Archive for Career Advice

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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Feb
23

Wait, Oprah Is Talking

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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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Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm account executive, Ali Hughes.

aliAs you can imagine from where I left off in my last post, television news is not as glamorous as most people think. Everyone has their favorite anchor, or weather person that they allow into their lives every day to keep them up to date on the world around them, but not many people think about the work that goes on behind the scenes to pull off one 30-minute show that will never be aired again.

Despite the hard hours and your work often going unnoticed or underappreciated, a well-oiled newsroom is a thing of beauty. One show depends on so many people, and as the producer you have to keep everyone happy – from the photographers, to reporters, anchors and the control room. Everyone wants to put on a great show, but no one can do it alone. It is a unique job, putting all your hard work and emotions into each story you write just to start all over again the next day, and the only people that really understand that is your team.

After two years in Michigan, working every show from the morning to evening, from Fox to NBC, I aimed for bigger and better things and moved to San Francisco, CA. Jumping from a 114 market to a top 10, I had visions of amazing benefits, a higher pay and a great schedule. No more being underappreciated and overworked, no more working every holiday and having to sleep while everyone else is out enjoying their lives. Boy was I wrong. Of course working for a national network had its perks, such as higher pay, a much nicer newsroom, bigger staff and even a helicopter for breaking news. Yet the decline of the newsroom is hitting the country – no matter what market you’re in. The days of getting your news from your favorite local anchor is over.

Newsrooms aren’t just competing with each other anymore– they are up against twitter, news apps, Google – a world where news is instant. That means more work for a smaller staff and having to work at a station for many years before having off holidays or being on your dream show. For most that dream show is the 5 o’clock evening shows – meaning having a shift of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — normal working hours!

Needless to say, I quickly realized I needed to get out of the news industry. It took me three years and two stations, but I finally believed what older anchors and producers (lifers) kept telling me – “get out now while you’re still young.” I started dreaming of normal work hours, of not having to sleep during the day and walk through the city at two in the morning for work.

After secretly interviewing at many public relations firms in the city, I found Peppercomm and tried to let my news director down easy. I ended up working both jobs for a few months and am still a freelance writer at the news station; despite my new and exciting career it is hard to cut ties with an industry that feels so familiar. As I get ready for work in the morning, I still get excited hearing the morning news intro music and often find myself trying to catch errors in the slugs (writing on the screen).

As I work on the other side of the media now, I realize how much the news industry taught me, and how much I learned from lifers that I first thought were just trying to scare me off. I have a new life now in PR, but the local news will always have a special place in my heart.

Hopefully you’ll keep this post in mind next time you’re pitching a broadcast reporter or producer – who is probably over worked and very tired. When they snap at you or delete your emails without even reading them, don’t take it personally. And one last thing – when you’re on your way home at 5:30 to see your family or enjoying a paid holiday, try not to take it for granted – I know I never will.

 

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The use of social media is becoming more important each day. Working in public relations there will be opportunities to strategically use social networking sites for all businesses. B2B and B2C companies alike all have a target audience that they are trying to reach and most likely those audiences are active on social media. The above video breaks down the socialnomic benefits of using social media in a professional setting.

When you are in a client or team meeting and there’s a question on whether social media is a good idea for a client, just play this video and the answer should reveal itself. Keep in mind that not all social media sites are for every company. If you can share this video and give recommendations on why a specific social network would be best you will be a shining star on your team.

Do you believe social media has a role in all industries?

 

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Dec
18

Network, Network, Network

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Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm associate, Chris Piedmont

To help land the coveted first job, young professionals spend their entire college careers laying the building blocks of their professional network. But, the networking that was oh so important to get hired is pivotal in building a successful, long lasting career in public relations. Your newest contact could be a new business lead, job opportunity or best friend in the making. Having people who understand the daily life of a PR pro also gives you an outlet to bounce ideas off of someone for a fresh perspective. As a fairly recent southern transplant to New York City, I’ve also found networking events to be one of the best ways to make new connections with common interests and goals. Here’s a few tips for continuing to grow your network in the early stages of your PR career.

4 Tips for Building Your Network as a Young Professional

  1. Join a Professional Organization: Organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) are a great way to meet other professionals in the field while also building your skill set through professional development opportunities. PRSA also has a section specific to New Professionals to network with others beginning their careers.
  2. Connect With Your College Alumni Groups: Most colleges have active alumni groups in major cities. Getting involved with your alma mater’s alumni base can introduce you to others outside of the communication industry.
  3. Utilize Social Media: Embrace the power of social media to expand your network and continue learning. Follow and interact with the leading minds in the industry and participate in regular Twitter chats sponsored by PR News, PRSA and others.
  4. Continue to foster existing relationships: There’s an old song that goes “make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.” The same can be said for network connections. Stay in touch with those you met during your time in college and continue nurturing those relationships.

 

What other tips do you have for building your network?

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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