Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm senior account executive & Intern Committee member, Samantha Bruno.

Whether it’s trekking our stuffed dog Pepper around New York for a career fair or waking up at 4 a.m. to catch our flight to D.C., 2015 has gotten off to a busy start for Julie Hoang and me as we took part in recruiting for Peppercomm’s internship program.

Julie Hoang (L) and Samantha Bruno (R) are seated at their career fair table while while visiting colleges in D.C. Photo courtesy of Samantha Bruno.

Julie Hoang (L) and Samantha Bruno (R) are seated at their career fair table while while visiting colleges in D.C. Photo courtesy of Samantha Bruno.

After meeting with countless students, here is some of the best advice that we can offer to anyone attending a job/career fair:

  1. Dress for the job you want: Whether this is fair or not, first impressions are a big deal. Especially considering the number of students/candidates we come across in a day, we really do notice when someone is well put together and presentable.
  2. Take advantage of the wait time: Sometimes at career fairs, you may have to wait a while for those in front of you to finish speaking before you have your turn. One thing that can be frustrating for us is when we spend five minutes answering a question and then you ask the same exact question as the person before you. There is nothing wrong with listening to the conversations that are taking place around you so that by the time you get to the table, we can delve deeper into something else instead of repeating the same information. It also shows that you have taken the first step in Peppercomm’s manta, “Listen.Engage.Repeat.”
  3. Remember you are a small fish in a big sea: Simply introducing yourself is not a guarantee that we will remember your name by the time you submit your resume.  This is your chance to tell us about yourself, so feel free to brag! Tell us what makes you a unique fit for Peppercomm based on your experiences.  One of our first asks is usually to tell us more about yourself, so be prepared to highlight your best attributes in a 30-second elevator pitch.
  4. Don’t be afraid to be truthful: If you are unsure about what you want to do or the career path you want to go down, don’t be afraid to ask informational questions about the company, the industry, advice, etc. One of my favorite things to do is mentor students, which is why I love being on Intern Committee. Every employer has been in your shoes at one point, so we understand the pressures that come along with needing to find an internship/full-time position before you graduate.
  5. Follow up is important: Help us put a face to a name even after we leave the event. It is important for you to remind us where we met you. It is especially helpful if you can reference a part of the conversation that we had to help jog our memory.

Stay tuned for a timeline of a day in the life of the Intern Committee!

 

*Samantha Bruno is a Senior Account Executive and Julie Hoang is an Account Executive at Peppercomm. Both Samantha and Julie sit on Intern Committee as Co-University Relations Coordinators. As members of Intern Committee, they participate in the recruiting, mentoring and advising of interns as well being responsible for building on-going relationships with universities across the country.

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC Business Outcomes intern and future industry star, Addi Dabiri

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

My name is Ademoluwa Dabiri but I go by Addi to avoid pronunciation issues. I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria but now London is where I call home. I came to the states for college; I studied Economics and Computer Science at New York University. I happened to graduate early and although, I did a few other internships during my college career, I wasn’t prepared to go back to the UK without having a legitimate working experience in the city. London is great but it’s no New York.

While searching for said experience, I stumbled upon the job description for Peppercomm’s research and analytics internship with the Business Outcomes group and it ticked all the boxes of my requirements for an internship: the position offered me the chance to put everything I’d learnt to the test and offered a relaxed office environment in which to do so. Fast-forward through the applications and interviews and now here I am!

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

Being a part of the Business Outcomes team, I’m exposed more to the numbers behind what goes on in the PR world and naturally, this appeals to me the most because of my quantitative background. It’s really cool to examine big chunks of data about the quality of a company’s coverage in social and traditional media and then be able to form a narrative about many aspects about the company’s performance.

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

This is my first experience working in PR so a lot of basic knowledge about the industry was new to me. What surprised me most about my particular role was the wide variation in accounts that I would be working on; I had no idea that I would be learning about financial regulation or trash-to-energy regulation amongst other things as these were industries that were well off my radar upon taking on this position.

I knew Peppercomm was named the Best Place to Work in New York City so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I’m really impressed with how everyone puts in 110% with each of their accounts and does so with smiles on their faces.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I’m a recent graduate so a lot of things are still up in the air! However, working on the Business Outcomes team has exposed me to the several possible applications of data and analytics within the industry and so I would hope to be able to explore that further. I am still a newbie to the PR world so I’m also eager to take on other roles that are more involved with the PR process.

  

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Changing jobs and immediately scoring a new office BFF

Image courtesy of iworkinPR

Does this happen when you hit it off with a new co-worker?

 

 

 

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm SF intern and future industry star, Kathleen Liu 

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

I was born in Syracuse, NY and raised in a small suburb in South Florida called Parkland. Currently, I’m a junior at Northeastern University in Boston– shout out to Steve Cody & Marian Daniells! I’m majoring in Communication Studies as well as minoring in Business Administration.

During the summer of 2013 I completed an internship at the Max Borges Agency, a small tech PR firm in Miami. At the Max Borges Agency, I got my first experience with media relations and seeing how an agency operates. Northeastern has a fantastic program for students called Cooperative Education (co-op), which allows someone like me to take a semester off of school to work full-time. My first co-op was completed during the spring of last year at The Boston Globe as their Consumer Marketing Assistant. I learned all about branding and event management.

Although working at the Boston Globe was an amazing opportunity, I realized that an agency work culture was more for me. I greatly enjoyed my time at the Max Borges Agency and missed the agency lifestyle.  My co-op advisor knew I wanted to be out on the west coast, so she suggested l look into Peppercomm. I instantly fell in love with the fun culture and the wide variety of industries Peppercomm works with. I applied immediately… and here I am!

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

I find the constant evolution that occurs in the public relations field to be the most appealing and exciting reason to work in this industry. Our industry gets to utilize and take advantage of new and innovative opportunities to examine which techniques best connects your client with their target audience. With the perpetual introduction of new social networks and technologies, the techniques we use to reach the masses are always changing.

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

Being all the way out in San Francisco makes learning faces in the New York office a little harder, but it definitely surprised me how connected Peppercomm’s various offices are. Even though some of us are working in different time zones, the communication between everyone is seamless. I was also pleasantly surprised to see how much work my teams had me take on since day one. I truly believe there’s no better way of learning than diving head first and I love that Peppercomm feels the same way.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I’m still trying to figure that out. Someday I’d love to do in-house PR for a big corporation, but working at Peppercomm has made me slowly realize that working at an agency ensures that every day is not the same. There’s constantly a revolving door of various clients and it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn more about companies in different sectors like retail, finance, non-profit, etc.

 

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It’s not graduation season and for some, summer break still feels like a distant fantasy. No matter what stage you’re at in your college or professional career, we can all use some inspiring words every once in a while. This little sentiment reminded me of a commencement speech Oprah Winfrey delivered to a Harvard graduating class in 2013.

It always seems that this time of year is when you’re waiting for spring break or a holiday that things seem to become really busy. I thought it would be nice to hear a few encouraging words from Oprah and hopefully she’ll inspire you to make the most of not only your career, but your life.

In college and in public relations you’ll have opportunities to give presentations and speeches (whether you want to or not), so watching great orators like Oprah can help refine your own techniques and give you that competitive edge you might need.

A lot of great speeches have a personal connection to get the audience invested and to let them know that you can relate. Oprah shared experiences from her childhood to her struggles with her tv network OWN. She then was able to intertwine the two with her main talking points.

  1. At some point you’re bound to stumble/fall
    • “Failure is just life trying to move us in a different direction.”
    • Give yourself time to mourn, but learn from every mistake
    • Then you have to figure out the next move
  2. Build a resumé that tells a story of who you want to be
    • Tell about your purpose in life
    • What is your true calling and purpose?
    • Your purpose is not always clear in the beginning
  3. This generation will and should impact change
    • Give back
    • When you learn; teach. When you get; give.
    • Remember that the common denominator among all of us is that we just want to be validated and understood
      • We ask, “Was that ok?”
  4. There’s a light inside of us
    • Be yourself and not anyone else
  5. Challenges and setbacks will happen
    • Remember that your number one goal is to: “fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being”
    • Lift others up
    • Listen and be guided by your inner GPS and know that everything will be alright

What did you think of Oprah’s speech?

 

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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