This month, I had the honor of contributing to a post-grad blog series for Alpha Omicron Pi! Link to original: A Piece of the Pi: Guest Blog: The Post-Collegiate Perspective I am a proud recent college graduate, who made the … Continue reading
My first post of 2015, how exciting! I currently commit to posting once a month, which may have to increase because so many things happen in such little time. 2015 is off to a great an INCREDIBLE start. Whenever a … Continue reading
As a recent – and employed – graduate, I know both the excitement and stress that comes with being a graduate and entering the workforce.
The continuing (and often scary) process of graduates looking to enter the workforce has inspired Webucator, an online learning company with customized intstructor-led training services, to launch the “Most Marketable Skill Campaign” in honor of the class of 2014. I am honored that Webucator invited me to be a part of the campaign, asking me to share what I feel is a valuable, marketable, skill.
As I brainstormed this question, the skill that I realized helped me the most to achieve success is confidence.
Confidence does not translate to “feeling comfortable in a bikini at the beach” – confidence is about believing in your power to succeed.
There is a popular quote that says, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.” Following that, I’m sure that every employer thinks, “You can’t hire people who wouldn’t themselves.” Whether you held five internships during college or worked a full-time job while taking night classes to pay for tuition – be confident in how you spent your time and what you learned. Here are three simple ways to be confident and sell your confidence in the job market.
1. Know your strengths
Besides for answering the common interview question – “What are your strengths?” – these are very important to know. By knowing your strengths, you will find yourself naturally incorporating them in to any conversation.
I highly suggest taking the StrengthsQuest assessment. This assessment is Gallup approved and changed my life. There are 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder themes (strengths) an individual can have, and you learn your top five! You can buy the book here, which begins by reminding you to focus on using your strengths instead of focusing on improving your weaknesses.
My top five strengths are WOO (winning others over), Positivity, Maximizer, Communication, and Strategic. The book explains all strengths in detail, including key careers and other types of people you should work with.
In interviews, I tell stories of using these strengths. I promise that if you know your strengths, you will naturally exude a contagious, positive energy (which is extra valuable in a phone interview).
2. Discover your “WHY”
There is a great TED Talk called How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek. Check out this video if you have not yet or if you need a refresher! Sinek illustrates the idea that people do not buy in to what you do, they buy into why you do it. To successfully sell your why, you should begin by applying for jobs at companies that share your similar values. Also, identify which areas in each company you would dedicate yourself to whole-heartedly.
Here is a mini test:
Which personal pitch would sound best in an interview?
a) “I have had 3 internships in digital marketing, I love social media, and I just graduated from the University of South Florida.”
b) “I am fascinated with brands and am passionate about helping them achieve their full potential within their target markets. I also have had 3 internships in digital marketing, love social media, and recently graduated from the University of South Florida.”
Hopefully you chose b – because I have used that before and am currently hired for my first post-grad job in a company I am highly dedicated to. Know your why: Self reflect on past experiences and identify which experiences brought out the best in you.
3. Do your research!
The more you know about a company and a job, the more you know where you fit in (and the more you can sell to an employer that you fit in!)
Doing your research is the most important task to do before any job interview – and you should begin the moment you submit a job application. True life: Last year, I applied for a job at an advertising agency and was surprised with a phone call the next day that turned in to a mini interview. I had not done my research yet and had to wing it – not suggested.
You are very marketable when you know about the company, job, and those interviewing you (LinkedIn does wonders). In one of my early post-grad job interviews, I had looked up an interviewer on LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn will call-out this activity, my interviewer knew. She told me, “I noticed that you checked out my LinkedIn, that is one of the best things you can do for an interview, so great job!”
During an interview, you should be able to say with confidence, “I read that article about a recent community service project your office did – employee activism is something I am looking for in a company.” That is much more marketable than asking, “does your office do any community service work?” Remember: avoid asking questions that can easily be found on the internet, and even more so the company website.
I am confident that you can be marketable with confidence! I would love to hear your thoughts on this skill – especially success stories. What do you see as a marketable skill?
BONUS: If you want to sharpen up your Microsoft skills, check out Webucator’s latest course offerings in Microsoft Office.
Excited to be back on the blog after two amazing weekend travels! Working 8-4, M-F, and traveling on the weekends has kept me very busy and inspired.
Last summer, Matt visited me in NYC for Fourth of July weekend, so I did the same this year in what will soon be both of our homes – Boston! We had a wonderful weekend of exploring, and of course . . . food. I am so blessed that our paths in life have led us both to Boston. I truly love the city (and Matt).
Following that trip, I attended my second Her Campus Intercollegiette Conference, #HerConference. However, this time I was part of the National Team! I can not stress enough how much this trip solidified that I made the best decision to start my career at Her Campus Media. I made instant friends and am counting down the days until I begin work. Fellow September-starter Liana and I got to work the Social Currency booth. There were amazing raffles from sponsors including Intel, Luna Bar (they gave away a semesters worth of Luna Bars to two lucky winners), Chloe + Isabel, VS PINK, and so much more. Collegiettes had a great time tagging our sponsors on social media to receive raffle tickets, and I had a blast working that crowd!
Speakers at the conference included Carley Roney, Co-founder and Chief Content Officer of XO Group (formely known as The Knot), and Susan Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief of People StyleWatch among many other notable women in the editorial, blogging, marketing, and digital worlds.
My career is going to be surrounded by empowering women, and my heart is full of passion to sell Her Campus to the world. I had a blast celebrating success with my future co-workers and reflecting on how thankful I am for all opportunities.
Also in New York, I got to see my cousin, Gillian, who is the recently appointed VP of Consumer at Weber Shandwick New York! While in the same building, I visited my Golin girls from last summer (and walked out with this perfect Instagram notebook).
My next flight will be a one-way ticket to Boston, where I will be roommates with a fellow AOII alumna. In the mean time, I am LOVING my time at Next Stop Broadway, making new memories with lifelong friends. HUGE PLUG for my best friend Carlie Craig who works for and is on tour with YouTube Sensation Todrick Hall, so proud of you starring in Twerk Du Soleil! Check her out as ‘Rebecca’, the hysterical IM5 stalker in Todrick Hall’s #BandCamp, and on Instagram as the hilarious @IM54U4Ever
I had a lot to catch up on, hope everyone is having a great summer as well!
Next week makes 2 MONTHS (awkward, last edit said weeks, guess I am adjusting..) since graduation! I have received notice that my diploma on the way – and I am on my way, too.
Being home for the summer has given me plenty of time to self-reflect. I view my personal brand to be very healthy – physically and mentally. So, what have I been up to? Well, I am five days away from completing the 30-day Ab Challenge, have been a consistent YouFit member, traded spaghetti for spaghetti squash, and finally finished both seasons of House of Cards (never getting involved in congress). The break has been great but I am looking forward to beginning my camp counselor position next week.
Oh, and I’ve accepted the perfect post-grad opportunity! -drum roll please-
In September I will be a new resident of Boston, joining the National Team at Hercampus.com as the Sales Assistant for Her Campus Media! “Her Campus is the #1 online and offline community for college women.” It also serves as a college marketing firm – helping brands enter the college market. I love college . . . I love brands . . . win. Also, I am forever a ‘collegiette.’
I will have many exciting roles, one being to increase knowledge of Her Campus Media within the marketing and advertising industry. By conducting PR outreach, networking, and attending industry events, I will make sure to be a real ROCKSTAR.
Rockstar. I heard this word many times during the interview process and it is spot on. This is a fast-paced growing company founded by three inspiring Harvard students while they were undergraduates. They need rockstars to keep growing – so let’s get the show started!
Here is my quick tidbit of job search advice for all my other recent graduates:
- Be patient (I know it is hard to stop refreshing your email every two minutes)
- Know yourself and what you value
- Know your options
- Be brave
- Trust your instincts
See you in September, Boston! (OK I’m visiting Matt for 4th of July Weekend first…)
In a past post, My 40% of Happiness, I noted of learning that happiness is 50% genetic, 10% circumstances and 40% – intentional (you choose). So, I find today to be an appropriate day to reflect since I graduate from the University of South Florida in 40 days.
A lot can happen in 40 days. In the past 40 days, I have transitioned out of my last executive position within my sorority, traveled to Boston with Matt, celebrated the birthdays of my sister and dad, and learned more about myself along the way.
Boston was my most alternative spring break, and thus the most rewarding. It was interesting when people would ask why we were in Boston – Our replies: “I am visiting graduate schools!” and “I have a job interview!” – pause – Where did our lives go?
Things are happening so fast, but I have to remember that I am 22 – and feelin’ it! I had the opportunity to interview with one of my dream PR agencies, and I hope that door opens for me. Plus, Matt got accepted to Northeastern University and I am so proud of him!
We visited the original Cheers, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Tea Party Museum, Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, Harvard, Northeastern, among other hot spots. I even got to see my lifelong friend Becca – plug for Becca Bakes – and my friend Megan who I worked with at GolinHarris. Matt and I ate a lot of food, with plenty of lobster & chowda to choose from, and you can bet that I took a picture of everything. Follow me on IG @deekush if you appreciate a meal in your feed at least twice a day. No shame in being branded as a #foodie. Oh, and another plug for comedian Josh Blue who we saw at Laugh Boston!
Matt always tells me that everything works out. And alas . . . it always does.
Now, I am going to graduate from USF in 40 days with every week someone asking me, “So, what’s next?!” I will definitely let you all know as soon as I know. I have had so many opportunities here at USF within sorority life, my on-campus jobs, and the honor of serving as a USF Ambassador (crazy that we just welcomed our new class last week and I’ve reached my 1-year mark!)
40 days seems like a lot, but it is not. I will take each day one by one and enjoy the moments.
Well I am back in Tampa for my senior year at USF! Graduating in spring is so surreal, but I am certainly making the most of it. I recently received my USF Ambassador jacket, I am so honored to represent the spirit of USF and the student body through our Alumni Association!
I figured I would have some senioritis, but I don’t think that will be the case. This semester I will be finishing out my role as Vice President of Communications for my sorority as well as being our Community Manager/AKA HOUSE MOM for the house (Yes, I repeatedly overuse the fact that I am not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom).
On the side, I am assisting with marketing as a marketing assistant/intern for a fantastic branch of USF, Wellness USF. Wellness USF consists of 6 departments dedicated to the overall health of the student body.
Stepping away from my comfort zone of social media, I am bringing my skills back from New York to this experience. I have recently found a niche for researching trends and measuring success through metrics and impressions. I will still have the opportunity to contribute to our content and events so this will be great!
You should check out our student blogger wellness blog, here!
I wholeheartedly miss New York….. sushi delivery, theatre, ice cream… but I am certainly glad to be back. It is going to be a busy year but that’s the way I like it.
Not exactly sure what my niche in Public Relations is, but I hope to really see soon. I know that I love bringing out the best in organizations through leadership and communication, so I guess that is a broad start.
My strength of positivity will guide me through the ups and downs! Here is to a year of “lasts”.
… And my boyfriend motivating me to head to the gym at 6:30 a.m. every morning!
As I am finishing my last weeks here, I think I have networked these past two weeks more than I ever have in my whole life. Between courage and events I gained an insane amount of insights from people doing great things! Here is some advice from them to me… to you.
The power of LinkedIn
If you’re not on LinkedIn, get on LinkedIn (shameless plug, that leads to my profile). You can join groups filled with the individuals you need to be inspired and get and on the right track.
I personally have a strong passion for advancing the sorority experience. As a part of the National Panhellenic Conference group on LinkedIn, I did some searching and found the woman who is in a position of my interest, Jules. Jules is NPC’s Marketing and Events Manager and also oversees their social presence. I connected, messaged and landed an insightful 45 minute phone chat. I loved her quote, “I am the voice for 4 million women.”
Key advice from Jules:
- Non-profit experience in the communications world will give you lots of experience in to event planning
- Great tools you should learn: InDesign, Excel (From what I’VE learned, you may think you’re a pro… but there is so much more)
- And the best… “Whoever said not to put your sorority/fraternal experience on your resume is WRONG.”
I also guess I have good timing, because just a few days after this phone conversation I finally got to meet up with a friend and past client of my dad who works for… dun dun dun… LINKEDIN. Stephanie. Stephanie is one of the sweetest individuals I have ever met, and she is truly passionate about the benefits of LinkedIn and advancing in your career. She gave me some great advice and had me leaving very confident that I know what my passions are, and there are ways to really make that passion show!
Key advice from Stephanie:
- You get 100 characters for your title on LinkedIn. You’re whole feed may be students and interns – stick out and use 100 characters to really sell your title and your goal!
- VIDEO profile. You may see these popping up in your feed, but LinkedIn suggests recording a video of yourself (not in pajamas) introducing yourself and your career goals.
On July 26-27 I attended the 2nd annual intercollegiate conference for Her Campus Media. I am part of the Her Campus USF team, we write articles on everything a collegiate at USF needs to know! You can check out our stuff, here.
This 2 day conference was full of speakers from various outlets such as Glamour, Cosmo, Seventeen and much MUCH more. Key speakers speakers were Josie Natori, Natori (And I got a bra fitting, leading to a free bra being sent to me!), Fran Hauser, President, Digital — Style & Entertainment Group at Time Inc, Chandra Turner, Executive Editor — Parents Magazine, and Jason Wagenheim, VP/Publisher — Teen Vogue.
I also attended workshops on how to make my blog a powerhouse, how to make the perfect cover letter, entering a job in the PR/Marketing world and my favorite was on leadership and action steps by Levo League, a thriving community of young professionals, mentors, and innovative companies taking Gen Y by storm.
LEVO LEAGUE STORY: Long story short, Jules (NPC..phone conversation..beginning of this blog) mentioned Levo to me. I had to go to their workshop because of this and I absolutely LOVED it. Within 5 minutes I get a message from Rachel from my sorority’s (AOII) HQ – who I’ve NETWORKED with in the past – asking for contact info because AOII wants to get involved and also that the Co-Founder is an AOII. I soon met Amanda Pouchet, my awesome sister who is a part of this empowering organization. Full circle of networking.
Key Advice from #HerConference
- When you go up, you can come down – Josie Natori, Natori Company
- Mistakes are GOOD, if you can’t take risks you can’t move forward – Josie Natori
- Want a job in PR or marketing? In your interview make sure you can showcase that you know how we know what we know (AKA you know what makes you buy Froot Loops over Cheerios. Show that.)
- Resume: USE TOOLS. BE CREATIVE.
- Don’t let perfection get in the way of better – Freyan, Levo League
- See positive. Think positive. Be positive. – Levo League
- Build & your courage will follow – Jenny Blake, Author/ Life After College
- Who doesn’t love gadgets that make your life easier? – Nikki Nash, Marketing, Intel
- Tomorrow, they’ll be hyped on something else. – Chandra Turner, Parents
- BLOGS ARE QUALITY > QUANTITY, How to make your blog a powerhouse
- Everything Jason Wagenheim, VP/Publisher Teen Vogue said…
Last but not least, on Tuesday I attended an Intern Queen Party with Lauren Berger.This networking event took place at an Ann Taylor and had a panel of speakers from CBS, Mashable, USWeekly, SiriusXM, Ogilvy and more. I learned so many great things – like do not send your resume at 3 a.m., key times are 7-9 a.m. or 4-6 p.m.
Overall, I’ve had such a rewarding intern experience and overall experience in this city. I am looking forward to my senior year. I recently got a marketing assistant position with one of my favorite (Okay definitely top favorite) USF departments …. WELLNESS USF!
I hope you got some good advice out of this post. There is a lot more where that all came from. Let’s chat 🙂 What is the most inspiring advice you have ever gotten?
I GOT A TOUR OF MASHABLE. Mashable is a news source for the connected generation… and I am as connected generation as it gets. One of the media connectors at my agency knows a lot of people in high places. His friend Chelsea Stark is the Games Reporter at Mashable and she gave us the grand tour. We learned so much about this awesome database. I learned that when pitching to media, applying for a position, anything, you need to research the company. And okay, that’s obvious but I mean yeah – USE THE OBVIOUS! For example, Mashable always uses large images, so if you have something you want to share with them, try 3 bullet points and a big image.
Also we met the Editorial Director, Matt Silverman who filled us in on their works with YouTube and how viewers won’t subscribe to a channel, but they will subscribe to a personality. YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS SERIES: 5 Facts We Learned on the Internet. You’re welcome.
But really for me, it is. And a bunch of other awesome things!
I can believe that I have been in NYC for over a month now. I say this because I know how to take the subway (okay, just the E and the 6, but HopStop is my best friend). Actually I say this because New York is so busy and crazy and full of adventures that it is easy to believe that time is flying by so fast.
Here are three things that I, a 21-year-old digital intern, have learned in this ice cream truck-esque life.
1. You will embrace variety
We may all very well have our one favorite flavor we always choose. But, this world is so much better when we go above and beyond and try the new. I have had multiple experiences to play in the world of PR and communications – from a past internship, fraternal positions, etc. I used to be a stickler for the PR plan – the monthly list of how my organization will succeed 365.
I stumbled upon a graphic once that said, “traveling is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer.” Or something along those lines, probably more eloquent than that, but it is so true. Even traveling to the next door over in your office, university or neighbor hood is a travel to me.
3. You. will. melt.
On a personal note – I hope that all of my American friends had a great independence day! My awesome supportive boyfriend, Matt, came to the city this past weekend to spend the holiday with me – we enjoyed Sangria at the Frying Pan followed by the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks!
So this past week in NYC has been incredible (I’m sure this will continuously be the case), but really! I am learning so much at my internship and truly getting to see all that goes in to the insane world that is public relations.
I’ve just been so motivated, inspired, challenged and more and haven’t been able to find a way to word it. However, today at an IPG intern event, a speaker really nailed it for me. They encouraged all of us interns to
“Be a sponge”.
Really, soak up everything you can.
I am certainly a sponge. Every client I hear my team talk about I just want to learn more, and seeing our campaigns launch throughout the summer is so rewarding to be a part of.
I am in the digital department, and let me tell you, spending the days on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine . . . will never be the same. Did you do as I suggested and go “Like” your favorite brands on Facebook yet? Do it, they are watching.
Part of being a sponge is cleaning up messes (haven’t had any crises yet, but I am so ready), and not being afraid of what you are put up to. This week I got my first intern errand challenge – getting supplies for a client’s video shoot. I traveled all over for a specific product, and even a mini road trip to Jersey City for a needed piece to the puzzle.
So enjoy absolutely every opportunity AND CHALLENGE – another example being me getting an awesome grade on my basic marketing class after my building’s internet went out and I trekked quite a few blocks to a Panera – you come across, be a sponge. Be a really big sponge ready to get soaked with knowledge, and maybe a little worn out 🙂
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Boating in central Park! My housing offers many adventures for us, and one of them was a free hour of boating in Central Park. This was quite the workout when I took my turn rowing the boat, but the scenery was so beautiful! Also, one of the girls who signed up is an AOII with me, I love wearing AOII shirts and finding these discoveries. Also, while rowing along, a boat of 4 girls hollered at me asking what sorority my shirt says, and it turns out they were 4 sisters, making 6 pandas out on that lake!
Always makes my day when sisterhood shines like that – making me even more satisfied with being a sponge and soaking up that opportunity!
Have a great week, sponges.
Aaaand… how can I forget that Darcie and I got fried Oreos in Times Square?