Dear College Seniors,

Let’s face it. There’s a reason we refer to post-grad life as “the real world.” The phrase reflects the idea that the college experience exists in a protected, bunker-like environment, shielded from the unsolicited elements of adulthood, such as corporate jargon and mid-summer obligations. But don’t let this reality sway you to delay your diploma, for there are many benefits in store for those who “exit the bunker.”

For verification, we need not look further than Kimmy Schmidt, star of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Tina Fey’s new sit-com featuring 29-year-old Kimmy as she adjusts to life in the Big Apple (like a boss) after spending 15 years in a doomsday cult bunker. So without further adieu, here are three Kimmy-inspired tricks to help you adapt to the real world upon your bunker departure:

1.     Attitude is everything.

Sure, being within arm’s reach of both your best friend and a red Solo cup at all times gets comfortable after four years, but there’s no bigger bummer than the kid who got his/her diploma three years ago and is still residing in his/her parents’ basement pouting about the fact that the college years are in the past. You’ll come to find that for the most part, the most successful young adults are those who find it within themselves to believe the best is yet to come.

Take the pro-tip that Kimmy Schmidt shared with her roommate, Tituss, when he’s facing a spell of uncertainty: “Life beats you up…you can either curl up in a ball and die like we thought Cindy did that time, or you can STAND UP and say, ‘We’re different. We’re the strong ones. And you can’t break us!’”

Hint: Don’t be a Cindy.

2.     Flee the comfort zone.

When it’s time to bolt your bunker, don’t just “go back to Dernsville and get your braces off” like Kimmy’s fellow cult victim (the one in the pink sweater). You’re in your early 20s; time to ditch the comfort zone in pursuit of adventure!

With a mere 8th grade education under her belt, Kimmy was able to relocate to NYC, land a job, and find a place to live. You already have several more resources than Kimmy had at her disposal upon exiting the bunker, and pretty soon you’ll have a college degree to top it all off. USE IT. Do your research, put yourself out there, and pretty soon you’ll be parroting Kimmy on phrases like, “What in the ham sandwich, I just got a job!”

3.     Don’t let the Richard Wayne Gary Wayne’s of the world get you down.

In the unlikely event that you haven’t realized this by now, the world is running rampant with difficult people—from biased professors and lazy peers, to unresponsive clients and corrupt executives. When you inevitably encounter one of these challenging individuals, you can either let it affect you, or you can borrow Kimmy’s attitude toward Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, the cult leader responsible for kidnapping her and her fellow bunker hostages in the first place.

Rather than allowing RWGW’s insanity to drive Kimmy to her breaking point, she rises up and focuses solely on those elements that are within her control. Take a hint and reinforce your spirit so as not to let the idiots of the world hinder your success. You too can become unbreakable.

So you see, just because you don’t have sufficient weight in your wallet to hire Tina Fey to write your “life after college” story, doesn’t mean you can’t Tina F-ake it til’ you make it. As the theme song goes, it’s gonna’ be “a fascinating transition” (dammit)!

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Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm  associate, Chris Piedmont

Cows everywhere, REJOICE! Chick-fil-A is coming to NYC. In light of this revelation, it seemed like an appropriate time to share the lessons I learned from my 4 years working my first job at Chick-fil-A.

When I was 16, I wanted a job to earn extra spending money and one of the few classmates of mine who had a job at this point had been working at one of our local Chick-fil-As.  After taking the plunge and applying, I was hired and worked at two Chick-fil-As off and on for the next four years.

Surprisingly, you can learn a lot while brightening people’s days one chicken meal at a time.

Go above and beyond: Chick-fil-A prides itself on “second mile” service, or going the extra mile to not just meet customers’ expectations but to exceed them and anticipate their needs. To do this, listening closely to your customer is crucial. I have carried this with me throughout my other internships and jobs. You’ll never be disappointed when giving your work your all.

Enjoy what you do: It truly was “my pleasure” to serve guests. I enjoyed being a part of the bright and friendly atmosphere Chick-fil-A is known for and had many instances where the warm smile shared with a customer noticeably improved their day.  Over my years working there, I developed relationships with our most frequent guests and knew just what to do to improve their experience. It’s amazing how happy an extra Polynesian sauce or a free ice cream cone can make someone. While our food was delicious (I would do anything for a Chicken biscuit right now), customers came to us for the friendly atmosphere. To create that atmosphere, your front line employees’ have to be happy and enjoying their work.

Know when to move on: While I enjoyed my time working at Chick-fil-A, the last lesson I learned was that it’s okay to part ways with an employer for a variety of reasons. In my case, a contributing factor to my decision to leave was a difference in opinion with the company leadership’s stance on a variety of issues.

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Before the ‘Email in Real Life‘ there was the ‘Conference Call in Real Life’. Just like Email in Real Life, this video brings the conference call experience to life. From people speaking while on mute, talking over one another, background noise and so much more. There are so many variables that can take place while on a conference call, but if you can be in a quite place, with a good phone connection you should be able to at least tune in to the call. 

It’s Friday and I don’t want you to have to wait any longer. Take a look at the video and tell me what portions of the conference call in real life can you relate to the most.

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Have you ever wondered what life would be like if emails went from the digital realm to your real-life? This funny video shows you just that and at the same time teaches you a bit about email etiquette: 

  1. It’s not always necessary to hit the reply all button.
  2. Be sure that before sending an email you’ve spell checked and attached all documents.
  3. After returning from vacation, as tempting as it may be, turn off your auto response.
  4. When selecting names of recipients, be sure you’ve included the correct persons. You wouldn’t want to mistakenly send an email to the wrong client.
  5. Don’t overuse exclamations and ALL CAPS! 

Those are just some, but let me know other email etiquette tips that you have.

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Robert Smith 

Tell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm?

I’m from a small town in South Jersey that no one has ever heard of. It’s funny, when I tell people I live in Tuckerton, I’m usually corrected, “you mean the shore?” No I mean Tuckerton, but I won’t concern you with my plight any longer. I graduated from Drew University in May 2014 with a B.A. in Business.

My path to Peppercomm, specifically PR, was… well different. My industry experience stemmed from digital media, specifically, blogging, social and web design. A PR career wasn’t initially on my radar, but I always knew that I wanted to write. Peppercomm is providing me the opportunity to learn the strategy and tactics needed to successfully deliver results for a wide swathe of clients. 

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

I have most enjoyed my work in media relations on crafting pitches, pitching reporters and securing coverage for our clients. To draw on a baseball reference there’s usually more outs than hits, but it’s a great feeling to knock a single, even if it’s not always a homer. As far as industries, I’ve found that I’m most interested in the tech space. I’m fascinated by the constant evolution of technology, and I expect this business segment will only become more interesting, challenging and fulfilling. I’m looking forward to continued contributions to the current accounts I work on, and expanding my role at Peppercomm to help our team best serve our clients.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

While I had questions about my hands-on contribution working at a larger firm, I was surprised at the overall involvement I was awarded from the start. There’s times that I forget I’m an intern, and that feeling deepens my appreciation for the culture and inclusive environment at Peppercomm. We’re encouraged to share our input, and afforded the opportunity to learn even if that means making mistakes. Also, the only coffee I get is my own. 

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

There’s no telling where I’ll end up, right now I’m focused on making the most out of this internship. Ideally, I envision myself working in-house for a professional sports franchise. Coming from a digital marketing background, my journey in PR has only just begun. I’m excited to see where it takes me.

 

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Intern Video

To find out more about life as a Peppercom intern, check out this YouTube video produced by former Peppercomm interns who share their experiences. Click Here