Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bringing Sexy Back

At Wayne State, the public relations major is very journalism based, which isn't a bad thing. I did an informational interview with a PR program alumnae; she told me being a strong writer definitely helped her land internships and her current job. The onslaught of article writing: edited, published, unpublished and classwork strengthened her writing abilities.

According to Creative Editing (2011) by Dorothy A. Bowles and Diana L. Borden, “Professionals making hiring decisions for mass media and public relations consistently rank good language skills at the top of every ‘desired qualifications’ list.”

Of course, one does not simply become a good writer over night. And it’s next to impossible to perfect skills for which one does not have a foundation. What exactly am I getting at? Well, take a gander at this brotip:

Not only can proper grammar attract the opposite sex (or the same), but it can also land you a job. And not just any job, but the job you want.

So, pay attention in your grammar class!

Keep your textbooks! They are truly great references. I have two AP stylebooks, Working with Words (word cannot express my love for this book!) and countless other grammar books and stylebooks on my shelf.

Also, invest in page tabs and sticky notes. Use them to mark pages and sections you reference a lot. Hell, break out the highlighters!

Invest in a basic grammar book, as well. The professor who taught my journalistic grammar and style and news editing classes carries one around with her at all times. Aside from teaching cranky college students, she owns a publishing company and also freelance edits. I always heed her advice.

So even if you are a public relations major, don’t write off grammar.

Rock out, kiddies.

- Jasmine

Monday, January 30, 2012

Vegan Challenge Weeks 2 and 3

I had a pretty rough first week with the Vegan Challenge. However, as time went on, it got progressively easier. that's not to say it's simple, I really miss ice cream and hamburgers and things of that sort (I guess that's what I get for just jumping into it and not weening myself off of meat and other animal products).

Something that has made these past two weeks much simpler is my new little blender. It looks exactly like the one pictured here, except the body is purple. I make fruit smoothies in it for breakfast with soy milk, my new favorite product, and it has definitely made being a vegan a little more fun. It even has lids so I can take whatever I make along with me to class or wherever I happen to be off to! I only have one week to go in the challenge, so look for an update on how it ended!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Industry Insiders: Tavi Gevinson

A bi-weekly series profiling insiders in the fashion, beauty, sports, public relations and media industries (editors, PR girls, etc.) whose successes in the industry is beyond inspirational. 

Tavi at age 13, when her rise to fashion fame began. Photo Credit.

This time around, my choice for Industry Insider isn't quite orthodox. She's the same age as my youngest sister, and doesn't quite fit the role of "insider" in the PR industry. From a young age, however, she has been a hot commodity in the fashion industry, sparking controversy and praise. As I mentioned, she isn't necessarily an "insider" but the way she communicates with words is beyond brilliant and makes me unbelievably jealous seeing as she's about five years younger than I am. So here we go, let's take a look at the lessons we can learn from the unusually mature fashion and writing genius, Tavi Gevinson.

Fifteen-year-old Tavi is the editor-in-chief of online magazine Rookie, but is better known as blogger from the amazingly popular Style Rookie blog. It seems as though her chief focus now is her online magazine, which is aimed toward teenage girls who hold a less "bubblegum" view of highschool. Essentially, it's the antithesis of, say, Seventeen. With a mind and style that are uniquely hers, she has risen to fame in the fashion industry. She attended her first fashion week at age THIRTEEN and was even front row at some of the shows she attended.

I first fell in love with Tavi's brilliance three years ago when I first decided I wanted to blog. I was looking for inspiration and came across the Style Rookie site. The first post I read did not have any pictures of her, so I had no idea how young she was. I was drawn in by her words which were wise and relatable. When I did finally see how young she was, I was astounded at her eloquence, deep musings, and incredible, almost envious vocabulary. I wasn't nearly that smart at 13.

I'm profiling her as an insider for this reason: girl can write. Writing is so integral to the fields of editing and PR, and being able to communicate with the written word is a powerful asset. It's a talent Tavi naturally has, and it's a unique, creative, and attention getting style that makes everything she does quirky and beyond effective. If we, as English and Communications students can hone our writing to be as uniquely voiced, wise, creative, and effective as hers, we will surely be able to achieve our goals of breaking into the industry.

Check her out. You won't be sorry.


Your Girls Under PRessure

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Build Your Own Brand

Part of "making it" in any industry is creating a personal brand--a way in which you project yourself to others and especially future/prospective employers. Building your personal brand can be tricky, it's something we're still learning how to do ourselves. That being said, as we learn, we want to share with you. Look for posts labelled "Build Your Own Brand." These are posts specific to doing exactly that-- they're a guide, if you will. Stick with us so we can learn together, and be sure to let us know any tips you may have on projecting yourself and building the brand of "you."

Also, we are dedicating a page to this pursuit, and it will be filled with links to our posts and posts from other blogs with information on what works!

We hope this proves beyond helpful and helps you begin to mold your future!


Your Girls Under Pressure

Monday, January 23, 2012

Where's the Imagination?

Have you ever taken a second to think about imagination? It’s not something that’s typically on my mind but in my free time I’ve been watching on demand movies on TV and one of them got me thinking. It was Where the Wild Things Are. This was my favorite book when I was four and it’s still an adorable story. 
It’s loaded with the inner workings of a child’s imagination. The main character creates an escape for himself from his family, from his life, from everything. Definitely not something you’d expect from a five year old boy. But he has such imagination. An adult needing an escape would take a nap or go on vacation or have a spa day. But a child, a child is phenomenal because he or she can create that escape in his/her mind without spending a dime. And not just any escape. They manage to think up something magical, something very detailed and equally as innocent. It’s really fantastic what they can do. 
Adults don’t really take out much time to imagine, it seems. Or maybe I just don’t try to do it enough. So I tried it out. I sat down and said, “I’m going to imagine up something awesome and it’s going to be fabulous and people will want to make kids’ books and movies about it!” And….nothing. Well, nothing useable. Flustered, I sat down to think about why it’s so simple for kids to imagine and then I had a revelation which I quickly documented on twitter so I wouldn’t lose the thought and so my family and friends could revel in my brilliance. Joking about that last part, but for real, I documented it on twitter. Here’s what I realized: whatever I imagine won’t be pure and innocent. It will be flawed—blemished by experiences and by reality. As you grow older, you become more rational (I hope!) and have more experiences. And by experiences, I mean pain, misfortune, tragedy. And that’s the ish that flaws the innocence and creative juices that spewed out of your childhood mind. 
The simple act of imagining is so wonderful and powerful. I genuinely miss having an imagination. There is such joy in being able to imagine like a child…someone so innocent, so pure, so UNCORRUPTED. 
Think so too? Let me know with a comment!

Wishing you imagination and success,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

When I Grow Up, I Want to be a PR Girl

When I grow up...

I want to be a PR Girl. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. I like wearing black to events. And communicating with people. 

2. I spend much too much of my time writing and I don't even mind. Some people do, but my future boss  won't. I can almost guarantee it.

3. It means I'm almost 100% likely to move out of the mitten. I'll miss it, but moving is NBD. NBD in ALL CAPS.

4. I want to know the news before it becomes news. I also want to make it become newsworthy.

5. It combines my passions of writing, geeking over celebrities, fashion, the color black, and most importantly, giving up my (personal) social life. Kidding about that last one. NOT. Kidding again.

6. Having a built-in, guaranteed-to-be-awesome social life.

7. Getting to break news, make news and decide what's newsworthy.

8. Networking! I love meeting new people and making new connections. I'm a bit of a social butterfly.

9. Organizing and managing events, people, publications and whatever else lands on my PR plate.

10. Traveling! A big part of public relations is meeting clients face-to-face, appearing at events and working events. Pending your firm, company or organization this could mean jet setting all over the state, country or even the world. I'm excited for the possibilities.

We told you why we want to be in PR. What are your reasons? 

-Elise and Jasmine

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

This gem of a blog entry came to me through a Facebook link. I always make a point to take a few minutes to sift through the bevy of links in my newsfeed from friends and fan pages. You never know what you’ll find!

While reading 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself, I realized that I am guilty for a few of things and then started thinking about ways to change my habits.

8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes.
This is a terrible, terrible habit. I often think about situations – personal, work-related, family, friends, etc. – from years ago with the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” mentality. I need to remind myself the past is the past and things cannot change.  Don’t dwell on it; learn from it and move on.

15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else.
This is where my competitive side kicks in. A habit probably spawned from the years of shinny on the pond with the boys and co-ed house-league soccer. Having a competitive nature is great, but there’s a time and a place. Not all-the-time is the time and not everywhere is the place. But it’s hard to break a habit that’s often ingrained into our brains at a fairly young age.

Not only did I compete in sports, but I also competed at school, grade-wise, with other students. “What’d ya get?” was a common phrase among classmates. Still to this day, I’m in college now, that exact phrase can be heard among students when essays and exams are handed back. The difference is now people act low-key, but for all you know it could be eating them up on the inside.

I’ve gotten over being competitive grade-wise. When you get to college you realize keeping you GPA high is necessary, but keeping a 4-point is not essential (and damn-near impossible). But I’ve moved on to “competing” over things like internships.

After a near-breakdown experience during the Fall 2011 semester because of the “competition,” I came to this realization: it doesn’t matter that someone else was chosen over me. Congratulations to that individual and I’ll try again next year. Persistence and perseverance are key in an industry where there is a vicious need-experience-to-gain-internship-need-internship-to-gain-experience cycle.

28. Stop worrying so much.
Yes, I worry. It sometimes keeps me up at night. The only solution, for me, to this problem is to keep a journal, writing down whatever is on my mind before I go to sleep. Another option I don’t take advantage of often because my brain is fried from reading textbooks is reading something for leisure.

Are you guilty of any of the items on this list? What can you do to be more self-positive?  

Rock out, kiddies!
- Jasmine

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vegan Challenge: Week 1 Update

It's been one week since I've gone vegan! Honestly, it's been so much more difficult than I had expected. Jumping right into it was not the best idea, as I was a bit unprepared for what was in store, read: perpetual hunger. It's been forever since I've felt full from a meal, but the lack of heavy or processed foods has definitely made me feel better and much more focused. Let's hope it becomes less of a struggle as time goes on! 3 more weeks until I decide if it'll work for the long haul!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Industry Insiders: Dani Stahl and Beri Smither

This is the first post of a new bi-weekly series that will profile insiders in the fashion, beauty, sports, public relations and media industries (editors, PR girls, etc.) whose successes in the industry is beyond inspirational. 

I'm beyond obsessed with the show scouted.

No, I don't want to model (actually, if I were leggy, super skinny, and about a foot taller, I'd flirt with the idea), but I am super enthralled by the team of experts that help shape the prospective models into sign-able girls, particularly, stylist Dani Stahl and former model/model mentor Beri Smither.

Dani Stahl

Stahl, a graduate of NYU, went on to become an editorial assistant at Vogue and later style director at Nylon (according to her bio here). From what I see on the show, she has incredible taste in clothing and the most clear and honest opinions on how successful the models could become. There are times when I'm watching Scouted and shaking my head in frustration because the other experts see something where there isn't really much--but Stahl is generally on point. I also would die for most if not all of the clothing she wears on the show. She is a brilliant stylist. In short, I want to be her.

Beri Smither

It's mentioned on Scouted that Beri Smither spent time modeling, hence her position on the show as model mentor. She has done covers for magazines such as ELLE and Glamour and even Vogue (back in the days before the amazing but ice-cold Anna Wintour ushered in the idea of using celebrities as cover models). She gives advice to the prospective models in a way that keeps them relaxed and truly inspires them to amp up their energy and perform. That kind of inspirational energy is admirable and Smither epitomizes that. Even at age 40, she is stunning, and can even be caught posing or making model-esque movements during the meetings with prospective models. She seems to be the "mom" of the expert team.  A glamorous, genius, model mom.

Do you watch Scouted? Are these industry figures role models for your burgeoning career? Let me know!


Your Girls Under PRessure

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vegan Challenge

Every year I look for a way to challenge myself. I always incorporate something that will mentally or emotionally challenge me and something that will challenge me to become healthier.

For the new year, I've decided to adopt a vegan diet. However, I'm trying to ween myself into it. I've cut red meat out of my diet for the most part already, so I'm going to first go vegetarian and then as that becomes simpler, I'll transition my way into vegan-ism. I'm hoping that by cutting out animal by-products and incorporating multivitamins and other protein rich foods to supplement what I'll be missing, I will be less sluggish due to my diet and therefore more productive.

This totally shocked my family. I come from a very large, very ethnic family who centers pretty much every meal around meat or poultry. The fact that I live away from home, though, should make it a bit less challenging. It's when family gatherings roll around where I'm absolutely positive I'll find trouble.

But that's why I'm posting about it. Having this challenge posted on the internet is going to act as motivation for me to stick with it. I'll periodically post about my journey into vegan-ism, how I feel, and if I think I can stick with it for the long haul.

I'm excited to start this out!

Are you a vegetarian? A vegan? Let me know what you think about this challenge and how you cook to make sure you're getting all of the nutrients you need!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Constructive Distraction: Welcome to the Gongshow!

Procrastination doesn't have to be a total waste of time. This monthly post highlights websites to make your time avoiding research papers and textbooks productive.

via @gongshowgear

Gongshow Gear’s “The Generation Y CEO" blog

Author: Former junior hockey player, still a hockey player, now Gongshow Gear Inc. co-founder and CEO Ger McNamee.

Basically, McNamee is a Mark Zuckerberg in the hockey community.

Premise: A blog geared toward Generation Y (people born in the 80’s and 90’s), giving advice about entrepreneurship and achieving a better work/life balance.

Background: A little known fact outside the hockey community: hockey players lead a distinct lifestyle no matter what level they’re playing. According to gongshowgear.com, McNamee and two of his Central Junior “A” Hockey League teammates came up with the idea, one night in a bar, to make buckets – hats – sporting GONGSHOW HOCKEY for themselves and their other teammates.

Eventually, word spread through the hockey community. For the last 10 years McNamee and his staff, based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, have been creating hats, sweatshirts, flip-flops, ties, water bottles and anything else its brethren asks for to spread the “Gongshow Lifestyle.”

Gongshow Gear Inc. has retail outlets in 16 countries, including its motherland Canada, and is the biggest hockey apparel company in the world.

To learn about Gongshow Gear or Ger, visit gongshowgear.com. Grab some sweet threads and buckets while you’re there!


Your Girls Under PRessure

Friday, January 6, 2012

Newsweek Tells You How to Get Smarter

I'm a little bit obsessed with the news and politics. I love to watch it and read it from online or print media outlets. When I got my weekly Newsweek fix this week, I was, of course, thrilled to see what they would write about the new year. My favorite article is relevant to becoming a better student and emerging professional, and I'd like to share it with you.

31 Ways To Get Smarter In 2012. Some of them are phenomenal, for example, number 6, which states "Sleep. A lot." I'm in love.

Tell me what you think!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Face Time

The other day I had a conversation with one of my cousins that really got me thinking. She's currently an intern at a finance company and she and her boss were discussing the importance of having face time with clients. This concept, it seems, surfaces in several industries, including PR. But it goes further than that. The importance of making "face time" seeps into our relationships as well, be it our relationship with our family, our friends, our professors, or our significant others.

Face time and PR seem to go somewhat hand-in-hand. If you don't make time for your client, your contacts from media outlets, or even co-workers, it's going to look a little bit like you don't care, no? You want the people with whom or for whom you work to realize that you make them a priority. This idea carries over to school too, which is where I think I need to apply it more. I don't always take the time to go to a professor's office hours and give him or her a chance to get to know the student behind the 9 digit student ID number. I suppose  that by showing up, I'm proving that I have motivation to do well in the class and the drive to learn. That's not to say that I don't have drive because I don't always make the effort to see my profs, but I'm working on in the new semester. Promise.

Like I said before, this idea rears its head in relationships too. Why be in a friendship or relationship where the other party doesn't make time for you? Or where you don't feel the need to make time for the other party? Making time to see the people you find important is integral to both your growth and the growth of the relationship.

In this new year, let's promise to make more time for face time.


Like this post? Want to see more like it? Have something to say? Tweet at me or leave a comment!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to My World

My name is Elise and I'm one of your bloggers here at Under PRessure. A bit more about myself...

I’ve been in college for two years now, and I can honestly say it’s been an interesting experience. Along with Jasmine, I’ll be chronicling my journey, how and why I am where I am, and how I got to studying what I’m studying. It’s been a crazy road full of ups and downs…and I’m really just getting started! I still have years (yes, years plural, unfortunately) left! 
Here’s a little look into my life:
The now: second year undergrad at Wayne State University in Detroit. I’m studying English, but taking communications classes to round myself out. I’m totally and completely done with science, and you’ll eventually find out why. I blog here and on my fashion blog in my spare time, and I firmly believe that writing and verbally communicating everyday is the key to success. Like they say (I mean, I don’t quite know who “they” are, but the advice is legit), practice makes perfect, and I like to practice writing—my mouth gets enough exercise every day. 
The goal: become an editor or PR girl, preferably in the fashion world, but I’ll take experience from anywhere I can get it. And to relocate from Detroit to New York or Chicago. 
The dream: to create a fashion and lifestyle magazine and then own the publishing company that publishes and distributes it. 

Hefty goals, I realize. But I'm passionate about what I do: I read, write, and study print and fashion spreads tirelessly. I want nothing more than to be successful. This isn't just about my journey, or Jasmine's journey, though. It's about YOU, as readers. I hope you'll be able to identify with our aspirations and see promise in us as emerging members of the industries we hope to break in to. 

Welcome to my journey. I can't wait to grow as a student and eventually as a professional with you.

Your Under PRessure fashion and beauty guru,


Come As You Are

I’m not quite sure where I should start with this post. I’m new to blogging; Elise is the expert. I’ve wanted to start a blog for a long time and Elise wanted to collaborate with me, so here we are starting up one geared toward allowing others to follow us through our educational and professional journey. 

Whether you read for entertainment or advice, thanks for taking the time to read and I hope you like what you see.

Currently, I’m a second year undergrad at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, majoring in Public Relations. I know exactly what you’re thinking: Detroit? Seriously? Yes seriously, Detroit. Granted Detroit isn’t Los Angeles and WSU isn’t the University of Southern California, I’m pretty content.

Realistically, my goal is to secure a job in sports PR, preferably hockey, MMA or action sports. My ultimate career dream is be the PR manager for an NHL hockey team. Of course, I’d love to work for my life-long favorite team, but that’s a long, long, long shot. As a reasonable, young, budding professional, I have decided I can be content with any of 30 possibilities.

I look forward to sharing my educational and professional experiences with you.

From Under PRessure’s resident hockey enthusiast,  

Rock out, kiddies!
- Jasmine

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Welcome to Under PRessure!

We realize you may have a few questions about us, so we're going to use this post to answer a few!

What are we?

We're a blog about school and life, basically about becoming young professionals in the worlds of PR and editing/publishing.

Who are we?

-PR and English students
-Hockey fanatic and fashion/beauty junkie
-Ridiculously dedicated girls

What's the point?

We want to share our ideas with like minded people or people who have once been in our position. We believe that sharing our journey and receiving feedback from people in our positions or who have once been there is an amazing way to grow as people and future professionals.

We hope you stick around to see what we have to offer!

Your Girls Under PRessure,

Elise and Jasmine