Tag Archives: ASES

Introduction to ASES

It’s one and half weeks into fall quarter and everything––classes, clubs, research––is starting to pick up steam again. Last Friday, in White Plaza, hordes of bright-eyed freshmen swarmed the booths at Stanford’s annual Activities Fair, where student groups try their best to seduce the frosh with sweet candy and sweeter words. It’s pretty sketchy.

The Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES), as a respectable student organization, of course participated.

Here’s my take on ASES:
ASES is an international network of today’s students and tomorrow’s business and technology leaders. We focus our efforts on a well-rounded entrepreneurship education for our members through in-depth workshops, competitions, speaker events, and international summits (2 each year). That said, our goal isn’t to have every ASES member go on to start a company. We emphasize entrepreneurial qualities––teamwork, self-belief, leadership, passion––simply because we believe these values drive innovation and are the key to success in all walks of life.

The Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES)

The Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES)

Anyway, here’s my contribution, as Director of Marketing for ASES, to the freshman courtship process (all done in Microsoft Word):

(Front) Secret to successful marketing in college: free food

(Front) The secret to successful marketing in college: free food

(Back) Irresistible

(Back) Irresistible

The underlying principles behind this blatant but effective marketing ploy come from basic psychology and a book on advertising I read a few weeks ago, My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising, by Claude Hopkins.

Think about it: instead of asking for attention or compliance from the freshmen, we offer a sample and a service.

No good advertiser demands a purchase in his ads; such a move would be akin to directly asking for the customer’s money, and in most cases, the response would be outright refusal. Instead, he offers a “Free, No-Risk 30-Day Trial!” Similarly, by framing our underlying request for attendance at our info session as an offering of boba, we give our new recruits a risk-free incentive to attend. Even if a freshman walked out of the info session with no intention of ever joining ASES, he still walked out with a free cup of boba in hand. What’s more, by adding on the back of the coupon a checklist of “Things Every Stanford Student Should Do”––a fun and debatably useful service––we gave our flyer value and guaranteed that freshmen and upperclassmen alike wouldn’t toss it in the trash can without first spending a furtive minute seeing how they measured up against a “true Stanford student.”

In part because of that doubled-up marketing tactic, our info session attendance––scientifically gauged by the quantity and rate of boba consumption––went through the roof.

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, stay tuned: I’ll be writing more about upcoming ASES events as the quarter progresses.


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An Auspicious Start

It’s 9/9/09.

Welcome to my first-ever post on my first-ever blog!

First order of business: an introduction. I’m Joel, a junior (Class of Oh-Leven!) EE major at Stanford University. Some of my greatest interests lie in entrepreneurship, solar energy, tennis, marathon running, and changing the world, so most of my posts will probably touch on at least one of those topics. I might also use this blog as a training log and a journal of sorts, to keep track of my weekly mileage and occasional profound thoughts.

Maybe if I smile big enough I won't remember later how much this hurts right now...

Big Sur Marathon 2009: *Maybe if I smile big enough, I won't remember how much this hurts right now...*

I decided to start writing a blog for a few reasons:

1. Writing’s fun when you don’t need a thesis and “6-10 pages double-spaced by Friday at noon.”

2. EE problem sets rarely call for more than a few written words, and never a complete sentence. Given my courseload, if I don’t do any writing on my own, I’ll leave Stanford in 2 years with diploma in hand, broke AND illiterate.

3. I missed out on Pokémon cards, Tamagotchi pets, Xanga sites, Furbies, Monica Lewinsky, and all manner of useless trends that made the rounds in American high society near the turn of the century, so I’m long overdue for an atrocious lapse of judgment.

Another good reason to blog: I’m serving as Marketing Director for the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES) at Stanford this year, and even though I have no formal marketing experience at all, I do know that, as a marketer, the more people you can reach, the better. So starting in a couple weeks, I’ll be posting periodic updates on ASES speaker events, mixers, and conferences. Most ASES events are open to the public, so if you’re in the Bay Area, come on by Stanford to hear and meet the best and brightest in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Thanks for reading.


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