Archive for Interviewing

In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Matthew Moeller

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

At 30-years-old, not only am I the oldest intern in Peppercomm’s history, I’m also older than Peppercomm itself.

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, I was faced with a question many Midwestern’s ask themselves… how the heck do I get out of the Midwest? That question was answered when an Army recruiter walked up one day and offered to take me to lunch.

I never saw myself in the military, but I certainly never saw myself turning down a free meal, so I accepted. Within 30 minutes of my Subway meatball sandwich, and several beers, I quit college and became an Army Public Affairs Specialist.

During my nine years, I traveled the world as a public relations representative, military journalist, war photographer and the Journalist of the Year a couple of times. Eventually, I became an instructor at the U.S. Army’s Noncommissioned Officer Academy, teaching strategic communication and media facilitation, making me technically a college professor with no college degree. That’s the Army for you.
Now a civilian, I’m finishing my last year of school at Fordham University, in New York City.

I chose Peppercomm because I wanted to do more than fetch coffee or stack CDs. I wanted to grow as a PR professional, and that is what Peppercomm not only wants for me, it expects it.

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

I find consumer and industrial PR most appealing. However, financial PR is by far the most rewarding. So much of it goes over my head that I have to work twice as hard to keep up.

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

I was surprised by the pace of a PR agency. In many corporate PR positions and governmental PR positions, the speed is much slower, almost lumbering. Every decision must be approved, reapproved, redone because its now out of date, approved again and then…. well, you get the point. Peppercomm isn’t like that. It empowers its employees to act fast and make decisions that lead to results for the good of the client and the company.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I see myself settling into a nice PR position in the near future. Even if it’s not with Peppercomm, this internship has definitely prepared me for my next step.

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Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm senior account executive & Intern Committee member,Samantha Bruno. To read pt. 1 to this post, please click here.

In the last post, I offered tips and tricks for attending job/career fairs. Below is a look at our most recent adventure – a day trip to Washington D.C., where we attended the PR Council/Howard University Job Career Fair and conducted an information session at George Washington University.

Enjoy a timeline of a day in the life of the Intern Committee!

4:00 a.m. Wake-up calls!

6:45 a.m.  Our flight takes off from Newark, NJ 

8:00 a.m.  Landed at Ronald Reagan National Airport in desperate need of some breakfast!

10:00-4:00 p.m.  We attended the PR Council/Howard University Job Career Fair where we spent the day meeting with job candidates who were interested in pursuing a position in our summer internship program. Thank you to the PR Council for arranging this successful event!

4:30 p.m. We stopped to take in the beautiful designs that make up Howard University campus, before heading to George Washington University. Although it was snowing when we landed that morning, it had, thankfully, stopped once we got there!

5:30 p.m. Our short break warranted us kicking off our heels and enjoying a few Pop-tarts. Sometimes you just have to stop and refuel!

6:00-7:00 p.m. We hosted an information session at George Washington University. Thanks to GWU for hosting us!

8:00-9:00 p.m. For dinner, we found ourselves sitting back in the same airport restaurant at the same table we ate breakfast. Time to wind down before we board! 

9:21 p.m. So long Washington Monument…Newark, here we come!

11:00 p.m. Home sweet home! It was a long, but adventurous day.  Until next time- Julie and I need to get some sleep!

Take a look at our picture gallery to see us in action!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about internship opportunities at Peppercomm, please visit our internship employment page

*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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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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Sep
16

For Here All Are One

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Today’s guest post is by current Peppercomm intern and future industry star, Alexis Tedesco.

As a recent college graduate the feelings of adjusting to life after college are still more than fresh in my mind.  The echoes of “welcome to the Real World” are still bouncing around my ear drums.  Even my mother’s constant reminder that “the party’s over” still puts me into shock.

Sitting in Alumni Stadium, about to be finished with my 4 years at Boston College, I could not comprehend what post-grad life would really entail.  As I surreally walked across the stage for my diploma, completely packed up my small dorm on campus, and said goodbye to my roommates (more like sisters), I felt like I was being thrust out of the community that I had so lovingly called home.  I was worried because so many of the people that surrounded me for four years encompassed the same values that I held at the center of my life.  What would life be like without these people?

Not that all Boston College kids are the same, but there is a bit of a classic B.C. persona that usually holds true amongst students.  I took pride in the fact that my fellow Superfans were so filled with school spirit that they rarely missed a B.C. game.  I enjoyed being surrounded by people who were type-A overachievers, but still wanted to have fun together on the weekends.  As nerdy as it sounds, I loved being in class with students who enjoyed learning for the sake of learning and always wanted to be part of the discussion.

But most importantly, I would not be able to live without my Eagles who always lived by the moto “For Here All Are One”, this bonding sentiment that we are all united, working together for the same cause, and with each other for every step or fall we take.  This phrase was printed on t-shirts, chanted at sports games, and constantly repeated by faculty.

Needless to say, I was more than ecstatic to visit B.C. for the first time following graduation this weekend; So much so that Grace, a fellow intern, had to ask me at lunch on Friday why I kept randomly grinning during our conversation.  But when I finally arrived and talked with the friends I missed so much about the internship I just began with, I started to realize how much of these same B.C. values Peppercomm embodied.

My friends of course asked me, “What is your favorite part of working with the company?” And I could tell them that I loved Peppercomm for the same reasons I love B.C.: The People.  Peppercomm, like my alma mater, is still filled with hard-working, driven, spirited, but still fun-loving people.  My co-workers who plug away on their accounts and ensure their clients success, are still the same people who eagerly decorate t-shirts for their office-wide softball game.  My fellow interns Grace and Nicole, who I watch crank out pitches and media lists like it’s their job (Oh wait. It is.), will chat to me about their friends and weekends over lunch and happy hour.

Still most importantly, I can say that at Peppercomm “Here All Are One”.  Everyone is happy to work together.  This supportive environment is the same exact thing I experienced at B.C. where I am encouraged to ask questions and learn as much as possible.   Everyone is so willing to make sure that any other co-worker/intern gains the skills we need to grow our careers and help keep this agency at the top.  In this way, every person that I work with truly has the entire company’s interests at heart, and they are willing to do it while having some fun.

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That title sounds like a unicorn, right? We always doubt that our résumé are perfect and it’s scary to hit “send” when applying for jobs.

  • Are there any typos?
  • Did I provide enough details?
  • Did I provide too many details?
  • Am I using the best adjectives? Are they strong enough to get me hired?

Answer those questions and maybe a few that you didn’t think of with this great infographic in PR News.

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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