3 years after graduation, a quick update

Whoever said times were tough wasn’t lying.  It has been almost three years since I donned that horrendous burgundy graduation gown, and walked out of the rustic Loyola halls with my diploma in hand.

I had big dreams for the future. I cold literally do anything, or so I thought.  Advertising, Public Relations, writing, acting? Little did I know that 2010 was not the best year for graduation.  Everybody was struggling.  I looked and yes, perhaps I could have looked harder, but the thing was that I expected a job, and not just another internship.  After completing four during college, wouldn’t that technically add up to 2 years of experience?  Guess not.

And many reached out.  They really did, they’d say things like “you have a great resume, take this internship for $10 an hour and then we’ll see where it goes.”

Excuse me?  “We’ll see where it goes?” What does that mean exactly?  Like you may or may not hire me?

The problem, or blessing as some would say, is that I already had a job.  A part-time job I’d had since my senior year of high school at a sales center.  This part-time job had me rolling in the dough.  Well, kind of.  It certainly facilitated my shoe and handbag obsession, and a $10 an hour internship simply could not compete.

So I did the unthinkable, or what now a days is pretty much considered the norm, and moved back home.  It was painful, but I definitely saved some money. Oh yes, plenty of money.  Sure, I suffered through my mothers “house rules” and had to adhere to a curfew but I can honestly say it was worth it because….

I PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOAN DEBT! Literally $40,000. Dunzo!  I’ve heard many complain that they spent an obscene amount of money on a worthless degree because they have been unable to find a satisfying job, but for me, at least now, it doesn’t matter if the degree is worthless or not, because baby, it is paid!

So in a sense I’m back at the beginning.  Loans are paid and it’s time to move on to a more challenging position.  I finally came to the realization that I may have to start as an intern again, but I think I am absolutely fine with that.  Mostly because I have no debt and plenty of savings, which means when I finally move out and into my own apartment, it will actually be furnished.  And that is something I simply cannot wait for!

So I suppose it is time to update this site, as here is where the big girl job search begins…

Gen Yers have a chance!

Recently I have been hard at work on a marketing project for my internet marketing course.  We were having a discussion one day in class when we came to the realization that my generation does not have an icon.  It’s true.  Generations before us have had Bob Marley, Elvis, The Beetles, but we all don’t even like the same music so the chances of finding a common icon will be nearly impossible.  Good thing my marketing professor is set on changing that because for my final marketing project my group and I are in charge of creating a website that will bring my generation together in the hopes of finding a common icon.  As I compile research for this project I am coming across a few realizations of my own.  The best one so far; I think Gen Yers will make great public relations professionals.

First off, social media is taking over.  That’s why I am taking that marketing class as well as the PR class that has me writing these blogs, so that I can learn how to take advantage of the online tools around me and become more marketable.  With that, I am learning exactly how to use social media to create campaigns that work.  Social media doesn’t work for everyone and I am glad that I am getting that lesson now.

Social media includes tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. and my generation spends the majority of their time on these sites, which means that when I get out there and are asked to create a social media public relations campaign that generates results, I will be more than ready.  I have grown up with these tools and know them inside and out.

Secondly, I know I was asked to keep this blog for a couple reasons.  More importantly, so that I can improve my writing skills, have a portfolio-like space, and learn the ins and outs of wordpress.com, a tool that many PR professionals at large organizations are taking up.

Public relations professionals blog.  It’s part of keeping up with the social media trend, and now I feel more ready.  Today, I am spending my time online creating and learning from a social media site instead of stalking somebody on Facebook.

I found an interesting video on Gen Yers for your entertainment.  Check it out below.

The value of a good PR internship

When I first started college and someone mentioned the word “internship” I definitely freaked out.  When I was told that we were required to take one for credit as part of our program I had a panic attack.  I started wondering…what if don’t get one?  Will it be an indication of my mediocrity?  What if I get one, but I hate it?  Will it change my life-perspective?  Turns out internships really aren’t that scary, and they’re not really that hard to get either, and they do change your life-perspective but only for the best.

I was lucky.  I showed up to my first internship fair as a sophomore.  I wasn’t even really looking, I just figured I should give the career fair a try before getting my heart broken the following year, but undeniably I got an email from Ruder Finn Public Relations a month later asking me to come in for an interview.  I went in super excited and I must have said something right because a month later I was hired.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ruder Finn.  It was my first encounter with the public relations world.  At the time, I had not taken many PR courses yet so I was a bit nervous, but thankfully they did not throw me right into the lion’s mouth.  Instead they gave me projects that I could handle and they introduced me to agency life.

I was afraid that I was going to be thrown into the spotlight and asked to write press release and pitch letters, something that I would not have been comfortable doing at that time but instead, I learned that before you even write all those fun things you have to do some grunge work, like for instance, compiling the media lists with the contact info of the editors who will be getting your news releases.  Or creating award and speaking databases for clients, which I also took part in.  I didn’t even know that it was PR people who compiled these, but I guess it makes sense since it is in their job description to make companies look good.

Towards the end of my internship I was given the opportunity to spearhead a research project for one of our biggest accounts, and by the end of it, I was fully capable of making some good recommendations.  I felt very proud since I had worked very hard on the project.  It was good to see a long complex project overseen by me from beginning to end.

I loved working at Ruder Finn, part of it might have been because Forever 21 was across the street and  I enjoyed running over there when I took my full lunch breaks, but also because I loved working with the people there.  They created a fun culture that I enjoyed being a part of.  They were always willing to help, and they seemed happy at their jobs.  Now that’s what I aspire to; a job that I will be happy to go to every day, a job that will provide opportunities for advancement both personally and professionally.

I think overall, the greatest part of working at Ruder Finn was the invaluable experience that I gained.  What have been your most valuable internships?