Applications Under Review

We appreciate your patience as our team reviews the numerous high quality applications received for this program. Selections will be announced the week of November 17, 2014.

Thank you!

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2015 Turkey: Application Open!

Thank you for your interest in applying for the next round of Symantec Service Corps! You can view the application and instruction guide here (must be on the SYMC network).

The deadline for completed applications is 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on September 12, 2014. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.

 

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Informational Webinars Scheduled

If you are interested in applying for Symantec Service Corps, please register to attend one of our informational webinars here

  • Webinar 1: August 13, 6pm San Francisco Time
  • Webinar 2: August 14, 8am San Francisco Time

Both sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be posted to that site afterward.

Follow this blog to receive an email when program updates are made!

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2015 Program Announcement

 

 

 

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We are happy to announce that Symantec Service Corps will be back for round two in 2015!

10 Symantec employees will travel to Ankara, Turkey from 28 February 2015–28 March 2015. 

The application period will run from 25 August 2014–3 September 2014. A link to the application will be available at this site. Subscribe to this blog to ensure you get an email when they are ready!

More information and FAQs here

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The Video!

Here is a video on our first Symantec Service Corps team and the 3 projects completed in Arequipa, Peru!

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Final Update: Paz Perú

View from Starbucks in Cusco

It’s been almost five days since we concluded our projects in Arequipa. After we finished, five of the Symantec Service Corps traveled to Cusco, Perú to visit Machu Picchu. Three days later, I’m the only SSC team member left in Perú—all have traveled home or are on vacation in other countries—and I’m sitting at a Starbucks overlooking the Plaza de Armas reflecting back on our project work at Paz Perú.

 

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Team Paz Perú: Joe Ferrar, Ashley Savageau, Claire Dean, Alicia Pereira Pimentel

First, I have to give great credit to the Symantec Service Corps team that worked on the Paz Perú project—Joe Ferrar from EMEA, Alicia Pereira Pimentel from BDA (living in Brussels), and Ashley Savageau from Corporate Responsibility who led the Symantec Service Corps project. I’ve worked with many talented people in my career and I have no hesitation in saying that these three are some of the best—incredibly sharp marketers, committed, passionate, responsible, and a lot of fun to be with. We often ate our breakfast at the hotel early before being picked up at 8:30am. In Perú, most eat lunch at 1pm. We were typically starving by 11am. Joe started a trend of making a sandwich at breakfast and bringing it to Paz Perú. We all took his lead and began a tradition of “sandwich time” at 11am (which Joe referred to as “elevensies”).  We often asked ourselves “is it 11am yet?” To give our brains a break, we started watching various comedy clips on YouTube during sandwich time—like Eddie Izzard’s Death Star Canteen (“this one’s wet; this one’s wet; did you dry these in a rain forest?”). We often had to shut the door as our laughter got fairly loud and we didn’t want to disturb the office workers. I will very much miss our “elevensies.”

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Many components to the Paz Perú business

Our client at Paz Perú openly accepted us as part of their family, which made us feel even more committed to them and we readily got information to define a clear scope and deliver strong results. Paz Perú is a complex organization—they have multiple services that help at-risk children of Arequipa including a shelter for girls who have been physically and psychologically abused (“Casa Isabella”), a low-cost healthcare clinic  (“Policlínico”), low-cost orthodontry (“Clinica Odontológico”), low-cost housing (“Sonrisos”), solar water heaters (“SwissSol”) and a clothing manufacturing division (“Confeccionnes Suiza Perú Textile Paz Perú). Paz Perú is a self-sustaining NGO, meaning they take profits from their businesses and use them to help the local community. They receive low-cost loans from a Swiss Federation to help maintain their services but they pay those loans back. Paz Perú is in the process of opening a new factory that would enable them to increase capacity of their clothing manufacturing business by three times. It was our job to produce a marketing strategy and plan to help them drive new business to this new factory.

In our first week, we discovered that a local consultant created a business strategy for Paz Perú that included marketing strategies. We reviewed it in detail and realized it was quite strong, but very high level. Unless you were an experienced marketer, you wouldn’t really know where to begin.

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Paz Perú’s new factory

We shifted our focus to transforming that high-level strategy into a marketing execution plan. In order for that plan to work, Paz Perú had to hire a marketer who would be 100% focused on executing the plan. We learned that they were going to hire two more sales people and we advised them to focus one sales person on only getting new customers and allow the second sales person to focus on nurturing the existing customers. We felt immediate success when the CEO of Paz Perú told us that they planned to do exactly that. I’m not sure whether it was “cause and effect” or just “great minds” but we were excited to hear the news as it meant there was hope our execution plan would actually be executed.

Marketing Execution Plan with a full year of marketing programs

 Our first deliverable was a concise and very actionable marketing plan. We defined four objectives and set criteria for success—how would Paz Perú know that they successfully achieved that objective?

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Four primary marketing objectives with success measures


With each objective, we created 3 strategies to help achieve that objective, and then 3-5 programs that would help achieve those strategies. We tied it all together into a single plan.

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Each objectives has strategies and programs to achieve the objective

Our second deliverable was a calendar of programs. We spent time planning out what steps Paz Perú would need to take—and when—to successfully complete the plan. We built out an entire year of actions.

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We schedule each and every step to execute the plan

Clearer Position for the Clothing Manufacturing business 

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We repositioned Paz Perú and wrote key messaging

As we looked into the primary position and messaging around the clothing manufacturing business, we found complete confusion—multiple different logos, different ways of talking about the business, and a lengthy name (6 words in the name: Confeccionnes Suiza Perú Textile Paz Perú). We decided to propose a simplification and after doing a competitive analysis and talking with current customers, we recommended that Paz Perú focus only on the clothing business first and foremost with potential clients, simplify the name, and simplify the division’s logo. We delivered a positioning recommendation and key messages.

 

Measurement tools

During our initial conversations with Paz Perú it was clear that they had no real method of measuring their sales or marketing. In talking with their one sales person, she claimed that they spoke to 30 potential clients a month. The head of sales said it was Imagemore likely 6 potential clients a month. Joe Ferrar immediately started working on a marketing funnel to help the Paz Perú team see the impact that measurement can have in driving sales (which earned him the nickname of “Funnel Man”). We created a funnel with key measurements for Paz Perú and taught them how to continually measure and adjust to ensure they were efficiently and effectively driving sales through marketing.

 

“How To…” documentation

From the start, the Paz Peru team told us that they wanted to learn how to do specific marketing processes so that they could apply them to their other businesses.

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We documented our process for creating the Paz Perú marketing plan

In that light and to make sure they could execute the plan we outlined, we created a few “how to” documents for the team and walked them through each one:

  • How to create a marketing plan
  • How to measure ROI
  • How to leverage social media
  • How to run a Quarterly Business Review for marketing and sales

 

 

 Program briefs for selected critical programs

There were several programs that were critically important to execute—those that took advantage of the Peruvian culture of a “word of mouth” way of doing business (referrals and case studies), customer engagement (awards program) and those that were not good investments at this stage of the clothing manufacturing business (in our opinion). We decided to formally write program briefs for these programs so that Paz Perú had a clear idea of what we meant by these programs and how they fit within the overall plan:

  • A recommendation on advertising
  • Referral program
  • Customer Reference program
  • Awards and Anniversary event
  • Job description for a mid-level marketer

Created collateral and tools to get them started

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The sales presentation focuses on key selling messages we designed for Paz Perú

As a team, we also felt very strongly that we should develop some collateral pieces and sales tools to get them started on execution.  For sales tools, Joe redesigned their introductory letter with the key messages we outlined in our messaging document. He also created a Sales presentation for a first-time meeting.  Ashley wrote their first customer reference case study on their biggest client (Ricco Pollo). Alicia created a presence for Paz Perú on LinkedIn and Facebook. Together, Joe and Alicia created a basic web page—all of which is based on the new name we suggested: simply “Confecciones Paz Perú”.

And one of the best parts was presenting all of this completely translated and collated into three binders—thanks to our interpreter (Dylan Anderson-Berens) and his wife Susel who spent a long weekend translating everything. We also had Alicia who speaks fluent Spanish and she translated the marketing plan, Funnel Man’s final document, and created all the digital presence in Spanish from the start.

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The Paz Perú website

I am so proud of this team and what we were able to accomplish and deliver for Paz Peru.  I truly believe we’ve made a big impact—we created a strong marketing plan that’s on-strategy and actionable, and we gave them everything they need to simply execute it. All they really need to do at this point is just start executing.

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Paz Perú with the Symantec Service Corps

We are very optimistic that the Paz Perú clothing manufacturing business will grow significantly in the coming year, and I believe part of their growth will be due to our work for them as part of the Symantec Service Corps.

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Segunda parte: Peruvian Cuisine

My colleagues here in Perú tell me I should write a second blog posting about Peruvian Cuisine because there is so much I left out of the first blog post. It’s nearly impossible to write a single blog post about all the food we’ve tasted here in Arequipa. Here are a few more dishes that we’ve come to love (well, almost love in the case of cuy or guinea pig).

Peruvian soups are incredibly deep in taste and with the high altitude (and slower digestion), we often eat them as the only course in the evening. A traditional soup is Cauche—a base of condensed milk, peppers, garlic, and onion served with a potato in the center, covered in melted cheese.

Cauche is soup made with condensed milk, peppers served with a potato covered with cheese

Cauche is soup made with condensed milk, peppers served with a potato covered with cheese

The same base is used in Sopa Criolla which is served with minced meat, an egg, and angel hair pasta.

Another traditional dish is called “Ocopa” and is served with potatoes and fried cheese. Some say Ocopa evolved from ancient Inca messengers’ travel rations.

Ocopa is potatoes served in an amazing ocopa sauce with fried cheese

Ocopa is potatoes served in an amazing ocopa sauce with fried cheese

What makes this dish so amazing is the Ocopa sauce. It’s blended combination of nuts, cheese, milk, onions, garlic, and aji peppers. When I get home, I plan on making this sauce and putting it over grilled chicken. Yum.

A salad of salty cheese, fava beans, tomatoes, and peppers

A salad of salty cheese, fava beans, tomatoes, and peppers

Soltero de Queso is a salad of salty cheese, fava beans, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. When my stomach wasn’t 100%, I ordered this salad. While the cheese was really salty, it was a bit of freshness for a troubled stomach.

In the last post I wrote about a traditional dish called Loma Saltado (basically stir fried beef with onions and peppers.

Risotto made with Loma Saltado

Risotto made with Loma Saltado

The sauce is what makes it fantastic). Loma Saltado then finds itself recreated into other dishes—my favorite was risotto of Loma Saltado. The creaminess of the risotto combined with the flavors of the Lomo Saltado was a great combination. I think I’ve eaten this dish about three times so far. Never disappointed.

Stuffed avocado with potatoes and vegetables

Stuffed avocado with potatoes and vegetables

Avocados here are incredible and since everything (it seems) is served with potatoes, an avocado stuffed with potatoes and vegetables would make absolute sense.  My colleague Alicia (our lone vegetarian) ordered this dish and I was amazed at the plating. I have an avocado tree in my yard in California and now I want to play with stuffing avocados and trying to make them as beautiful as this one.

Corn is another staple and we’ve had it in all kinds of forms. Typically a restaurant will give you corn when you first sit down—almost like chips and salsa in Mexican restaurants in California.

Toasted chulpe corn (Cancha Serrana)

Toasted chulpe corn (Cancha Serrana)

The dried corn is Cancha Serrana and it’s made from Chulpe corn. I have to confess I am not a fan. As soon as you bite down on it, it turns into dust into your mouth. Sometimes served with salsa, we started coating it in salsa before eating it.

The second form is not dried, served on a full cob.

Cooked corn served with salsa

Cooked corn served with salsa

You pick the kernels off the cob and dip it into the salsa. The salsa we had with this corn is Chimichurri, which for Peruvians is made from oregano, garlic and aji peppers.

Finally, the team tasted Cuy, or guinea pig. The CEO of Paz Perú insisted that she take us to eat Cuy at the best place in town—Cuyeria Sonia.

Cuy "sin cabeza"

Cuy “sin cabeza”

Since she knew I was nervous about eating it, she told the waiter to bring me one “sin cabeza” (without the head). My colleague Joe Ferrar got his “con cabeza”.

Claire tries cuy

Claire tries cuy

“It tastes like chicken” but not really. It tasted like dark meat of a turkey. My issue was the cuy didn’t have a lot of meat on it so it was a lot of work to get at it. In Arequipa, the cuy is flattened with a weight and then deep fried. In Cusco, it’s roasted. I have my colleague Joe Ferrar and the CEO of Paz Peru to thank for this experience. Off my bucket list and not likely to eat it again.

A final word on drinks…while we were at the Cuyeria, we tasted “Scottish Kola”—smelled like cherry cough syrup and tasted like sweet cherry drink. Inka Kola is also super super sweet.

Sweeeeeet soda called a "scottish cola"

Sweeeeeet soda called a “scottish cola”

Some wines we tasted from Peru were also really sweet. I’m now on PTO and headed to Ica, the wine region of Perú. I hope to taste some great wines before heading back to California.

Our projects are over and we’ve all gone our separate ways. I am still in Cusco and will be taking a cooking class here. We’ll tour the local open air market and then return to the kitchen to cook Alpaca Saltado. Very excited!

I am not at all surprised that Peruvian cuisine is starting to really take off across the globe. It’s just fantastic.

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