Monday, May 28, 2012

Burning Bridges

It's been a pretty interesting year. Academically, I am grateful to say I had an amazing year full of happiness, great classes and profs, and two relatively non-existant finals weeks. From a social perspective, I had a few friendships that ended on not-so-fantastic terms. Although unfortunate, it is a wonderful lesson for the burgeoning PR girl. What is this lesson, you may ask?

No matter how bad things get, try to work something out and DON'T BURN BRIDGES.


Networking and making social and business contacts is just what we do. It's vital for us to get jobs and to perform said jobs the best we can. Communication is just what we do. And when you burn bridges with people, you lose them as contacts, as part of your network, and most importantly, if you were close, as friends. Unless this relationship, be it with a friend, co-worker, or boss, was truly detrimental and harmful to you, there is no reason to just abruptly stop contact. Every person you meet, everyone who enters your life is there for a reason. When it comes to the working world or internship world especially, it is beyond vital to keep relationships and contacts strong. Also, remember, a relationship of any kind is a two way street. It takes effort from both sides to keep it alive, and once one side bows out, consider it the kindling of the bridge fire. (That was kind of lame, I know, but I'm sure you get my point.)

As I step off of my soap box (slowly, of course, because I wear six inch wedges now) allow me to impart on you the moral of my slightly drawn out story:

Try to keep all contacts and relationships on good terms. It doesn't mean you need to constantly bombard these people with invitations to do things or be in constant contact. It doesn't mean be fake to people you don't like. It simply means to be respectful and polite to everyone and to be wary of letting relationships crumble.

Xox,

Elise

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Industry Insiders: @publishPRgirl

Twitter is a really cool way to keep tabs on the goings-on of PR greats. Publish PR Girl is one of these people. Incorporating both of our loves of the fields of publishing/literature and public relations, she gives funny bits of insight into her life and touches on her field.

Follow her on twitter @publishPRgirl!

Xox,

Girls Under PRessure

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ambition

I've been on this "ambition" kick recently. I have all of these fantastic ideas and am trying vehemently to make them come to fruition. There is one thought in particular (I'm not ready to disclose, sorry guys!) for which I'm in the research stage. If it gets off the ground, I think it will turn out to be a pretty major thing. Much like blogging, I know it will take time to garner a following--and to those of you who read/follow this blog, I'm eternally grateful, because it's people like you that keep Jasmine and I going and who keep inspiration for new projects (such as the one I'm working with) alive.

Now that I'm finished being sappy and sentimental, here are some pretty (okay, REALLY) cliche but also pretty inspiring ambition-related quotes to get your minds running (and mine satisfied):

"Ambition is the path to success." -Bill Bradley

"Achievement results from work realizing ambition" -Adam Ant

"Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine." -Elvis Presley

"Ambition is not what a man [or woman] would do, but what a man [or woman] does, for ambition without action is fantasy." -Bryant H. McGill

Ambition is key when you're dabbling in the fields that Jasmine and I are in, and I'm sure every bit of inspiration helps.

Make ambition an integral part of your brand, and don't forget to act on it.

Xox,

Elise

Friday, May 18, 2012

Never Grow Up

When it comes to music, I don't have super particular taste, but I've never been able to warm up to Taylor Swift as much as most people I know. This is to the chagrin of my youngest sister, who is a super-fan. Yes, she dresses in the most quirky-chic way and she's super sweet, I get it.

I have her most recent album on my iPod, and recently, I was studying and listening to my songs on shuffle when her song "Never Grow Up" came on. I sat at the table and cried. For a really long time. 

It kind of brought to light how quickly time has been moving. I'm half way done with my undergrad career. I'm going for internships. I spend tons of time writing and building my brand. I'm turning 20 in a few months. I'm beginning to make all of these grown up decisions that a few years ago, I was itching to make. The only thing is that the more I need to make them, the less I'm ready. In elementary school I couldn't wait until middle school, in middle school I wanted high school, in high school, I literally counted down the days until college. And now I'm looking at grad schools and other programs and I'm scared. 

It's an admission I've been reluctant to make, but now that I have to make tons of decisions for myself, I realize that "growing up" is not all that I thought it would be. But, we all have to do it sometime, and I guess I'll just take it in stride. 

This song is really, cute, though, and it got me thinking about all of these things. The lesson, really, is this: take things in stride, and don't wish yourself out of where you are now. Even if it's not superfab (you guys know by now that I can't wait to move to a bigger city), you're going to miss this time further down the road. 

Wishing you love and an appreciation of "the now,"

Elise

Monday, May 14, 2012

Learning Never Stops

Photo Credit


It's summer! I'm finished with all of my classes, my grades are in, and I'm a happy girl. But with the start of summer does come work, internships, and a host of other things that are probably leaving you super tired. Even though you may want to revel in every free bit of time you have, summer isn't a time to halt the learning process. Whether or not you're taking a summer class, here are a few ways to integrate some education into your summer (painlessly, of course)!

1. Read: I don't care what you read, but whatever it is enhances your education in some way. Every summer I make a huge list of novels I want to read and try to cut down the list as much as I can.

2. Keep up with the news: It doesn't take super long to turn on the TV in the morning or to simply check headlines online. Keeping up with the news helps you stay informed with what's going locally, nationally, or internationally, and is VITAL especially during this election year.

3. Write: As college students, we all know how large of a role writing plays in our lives. We are forever writing papers, articles, even writing for research. Spending a few minutes a day to brush up on your writing skills will only help once the fall semester rolls around.

4. Try something new: Occasionally, I use HTML to format my posts or the layout when things on the blog aren't working out quite right. I'm not super proficient, but I know enough to fix minor things. So, I decided to try my hand at JavaScript coding and am making attempts at learning more sophisticated HTML things. It's definitely not something that I'm used to, but one day, I'll be so glad that I took a day to learn it.

5. Take a stab at iTunes U: The other day, I got an email saying that Yale was offering open classes on iTunes U. This made my dream of going Ivy League a somewhat reality, so at this moment, I'm downloading the topic that seemed most interesting to me. Better yet, it coordinates with a class I signed up for in the fall, so I will be unbelievably prepared.


Try out any or all of these tips to keep learning going throughout the summer. It's a good way to get ahead either in school or to develop a skill that you never had time to during the school year.

Xox,

Elise

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Start Something Big: Steve Dangle

In March I wrote this post.

This month, I'm posting Steve Dangle's "Start Something Big" episode.

You should watch this post, even if you're not interested in the sports industry. Dangle talks about his rise to fame and employment, which is more technology than athletics.

As mentioned in his Industry Insider post, Dangle began on YouTube as a ranting Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Thanks to his social media prowess--he's also on Tumblr, Twitter and runs his own blog, stevedangle.com--he now works for Nike and the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), covering events like the Olympics and World Junior Hockey Championship.

Remember, anything is possible! Especially with the available technology. Master it and you're halfway there.


Rock out, kiddies!
- J

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's That Time Again...

Hey, guys! Sorry, finals week put us on a small hiatus. But Elise and I are back from the vast depths of the library and back on normal sleep schedules. In celebration of the conclusion of finals week, I give you:
Courtesy of Brotips.com
To the relief of many--except those of us taking spring classes--the end of the traditional school year has come. The only thing left to worry about, as you're packing up your dorm or preparing for 40-hour-work weeks, is final grades.

For me, the battle is already over. While content with my grades, I know there is room for improvement. There is always room for improvement.

Fortunately, at an early age I learned how to get over an unsatisfactory grade. But I know a lot of people still have a hard time dealing a grade they find unacceptable.

First thing is first: It's nearly impossible to four-point in college. Kudos to those who do, but you need to be realistic with yourself. Especially if you're in math- or science-related major. I've yet to meet a person who has aced organic chemistry without a massive curve.

Secondly, remember you earned that grade. Ask yourself: Did you take advantage of all extra credit opportunities? Did you take notes during class? Did you study or cram for the final? Use your answers to these questions to help you achieve better grades next semester; you'll be surprised what minor adjustments to your study habits will do.

And yes you do want a nice GPA to place next to your graduation date on your résumé, but remember that most employers are looking for experience. Other sections--volunteering, internships, specialized classes, etc.--on your résumé will speak volumes about your work ethic and skill set. Not everyone was craved for classroom learning.

So instead of getting in a post-semester slump, think about why you earned that grade, look for ways to improve next semester and then move on.

The future is waiting!

Rock out, kiddies!
- Jasmine

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monthly Mani: Nude Polishes

Image found via Tumblr.
As a future PR maven, it's important to look put together. This is especially important when it comes to your hands--you'll be meeting people, shaking hands, working with papers--and it's super important to have a nice manicure. This is a monthly series that will show you perfect colors so you can always be polished.
 
Lately, Elise and I have been obsessing over nude nail polishes. Nude is one of the best manicures for a few reasons:
  • It works on nails any length or shape.
  • A chip is no longer a life-or-death situation.
  • It will match any outfit.
  • It always looks polished.
The trick with nude polish is to find a color that compliments your skin tone. It doesn't have to be an exact match--it's not foundation--but something in the same tone family. 

Think about it like red lipstick. Your skin tone helps determine if you can wear an orange-base red lipstick or a blue-base red lipstick. Nail polish works the same way. 

Here are a few nudes Elise and I own and love:
  • Essie, Brooch the Subject
  • Essie, Sand Tropez
  • Essie, Topless and Barefoot
  • Sally Hansen, Nude Now
  • Ulta, Pink-A-Boo
  • Ulta, Set the Nude
All are available at Ulta.

If you're not ready to go completely "barely there" or think nude manis are "boring," then spice it up with a caviar nail or colored-french tips. Neons are in for the summer season!

What nudes are you wearing? Do you like the nude mani trend? Let us know!


Until next month...

xox,

Your Girls Under PRessure



Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Cleaning!

'Tis the season for some spring cleaning! Yes, I do need to tidy up the tangibles (ie: my apartment), but let's not forget the intangibles (social media)!

Cleaning up your social media profiles and pages is just as refreshing as organizing your desk.

Here's ten ways to spring clean your cyber life:

1. Unfriend/Unfollow people
Unfriending and unfollowing should be done for a few reasons:

Facebook:
  • People you went to high school with but you have never had at least a five minute conversation with do not need access to your Facebook profile. Odds are, they're just nosy.
  • Facebook is a great networking tool for jobs and internships. Look at your friends list; if you don't personally know the person or they're not a contact for school or work or career opportunities, they don't really need to be viewing your profile.
  • Friending professional athletes and celebrities you don't know doesn't give you "Facebook cred." It just makes you look like a huge creep. Keep your creeping confined to people you actually know or can't research on Wikipedia. 
Twitter:
  • Report spam accounts. It sounds like a pain, but it take five seconds and benefits others as well.
  • Twitter is a more of an open sphere then Facebook, but still harbors just as many bragg-y and complaining tweeters. These people are annoying (most know it), so don't bog down your feed with their incessant complaints or mole-hill accomplishments. Make room for things that actually benefit you.
Alternative: Unfortunately, people are more childish on the Internet than in real life, or they take the Internet way too serious. Either way, sometimes unfollowing or unfriending is more trouble than it's worth. If this is the case, then change your notification settings for what shows up in your newsfeed. On Facebook, you can change the settings per friend--a total Godsend.

2. Hide less-than-flattering Facebook photos
This is a great idea especially if you're looking for an internship or post-graduation job. Take a few minutes to untag those photos from Friday night's drunken debauchery. Those don't need to be front and center on your Timeline for all to see. If you want to view them, head over to your friend's profile and flip through the album.

3. Swap your Facebook cover photo
Changing your cover photo is a quick way to switch things up. Exchange the drab, black-and-white snowscape for a colorful, sunny, beach picture from spring break.

4. Check your privacy settings
Facebook is a serial settings changer. Sometimes you think your profile is private and, thanks to settings changes, it's not. Every few months or so check your privacy settings. Just to make sure you're getting the privacy you think you are.

5. Minimize Twitter parody accounts
Meme and humor Twitter handles are on the rise. Don't let them clog your newsfeed by following all 809830529835 "Condescending Willy Wonka" accounts. Pick the best one (or two) and unfollow the rest.

6.  Edit your LinkedIn account
LinkedIn is an online resume and you should treat it just like you would your hard copy résumé. Keep it up-to-date.  Look at the things you have listed in your profile--are they still relevant? How many years ago did you get that certificate? How long has it been since you volunteered with that organization? Ditch out-dated information.

7. De-clutter your email inbox
Folders! I cannot stress enough the use of folders when organizing anything electronically, especially email. It takes just as many clicks to direct an email into a folder as it does to send junk mail to the trash bin. Do it. Folders keep your inbox clean and simplify searches.

8. Start using Twitter lists
Lists are time-consuming to setup, if you follow a lot of people, but are worth the effort. Especially if, like me, you're quite eclectic. My Twitter feed is compromise of athletes, news outlets, PR firms, tv personalities, sports teams, bands and the list goes on. But sorting handles into lists, I can look at only hockey updates or PR updates. I can go as far as sorting handles by team or company to get only that specific organization's updates.

9. Sort your bookmarks
Another pain-in-the-butt task, but, again, is worth the time. Aside from sorting things into folders, delete broken links and links you no longer need.

10. Rearrange your desktop
My desktop is relatively clean--I have a few files and folders lining the right side, my Twitter dock on the left side and a few stickies scattered about my screen. But, I know plenty of people who are guilty of icon overload. Their desktops are chucked-full with files and folders haphazardly filling the screen. Condense simliar files into folders, delete unnecessary files and put files you want to keep but don't use regularly in folders on your hard drive.

What are your spring cleaning rituals? Leave a comment and let us know!

Rock out, kiddies!
- Jasmine

Friday, May 4, 2012

Be Aggressive. No, Really.

Getting an public relations internship, or any internship, is not an easy task. I've been there, done that and been rejected. But, I didn't let the rejection, or lack of experience, deter me.

And now I have an internship.

Getting my interview was a minimal, two-step process:

1. Informational Interview: I setup an informational interview, which doubled as an informal job/internship interview. At the end of the meeting, I was offered an internship opportunity, starting closer to the summer (I conducted the interview in November or December).

2. Follow up: I made sure to keep in contact and follow up about the internship offer at a later date. I also lucked out--I needed to job shadow for a class project and this contact allowed me the perfect follow up opportunity.

The process above is extremely simple, but still calls for you to be aggressive. Of course, there is a fine line between persistent and annoying that you need to be mindful of, but you can't be scared to be proactive.

Do not bombard your contact with multiple phone calls and emails. Start with an email, give him or her enough time for a response and then call as the follow up.

A great example: I sent my contact an email and waited two weeks for a reply. Two weeks seems like a long time, but really it's nothing in a busy PR person's schedule. The second week, I thought about following up with another email, but decided against.

And I'm glad I did.

The third week, my contact emailed, apologizing for the delay. She had been out of the office the previous week because of an emergency.

When setting up an informational interview, be flexible. This is the key to getting an interview. Odds are you're going to have to switch up your schedule to fit your contact's schedule. Do it. If there's only one time they can meet, make it work. This shows you're willing and eager--two traits that will take you far.

So remember to be aggressive, but still proceed with some caution. And each situation is different, so you need to be flexible and adaptive.

Best of luck on the internship hunt!
- Jasmine

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Industry Insiders: Mona Sharf

Noted as one of the 10 PR Power Girls by StyleCaster, Mona Sharf is the Communications director at one of the greatest (but a label rather unattainable for college girls' budgets) brands, Theysken's Theory.  Before this gig though, she held the same role at Louis Vuitton (a fashion obsessee's dream!).

She stresses interning and hard work, and clearly she takes the advice she doles out, as she is super successful. If you want to check out more about her, click here to have a look at StyleCaster's mini-interview with her.

From photos online, such as the one pictured here, she likes to don black, which makes her super phenomenal in our eyes. Dressing in black seems pretty common for a career in PR, but Sharf really seems to do it right by adding touches of flair, most notably on the sleeve. *Sigh* if only we could have her inherent cool-ness.


Photo Credit


Also, a shout out to StyleCaster for the inspiration and info for this post.

Xoxo,

Girls Under PRessure


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Constructive Distraction: DKNY PR Girl

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 @dkny
DNKY PR Girl

The blogger known to those on the Internet only as DKNY PR Girl started her blog via Tumblr because "140 characters aren't [always] enough."

A "born and bred Twitter girl," DNKY decided to start blogging to allow her advice, insider information and fashion finds more breadth. And we're glad she did! Not only does she keep followers and readers up-to-date with all the latest things Donna Karen, she also gives great insight to aspiring PR girls and fashionistas.

And if nothing else, her writing will keep you entertained.

Make sure to read "How to Play Nice in the Sandbox." It's wonderfully written, insightful and entirely relatable.

Go frolic on her blog; you won't be disappointed!

And don't forget to follow DKNY PR Girl on Twitter. Where it all started!


Until next month...

xox,

Your Girls Under PRessure