All posts by ltaronji1

Blog #8:

From the first day you step into a classroom until the day you retire from a career, you are bombarded with hundreds of thousands of PowerPoint slides. Teachers love them, professionals utilize them, students are forced to create them. Some are good, some are bad, some are hard to even look at. It is clear why PowerPoint is such a popular presentation tool: it is extremely user friendly and comes pre-installed on most computers. The question is, why are most of the PowerPoint presentations we are forced to sit through in life so terrible? Some critics blame the tool itself, but I disagree. I think the real problem is that most of the people who use PowerPoint lack the keen eye for design that any visual presentation requires.

I think of it this way: If I were to try, right now, to make a flyer for a band, it would look just plain awful. I am not creative, I don’t understand which colors go well together, and I can’t choose fonts to save my life. From this, you can conclude that I would also be bad at making a poster, a website, a t-shirt design or anything else you would find in a graphic designer’s portfolio. So… Why would I think I could make a stunning PowerPoint? Like any presentation, PowerPoint utilizes color, font, layout, and design. If these elements are not done well, the PowerPoint will not be aesthetically pleasing. Here is one example of a good vs. a bad PowerPoint slide:×417.jpg

Notice how the first slide is too crowded, there are way too many words, and your eye doesn’t know where to look. The slide on the right is clean, the message is clear, and the image is relevant. I can see this when the two are put side-by-side, but it is much harder to take a blank slide and make it into something great!

Here is another example of a successful PowerPoint presentation:

This PowerPoint has bold colors, interesting layouts, and clean and easy to read slides. Unfortunately, I could never design a presentation like this one, and I think many people are in the same boat as me. No matter how I try, I just don’t have that eye for design.

At the end of the day, after I’ve tried and failed to make a beautiful presentation, I can’t blame Microsoft. I think the fault lies with the users. Anything that is meant to present information in a creative way (magazine, flyer, billboard, commercial, etc.) practically requires an artist for it to turn out well, and PowerPoint is no different. Microsoft supplies themes and layouts, but these are too basic to allow for a truly stand out presentation. This may be the reason that Prezi has become such a popular tool. It requires users to put even less thought into the design of the presentation. Just pick a theme and fill it with your information. This way, even those of us with no creativity whatsoever can have an aesthetically pleasing presentation.

In conclusion, I think that too many people use PowerPoint without taking the time to learn about what they are doing, slapping a graph and some words onto a slide and calling it a day. Since so many schools require students to create PowerPoint and other presentations, students could likely benefit from a basic design class in middle or high school. This may not completely solve the problem, but I think it would be a step in the right direction!

Blog #5: Statement of Interest

Role Choice: Project Manager

For this project, I am interested of the role of project manager.


For starters, I am a CIS major with a specialization in IT project management. I am a senior, so I have a lot of experience with group projects and I also have an internship related to my major. Hopefully this means I am a good project manager since I will be graduating soon!

I also have some experience with managing people in the real world. Recently, we had and still have a huge IT project at work. Since I work for the IT department, one of my jobs was to collect all of the data that had to be manually entered into the system, split it up among about 15 people, explain to everyone their role in the project, and keep tabs on their progress. Since I was successful in managing this, I think I would also be successful managing this class project.


I would like to think I embody all of the attributes listed in the blog prompt. I am extremely organized, reliable, and always punctual (usually early). I also think I am approachable and a good communicator. I get along well with many different types of people and I just love talking to people in general. As a leader, I am able to distribute work to people, help others with their work, and do my own share of the work as well.


I am always just a text or email away. I also work in the Georgia Pacific building (which is practically on campus) which means I am always on campus from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays, either for class or work. My job is extremely understanding of my class work, so I could always step out to meet with my team on any day during these times.

Oh, and my name is Lauren Taronji 🙂

Blog #3: The New Way to Resume

File:Resume.pdfAlthough the traditional resume is not completely outdated, it is slowly making its way to the door. With the number of college graduates increasing every year, it is harder and harder to stand out among your peers. When you limit yourself to a single white piece of paper with one-inch margins and Times New Roman text, the task is almost impossible. This is why many hopeful job seekers are finding new, creative ways to show potential employers their qualifications and experiences. Artists, athletes, musicians and others with skills that must be seen to be believed can benefit especially from using an alternative resume. I personally plan to go into the field of business, which is still a fairly conservative field in the way of resumes. For this reason, I do not feel as though something too out of the box, like a video or movie poster resume, would suit me. These could come off as unprofessional in the business world. For this reason, I chose two fairly conservative, but still creative, alternative resumes that I would like to create for myself: the timeline resume and the infographic resume.

(By the way, click here for a great website I found for creating infographic resumes!)

The Timeline Resume

While it is unique enough to make a statement, the timeline resume is still simple and professional. I would personally choose this format because it stands out just enough without seeming too off the wall. I like how it allows you to show your education, work experiences, and other events as a series, rather than a bulleted list. The reader can see a progression, and has a better understanding of the steps you took to get to where you are today. For example, with this type of resume, you can show that you were able to balance school and a career at the same time. You can explain why you were out of a job for six months by adding in your trip around Europe, showing that you were not just unemployed, but that you are adventurous and have an interesting life outside of work. I think this resume is great for standing out as well as thoroughly illustrating your skills and experience, and the life events that made you prepared for the position you are applying for.

The Info-graphic Resume

The info-graphic resume is another way to stand out without pushing the prospective employer awayresume-infographic. I like this type of resume because It includes all the elements of a traditional resume, but adds images, colors, and graphs. This means that although the reader is seeing the same info they would on a normal resume, they are having a much more enjoyable time reading it. In just one page, you are able to tell a prospective employer anything they could possibly need to know about your experience and skills, and it is exciting for them to read. I also think the addition of QR codes is brilliant, because after drawing the viewer in, you are able to provide them with additional avenues to learn more about you and connect with you. I also think this type of resume shows confidence and creativity, two skills that will stand out to many prospective employer. And while it is creative, the color scheme, fonts, and even the layout still make it a look like a professional document. All in all, this type of resume could be perfect for the business world, with its mix of traditional resume with creative flair.


Traditional Resume


Timeline Resume:


Vizualize Info-graphic Resume Creator:



Infographic resume:



Blog #2: Leveling the Playing Field

If a job posting asks for 10+ years java programming experience and I claim to have 20 years of experience on my resume, I would be a bold-faced liar. As soon as any potential employer sat me down in front of a computer, my lie would be revealed and I would not be offered the job. I was the one who was wrong in this instance, by lying and wasting someone else’s time. Now what if instead I, a woman, craft my resume in a way that leaves my gender in question. If my potential employer selects me for an interview expecting and hoping for a man, isn’t he or she the one in the wrong?

Anti-discrimination laws may exist, but they can be hard to enforce, especially at the hiring stage. How could you prove that your application was rejected based on gender, race, age, religion, national origin, or a disability? The employer could just say that someone with a different skill set was a better fit for the position. This is why I think it is perfectly acceptable to make your resume as gender-, race-, age-, religion-, nationality-, and disability-neutral as possible.

I will use a personal example to illustrate my point. I know that being a woman has nothing to do with my ability to manage a database or write SQL scripts, but I also know that not everyone thinks this way. Information systems and technology is still a man’s world and women can find it hard to be taken seriously. If my resume were completely identical to a man’s, I feel that more often than not he would be chosen for a position simply because his gender is seen as an advantage to the job. What do I do when my gender, which has no bearing on my set of skills, actually puts me at a disadvantage in the eyes of some people? My only hope is to create a resume that highlights my skills and qualifications without revealing my gender. I do not have to lie. I can just leave out my involvement in Women in Technology or my work at a women’s homeless shelter, both of which hint at my gender. This way, I can at least make it to the interview stage and have a chance to show that I truly am qualified for the job, rather than having my resume completely passed over simply because I am a woman.

Now consider classes of individuals who are not protected by anti-discrimination laws. For example, less than half of U.S. states protect homosexuals from discrimination. Do people in the LGBT community have a right to keep their sexual orientation a secret in their pursuance of a career? I say yes. Discrimination against homosexuals and transgendered individuals is a huge problem today. Some employers may have personal stereotypes against these individuals that would cause them to choose a less qualified applicant over an applicant who is homosexual. Why should a member of the LGBT community have to disclose their sexual orientation, when they could work their entire lives without anyone even knowing? In my opinion, they should be able to keep this information to themselves if they choose.

Some people may say this omission of truth is wrong. I disagree, because no one is hurt in this situation. In fact, both parties benefit. The applicant benefits by getting an interview, and potentially a job. The employer benefits by adding a well-qualified applicant they otherwise would have missed to their pool of candidates to choose from for the position.

While lying about skills and qualifications is surely wrong, omitting something about yourself that is irrelevant to the job, but would be used against you, is not. To me, this levels the playing field, allowing everyone to be considered for opportunities based solely on the skills they possess and the work they have done rather than the unchangeable traits they were born with.



  • “LGBT Rights in the United States.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 June 2014. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.