Performance Passion & Pride

After my shoes finally wore in, I got used to turning everything into an acronym, safety glasses didn’t make me feel like a total geek and black and blue were starting not to erk me as a color combination, it was over.

My internship with BMW Manufacturing in their Corporate Communications group was the sunroof to my continuing journey as a student. It allowed for a strong breath of fresh air that I was not used to, it pushed me to stretch my bounds and extend me out of my comfort zone. I got a glimpse at what being in the “real world” was like and man was it an eye opener.

So much was gained professionally through this term but at the same time, so much was also garnered in my personal life. To begin with the professional, I think the key to all the knowledge I gained was the combination of people I worked with in my department.

Just like the X5 and X6 BMW’s we build at Plant Spartanburg, everyone was of the same quality of mind, yet all the variations made me stretch and reach to adjust to the different ways, voice and behaviors of each individual.

I saw what it was like to collect and write daily executive news summaries, draft and edit articles for the internal newspaper, properly reply to a sponsorship request, how to manage a fleet of vehicles and took on the responsibility of special projects.

Beginning with project number one, it was not your usual intern task. I was asked to be a part of the BMW Relay for Life committee and plan their first ever “Womanless Beauty Pageant” from the sign-up all the way through to being the MC. As I crowned our “Misster Relay” the success of the pageant and the knowledge of the money raised for cancer sent a wave of accomplishment through me.

My wave continued to build as I created a document deemed the Spartanburg Brief, to be sent to all managers and section leaders. This was a combination of the multiple news sources, summaries and happenings within BMW, a project attempted by many an intern before and finally completed.

A sustainability display for the BMW Zentrum museum was next on my list, testing my ability for writing in the short-but-sweet-but-interesting-but-neat arena. Picking statistics, pictures and text with my colleagues I was proud of the final product, knowing that our public would benefit from the knowledge of our sustainable efforts in all vicinities.

These projects accompanied with the smaller more common tasks such as assisting with events and organizing the other interns and co-ops kept me busy and engaged. If it wasn’t for Bunny, Steve, Kenn, Amber, Roberta, Greg, Pam, Max, Bobby, Brigette and Kelly I would have never learned how to work and adapt to so many varying, vibrant and unique personalities and for this and everything else they so patiently taught me, I thank them!

Many challenges presented themselves outside of the office as well this semester, such as the death of a close friend’s father, my car being totaled, a fraudulent check written from my account and a whole mess of other things. Yet through it all, the support of my family, friends and co-workers helped pull me through. If I was ever to point out a time of significant growth in my life this would be it.

Still, my tires continue to happily roll along and I feel as if I have upgraded to an X5 frame of mind and have a new shiny tool belt of abilities. Although thinking back, the dark blue-black-grey uniform combination may actually forever haunt the fashion sector of my complex frame of mind.

Sweet & Salty

I’m sitting in Baked bakery and coffeehouse (who we-Byrdhouse-do PR for) and find myself marveling at the fact that I only have ONE MONTH left here in Charleston before I’m off to Garden City for two weeks then back to school at Clemson!

Where did the time go?

Is it possible I’ve learned so much in such a little time?

Do I really have 6 months until I graduate?

Ok ok ok pump the breaks….

First of all I need to fill everyone in on my internship with Byrdhouse and all the great things I’m learning and have had the opportunity to do. You can check out the website to see al the cool clients I’m working with but the main clients I have worked with this summer have been FIG Restaurant, Ted’s Butcher Block, Baked, and SunDog CatMoon.  Some of the cool things I’ve done for them is create media lists, contact media, write press releases, write media alerts, update facebook pages, do research on other competing businesses and also got to have a voice in any type of PR methods we were working with.  I have also had the opportunity to attend, set up, and see through a ground breaking ceremony and attend press conferences.

At a later date I’ll upload some of the documents I’ve worked on and fill ya in some more. But what has also been fervently on my mind as you can see from above is what I will do to secure a job after graduation.  I am also concurring that I might take another internship in the Spring before taking the plunge.  What has helped me a lot throughout this process is advice from fellow PR professionals and all the tips from CAREEREALISM through Twitter and their website.  I have started recieving their emails as well, which have great articles, answers to questions, and websites to help me out.  I highly suggest that everyone who is about to graduate join! (And to especially go through their handy 10 Step Job Searching process)

Well there’s a quick little blurb of life in Charleston and a suggestion to help all you other soon-to-be grads! Hope all your summer’s are going well, fill me in on your life and come visit me soon, I would love to have you!

PS: Why Sweet & Salty? I had one of these cupcakes while blogging here at Baked and its a medly of chocolate, runny carmel center, frosting, and sea salt.  Sounds like an odd combination but its honestly the best of all worlds and combines to be amazing.  So while life is so sweet but I have bitter thoughts of the future and a salty taste for the sea lingering in my mouth… I wouldn’t ask for more and it makes for a great combination!

Get a Clue.

This semester is over, I’m officially a senior and unlike a lot of my friends I’m not taking the super senior route but I’m actually shortening my stay in college.  Trust me this is not by choice but more of a feeling of obligation, check out my previous post Aaahh Freak Out! for more details.  So here I go, planning for the real world… the real grown up get my own job, house, insurance kinda world.  As I’ve mentioned before, I have a great internship in Charleston this summer with Byrdhouse PR and actually just acquired a waitressing job to earn some extra cash at the Swamp Fox restaurant located in the Francis Marion Hotel.  So things are going good on that end but I’m feeling really pressured to start looking for jobs and to start setting up interviews for the fall so that I have a job upon graduation.

With all these ideas buzzing around my head and my to-do list growing at a steady pace everyday, I can’t help but feel a little bit relieved when I wander across a new story on the Clue Wagon blog.  The most recent story is of Harold who sounds like he is failing miserably at job and home life.  While this may sound depressing you should check it out for yourself because author and former Human Resource executive, Kerry Sandberg Scott, ads just the right amount of humor and enthusiasm to the stories.  It will have you saying of  your worst interview “Hey, it wasn’t THAT bad”.

So if you too are a recent grad, an almost grad, or are just on the job hunt check out the Clue Wagon and even follow her on twitter (@ClueWagon) to take the edge off a little… in a healthy way that is.

Happy Searching!

Saturday’s List of Love

Taking note from Meg Fowler and her Friday love lists I decided to create my own on this beautiful day before exams truly and treacherously begin. So here’s mine for today what would yours be?

  • 80 degree weather
  • real fruit Popsicles
  • my internship in Charleston
  • my new house in Charleston
  • my girlfriends
  • sunbathing
  • clean, cold sheets
  • smell of leather
  • peanut butter and peperoni sandwiches (trust me they’re delicious)
  • horseback riding
  • adopting animalsdscn0492
  • the selflessness of a dog (see Seddie above)
  • hydrangeas
  • the colors salmon and mint green
  • a bright sundress (especially yellow, or the above)
  • spring cleaning
  • rearranging
  • high heels (particularly these)
  • sunkissed cheeks
  • a first kiss
  • Martina McBride music
  • a bright pink pedicure
  • shopping!
  • Audrey Hepburn – and everything associated
  • dreams of the future
  • traveling
  • Sedona, Arizona (where the name Seddie comes from)
  • love lists
  • love.

I could go on all day and night, it really makes ya happy to make a love list, I highly encourage it!

Post yours on your blog and link it here and to Meg’s blog so we can take a gander!

Happy Loving!

Aaahh Freak Out!

While this song Le Freak by Chic doesn’t necissarily capture how I feel, I can’t help but sing it in rotation in my head whenever I think about my new graduation plans.  Thats right… graduation.  In December. Ugh.

When my advisor told me that I only needed 13 more hours to graduate I immediately started searching for ways to extend my time at Clemson because I never thought my stay here would only last 31/2 years.  After some heavy weighing out of classes, hours, and resources I’ve decided it really does make sense.

So, here’s my plan… I’ll take my last 13 hours (and add some for good measure) in the fall and stay in Clemson with the hopes of snagging an internship in Greenville so I can commute and still enjoy my last semester in Clemson.

But why does this matter to all of you? Well I thought I would share with you some people who have given me guidance, while they may not know it, through their tweets and just general conversation.

First off, I have to mention Byrdhouse PR and the owner Annie Byrd (@byrdhouse) for extending to me their summer 2009 internship! This is going to be a great opportunity to learn more skills to prepare me for graduation and I definitely look forward to blogging about it!

Next, here’s a good list of people to visit on Twitter to follow to help you with PR advice, decisions, and more:

  • @danschawbel – follow him on twitter for his great insights and links
  • @skimtheocean – she is a Clemson alum after all, but offers great PR advice and other entertaining tweets
  • @prprof_mv – my PR professor who is there to answer any questions
  • @CAREERALISM  – advice from top career professionals, provides great links
  • @heatherhuhman – she helps others find internships and other entry-level jobs
  • @jspepper – keen to answering my questions on PR and all the gadgets associated

These are just a really small assortment of people but I hope this is a start that helps you if you are graduating now, soon, later, or have already graduated! Check out my profile as well too to see who else I’m following!

And for your entertainment (hope you don’t get it stuck in you head) here’s a little video:

Bad PR Example

So I like Staples, I really do, I shop there for all my school supplies and even for my camera and printer equipment but… their facebook page is just not the best thing ever.  Granted they have 711 fans but what are they giving these fans?

Answer: Nothing. Well, there are 10 pictures of different stores but really if you’re a fan haven’t you already seen that?

Therefore Staples facebook page is my bad PR exapmle because their wall has no posts, there is no info, and only 10 just store photos.

Lets jazz it up Staples, lets get active, lets get involved.  I want to see discussions with fans, info about your company, and your fans uploadig their photos to the page. What about specials, their community evolvement, or even commercials featuring the easy button… fans might like to respond to those things right?

Visit the page on your own account and let me know what you think!

Comment on Ashley’s “I will survive”

Recently, I read fellow classmate Ashley Hall’s post “I will survive” and found her information very helpful along with the post from The New PR blog with reassurance . I commented with what I thought was helpful so check it out for yourself and let her know what you think!