Archive for Q&A

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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Feb
09

The Intern Spotlight: Amira Khatib

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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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Feb
03

The Intern Spotlight: Lauryn Bodden

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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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Dec
16

The Intern Spotlight: Eric Graff

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm Boulder, CO intern and future industry star, Eric Graff. 

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

I graduated from the University of Colorado Denver. I am from Parker, Colorado a little suburb area outside of Denver. I began my college career at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kansas on a baseball scholarship. I pursued broadcast journalism where my speaking and writing skills improved. After 2 years, I transferred to Washburn University to continue a Journalism degree and a baseball career. During my year-and-a-half stay at Washburn I became homesick and came to a quick realization that journalism was not the best fit for me. So, I transferred to the University of Colorado Denver and graduated with a communications degree with an emphasis in public relations. Graduating and earning a degree that is applicable to many businesses as well as my personality, was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Persistently searching on LinkedIn for an internship/job in my related field is what brought me to Peppercomm. One day, I stumbled upon an open internship position at Peppercomm posted to LinkedIn. I saw the number of applicants and said, “why not?” After submitting my resume, I did my research and found that Peppercomm has an all-around great atmosphere. At Peppercomm I found a humorous and personal work environment that still maintains a high standard of professionalism.

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

I find the concept of understanding the clients’ needs and strategizing ways to better their overall brand image to be the most appealing. This is appealing to me because I am a spirited individual that enjoys engaging and interacting with different types of people and problems. “Listen, Engage and Repeat” is the vocal point of my interactions with clients and staff in this industry.

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

The biggest surprise was the amount of time given to multiple projects. I found it hard to believe that everyone could wear multiple hats and still maintain a balance. I admire this attribute because this is an area I need to improve. The surprise of it all was seeing everyone at Peppercomm maintain sanity as well as being positive about the multiple tasks at hand.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

The tools I have developed here throughout my internship at Peppercomm have truly been essential to my growth in this industry. It taught me the importance of researching and to never take one solution and run with it.

The path in the industry I wish to pursue further is client relations and creative branding strategies. I am very talkative, personable and enjoys understanding the true message of the client and developing that idea for others to understand. Also, I believe creativity is the juncture of critical thinking and originality that connects all those involved in one exciting project. Thank you Peppercomm for this opportunity!

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Oct
17

My First Job: Cashier

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Today’s guest post is by JGAPeppercomm account executive, Caitlin Brown.

I simultaneously loved – and despised – my first job (technically I was a babysitter first, but let’s not split hairs). I was 16, and having grown up without ever having household chores, starting a part-time job was painful – I obviously just wanted to hang out with my friends and watch TV.

In order to learn some responsibility, my parents decided I was not allowed to have a cell phone until I could pay for it on my own. Hence, I needed a job, and fast; it was 2006, and I needed that flip phone!

So what did I do? I applied to be a cashier at Wegmans, the best grocery store ever1. You may not think that your first job would have many similarities to your career, but you’d be surprised just what you learn:

Money Management Matters: As I mentioned, I needed a job in order to finally have a cell phone. As a part-time, underage worker, I could legally only work a certain number of hours, and I received minimum wage. Granted, my expenses weren’t out of control, but once I was able to purchase a phone and a cellular plan, I realized I had to keep paying for it – month after month. I quickly learned not to blow my entire paycheck on one trip to the mall, and I began to volunteer for extra shifts when possible.

It’s OK to Ask for Help: Even as a cashier, mistakes happen. Maybe you dropped someone’s fresh-from-the-oven pizza (yep, I did that), are having issues with the scanner/coupons, or someone refuses to give you their ID when they try to purchase beer. Never be afraid to call for a manager, or ask another coworker for help. You are constantly learning on the job and are interacting with others, and another set of eyes and ears can help turn around any sticky situation.

No Matter What, Always Smile: When a grocery store is full, you’d be shocked at the fast-paced environment for its employees. As a cashier, you are essentially the face of the store – so turn that frown upside down! This applies for anyone in a client-facing position; even if the customer isn’t always right, being pleasant goes a long way to making yourself and the company look good, and provides the customer with an overall pleasant experience.

 

1. Do not test Upstate New Yorkers on this; Wegmans is the best, and I stand by it. 

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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