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 Every decision must be approved, reapproved, redone because its now out of date, approved again and then….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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Dear College Seniors,

Let’s face it. There’s a reason we refer to post-grad life as “the real world.” The phrase reflects the idea that the college experience exists in a protected, bunker-like environment, shielded from the unsolicited elements of adulthood, such as corporate jargon and mid-summer obligations. But don’t let this reality sway you to delay your diploma, for there are many benefits in store for those who “exit the bunker.”

For verification, we need not look further than Kimmy Schmidt, star of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Tina Fey’s new sit-com featuring 29-year-old Kimmy as she adjusts to life in the Big Apple (like a boss) after spending 15 years in a doomsday cult bunker. So without further adieu, here are three Kimmy-inspired tricks to help you adapt to the real world upon your bunker departure:

1.     Attitude is everything.

Sure, being within arm’s reach of both your best friend and a red Solo cup at all times gets comfortable after four years, but there’s no bigger bummer than the kid who got his/her diploma three years ago and is still residing in his/her parents’ basement pouting about the fact that the college years are in the past. You’ll come to find that for the most part, the most successful young adults are those who find it within themselves to believe the best is yet to come.

Take the pro-tip that Kimmy Schmidt shared with her roommate, Tituss, when he’s facing a spell of uncertainty: “Life beats you up…you can either curl up in a ball and die like we thought Cindy did that time, or you can STAND UP and say, ‘We’re different. We’re the strong ones. And you can’t break us!’”

Hint: Don’t be a Cindy.

2.     Flee the comfort zone.

When it’s time to bolt your bunker, don’t just “go back to Dernsville and get your braces off” like Kimmy’s fellow cult victim (the one in the pink sweater). You’re in your early 20s; time to ditch the comfort zone in pursuit of adventure!

With a mere 8th grade education under her belt, Kimmy was able to relocate to NYC, land a job, and find a place to live. You already have several more resources than Kimmy had at her disposal upon exiting the bunker, and pretty soon you’ll have a college degree to top it all off. USE IT. Do your research, put yourself out there, and pretty soon you’ll be parroting Kimmy on phrases like, “What in the ham sandwich, I just got a job!”

3.     Don’t let the Richard Wayne Gary Wayne’s of the world get you down.

In the unlikely event that you haven’t realized this by now, the world is running rampant with difficult people—from biased professors and lazy peers, to unresponsive clients and corrupt executives. When you inevitably encounter one of these challenging individuals, you can either let it affect you, or you can borrow Kimmy’s attitude toward Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, the cult leader responsible for kidnapping her and her fellow bunker hostages in the first place.

Rather than allowing RWGW’s insanity to drive Kimmy to her breaking point, she rises up and focuses solely on those elements that are within her control. Take a hint and reinforce your spirit so as not to let the idiots of the world hinder your success. You too can become unbreakable.

So you see, just because you don’t have sufficient weight in your wallet to hire Tina Fey to write your “life after college” story, doesn’t mean you can’t Tina F-ake it til’ you make it. As the theme song goes, it’s gonna’ be “a fascinating transition” (dammit)!

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

Cows everywhere, REJOICE! Chick-fil-A is coming to NYC. In light of this revelation, it seemed like an appropriate time to share the lessons I learned from my 4 years working my first job at Chick-fil-A.

When I was 16, I wanted a job to earn extra spending money and one of the few classmates of mine who had a job at this point had been working at one of our local Chick-fil-As.  After taking the plunge and applying, I was hired and worked at two Chick-fil-As off and on for the next four years.

Surprisingly, you can learn a lot while brightening people’s days one chicken meal at a time.

Go above and beyond: Chick-fil-A prides itself on “second mile” service, or going the extra mile to not just meet customers’ expectations but to exceed them and anticipate their needs. To do this, listening closely to your customer is crucial. I have carried this with me throughout my other internships and jobs. You’ll never be disappointed when giving your work your all.

Enjoy what you do: It truly was “my pleasure” to serve guests. I enjoyed being a part of the bright and friendly atmosphere Chick-fil-A is known for and had many instances where the warm smile shared with a customer noticeably improved their day.  Over my years working there, I developed relationships with our most frequent guests and knew just what to do to improve their experience. It’s amazing how happy an extra Polynesian sauce or a free ice cream cone can make someone. While our food was delicious (I would do anything for a Chicken biscuit right now), customers came to us for the friendly atmosphere. To create that atmosphere, your front line employees’ have to be happy and enjoying their work.

Know when to move on: While I enjoyed my time working at Chick-fil-A, the last lesson I learned was that it’s okay to part ways with an employer for a variety of reasons. In my case, a contributing factor to my decision to leave was a difference in opinion with the company leadership’s stance on a variety of issues.

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Before the ‘Email in Real Life‘ there was the ‘Conference Call in Real Life’. Just like Email in Real Life, this video brings the conference call experience to life. From people speaking while on mute, talking over one another, background noise and so much more. There are so many variables that can take place while on a conference call, but if you can be in a quite place, with a good phone connection you should be able to at least tune in to the call. 

It’s Friday and I don’t want you to have to wait any longer. Take a look at the video and tell me what portions of the conference call in real life can you relate to the most.

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Categories : professional
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Have you ever wondered what life would be like if emails went from the digital realm to your real-life? This funny video shows you just that and at the same time teaches you a bit about email etiquette: 

  1. It’s not always necessary to hit the reply all button.
  2. Be sure that before sending an email you’ve spell checked and attached all documents.
  3. After returning from vacation, as tempting as it may be, turn off your auto response.
  4. When selecting names of recipients, be sure you’ve included the correct persons. You wouldn’t want to mistakenly send an email to the wrong client.
  5. Don’t overuse exclamations and ALL CAPS! 

Those are just some, but let me know other email etiquette tips that you have.

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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