Archive for Q&A

Today we are going to get to know, Peppercomm intern Gisselle Trochez!

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

Hi, I’m Gisselle! I graduated from Biola University in Southern California this past May, where I studied Business Marketing. I proudly share the same birthplace with the very average Frank Sinatra – Hoboken, New Jersey. Honestly, you really can’t find two places that starkly contrast each other as much as Southern California and Northern New Jersey do, but I’m glad to have spent 4 years in (my idea of) paradise. While many think I’m crazy for not staying in California, I couldn’t stay away from the best pizza (and city) on earth.

I found out about Peppercomm through Sam Bruno, a Manager of Client Relations here at PC and also a friend of mine. For years she’d always talk about how much she loved her job (mostly via her #ilovemyjob hashtag on insta), and so when she told me about an open intern position, I was excited to look into it. From the research I did on the work Peppercomm does and their company culture, it seemed like a great first step in my career.

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

As an introverted extrovert, I genuinely enjoy spending time on my own, but ultimately rather be surrounded by people. When I’m on my own, I nerd out a whole lot. I love design, tech, and start-ups, so I tend to read-up on these topics. I also like to be hands-on with my interests, so aside from reading I mess around on the Adobe Creative Suite, my drone/camera, and the like. When with people I either want to be exploring old/new towns, or sitting on the couch for hours on end watching Netflix. You either get super high-energy or super-chill with me, really no in-between.

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

Maybe it’s my marketing research background, but I really love doing research (which might sound like the most boring aspect to most, understandably). I’ve had to do some in-depth research that ranged from bizarre food trends to innovation in technology, all to which make me a bit more entertaining and knowledgeable at parties and hangouts. And on a more serious note that applies more to my career and less to impact on personal life – I think research is the most critical piece to strategizing across all industries, so I always think it’s important to practice doing it well. I always think it’s cool to know that my research was the basis of an initiative.

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

I’ve been pleasantly surprised to be treated like a real team member – what I get to do is important to the objectives of the client and the other team members rely on me for it. I’ve never felt like what I’m doing is unimportant ‘intern’ work, everything has been a great opportunity to learn.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Working at Peppercomm further solidified how much I enjoy doing research and strategy. Aside from PR projects, I got the cool opportunity to work with the measurement team on a marketing project for a big client here which allowed me to take a bunch of data and use it to tell a story as well as create strategic recommendations. I will most likely take a more marketing-heavy tract from here on out, but I wouldn’t trade my newly acquired PR brain for anything. I’m always a fan of learning different perspectives.

Pro-tip for future interns: don’t be afraid to talk to someone about any different interests you may have! I set up coffee with the Director of Marketing here, Alena Caras, simply just to hear about what she does and what marketing at an agency looks like. Less than a week later I was requested to help out with the marketing project. Use that voice!

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu?  Netflix but Hulu’s my go-to for my 90’s shows
  • Text or Call? Text
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee
  • Dogs or Cats? I’m half and half on this. Having a cat that’s actually good will do that to you
  • NYC or San Francisco? NYC forever
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Smooth
  • Mac or PC? I’m definitely part of the Apple cult, so, Mac
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? Sweetened
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Honestly, so so difficult – I have to say Nickelodeon on the basis that it gave me less nightmares (*cough cough* Courage the Cowardly Dog).
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
  • Seltzer or Water? Water
  • Cake or Pie? Funfetti cake
  • Tacos or Pizza? Pizza. “Time is money, money is power, power is pizza, pizza is knowledge.”
  • Hogwarts House? Slytherin (and proud)

 

Share
Comments (0)

Today we are going to get to know, Peppercomm intern Samantha Derderian!

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

Hallo! I’m Samantha. I originally hail from the Boston suburbs, where I grew up playing soccer in the fall, skiing in the winter, and performing in plays and musicals in the spring. I am a phenomenally well-rounded individual.

Moving on, I recently graduated from the tiny liberal arts school, Connecticut College. At Conn, I was a Film Major with and English and Psychology minor. I like to say that I created my own Communications major. This is not true, but I like to say it.

Though it would not be a lie to say that I stumbled upon Peppercomm. Searching for summer internships, I was tipped onto Peppercomm by a family friend. Enthralled after one visit to the company website, I hastily applied to the Summer 2016 Internship session—one month past the deadline. However, the team I spoke with was so kind and informative that I never forgot Peppercomm. And here I am, more than a year later.

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

When I am not at Peppercomm, I can be found in my apartment where my roommates are telling me to go outside. If I put Netflix away, I like to stroll around in my neighborhood. I recently moved to the upper east side and there are a surprising number of bars, restaurants and local shops that I have yet to discover. I also tend to travel on the weekends. Growing and going to school in the Northeast, I have a lot a friends in surrounding States and I am slowly visiting them all. However, all these extravagant plans entirely depend on my willingness to not be lazy.

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

I am working on a crisis account and I really enjoy the pace the account requires. With a fast pace, it feels like I am actively contributing to a company’s image. Furthermore, the account revolves around a social issue, so I have become quite embedded in the politics of a few small towns. I was almost a Government minor until I took a class that was basically “Intro to Law School” which stopped me in my tracks, so I actually enjoy the local political jargon. Because of my interest in politics coupled with the speed at which the account moves, I get a lot from the account.

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

Particularly at Peppercomm, I was surprised by how integrated we interns are. Everything from the job posting to past reviews explain how entrenched interns are in the work. I did not believe it until I was living it. We are very valued here, and who doesn’t like to be valued?

Another revelation I had a long time ago but I still think is worth wild to point out: PR is nothing like what Samantha does on Sex and the City.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I could see myself going anywhere in the industry. I would be interested to try the in-house route, just to say that I have done it all. Personally, I think I am too young to claim I know where I want go in the industry. I’ll go where the industry takes me. I’m wise like that. I like to think.

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu?  Netflix.
  • Text or Call? Call.
  • Coffee or Tea? Iced Coffee.
  • Dogs or Cats? Cats—they just like me more.
  • NYC or San Francisco? NYC.
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars.
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? I literally find the taste and smell of peanut butter nauseating.
  • Mac or PC? Mac.
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? …Coffee.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Cartoon Network—Code Name Kids Next Door!
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.
  • Seltzer or Water? Water.
  • Cake or Pie? Cake.
  • Tacos or Pizza? Taco pizza—I have had it and am forever changed.
  • Hogwarts House? Hufflepuff, but Buzzfeed’s combo quiz says I’m a ~Huffledor~

 

Share
Comments (0)
Oct
11

The Intern Spotlight: Katie Skelly

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Today we are going to get to know, Peppercomm intern Katie Skelly!

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

Hey y’all! My name is Katie and I am a recent graduate from the College of Charleston (CofC) where I majored in Communications and minored in Film Studies. I was born and raised a southerner in Lexington, South Carolina, but I will always tell people I am from Charleston because that place feels the most like home (secret is out, don’t tell anyone).

I have always been interested in any kind of media, though entertainment media holds a special place in my heart and, at times, an obsession. I think it is fascinating that there are so many things that go on behind the curtain. From the intriguing articles we read, the broadcast segments we glue our eyes to and different companies that work together to create the TV shows & films we watch. I was first introduced to PR during my first internship at the end of my junior year of college, which focused on the in-house side of PR. I knew I wanted to focus more on strategic media operations, so when I graduated PR was a direction I knew I wanted to pursue.

I heard about Peppercomm through my school. Steve Cody and Ted Birkhahn would visit the College of Charleston frequently because they were on the CofC Advisory Council for the Communication Department. The reputation of Peppercomm was clear on campus and when my professor and mentor Beth Goodier urged me to apply for its internship, I knew I had to go for it. It is one of the boldest moves I have made and will never regret it.

What better place to pursue PR than in one of the biggest cities the world?

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

Before coming to Peppercomm, I had never been to New York City. Now I love getting to continually go out and explore all the different opportunities this booming city has to offer. I love that you can wander the streets of New York and find a place you have never been before or maybe witness a person performing on the street.

Being a huge lover of film, I always make it a point to try and go to the cinema. New York always has niche film events going on every week, so there are a lot of options. I love going to bookstores with my friends to pick up the next gripping novel and finding new places to eat because I am a lover of food.

I love to write, so in my spare time I’m brainstorming my future masterpiece of a screenplay that I want Baz Luhrmann or David Fincher to direct (a girl can dream). Though, my greatest passion that I hope to get to do more of is travelling. Just like New York has thousands of opportunities, there are so many other places I want to visit and experience. Ever since I studied abroad during undergrad, I have developed a wanderlust, so I am always planning for my next adventure.

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

I love the media relations side of PR. Getting to reach out to top tier outlets and getting a response can be exciting, even more so when they are interested in what your client has to offer. It makes all the times you have been turned down or left without a response worthwhile.

I also really enjoy research and reporting. Given that I am a certified social media stalker, as many of my friends put it, I love getting to do any kind of audit or research pertaining to background on a competitor for a client.

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

This is my first PR Agency job, so I have been able to witness firsthand how people who work in PR are some of the most innovative and diligent people you will ever meet. PR can be a thankless job at times, but everyone here at Peppercomm manages to celebrate every win and support one another when times can get tight. In such a fast-paced, constantly shifting environment, it is neat to witness Peppercomm as an agency that not only takes the heavy load, but does it as a team.

I love getting to work with multiple groups of people. I always knew that in a professional role you will always be working with some sort of team, but at Peppercomm I work with up to 7 different teams! It can be refreshing and exciting because everyone always takes a different perspective and brings different ideas to the client.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I still am not exactly sure, but that is the fun of it! This industry is constantly changing, so I am trying to keep an open mind when it comes to future endeavors. However, one day I know I would love to be involved in some sort of strategic communication role for a film distribution or production company and combine my two passions.

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu?  Netflix
  • Text or Call? Call
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee
  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs. I love them so much that I have started my own #doggosofNYC hashtag on Snapchat. Hopefully one day it will catch on.
  • NYC or San Francisco? NYC, though I would love to check out San Francisco
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? STAR WARS….and Han Solo shot first!
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? I grew up crunchy, but lately I have realized my love for smooth
  • Mac or PC? Mac.
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? I am a southerner, so you would think sweet. However, I prefer unsweetened.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Nickelodeon, though I have to give Cartoon Network a shoutout because Scooby Doo was my favorite show growing up.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate everything, except chocolate ice cream.
  • Seltzer or Water? Regular H20.
  • Cake or Pie? CAKE.
  • Tacos or Pizza? TACOS.
  • Hogwarts House?  Ravenclaw and proud.

 

Share
Comments (0)

maddypost2Today we are going to meet Peppercomm’s Michigan Wolverine, Madison Lehman!

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

Hi everyone! My name is Madison (Maddy) Lehman. I am a rising senior at the University of Michigan, pursuing a double major in International Studies, with a sub plan in Political Economy and Development, and Communication Studies. I grew up in a small farm town in New Jersey called Cranbury, but I usually say I am from Princeton since I went to high school there and it is more well known. I have always been interested in the communications industry, but I decided to explore PR after speaking with Ed Moed, one of the CEOs at Peppercomm, prior to deciding which major to pursue sophomore year. The conversation with Ed immediately peaked my interest about the PR industry. I first dove into the PR industry when I worked for a PR agency last summer and loved it. Now, I am fortunate enough to experience the agency life again as a Peppercomm intern!

 

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

Being lucky enough to grow up in a home surrounded by farmland, woods and a lake, I love to be outside with family and friends. You can oftentimes find me fishing in my backyard on a canoe or helping my florist mom in our flower field. I also love going on hikes and taking our kayaks to the bay or parks around our area to explore. Since I live in New Jersey, I am only about a 40-minute car ride from the Jersey Shore, so my friends and I often take day trips to the beach as well (and no, I have never seen Snooki).

 

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

Seeing how a specific product or services brand message can alter the audience’s perception, really attracted me to PR. Drafting pitches and reaching out to reporters showed me how important it is to research the reporters you are contacting in order to create a pitch angle that will interest them. I think it is very fascinating that changing even a small phrase or subject line of an email can determine whether or not a reporter writes about your client. I really enjoy learning about the strategy behind media relations and I am excited to learn more.

 

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

The great thing about Peppercomm’s internship program is that they really throw you into the work. While everyone at the company is very willing to help, it was a bit overwhelming at first because I had to learn how to better manage my time. Being thrown many tasks at once taught me how to prioritize assignments. I now always ask for assignment deadlines, so I can better manage my time and get my work done as efficiently as possible. I think my time management skills have improved immensely along with my ability to do quality work in a very limited amount of time.

 

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I can honestly say I am unsure. I love working in an agency and learning about a wide range of industries, but I would also be willing to try out the in-house PR route. This internship experience definitely let me know that I love the agency work and atmosphere!

 

INTERN LIGHTNING ROUND

  • Netflix or Hulu? Netflix
  • Text or Call? Text
  • Cheesy or caramel popcorn? Ugh this is a hard one, but I will have to say caramel
  • Coffee or Tea?Tea, unless I am very tired
  • Dogs or Cats? I have to say dogs, but I do have two cats so I need to keep that quiet
  • NYC or San Francisco? NYC
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?Crunchy
  • Mac or PC? Mac
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? Sweetened
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Nickelodeon
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? This often changes day by day for me
  • Seltzer or Water? Water
  • Cake or Pie? I got sick once from eating too much cake batter and I haven’t wanted cake since
  • Tacos or Pizza? Pizza
Share
Comments (0)

madelineToday we are going to meet Peppercomm’s current youngest employee! But you can call her Madeline Simko.

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

Hi y’all! My name is Madeline Simko. I am 20 years old … pretty sure I am currently the baby of the office. I’m originally from Summit, New Jersey, but I switch between Hoboken and Sea Girt when I’m not at school. Essentially I am a Jersey girl born and raised. The “y’all” might confuse some people –I go to a southern school so I’ve picked up on some southern lingo, which sounds funny paired with my slight Jersey accent.

In the fall, I will be starting my junior year at Washington and Lee University. It is a tiny liberal arts college in Lexington, VA, which is the cutest little town. I am a business and psychology double major, which keeps me running across campus between our business school and the science building. Aside from academics, I am very involved with a volunteer program called Campus Kitchen, my sorority and several committees involving event planning for the school.

During my February break this past year, I traveled to NYC to tour PR agencies as a part of a school trip. We visited Peppercomm’s NYC office, and I loved it. There is a W&L alum here with whom I connected and then applied. I was thrilled when I was offered the position of research & analytics intern.

 

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

While I do love my excel sheets and Talkwalker dashboards, I also enjoy being active and just hanging out with friends. My weekdays are super busy between nannying and teaching swim lessons, workout classes and walking my dog. I go crazy if my schedule is not jam packed, so I am enjoying the constant movement.

In my little free time between work and chasing after these children I nanny, you can find me out and about. At school I am always hiking or exploring the hidden treasures of rural Virginia. Here, I love going to museums, walking the streets of NYC or soaking up the sun at the shore. I of course also love to meet up with my fellow intern pals. I am so fortunate to be working with such a great group of people.

This past weekend I spent The Fourth down at the shore. I’m that person that refuses to just sit on the beach all day. I love riding waves and walking along the water.

 

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

This is my first real experience with the industry, and it has been a lot to take in. I really love the analytics and strategy aspect. I think it is so cool how campaigns and strategies come from the insights we gather from data. The intersection of numbers and creativity has always amused me, and that is why I think PR is such a fascinating industry. Understanding what the consumer wants, and then helping the client meet these interests and wants is a fun challenge.

 

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

This biggest surprise, at least for me, has been the amount of responsibility that I’m given. Everyone tells me your first internship is always boring with a lot of grunt work. That is NOT the case at Peppercomm. I get to sit in on important meetings and present my insights. It’s a lot of work, but I love it, and I am learning a ton. My first week was definitely challenging trying to figure out how the industry and how Peppercomm work, but once I got in the swing of things I felt more confident in myself.

I guess the biggest revelation I had was that everyone working at Peppercomm started where I am now. Everyone at some point was an intern trying to learn the ins and the outs of the industry. This has given me reassurance and confidence to tackle my responsibilities and learn as much as I can from this experience.

 

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Honestly, at this point, I have no clue! I just learned this past year that there are more than just traditional ‘PR roles’ or ‘marketing roles’. I am definitely more of a numbers girl (over writing). so it was daunting at first to be in this industry. The industry is incredibly intertwined and nuanced. I love the interaction and blending of these different roles.

I do eventually want to focus on strategy, but I have no idea if it will be through analytics or content or both. At this point I am not really worried about where I am headed in the industry. For now, I am just enjoying the journey, learning as much as I can, and soaking up the experience. I do know for sure though that I am here to stay. Sorry PR industry, looks like you’re stuck with me for a while.

I hope y’all have enjoyed learning a little bit about me! I love talking about my experiences with the PR industry. :)

 

INTERN LIGHTNING ROUND

  • Netflix or Hulu? Netflix 100%. I’ve rewatched Friends and the Office at least three times.
  • Text or Call? I actually prefer calling. I’m horrible at responding to texts and often talk/think too fast for my fingers.
  • Coffee or Tea? Low key addicted to both
  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs all the way
  • NYC or San Francisco? I went to San Fran once and loved it, but there is a special place in my heart for NYC since I’ve grown up here.
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars is such a classic.
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Honestly any kind of peanut butter. I eat it by the spoonful.
  • Mac or PC? Mac
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? Sweet tea!!!
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Growing up the only children networks my family had was Cartoon Network. Scooby Doo and the Powerpuff girls were my childhood.
  • The Simpsons or Family Guy? Family Guy
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? It depends on the food. Cake and icing wise definitely vanilla but everything else I would have to say chocolate.
  • Seltzer or Water? I just recently really got into seltzer. I love that the fridges here are always stocked.
  • Cake or Pie? Cake, but only because it has icing on it
  • Tacos or Pizza? Pizza, although I am a fan of the “Taco Tuesday” trend
  • Hogwarts House: Gryffindor or Puff

 

Share

Archives

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