Archive for Interviewing
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).
Today’s guest post was written by Peppercomm junior account executive, Julie Hoang.
For my first job, I thought I had it good. I worked as an after school tutor at a local learning center. As a high school student, I did anything to avoid hard labor so this job was ideal for me. I would rather use my energy to shop at the mall or hang out with my friends. Though I was only a freshman at the time, I took away key lessons that still apply today.
I had actually gotten the job by previously volunteering at the learning center during the summers. After some time and eagerness to earn some shopping money, I asked for a part-time position. What also made me look for that specific job was because I wanted to become a teacher when I was younger. I knew that the knowledge I gained as a tutor would eventually help me if I decided to pursue the teacher career path. From there, I ended up working for an additional year and a half before I quit and moved to Staten Island with my family. The best part of the job though was being able to work with some of my closest friends and eventually making new friends.
Through my time there, I gained many essential skills that helped shape me into the person I am today. Here are some:
- Build strong relationships: Building relationships are important no matter what age you are. Not all actions need an immediate result. You should always make an effort to build good relationships with your boss, co-workers, clients and anyone else around you because you may never know when that same person will be providing you with business or a reference down the line. For me, building strong relationships with my boss allowed him to see me as a trusted employee. He trusted my judgment when I referred my friends to work there. He even served as a reference for me when I decided to apply for other tutoring jobs in Staten Island.
- It’s not always about the money: Making money is the obvious answer to why we work, but building your skill set and gaining a valuable experience is just as important. Understandably, many will pick one job over another because it pays more. However, it’s important to be able to walk away from a job with skills that you can use to reach your chosen career path or to help you reach a goal. For me, volunteering was the first step in reaching my goal. I wanted a paying job at the learning center, but had no prior experience. By volunteering there during the summers, I learned all the tasks and duties that were required for the job.
- Be responsible: Whether it is your first job, third job or dream job, be responsible for your actions and tasks. Everyone is held accountable for their actions. If you are given an assignment, follow through with it and communicate with your manager, supervisor or boss if you need more time. As a tutor, I was responsible for not only my actions, but for the group of students I was looking after. It was my job to ensure their safety and ensure that their homework was done and done correctly. Managers, supervisors or bosses are not able to watch over your shoulder every step of the way so it’s your responsibility to remember your tasks and fulfill them. The parents put their trust in me to teach their children right, just as clients trust us to put their best interest in mind.
- Know your audience: Knowing your audience is extremely important. The things you can say and the actions you take are dependent on your audience. For example, the way I acted towards my students, my boss and the parents was all different. Children are the most receptive to new information. Therefore, it is crucial to watch what you say around them. This same rule applies to clients. Working in an agency, being able shift accordingly dependent on the type of client you are interacting with is essential. Some clients are more lighthearted than others, so you will need to know when it’s okay to make a joke and when it isn’t.
- Learn to multi-task: I think that being able to multi-task is a characteristic almost every job will look for in a candidate. At a young age, I learned that multi-tasking was a necessary skill. I attended school, worked after school and managed to finish my homework every day for three to four times a week. Now working at an agency, multi-tasking while remaining organized has helped me tremendously. PR can be somewhat unpredictable and no two days will ever be the same, so it’s imperative to adapt accordingly based on what is the highest priority.