Thursday, February 27, 2014

Honesty Hour: #TeamFollowback

We're just here to keep things real.
Dear people of the twitter-sphere,

We want to love you. We really do. But there are a few of you that make us a touch upset.

One of which is #TeamFollowback.

If you're making a contribution to our timelines, our knowledge, you're someone we'd love to connect with or just genuinely awesome, fret not, you're going to get followed. 

If you request a follow, or even worse, badger us for one, consider yourself blacklisted in our minds.

Harsh, we know. But true. 

We are here to keep things real, after all.


Your Girls Under PRessure

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Frosh Perspective: Landing a First Internship

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Angelina Truchan is a freshman at Wayne State University who plans to major in public relations. She hopes to share a bit of her year and her perspective with our Under PRessure readers. This month, she sums up her successful first semester and shares what's to come!


Hello all!

It has been quite the busy month for this little freshman. I suppose taking my own advice worked for once because I didn’t hold myself back from opportunity due to fear and guess what? I now have obtained my very first internship! After months of searching, I think this will be the perfect fit for me with SOUL Magazine.

Although I still have very much to learn, one thing I know is that it is direly important to experience as many internships as possible to build up my portfolio and resume. My advice to all my fellow PR freshman is to try to find an internship you know you will enjoy with people you mesh well with. Otherwise, it will only feel like an added strain to our already busy schedules (and that’s no good). If you begin to get discouraged in your quest, don’t. I began to and right when I wasn’t looking, this internship found me. You never know what will cross your path. Anyways, I start this week so fingers crossed!

Until next time,

Angelina Marie

P.S. - Any students looking for an internship in the Metro Detroit area should take a look at SOUL Magazine. They have a few spots left!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Down the Hobbit Hole: Meet Maura

Down the Hobbit Hole is a monthly segment penned by Jasmine's long-time friend Maura. Maura is a senior at Michigan State University, finishing her undergraduate degree in English. She's also a lover of cats, great literature (especially J.R.R. Tolkien—in case you were wondering about the segment title) and Bruce Springsteen. Life's an adventure and remember: "Not all those who wander are lost."

Meet Maura. And Leonardo DiCatrio, aka Leo.
If there is one thing that college has taught me to hate, it’s introductions.

Upon meeting someone and offering your name, the next set of questions they ask is always cringe-worthy: “What is your year?” or “What is your major?” or “What do you plan to do with that?” (the list goes on and on).

Lately, I’ve been feeling defined—and even held down—by those things and I guess that’s why it’s so hard—and actually really annoying—to introduce myself.

But in this case, I suppose I will do what I know how to do and start with the fact that I am a senior studying English Literature at Michigan State University. That being said, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with a degree in English (that’s a lie, I want to do everything, both English and non-English related), or what I’m going to do in the future.

I love writing—but I have little time for it and a lack of inspiration lately—and I love reading (but honestly there are too many books and my bookcase is lacking in space). If I could travel around the world, I would. And if I could spend every waking moment with my family and friends, I would. I’m a lover of Bruce Springsteen, and I avidly believe that he can heal the soul. (I also feel the same way about cats.)

At the end of the day, these are the things that mean the most to me, and these are the things that I want to be defined by, not where I went to college (though I do love MSU) or what I did for four years while I was there.

When I was approached to contribute to this blog by Jasmine, I was initially hesitant. Not only is my life complete chaos right now—a perk of impending graduation—but I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to offer the same perspective as the other writers.

I have little experience, and frankly I’m pretty clueless, when it comes to social networking. After spending some time thinking about it, I realized that I will probably not be able to offer the same perspective, but that’s part of the appeal.

For the past four years I have struggled a lot. There have been moments where I’ve wanted to break down and cry because I feel out of place and I’m not sure where to fit in or even where to go from where I’m at. It led to depression, which took me to counseling, and medication, and a lot of soul-searching.

And while I’m still struggling, I’m beginning to explore, to find out just who I am. In the past year I’ve learned a lot about myself, and that’s why I ultimately decided to write for this blog. I want to share some of my experiences with everyone so that others can learn that it’s okay to struggle and to not be entirely sure of who they are.

What I write here will be some of the adventures I have faced over the years that have really made me question exactly what it is I hope to accomplish in life.

- MS

You can find Maura on: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Email

Thursday, February 20, 2014

From the Sideline: Stadium Stories

Working in football is fun and stressful and one of the best learning experiences someone hoping to work in sports can possibly have.

Welcome to Stadium Stories!

I first introduced this series in September, the same time football season kicks off. I had planned to write about working in football while working in football, but my internship has come to its end.

However, that doesn't mean I can't still entertain you with my football tales!

This series was spawned from my first sports series, Over the Boards: Rink Stories. That series encapsulated stories from my time working with a major junior hockey team. And man, did the good times roll! Not only did I have a great learning experience and build my portfolio, I also made a few friends.

Now, I’ve decided to write From the Sideline: Stadium Stories. Working in football afforded me many of the same experiences but on a grander scale. Of course, part of the boosted experience spawns from jumping from the minors to the majors, but I never felt the need to look back.

In my first week, I interviewed a Hall-of-Famer and played catch on field with my university’s most famous football alum. He was even impressed by my spiral.

So, here is your welcome back to Stadium Stories and I promise not to make you wait so long for the next installment.

Until next time, kiddies!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

War(rior) Stories No. 2

We're in our final semester of college. The past four years have been the best of times and the worst times. This segment will highlight our best of times at Wayne State University.

Elise: My favorite part of this semester, and possibly this year, is my yoga class. Our school offers Yoga in the mornings, and I take a class every Tuesday and Thursday (so yes, that's where I spent my morning yesterday). It's the perfect way to get through my two very long days of class and it has been keeping me relaxed. The instructor I have is awesome. She focuses less on the spiritual and more on the bodily benefit and athletic side of the practice, which has been so interesting. Even though it's early, and the walk is relatively far and very, very cold, this is a class I really love and that has improved my focus in my academic courses.

Jasmine: For me, this month's Warrior Story is about professor relationships. I went through my first two years of university without forging a strong bond with any of my professors. Since Wayne's communication department is smaller, it doesn't have a lot of tenured professors. We have a lot of part-time faculty, which creates a lot of interesting, relevant and timely material for our classes (these people are typically pros in their fields), but it does mean we have a lot of turn over.

However, I was fortune enough to befriend the newest (definitely the youngest—she's 28 and tenured!) because I had her almost every day for two semesters! I think that works out to four or five courses with the same prof in one year—crazypants! And to top things off, she was also my honors advisor. And during my first semester of senior year, she nominated me for Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honor society.

Now we sometimes we grab coffee or I swing by her office and we catch football or she fills me in on her current classes. It's never too late to form a great relationship with one of your professors. My only advice would be: don't force it. There's nothing worse than a forced relationship.

Until next month!

Your Girls Under PRessure

Monday, February 17, 2014

Constructive Distraction: HouseholdHacker

Procrastination doesn't have to be a total waste of time—check out some of the web's most constructive gems: educational blogs, career-focused news sites, the latest web tools, etc. These distractions make procrastinating time well spent.
This month's distraction is HouseholdHacker, a YouTube channel dedicated to bringing you life hacks using household objects. Some of my fav hacks include using apple cider vinegar to rid your kitchen of fruit flies (my roommate leaves fruit and veggies out a lot), boiling cinnamon to rid your kitchen of nasty cooking smells (fish, burnt food, etc.) and using aluminum foil when you don't have the right size batteries for the remote (featured in the below video).

While all these hacks are brilliant, they're not for everyone. If you have to purchase specific items to perform a hack, then it's not really a hack. However, if you can purchase something for a hack to replace another item, and it saves you money, then it's still a hack.

Until next time: happy hacking!

Your Girls Under PRessure

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Word Play: February

Welcome to a little feature we'd like to call word play. A vocab lesson or two never hurts, especially when the words are either hilarious or made up. And since sharing is caring, we give you our favorite word of the month.

Sasshole (n.): Someone embodying equal parts attitude and jerk.

Jasmine stubbled upon this gem while in a group conversation. Of course, it stuck.

We'll use it in a sentence: I wouldn't take her comments so seriously if she wasn't such a sasshole.

Potentially the most famous sasshole.
Have a suggestion for future words? Let us know!


Your Girls Under PRessure

Monday, February 10, 2014

PRactical: Email Etiquette

Here at Under PRessure, we're always learning the ins and outs of the industry, and we want to share those tips with you! This feature is PRactical advice for interning and working in the PR world.

We've always thought that there should be a class or seminar on email protocol. It's surprising how many people either don't know what constitutes a general, professional email or don't know when it's appropriate to change up the format.

Between sending out emails to professors, prospective employers or editors, we've picked up a bit of practical info. Let's start at the top.

This might be common sense, but the very last thing we do is fill in the "to:" field. You just never know if your computer will glitch and an email will send without being finished. Not exactly professional.

Next is the subject line. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. This field is where your recipient determines whether to save, open or trash (or even junk!) your email. Make your subject is catchy while also including necessary information. As one of our PR profs once told us, if you want a reply ASAP, make your subject line "Quick Question." Be aware, though, that this is for someone you know fairly well and is a more casual starter.

Now, onto the actual body of the message. Try to be as polite but as creative as possible. For example, if you are writing to a company but you're not sure who it goes to, stray from the predictable "To Whom It May Concern:" opener.

Try, "Dear Team [Company]" or "Good Morning/Afternoon [Company] Team". Even a simple "Hello" will suffice, depending on the formality of your correspondence.

Try to keep exclamation points or bits of computerized flair to a minimum. If you're corresponding with someone in a creative field or someone you know well, these rules are a bit more lenient. Always err on the side of caution, and pick up on the cues of the client/editor/other party.

Always double check for grammar and spelling in your emails. We can't tell you how many times we've encountered emails without any capitalization or punctuation.

We hope these tips are helpful, and would love to answer any further questions you may have! Leave a comment or tweet us with questions or tips of your own to @UndrPrssr.

Until next time,

Your Girls Under PRessure

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lip Service: February

We've decided to turn Lip Service into a more comprehensive segment. A perfect pout is always a must have, but we have a few overall beauty favorites to share so you'll always look primed and professional at school or work!

Elise's Pick:
Oh, February, the month of love. It only makes sense that I go to a favorite for this month's pick, and
like Jasmine, I'm going for nail polish.

Once upon a time at Ten Over Ten, I came across the most beautiful nude polish in the whole entire world, Chanel Emprise.

After a relentless search of Chanel counters at department stores with no luck, I took to Amazon to find this glorious bit of lacquer. I dod, eventually find it, and I'm still head over heels for this color.

It was pretty pricey, but I hear there's an excellent dupe by Julep called Teresa. I haven't tried it but I just might. A fabulous nude nail will never get old to me.

Jasmine's Pick:
This month I'm writing about one of my loves: nail polish.

Of course, I don't necessarily love nail polish on me. I can't stand long nails and am horrible with upkeep, but when I do finally grow my nails to a polish-worthy length and clean them up, I'm all about the matte finish.

And rather than buying strictly matte polishes (which I tend to do nowadays, but sometimes you just have to have a certain color no matter the finish), I invest in a matte topcoat. My two favs are Essie "Matte About You" and NYC "Matte Me Crazy" (perfect February names, amirite?!) Both are excellent, but NYC is more budget friendly.

The key to a perfect matte topcoat, really the key to any topcoat, is a thin layer. Remember, polish gets goopy with too many layers, and the more humid your climate, the longer nails take to dry. Try to keep your polish to three layers and be sure to let it completely dry. You'll be grateful when you have a killer looking mani and/or pedi.

Polish on, ladies!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Network: Networking Prep 101

Hi everyone!

I'm back with a few basic tips on preparing for a networking event.

Whether you're going on an informational interview, a conference or internship fairs, it's important to be as prepared as possible!


This doesn't always mean having a resume on hand (though that probably won't hurt) I have a few ideas on what you can do to be memorable and make new contacts.

My biggest piece of advice: Make business cards!

Business cards are a simple way to not only relay contact information to someone you'd like to work with, get in contact with, or mentor, but they can showcase your personal brand.

Is there a color you favor? Do you have a specific aesthetic for your blog? These are all great elements to include in a business card to give it a personal touch. Another plus? They're small enough to carry in a wallet, and you can have them on hand whenever a networking opportunity pops up!

There are a number of sites that allow you to design business cards, and many, like Vista Print, are affordable.

As you say goodbye to a person you'd like to remain in contact with, hand them a card with a smile, and graciously excuse yourself from the conversation.

It is also important to be dressed appropriately. Every networking event doesn't require a suit or business attire. Feel out the situation. For example, a fashion event may call for a look that's on trend or stylishly put together. An event held at school may call for a polished yet casual look. But, you can never go wrong with a modest dress and flats, a well-tailored pair of pants, or a smart skirt and top combo.

My final piece of advice is this: if you know this event is for a specific industry or company, make sure you do your research! You'd be surprised at how many people don't.

Good luck!

Until next time,

Monday, February 3, 2014

UnderPressure X That Working Girl

Hi Everyone!

We're back with a little collaboration from That Working Girl!


The time in between jobs can be a tough one. You may be facing the stress of quickly finding something new, the frustration of waiting for news post-interview, and sadness after having left the previous job.

Blog creator Lindsay Shoemake has a few suggestions.

1. Don't sleep in!

2. Actively seek opportunities to network.

3. Don't apply to jobs all day long.

Click over to TWG for the remaining two tips and an explanation of each.


Your Girls Under PRessure