I'm a twenty-something year old PR girl, who has just recently completed her undergraduate degree (May 2012). Throughout my four years, I've traveled to a few different schools in a few different places. Among them, I've acquired new habits, new friends, new stories and a great education -- not only in the PR world, but what our parents have named "the real world".

Here's where I'll share some helpful tips through my experiences, as someone whose just completed college or as I like to call it 'PRactice' (practice for that so-called real world of course).


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How Pinterest Can Prepare You for Work Life

Oh how Pinteresting! One of the more addicting social media outlets, Pinterest has become quite a hit for people of all ages and businesses of all kinds. I can’t deny that in my own experience, Pinterest has become a place to bunker down and keep up with my favorite trends, come up with new recipes, and find craft ideas for gift giving.

However, with my interests highly tuned to the transformation of “college to career”, I’ve been able to find a connection with the addicting social media site and job hunting or even beginning your new career!  Below are some ways you can transform your Pinning skills to your new (or soon-to-be) career:

  1. Stay organized: Your parents didn’t tell you to keep your rooms clean for nothing. Life & work in general focus heavily on how well you organize and balance yourself along with perspective clients and accounts you may manage. 

    On Pinterest, you can pin hundreds of items within minutes. Imagine you posted all of them within one board (folder)? You’d have a giant mess of thousands of items & upon looking for that favorite new recipe, you’d become lost. By creating categorized boards, you can easily re-find what you were looking for. 

    Similarly, in the working world, you’ll create folders within folders to keep your work and clients in order. If you’re still job hunting, consider creating an excel spread sheet that organizes all of your contacts, with a sub tab that keeps track of your status on each job application. This way, when you follow up or have a surprise phone interview, all of the information is quickly accessable in front of you.  
     
  2. Find what interests you: What makes your Pinterest profile different from the rest, is that you can pin whatever directly interests YOU. It doesn’t have to be re-posted and you can create boards for whatever you want. From DIY crafts to cute puppies, gadgets to car parts, the content possibilities for your Pinterest page are endless. 

    Make sure you apply this same tactic to your career. Though the risk of unemployment is great, you cannot settle or pigeonhole yourself in a job you’ll hate within a year of being employed. Instead, take some time and apply to different jobs in all things that interest you. Don’t say “yes” or throw yourself at the first offer you get.  Explore your options and realize that great opportunity awaits the patient. 
     
  3. Follow through: If crafting tickles your fancy, and you dedicate a board to crafts for christmas, what good would that board do if you went out and bought sweaters instead? It just doesn’t make sense to waste your time pinning something you wont ever consider making.

    The same practice can be applied to finding your next career move. It’s easy to create a “to do list” compiled of companies and/or people you’re interested in contacting or applying to, however if you don’t follow through with applying or getting in contact, it’ll be a wasted wish and you take the chance of losing valuable experience or information.

  4. Enjoy yourself: At the heart of it, social media becomes so addicting because its enjoyable for people. Though hunting for a job and starting a new one can be very overwhelming, you have to remember why you decided on this profession in the first place. You must always remember to take moments for yourself — to relax and do something that pleasures you. By stepping back and taking a moment to breathe, you’ll realize that your tasks are absolutely do-able and you’ll be able to attack them with better precision and energy. 
posted 1 year ago / 0 notes / reblog
The Job Hunt & the Cardinal Rule

First and foremost, I’d like to express my apologies for being absent from blogging. With college graduation only a few weeks behind me, I’ve been quite busy with finishing up my degree, job interviews, the job hunt and planning for my existing position as an all-star cheerleading director. As I sit lazily in my room on this dreary day though (taking a break from 50 Shades of Grey of course), my writing gears started turning again.

A lot of my friends and acquaintances who I’ve been fortunate to keep in contact with over the past few weeks have been asking me similar questions about my journey for the perfect first full-time position for post-graduation. It’s true that I’ve had a generous amount of interviews and a few job offers following them, however I have not accepted any. None of the positions I’ve been offered have quite fit the bill or seem to be something that I could thrive doing. SO, the job hunt continues. In my attending to these questions though, I always offer one piece of advice, that to me, is the “cardinal rule”; always do your research.

It stuns me to hear that people mindlessly apply for jobs and internships, while hardly researching the position, let alone the hiring company. In my-own experience, I’ve only applied to positions where the job description matched the line of work I’m interested in and whose company hit close to home with my interests. Could this be why I’ve been getting calls back? Quite possibly!

Listen up job and internship seekers..

Even if you’re applying to a company like Pepsi, where everyone and their Chinese step father’s younger brother’s sister-in-law knows what their logo, tag line and recent advertisement is, you must familiarize yourself with the company’s current goals, challenges and over-all expectations within their hiring positions. This will in turn give you a distinct competitive advantage for your interview.

Upon this research, you will find:

  • A decent idea of the work you’ll be doing
  • An area that the company may be seeking to improve upon (a great way to impress your interviewer, by putting forth ideas if given the opportunity)
  • Questions to ask during your interview (you do not want to be the interviewee whose question-less or only asking about salary & benefits)

Okay so now you know you need to research the company you’re looking to apply to, but how do you do it?

  • Visit the company website - Easy right? By visiting the company’s website, you’re getting a small idea of how they want consumers to see and think of them. You’ll find their mission, contact information, and possibly a little bit about who runs the place. Remember to check back often, as people update their sites nearly daily. This is only step one though!
  • Review the company’s social networking profiles - We all know how big of a role social networking plays throughout all industries in this day and age and if you’re fortunate enough to go through high school and college learning and using these platforms, you’ve already got your hand on the door knob. Check for a feel of the company’s voice by going through their Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Blog, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest accounts. Especially if you’re applying for a PR, Marketing or Social Media position. This will give you a better feel for the nature of the company as well open up an opportunity to connect personally.
  • Stumble around various news outlets - One of Google’s best ‘hidden secrets’ is their ‘News’ tab. By utilizing this tool, you’ll be able to pull up information that may have not been posted by the company or organization directly. This works to your advantage, because it gives you both uncensored and unbiased information that hasn’t necessarily been “cleaned” by the company’s PR department.

Before you go into your next interview, I want you to do yourself a favor and go over this list again. In between primping your resume and ironing your best blazer or suit jacket, do some research.

Do not risk losing a great opportunity because of a lazy mistake! The half hour it takes you to look up this information will provide you with reassurance that this position could be a great fit and will provide the company’s hiring manager with the same confidence that you are a solid candidate for the company.

posted 2 years ago / 1 note / reblog
PRactice Your Work Ethic in Class

Some of the best recommendations we can get as college students entering the ‘real world’ come from our professors - the ‘trainers’ who’ve been in this world before us and who are preparing us for what’s soon to come. 

That being said, it always surprises me to see students constantly disrespecting these professionals by showing up late, talking back, not taking conductive criticism, etc. It makes me wonder, “are these people going to treat their future bosses this way”? Do they even plan on getting jobs with that attitude (outside of McDonalds of course)?

Here’s how I see it:
You’re at least a junior in college - let’s even say senior. You’re working on a project - in my case, have a client (outside of school) whom you need to constructively build a case for & make a difference for within a project. Your grade depends on how well you execute. In the ‘real world’ your job depends on it. While you’re in school, why not strive for the A? In the professional life, that A isn’t just a grade - it’s a raise (or promotion - which usually comes with a raise). 

You should treat your professors like your bosses. Even if you don’t think so highly of them, it’s great practice. You aren’t always going to love your boss - sometimes you wont think they’ve got a clue as to what they’re talking about. Some of them are nice, some of them are boring. Some smart, some not-so-smart. However and whoever your future boss may be, you have to respect them in order to keep your job and move up within your field. Do the same for your professors - they might be the recommendation that places you in that dream job of yours. After all - they’re the ones who’ve trained you and have seen your work- as you’ll perform after graduation.




Best wishes and happy holidays!

posted 2 years ago / 1 note / reblog
PReparing for an Internship

According to The Free Dictionary, an intern is “a student or recent graduate undergoing supervised practical training”. Unfortunately in the economy we’re a part of, many people define interns as “work slaves”. Fortunately, I was lucky to have an amazing internship experience. Unfortunately, many my age have not - especially people finding internships within the fashion industry. I’ve learned through research and a close friend of mine (who interned for a total of two weeks at a prestigious fashion PR firm) that a large majority of interns are treated quite poorly, unpaid and sent to do tasks that would certainly not help them grow in their field of study (except maybe in figuring out different subway routes around NYC). I don’t mean to crack on fashion though, there’s a LOT of businesses that treat their interns this way. My suggestion? DON’T TAKE these internships & if you get involved in one, run — run fast and early. There are PLENTY of businesses and organizations out there looking to hire interns to do REAL work. Although (as mine was) many are unpaid, you should be doing actual work, with an actual supervisor correcting your mistakes and helping you to learn. 

Finding Available Internships - Where to go:

  • School Boards: Lots of schools will list internship opportunities on bulletin boards or in their career services center.
  • Newspaper: Check news paper listings in the job ads section.
  • Social Networking: Follow your favorite companies on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You’d be surprised at how often they often post about open positions.
  • Job Boards: Online job boards are often helpful and updated daily.
  • Monster CollegeMonster College is nearly identical to the regular Monster job search engine, but it’s geared towards college students.
  • Urban InternsUrban Interns is one of my personal favorites. If you live in or near a popular city, Urban Interns is a helpful tool that allows you add your resume skills to your profile and enables you to search for internships in your area of interest. It also lets companies find & contact you! 

Choosing an Internship: Once you find a place you think you’d like to intern for, do some research..

  • Reviews: Look up reviews online from previous interns and see what at least five of them have to say. One person may have had a great experience compared to four other people’s horrible ones. Figure out what made these experiences amazing or awful.
  • LinkedIn Search: Sign onto your handy dandy LinkedIn account (that I know you all have, right?) and search for some people in the company. Do these people look like those you can see yourself working with? What are their strengths, skills and hobbies? Do they compare to yours?
  • Company Contact: Contact one of those people on LinkedIn - even if it’s an intern. Let them know you’re interested in their company and ask a few questions - people love to talk about two things; themselves and their work. Generally, most people are thrilled you’ve reached out to them.
  • Company Research: This one may seem a bit obvious, but actually RESEARCH the company - find out all you can about it BEFORE you decide to go in for an interview. In fact, do it before you write your cover letter. This way, you’ll know what YOU can bring to THEM.
  • Don’t Stop at One: Find multiple places you’d be interested in interning. Don’t stop at one, because A) you may not be offered the job or B) it could wind up being the exact opposite of what you expect - leaving you without any new knowledge. With back ups, you’ll be able to move freely to the next option. 
  • Get creative: Move outside your comfort zone. Never thought of interning for a non-profit? How about a sports team? Magazine? Publishing company? Local Yoga Studio? Keep your options open. SO many people are looking for interns and reliable opportunities are everywhere.

Good luck on your search and feel free to send in any questions you may have!!

posted 2 years ago / 0 notes / reblog
5 Tips for Starting a New Semester

back to school

As I approach my last semester of (undergraduate) college, I realize I’m feeling a lot of different emotions. I’m upset that break is over — even more upset that this is my last college break. I’m nervous to get back into the swing of things after being out of pr-actice (ya like what I did there?) for four weeks — but even more nervous for what lies ahead of me after this semester. I’m excited for my new classes & yet again a new start — but even more excited that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Graduation is four months away and all I have to do is make it through the next semester of 15 credits!

Seeing as this is probably my last blog post before the semester starts, I figured I’d dedicate it to some of my personal tips on starting your semester off on the right foot (I know you just got back to the dorm and have a party in five minutes but yes, that means please put the red cup down for a minute … thanks). 

  • SLEEP: If there’s one thing I know that 90% of us college kids don’t get, it’s enough sleep. Your body wants at least seven hours to perform it’s natural functions, so aim for eight (because lets face it, if we’re falling asleep to a great movie, it’s gonna take some time anyway)! Also, make sure (especially if you have morning classes) that you practice waking up early TWO days in a row - this way your body starts its new wake up routine.
  • GET YOUR BOOKS: Even if you wait until 20 minutes before the class starts, get your books on time for day one. Nearly every college will let you return the book within seven to 14 days if you don’t wind up needing it & teachers are almost always impressed to see which students are prepared. Plus, you never know which professor will assign work for the first night.
  • GET ORGANIZED: If you haven’t already, get a planner & a notebook. You don’t want to be the kid in class who’s constantly relying on a temporary syllabus for homework assignments or other students for sheets of paper that are going to go through the wash anyway. What I like to do is get a notebook with the amount of subjects I’m taking during the semester (usually a 5-subject). I wind up just-about filling each section, but never seem to go over — this way I don’t have to think about which notebook to grab in the morning on my way out - it’s always one!
  • GET YOURSELF SOMETHING TO EAT FOR BREAKFAST: What I like to do for my first week back, is to go to my favorite bagel shop and stock up on a weeks worth of bagels & a tub of lox-spread. This way I have something to look forward to when I wake up and I’m much more energized. Have an annoying roommate who steals your food? Get a dozen! Bagel shops usually do awesome deals for a dozen bagels.
    PS. Take a vitamin too - getting a cold from your new classmates really brings down the hype to a new semester. 
  • GET OFF OF RATEMYPROFESSOR.COM AND JUST EXPERIENCE YOUR PROFESSOR FOR YOURSELF: Nearly every single one of my favorite professors got awful reviews on ratemyprofessor.com. Want to know why? People usually don’t care to ‘rate’ unless they’ve gotten a bad grade or had a rare situation with that said professor. Make your own opinions. Last semester I went into my PR Cases class on day one & after reading the syllabus, I thought for sure I was going to drop the class within a week. According to this professor, an A was a 97 - 100%, A- was 94 - 96%, B+ was 90 - 93%.. so on and so on. It freaked me out, but she wound up being my favorite college professor to date and I wound up with an A! You really never know, so give the class at least a week and a half before you switch or drop.

Remember — go into each class with a positive attitude. Last semester is no longer relevant. It’s time for a new start. 

If you have any other tips you’d like to share with me & the followers, please shoot them over here! I’d love to see them. 

Good luck with your new semester! I know you’ll rock it (; 

posted 2 years ago / 6 notes / reblog