by the servers or not be employed here.” Being a cook is more then just flipping food in the air and wearing comfy pants.  It is hard work. Thinking about going to culinary school? Here is some advice that may help with that decision:
  1. Ask the institution you are thinking about attending to sit in on a class or ask to sit close to the kitchen at the next restaurant you eat at.  Some restaurants have the kitchen visible so pay a closer attention to what is going on back there.
  2. Connect with a chef cook somewhere and ask their advice about the profession.
Interested in learning about a career? Comment on our blog or e-mail us at mbaker@baker-creative.com