A Piece of the Pi – Guest Blog: The Post-Collegiate Perspective

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

Advice for ‘Turning Over a New Leaf’

6e6ce1df038177f4333dd17d01669bb9What an odd phrase – “turning over a new leaf.” I suppose the cliché stems from (necessary pun) the idea that leaves grow and fall, with new life always growing after them. I think that in times of change, any analogy we can relate to with others makes us feel normal.

There are many times where we get this energy inside that tells us it is the perfect time to ‘turn over a new leaf’; The first of the month, the first of the year, a birthday, a move to a new city, a new job, or the ever-so-relevant reality of graduating. It seems that every four years in my life so far I have become the ‘freshman’, for lack of better word. Now, I am proud and empowered because I am a woman with a college education soon to be entering the work force. Here are some struggles I have faced in this emotional last month of a new leaf, and my advice.

1. Be Happy for Others

It can be very frustrating to watch those close to you succeed while you are still finding your way. The constant news feed of “I am excited to announce that…” or “I have officially accepted…” is a natural irritant when we have not had the confirmation to boast of landing our next step. I had my moments where I felt irritated, but not for long. I know my values and personality have me naturally fueled with love and excitement for those around me who succeed. Tell your friends and family congratulations as they move forward, because your time will come – and in any situation, putting others down will never lift you up. So, shoutout to my boyfriend who is on his way to Boston/Northeastern University, and my sisters and close friends who are moving on to their dream schools and careers – I am so genuinely happy for you.

2. Be Proactive

10250230_651763731526886_2700241343909270402_n“Dreams don’t work unless you do”, said John C. Maxwell. This is undeniably true. In college, I was (yes, very hard for me to write was) very involved in multiple organizations and leadership roles, while ending with an overall 3.54 GPA – but that did not mean I automatically had a job waiting for me the Monday after graduation. I am currently in the job search process and have nothing to complain about. Job interviews teach me so much about myself, and actually serve as a great way to reflect on all that I have accomplished. If you do not get in to your dream graduate school, your next leadership role, your dream job, etc. just take on the next opportunity.

3. Perform Mitzvahs!
Translation: Express acts of human kindness.

Me earlier this semester presenting a USF Ambassador “Apple Polishing Award” to Anat Valdman, Program Director at USF Hillel. She is a dear friend of mine who performs mitzvahs every day and has inspired me to be the best version of my self.

This past week, I was busy running errands on my last full day in Tampa, frustrated at having so much to do with so little time. As I was heading to my car to complete the next thing on my list, I was spotted by a mother, father and daughter visiting USF in Greek Village. They approached me and said they were visiting from South Florida and that their daughter was interested in USF and Greek life. They then asked if it was possible to see a sorority house. I was their perfect match: From South Florida, huge advocate for Greek Life, and also the current Community Manager for my house. Their daughter is currently at my high school alma mater! Anyways, I showed them our home and poured my heart out about Greek life, leadership, friendships and absolutely everything else I could stress about how amazing my university is.  At the end of our ‘tour’ the mother said, “you completed a mitzvah today!” and gave me a hug. They had given me that final closure I needed before making my drive home from USF, and I thank them.

4. READ A BOOK. AN ACTUAL BOOK. WITH PAGES.

My dad and I recently reflected on how incredible a bookstore can be – from the smell of books to the excitement of buying one. My new read is Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and a founder of the organization Lean In. The book is perfect for me because Sheryl Sandberg is an idol as she empowers women to lead regardless of stereotypes, barriers and challenges. I look forward to the inspiration I will gain from this book. Other books that have helped me in the past include The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, For One More Day by Mitch Albom, and Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie (founder of TOMS). 

Here is a plug for Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Talk, “Why we have too few women leaders”, which intrigued my interest to read her book.

5. Enjoy being home

DanielleI am currently spending time at home until I am 100% sure of where I am going next, and very thankful for that. Wherever your home is or whoever it is with, embrace it. I am blessed to be able to go back to the same house that I grew up in, surrounded by a loving mother, father, sister… and a silly puppy…and two very interesting cats. My dad joked that I would wake up my first morning at home and realize my entire college experience was all a dream. Fortunately, I did actually graduate from college. My family has supported me wholeheartedly and are there for me every step of the way. I will miss the crazy moments in my sorority house, the late night college outings and other countless memories. However, home is where the heart is . . . and plenty of old photographs to enjoy.

A Hopeful Graduate,
Danielle

A Senior with No ‘Senioritis’

Credit: Alexandria Salmieri Photography

Well, tomorrow makes one week until I graduate. I have had my last exam, last class, and last formal among other lasts. I am a proud alumna of my sorority, and my parents have graciously given me lifetime membership to my university as a graduation gift.

With all of these closing doors, I have not caught the ‘senioritis’. I will be receiving 4 A’s and a potential 5th grade of an A- (so close) and continuing my housing position two weeks beyond graduation. I actually have been wearing dresses to class – not athletic shorts. I pride myself on never checking out. I am so proud to be a woman in education, and I will walk across that stage with honor as a first-generation college student.

These last weeks have been such a ride. I was honored with a Legacy Award at the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life for a legacy of Passion, Advocacy, Conviction, and Energy.


“The Legacy Award recognizes graduating seniors who have made significant impacts within their fraternity or sorority, council, and the USF fraternity and sorority community. Recipients are individuals who epitomize the values of their chosen organizations and actively work to advance the fraternal values movement. They are innovators, positive change agents, and students of character and integrity. Most importantly, recipients have built a strong foundation and left a legacy for others to follow. Because of their involvement, others can say that our fraternity and sorority community is better.”

Credit: Alexandria Salmieri Photography

I am so humbled by this award. My story is my drive to bring the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation as the USF Panhellenic philanthropy in spring 2011. This foundation raises funds and awareness for girls in poverty to receive an education. This journey has been made possible by so many Panhellenic women and other supporters – I look forward to seeing this cause grow, and thank all who have been a part.

So as I walk across that stage with my AOII stitched cap, AOII stole, and Ambassador Medallion, I will be representing four years of passion, drive, and energy. And okay – I think I deserve a day . . . or a few . . . to relax.

P.S. I was honored to receive the Shannon Walsh award for the second time by my chapter, an award honored to a most valuable sister in recognition of alumna Shannon Walsh, who embodies AOII values. All of my sisters are deserving of this. Just as important, Matt and I got cutest couple again! Cheers to commitment.

I am so proud of Matt, who will be headed to Northeastern University for graduate school. Me? Stay tuned for any updates on my next journey. The right doors will open soon enough.

– Danielle

One Degree Away from Kevin Bacon

As seen on Her Campus USF 

If you’re reading this, that makes you two degrees away from Kevin Bacon! I had the pleasure of attending a private reception followed by a lecture with this philanthropic celebrity.

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The University Lecture Series (ULS) has had a great run this school year with speakers such as Hill Harper, Nicholas Sparks, and Frank Warren to name a few. Well, for #USFWeek and the last lecture of the semester, ULS really brought home the bacon . . . with legendary Kevin Bacon (most recognizable from Footloose, Apollo 13, and the FOX TV series The Following, among others). Matthew Perry, or Chandler Bing from the past TV series Friends, was the original speaker who unfortunately had to take on another commitment. However, Kevin Bacon fans took over the Marshall Student Center ballroom and for a lecture that illustrated a passion for connectivity and doing good.

Bacon welcomed the audience in jeans and black leather jacket. At that moment, everyone in attendance became one degree away from Kevin Bacon. Bacon told the story of how the “6 Degrees From Kevin Bacon” fad started. He took us back to 1994, where he would ride subways and get tapped by teenagers saying, “ONE DEGREE . . .”I was just playing your game!” At first, Bacon was horrified by the game as he tried to have his career taken seriously. If you’re not familiar, the game is based on the concept where you can connect any two people on earth with six or fewer acquaintances. But that game turned into positive social change.

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“The Footloose Foundation didn’t have the best ring”, Bacon told us, as he reflected on creating his organization. He expressed that being an actor can be such a self-centered thing to do, and that he wanted to make an impact beyond his creative work.
So for $3,500, he purchased SixDegrees.org and went from there. The website states that the organization is “social networking with a social conscience”. The idea is to connect celebrities with grassroot organizations around the world, whether through social media or celebrity “drop-ins”. To illustrate his cause, Bacon gave a surprise visit before his lecture to Give Day Tampa Bay and the Florida Next Foundation, who collaborate for a one-day online giving challenge to raise support for local nonprofits and grow philanthropy in the region. “We’re all connected, we’re riding this planet together”, said Bacon. He had us realize that before Twitter and Facebook, we were all still connected. While these social media tools can be said to separate us, they are in their own strange ways bringing us together.

ImageThe second half of his lecture was a question and answer session with Rich Scibtti from ULS. Of course, the session had to begin with mentioning Footloose. When asked if he thought it would be such a success, he joked about how he did not think it would be such a “dance movie” or how extensive the dances would be. Bacon would tell the director, “you can just turn the music on, I’ll dance.” A remake was made in 2011 with Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough, and Bacon told us that his first thought was that he didn’t know it was time for the remake (this year marks 30 years since the original Footloose.
Bacon’s story of his journey to success continued, and we learned that he worked on and off as a waiter during his first years in New York. Soon, he landed the role of Chip Diller in the hilarious film Animal House with Saturday Night Live star of the time, John Belushi. Bacon revealed that with continuing as a waiter, he had to ask his boss could have the night off to attend the Animal House premier in Times Square (in which he arrived at via the subway system).


The evening concluded with a Q&A with lucky audience members who ran up to the microphones quick enough. There were true Kevin Bacon fans that shared their love for not as well-known films, such as Super, Beauty Shop, and even the animated film Balto. Through this closing session, we learned that the season finale to The Following is going to be bad a*** and that, not-so-spoiler alert: “some people will live and some won’t.”

Bacon also spoke of his wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer, Phenomenon), and how their matching careers have made for a great relationship. For Bacon’s career, it is not about the size of the part or the size of the budget – he will do a major comic book film, or an indie film – though he does prefer dark roles and dark works. When asked about challenges, he said, “I’ve had some really tough times where I questioned everything, but I never questioned quitting.”

Audience members left the lecture inspired to check out SixDegrees.org and maybe re-watch Footloose, for we now understand the philanthropic and down-to-earth actor that is Kevin Bacon.

 

40 days, but who is counting?

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.

Cheers,
Danielle

One Year, Make It Count

Happy New Year! It is exhilarating writing /14 next to all dates because 2014 is the year I graduate. I distinctly remember coming to orientation at USF in summer 2010 and seeing all the teddy bears, t-shirts and more stitched with Class of 2010. I said to my parents,  “Hey! One day those are going to say 2014.”

Well hello, 2014 and what a ride it has been to get here. There have been multiple posts in articles, magazines, social media, etc. with the theme of NEW YEAR NEW ME. I think it is very important to keep goals, but I also think the best changes come from experiences we don’t think too much about.

Here is some advice to making this year count because every year only comes around once, and you get 365 (366 when we’re lucky) days to make that year count.

1. You ‘don’t need no man!’

Lavaliered!

Some of you who know me may remember when my Facebook name was, “Danielle dontneednoman Kushner.” Professional, right?  I used to stress about others being in relationships, and always wondered what was wrong with me that I could not find commitment from others. After a break up that that taught me a lot, I motivated myself to not focus on who liked my photos, who was texting me, etc. Now I have my one year anniversary tomorrow (Jan. 11, depending when you’re reading this) with Matt, and I know we are in a healthy relationship that I deserve. I don’t need Matt, but I truly want, love, appreciate and am overall a better version of myself because I have him. You know who you do need? – family and good friends, so give them a call more than you do now. I have another  personal goal to call my mom, dad & sister more while reaching out to friends I don’t always hang out with. So my iconic Facebook name is still true and hilarious. Be careful who you friend zone, I should have started dating Matt four years ago!

2. Put the phone down. Unplug. 

“Today I finally overcame tryin’ to fit the world inside a picture frame.” – John Mayor.

This is ironic for me to say because I tend to feel that I need my phone out when hanging out with friends, at meetings, etc. But I’ve recently been called out on it and I appreciate that. This is a goal for myself this year: When I am out to dinner, at a meeting, or any where else where I should be listening to others my phone will be inside my bag on silent. Matt sent me an article that notes you actually remember moments less when you take a photo! We become so consumed with how many people like our pictures we post. If I like a photo enough to post it so who cares who else does? Whether I get 1 like or 150 likes, it should not determine my satisfaction in any situation. I only consistantly ‘Instagram’ food because I think food is beautiful and I am proud to be creative with healthy food. Keep posting your moments, but remember what moments need to be lived. In my defense… can all my GroupMe’s not blow up when I’m out? Here is a video, “I Forgot My Phone”,that really sealed the deal for me:

3. Traveling doesn’t mean going to Europe. 

Traveling is the only thing you can spend money on that makes you richer. According to Google definition, to travel means “make a journey, typically of some length or abroad.” Typically, but not only. This is potentially my last year in Florida so I want to make that count. Some of my travel goals for this year are to stay at the Nick Hotel, re-visit all four Disney parks, spend more time in St. Pete + Clearwater beach, and actually use my Busch Gardens pass before it expires in May. In 2012 I went to Israel and in 2013 I spent the summer in New York, which will always be two of the most enriching experiences in my life. I hope this year you have big plans to just get out there even if it is just taking a road trip to a unique museum that is 30 minutes away.

I challenge you to Google the top things to do in (insert where you live) and do the first thing on that list that you have never done or have not done in the last five years. Or, just read outdoors every now and then. But if you do decide to go to Europe . . . enjoy!!! And remember to not spend the whole time Instagramming!

My 40% of Happiness

I don’t always watch Netflix, but when I do it is a documentary.

This past week I watched two documentaries, Blackfish and Happy. There are a million things I could write about Blackfish – which goes into the history and truth about Tilikum, the orca that killed Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 as well as how orcas are treated in captivity. You so should watch it! What I took away from Blackfish, was that humans are so consumed with the need for entertainment and money that we can potentially destroy earth on our own. As a rising PR specialist (fingers crossed), I hope to not be consumed by that.

And then I watched Happy. Now, I am behind because this movie in 2011 – but it is never to late to explore life’s greatest emotion –  happiness.

Here is what research shows about where our “happiness” comes from:

50% – genetic, 10% – circumstances, 40% – intentional (you choose)

How ridiculous yet awesome is it to know that only 10% comes from circumstances?Basically, our happiness is not defined by the situations we encounter in our lives – a breakup, losing a job, wasting money, missing a deadline, an argument, being bullied. Just remember that statistic the next time you think your life is over!

So with that, we have to realize that genetically not all of us are as easily prone to instant happiness. The way I see it, that explains why some of us handle situations different, have a more positive outlook or simply get over things quicker. Beyond that, I think we need to focus on that 40%.

What is it that YOU CHOOSE to do that makes you happy? I have been pondering with this question since I watched the documentary, and I am not entirely sure… but I think at 22 years old that is okay. Below are things that I know make me happy.

1. My major. I am not set on what route with PR I will take, but I want to promote positive images through genuine acts of charity, remaining focused on the ‘why’ of a brand or organization. Take a look at WestJet’s Christmas Miracle, if you have not yet. That is the kind of stuff that I want to be a part of.

Being awarded the Deanne Roberts Scholarship from ChappellRoberts

2. Surrounding myself with motivated individuals. I am consistently amazed by the good works of my family, friends and sorority sisters all over. I am so happy being in a relationship with Matt because we are both motivated and driven to be successful – and not by money, but by loving what we love to do.

3. Reuniting with old friends. Every time I come home, I struggle with knowing who is home and who I can hang out with. I have certainly made a new life for myself at USF- but if any of my high school friends are reading, just know that I miss you and I want to hang out.

4. Theatre. All my life I dreamed of being a theatre major! I actually began USF as a theatre minor, but fell in love with mass communications and could not commit to the course requirements of both. I’m lucky to be dating someone who shares that love, who visited me while I was interning in New York with me and waited 3 hours to score $27 Book of Mormon tickets.

Me in the middle as Maria, Lend Me a Tenor – South Florida Cappies 2010

5. Being relaxed. I am somehow always stressed about something – sorry Matt, I know you are a #1 witness to this but somehow love me anyway. I like to be on time and ahead of the game, I like when I can depend on others. But I do manage to find moments where I can just listen to music and clean my room (yes, that genuinely makes me happy), or when I can read (or write!) a good blog post.

Overall, the next time I get really upset or overwhelmed, I am going to remember that that circumstance is only 10% of my happiness, and I can bust through it by choosing the 40%.

What do you think is in your 40%? And I am open to other documentary suggestions. Here is a trailer for Happy!

. . . And OH! The People You’ll Meet.

Here in New York there are a lot of places you can go that will inspire you. Even better, in my opinion, there are a lot of people who will inspire you. IMG_1579

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.”

IMG_1637I 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.

#HerConference

IMG_1584On 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. IMG_1618

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…

Picture 6The Intern Icing on the Cake. #InternQueenParty

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.

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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?

HIGHLIGHT

IMG_1555I 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.

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Be a Sponge

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(client) Check out the make your own MAGNUM bar in Bryant Park this summer!

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.

Golin Girls!

Golin Girls!

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! IMG_0504

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?

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123 first week in NYC #internlife

Well I can officially say that I have survived my first week as an intern in NYC. I really am getting the best taste of living in NY – because this intern housing is most likely the most probable  I’ll ever find for less than 2000 a month. My flight was great – shout out to JETBLUE and I had wonderful service from the cab to my home.

My view every day and night!

My view every day and night!

1. FRIENDS

You need friends in NYC. Really, you need friends everywhere. Or maybe it’s just me because I hate being anywhere by myself. I’m lucky that one of my good friends from back home is interning in the city as well, and is my suitemate! The first night here I pulled a college freshman move and excitedly went to the meet-and-greet for the housing. Found a girl that I knew way back in the day, and it was a great night of getting out with pizza and wine after that!

I love how much there is to offer here. I’ve got Paige, Andrea and Nevena who are interning over at a well-known cancer research center, and my two roomates who are at high fashion shoe companies.

Also, attending a NYC INTERN PARTY,

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as official/non-official as it was, I met some awesome friends and we have a great NYC summer crew going on!

I love both my roommates and I truly thank my extroverted personality every day of my life. So, if you’re headed to college, an internship a new city – remember there is another person just like you waiting to be friended, so say hello.

2. THE INTERNSHIP – LIKE YOUR BRANDS

Unfortunately a non-clever heading thanks to Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. My internship is wonderful! I admire all my coworkers and I am learning so much. I’m working in the digital department of the PR/Communications firm GolinHarris. I am getting hands-on experience with social presence and all that goes in to the management of brands with facebook, twitter, instagram and beyond (THERE IS SO MUCH) so please take the time to look up all of your favorite brands on Facebook and give them a “Like” and when you’re enjoying them tell them so with a tweet, because it means more than you think!

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Also have my cousin here, who works at the PR firm above me, so thankful to join the IPG fam with her, I owe a lot of this experience to her.

3. GETTING LOST, EXPLORING, GETTING LOST, EXPLORING 

10148_10151392509141364_410845620_nLiterally in that order. My roommate Darcie and I would love to think that we have the subway down like pros – and we do when we use our phone apps and once we are actually on the subway (or when I nice New Yorker let’s us know we are on the wrong train, thanks again sir).

I can say that I’ve successfully crossed these off the to-do list:
CENTRAL PARK, FAO SCHWARZ, MUSEUM OF NATIONAL HISTORY, HIGH LINE, CHELSEA MARKET, BIG APPLE BBQ, AN ISRAELI PARADE, SAW THE PURGE  . . .

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. . . and getting casted for a reality TV show (normal).

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: 

The highlight of the week absolutely has to be celebrating Amanda’s 21st birthday! It’s so crazy that I celebrated her sweet 16, 18 and now 21. We had a wonderful dinner and night out on the town! I love meeting new friends and also so excited that my PR ladies from USF, Nikki and Ashley who are interning in the city helped celebrate too. Feeling young and wild and free.

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