Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July Part 2

Here we are again with another post from my insider's perspective on life at IASTED. Recently we celebrated two birthdays, including that of our dear friend Hamed M. He is a relatively recent employee at IASTED who said that he was, "celebrating his 23rd birthday this year"! We wish him a happy birthday! We all had a great time celebrating with cake and ice cream, which was a nice break from work and provided a great opportunity for us at the office to get to know one another better. Once again I am writing about the benefits of working in an organization that has a friendly work environment.

Now that our summer conferences are finished, IASTED has become slightly less busy. There are still many papers to manage, and plenty to prepare for with our upcoming conferences in the US. There have also been many changes going on with the ACTA Press website, including the newly automated plagiarism checks that used to be done manually. There are still bugs to work out, but that is the nature of making a major change to an existing software system.

Today was also exciting for another reason, because we were able to bring out the inner child in us. Our manager's son was scheduled to go to soccer camp, but due to poor weather the camp was closed and he instead came to work with us! Admittedly we were not always on task; however, we made up for it by teaching our youngest member about the inner workings of IASTED office life. I think we all did a good job of fending off the boredom that might have otherwise invaded the office, especially for someone expecting to have fun at soccer camp.

Well that's all for this month.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Making up for June

Hello again,

One of my coworkers has been prodding me about not posting for the month of June, so I've decided to make a double post this month. One for June, the second for July.

The month of June was a very busy one for me. The spring class that I was taking at the University was really challenging, which culminated in the final exam that had me studying for hours on end to prepare myself properly. The class was about Auditing, which is very interesting from the perspective of working in a not for profit such as IASTED. The internal controls here at IASTED were good; however, there is always room for improvement and the Director decided that he wanted to see some changes going on internally. I found this very interesting, especially because I have been able to make some suggestions on how to improve the controls. One very important change was the move to the accounting software called, "Simply Accounting". This is a very powerful software for an organization that had not been using any accounting software previously. I felt happy to be able to help by offering my limited expertise with the knowledge gained during my classroom learning, and especially from my projects. Already I am putting into practice the knowledge that I have learned in class, my teachers would be proud!

In terms of IASTED news there was also a lot of preparation that went into the Calgary conference series: http://www.iasted.org/conferences/pastinfo-731.html

The conference was a great success, and we had some great guest speakers attend the conference including Satya Brata Das. Some of our own office staff were able to attend the conference, and take advantage of the opportunity to mingle with experts from around the world and in a variety of fields. The office was especially glad to receive the desserts that were brought back from the generous amounts of food provided during the IASTED conference.

Finally, on a personal note I was able to take advantage of a long weekend to head to Beautiful British Columbia for some camping. It was a great opportunity for me to connect with nature and recharge my energies for work,  not to mention a time for enjoying roasting marsh mellows over a campfire.

That's all for now. Look for the next post before the end of July!


Monday, May 30, 2011

IASTED Life continues

Life here at IASTED is continuing on with a few new twists. Today we had a potluck in the office, and everyone was encouraged to bring something from home. Considering that our office is very multi-cultural, we decided that everyone should bring a dish that was somehow related to their country. As for me, I brought a Japanese dish called "Onigiri". It was not too difficult to prepare. Although, in retrospect I should probably keep that information to myself since people were impressed by the exotic dish that I had brought. The food was very delicious, and quite filling. I even decided to dress in traditional Japanese clothes to mark the occasion. I wore a Japanese suit called a "Samue", special sandals called "geta", and a headband called "hatchimaki". Everyone was impressed by my traditional clothes. However, I was a little dismayed to find that not everyone had worn clothes according to their own traditions. I was a little embarrassed at first, but that feeling soon passed as my coworkers voiced their pleasure at seeing one of their fellow workers dress in a traditional style.

I have recently had an interesting learning experience on the marketing side of things. While still working on improving my html skills for the online newsletters that we produce, the director asked me to prepare a newspaper ad for a conference that was to be held in Washington DC. Looking back it was a very interesting experience for me; although, I was perhaps a little carried away by the recommendations of the sales staff working with the local Washington newspaper that we were to advertise in. In the end we decided that less is more, and went for a single ad in the specialized Health edition of the newspaper. We are still trying to determine the reason for its ineffectiveness, because despite our best efforts the advertisement was largely unsuccessful. We are still trying to perfect our methods of advertising; however, it now seems that print ads are not the right medium for reaching our target audience. We will continue to experiment with online mediums of advertising; nevertheless, I still feel that had we advertised more frequently, given enough advance time, we could have done much better. The main drawback to print advertising, as we discovered, is the high cost.

In other news things continue on normally with the other tasks that I have been assigned. Recently memberships to IASTED have been swelling with the increase in conferences that we are hosting. I am happy to be involved in creating advertisements for these conferences, using my newly learned skills with photoshop to get our message across. I look forward to future posts and future opportunities to learn.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Hello All,

This is Alessandro at IASTED. Wow, we find ourselves in April once again! IASTED has many upcoming conferences, including the Washington D.C. conference series that will take place from May 16 to 18. There have been a number of updates on IASTED's facebook page, and there's even an invitation to attend the conference to members and friends of IASTED on facebook:


In terms of my life at IASTED, things have been very busy lately. My work/school balance is becoming stressful especially as we near the end of the semester, and exam time. I've been forced to spend a few long nights at the University finishing projects and preparing for the finals, which also brings into perspective the fact that I find myself already at the midpoint of my internship experience here at IASTED.

Recently I have been involved with a side project for the Director of IASTED to keep track of a seperate website. This has been another great learning experience for me, as I am a novice when it comes to these things; however, I definitely realize that the more exposure I can get to new tasks the better. Check out the work done on this page:


Well, how to sum up my time so far at IASTED? I've been growing in my knowledge of the software processes, and experience with the workings of the ACTA Press journals that I am currently taking care of. Perhaps most important of all I am establishing connections with my coworkers here at IASTED. This has definitely been the benefit of working for an organization that has a more friendly work atmosphere. In my limited experience in the working world, I can say this type of environment definitely has its advantages. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

News, Updates, Transitions

Life is rolling right along here at IASTED. The learning curve is getting a little less steep, the faces a little more familiar, and overall the transition from studies to work life is progressing. Before I really get into this post I would like to offer my condolences for all those affected by the recent earthquakes, not only those in Japan.

To continue, I must say that things have been going much more smoothly lately as it seems that I have finally got into the swing of things at work. There are certainly still challenges grappling with the software that I am struggling to master; nevertheless, I can see that progress definitely has been made. It makes me realize just how quickly time has been passing - no need to harp on this point as it has become rather trite - but still I have trouble believing that nearly three months have passed already. Already my internship is looking shorter, and I'm beginning to feel the sneaking feeling of regret creeping in, as I anticipate the day when I shall have to say goodbye to new friends and move on. Alas, it was inevitable from the start! I only hope to keep in contact with my co-workers, who I've come to see as friends.

In terms of work updates the news is ever evolving. New conferences in Pittsburgh are in the works and it has been my pleasure to be involved in my capacity as marketing assistant. I hope to learn as much as I can while here with IASTED, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn all that I can. Being in an organization that operates in domains that I have previously not explored has been most beneficial to me. What a pleasant surprise it has been to learn new things, not realizing that the inner workings of print publishing and conference management could be so enticing.

Well this entry doesn't really come close to fully capturing the full spectrum of feelings and learning that has been going on since I arrived (nearly three months ago), but I still feel good somehow to be able to give voice to my view on life at IASTED for the time being.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Beginnings

Hello all,

this is Allesandro here writing for the first time. Allow me to introduce myself, I'm a third year Business commerce student at the University of Calgary working at IASTED in Calgary.

"The International Association of Science and Technology for Development (IASTED) is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting economic and cultural advancement. Established in 1977, IASTED organizes multidisciplinary conferences for academics and professionals, mainly in the fields of engineering, science, and education. IASTED holds conferences and courses in both industrialized and developing nations. "


It seems I have big shoes to fill, especially as I browse through the previous work that was completed by my predecessor Poppy. I'm certainly behind on blog posts, and struggling to catch up with the new programs that I'm tasked with learning. My situation may be slightly different in that I've decided to take one night class at the U of C while working. This has been rewarding for me because I believe in complementing learning from the classroom with actual work experience (the main reason behind the internship program); however, I'm realizing from the degree of difficulty of the class that I may be in a little over my head. I suppose my weekends from here to April will have to be dedicated to studying! Which is not so devastating a realization as it sounds given that I actually enjoy the course.

To speak of my time here at IASTED I find myself agreeing with my predecessor's assessment of the working conditions here: namely that coworkers are friendly, work is engaging, and there is freedom to explore and expand upon what has already been developed. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with IASTED and I look forward to future posts and learning as my internship progresses.