Archive for Interviewing
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.
After meeting with countless students, here is some of the best advice that we can offer to anyone attending a job/career fair:
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you would know that when making entry-level hires, Peppercomm looks to it’s current and former pool of interns first. In fact, we’d say about 1 out of 4 of our employees is a former intern. Here’s a few examples of our former interns who now work full-time here (I’m a former Pepperomm intern, too): Maddie Skahill, Chris Piedmont, Mandy Roth, Colin Reynolds and Nicole Hall. Seriously, those are just to name a few, I can certainly go on. A good testament to our retention is probably current senior director and former Peppercomm intern, Sara Whitman.
So you can always go to any of these amazing communications stars for tips and tricks of how to turn that internship into a full-time job, but we also loved the stories in this Forbes article: How To Turn Your Internship Into A Job: Three Real-Life Stories.
After you’ve read that article, let us know if you have any tips of your own or any questions on how to land that dream job.
With job searching, finding the job you want is just half the battle. Prospective employees not only need to find the jobs they want to apply to, but it’s always helpful to know someone at said company so you can get your foot in the door. But how can you do that? Networking.
Networking is one of the most important items for a person at every level to do. You never know if that could lead to a new job, finding a good employee for your current job or maybe getting a new client. The possibilities are endless, which is also why it’s always good to meet new people and make sure you maintain relationships. But, how do you network when you’re more entry-level? Where do you go? Here are a few thoughts to get you started:
- Set up informational interviews at companies you may want to work for even if they’re not necessarily hiring. This will get you some great face time with the company and potentially allow you to connect with someone at the company.
- Stalk LinkedIn. See who in your network might already work at your dream company. Perhaps you already know someone there from college, or there is a friend that can set you up with an introduction to another friend.
- #HAPPO/Help a PR Pro Out is a great hashtag to search by on Twitter. Sometimes they have online chats and I have gone to a few in-person events, but many companies will tweet out about jobs using this hashtag.
- Go to any and all networking events. These can be a mix of industry events, maybe your college is hosting some, etc. These can be online and in-person, but great to go either way and get your name out there.
So get out there and start networking, it will help you get the job of your dreams (for starters).