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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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Gabriella Paulino 

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

Media and film have always intrigued me. When we watch a TV show, a movie or a live performance, we never think about the hard work that occurs behind the scenes.  There is a community of people fixing lights, sounds, cameras, running around and partaking in what seems to be frenzy for the whole crew. This speedy process of production usually goes unnoticed, but without any of this, there is no show.

Before I decided to become a video producer, I wanted to pursue broadcast journalism and be a news reporter or an interviewer. But then I realized I love to see what’s going on behind the scenes and see that everything isn’t always so picture perfect. It takes a lot of thinking and accuracy to work in film and at times you can be put under a lot of pressure, but as a producer it is my job to keep everything and everyone organized.

I was born and raised in Queens, New York. Growing up in the city and attending an art high school definitely helped get my creative juices flowing. Currently, I attend Hunter majoring in Media studies with a concentration in video production. I am still learning and in my beginning stages, but I am eager to learn more.

Before interning here at Peppercomm, I was an Intern and producers assistant at EY. I was able to assist the producer on video shoots and live webcasts, which were mostly internal and talking head videos, but just being on set and watching the magic happen was extremely fun and exciting.

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

It’s hard to say exactly what I find appealing about the industry because this is my first introduction to public relations. I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks, but from what I have experienced so far I like coming up with new ideas for projects. Also, it’s great hearing other peoples perspectives because it makes me see the project in a different light.

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

I love how down to earth everyone is at Peppercomm. When I first arrived I did not know what to expect, since my prior internship was a very serious, corporate environment. I admire how everyone at Peppercomm loves to have a good time and make their work fun, but also know when to get down to business and get stuff done.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I love trying new things and getting my feet wet. Media is such a broad industry, at the moment I see myself becoming a video producer whether it be for television or for documentaries. I am still growing and learning all the aspects to be a producer, but who’s to say in a couple of years I won’t change my mind and decide to be a director or cinematographer. I’m hoping my time at Peppercomm will steer me in the right direction.


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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Amira Khatib 

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

I’m from Iowa and I graduated from Iowa State University in December 2014 with a B.S. in Public Relations. Originally, I majored in journalism, but after working as an editor for an on-campus magazine, I decided I wanted to be on the “other side” of the picture working in public relations.

Rather than studying abroad last spring, I interned at a boutique PR agency in New York.  It was a pretty bold move as I had never visited the East Coast before moving to the city. After living in New York for five months, I was completely in love — everything from the city’s pace to the energy of agency life revealed my true passion for public relations and complemented my adventurous spirit. Plus, it’s a media mecca so I knew it would be the best place for me to live as I pursue a career in PR.

When researching some of the best PR firms in the city, I found Peppercomm. After poking around the site and the PRiscope blog, I just knew it. I called my mom and told her that I had found where I was going to intern. I crafted a fun, creative cover letter, did a Skype interview, and a few weeks later I found out I had gotten the internship position. Things moved quickly after that – I had finals, graduated, celebrated Christmas and moved to New York a mere two weeks after graduation.

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

I definitely love the media relations side. It’s great to help craft pitches, pitch reporters, and get feedback – even if it’s not always positive. As far as industries, I’ve found that I’m most interested in the financial accounts. It’s a learning curve but I enjoy the sheer amount I learn every time I dive into those accounts. I look forward to the projects that I work on for those accounts because they can be a bit challenging.

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

It’s wonderful to be welcomed with open arms. From day one, my accounts have valued me as an equal team member. In fact, within my first week I found and helped secure an opportunity for a client. I’ve always heard that no two days in PR are the same, and I’ve slowly realized how true that is. It’s exciting to be able to work on different projects and gain insight into companies and industries I may have never known too much about.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

It’s up in the air at this point and that’s the beauty of this industry. Though I have plenty of ideas, I enjoy public relations’ versatility and ability to translate into many different career paths. Right now, I would like to continue working at an agency where I can have a diverse set of accounts. I enjoy the creative and collaborative culture of agency life. Down the line, I see myself eventually starting my own agency or working in-house for an organization I’m passionate about.

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Lauryn Bodden

2ec4968Tell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm?

There’s a saying, “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.” Well I was born and raised in Tampa, but I am truly Texan at heart. About five years ago, I committed to Southern Methodist University on a soccer scholarship. It’s in Dallas, that I found my addiction for Mexican cuisine, talent for two-stepping, and knack for building relationships within Meadows School of The Arts’ Communication Studies program. My journey really set off a couple years ago with the start of my personal blog, which set the foundation for my Honors Thesis on the national food system. I was awarded a grant to conduct research on Europe’s relationship to food in comparison to that of America, which led to my internship with the marketing team of Roast Restaurant in London. From there, I jumped into public relations with Moroch Partners and bigInk PR before freelance writing for D Magazine, Feed Me Dallas, and Susie Drinks Dallas.

Growing up, I always loved throwing myself in new situations to experience new cultures and people. When it came time for graduation this past year, it only seemed right to make moves to a city that would push me past my comfort zone and offer an environment that I could develop even more as a person and communicator. What better place than New York City? After doing my research for the best public relations companies, I stumbled upon Peppercomm. The company offered a wide range of major companies and provided a culture that I knew I could learn from. I submitted my application, crossed my fingers, and on January 12th found myself unpacking boxes at one of the best companies I have come to known.

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

Every individual and company has a story. I find a passion in connecting people from all different backgrounds, interests, and needs on a common ground. Whether it’s understanding the client’s business outlook and brainstorming the best way to approach their target audience or understanding a niche market and bringing them to a business I know can meet their needs, I love bringing people together. Public relations has so many different aspects to the job and allows me to learn and utilize a spectrum of skills.

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

I have worked at a number of agencies from corporate to boutique and each one has given me a very different experience in regards to participation and management communication. I was surprised at the level of involvement I was awarded at Peppercomm. I am on a total of six accounts that push me to be just as committed as the next. With such as wide variety of accounts, I have done more within these first four weeks than ever before.  Time management is the key to balancing all the work and making sure the client’s needs are met. I am enjoying my time learning from each of my accounts and building on this skill.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Be it public relations for a restaurant or freelance writing for a publication, I have worked many sides of the industry to provide a range of experience. Ultimately, I want to dabble in a little bit of everything. I have a connection to the hospitality industry and see myself thriving in restaurant public relations, but Peppercomm is teaching me that I enjoy other industries as well. However, I will always see myself as a foodie and hope to freelance write for either a print or online outlet at one point. Each day, I see a new aspect of myself and look forward to seeing how my time at Peppercomm will help me transition into my career.

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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