Monday, March 17, 2008

For me there is only two more days left of my last winter term in college, and I couldn't be happier! I've spent the last few weeks bragging that my only finals are a project and two presentations. Relatively easy, or so I thought. After spending the last 9 hours straight trying to upload and collaborate my first presentation, I retract my statement. Technology and I are not friends today, so with that being said, I am taking a hiatus from my blog for the next little bit.

We will see if I continue to keep it up, as more events change in the coming term, but no promises. I wanted to thank you all for sticking with me for the term. I wish you the best of luck in all your upcoming adventures and I look forward to reading your blogs and seeing what you are up too!

For those of you still with finals, Good Luck! As for me, I'm out!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Have you twittered lately? No, not twitter as in uttering small noises like a bird, I mean Twitter as in the newest social networking forum that allows individual to update their status in 140 characters or less.

My PR teacher brought it up at the beginning of the term, and was shocked when the majority of my PR class didn't know what it was, myself included. For you regular Facebook stalkers, Twitter is the equivalent to updating your status. The difference between Twitter and the status bar on Facebook is that Twitter's sole purpose is what people are doing.

I found myself skeptical of the site initially when my teacher told me about it, even though I am an avid updater of my status on Facebook, I didn't understand why I would want to join a network full of people I don't know and read their minute-by-minute updates of their lives.

But as I sat in class today and my fellow peers excitedly talked about their new Twitter friends and how the social networking site had connected them with other fellow PR professionals and they had learned of job opportunities I was intrigued. Logging onto Staci's blog I got an update and the 411 on all that Twitter can offer and how this one sentence phenomenon was getting her ahead in life.

Needless to say as soon as I came home I made myself a Twitter account! I'm eager to see who is out there that I can make connections with, and what everyone is up too. Who knows maybe a new opportunity lies within 140 characters...are you willing to pass up an opportunity like that?

You know me, I'm always on the look-out for new ways to find an edge in the door at a company I might want to work for. Maybe I can make friends through Twitter!? Let me know what your experiences are and if you have found it as rewarding as my classmates?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I know that I am only 22, and the audience that this website is directed towards is not me; but the concept of this website and the five founding woman that are brave enough to step out of their comfort zone's and continue to engage in new media and push past that glass ceiling are individuals I eventually hope and aspire to be.

An article in the NY Times called Boldface in the Cyberspace: A Woman's Domain is about five woman who have set out to develop a website directed toward woman that engage in deeper and more intimate versions of the “hot topics” segment of the television gabfest “The View.", which was scheduled to launch yesterday. Is a website directed to woman "that weren't born yesterday, who are in their prime, who are involved in the world and have a bent for changing it as much as living in it. Women who want a place to look at issues in a new way, or gossip a little, or learn more about each other, or ponder how to make the world better. Women who live varied lives, as we do."

The five founders, Lesley Stahl, Joni Evans, Liz Smith, Mary Wells and Peggy Noonan have spent years gabbing about their lives and are now directing the conversation to the public. With the help with a few other well-known friends, they hope to generate conversation and interact with the woman online.

The article in the NY times was inspiring and I look forward to seeing what their years of knowledge and experience can add to my life. I saw a glimpse into my future with this article and I hope someday I can be in their shoes, giving back to those around me.

*Picture by Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The 20-somethings life! Right now as I edge closer to college, you all have heard me express my concerns, excitements, and worries, but every time I open my mouth to inform my peers or older colleges about my future I speak with an optimistic, decisive tone, that makes me and the individuals I'm talking to feel excited and hopeful for my future. Now if only I really felt that way.

Don't get me wrong, I am extremely excited about graduation and I thoroughly look forward to what the next stage of my life has to bring! But the thought of it all is overwhelming. I mean I’ve spent the last 22 years of my life going to school, finishing a year moving up a grade and repeating the whole process. My grades have been the deciding factor of my success and my after school activities have shaped me into the person I am now. How is it that now after 22 years of a routine I’m expected to trade all that in and start a whole new chapter. I guess through my various jobs and internships I’ve had some training as to how this whole working world thing works, but still. I feel like there is so much more that I need to be learning.

That’s how half of me feels, freaked out and scared. The other half of me is calm and confident knowing I’ve never not gotten a job that I’ve wanted, and that I’m a fully capable, respectable hard-working adult that loves a challenge and interacting with individuals. That side of me is excited and ready for this next stage.

Through all these emotions Christine Hassler’s 20 Something Manifesto has finally recognized that us 20 something’s have a tough life. Yes, I know we don’t have the world experiences and the tribulations older adults have had, but the expectations on us now and the goals we have set for ourselves have stressed us out. The book covers things like “expectation hangovers” when something we’ve set out to succeed at fails, and how to cope with that. As well as, various personal stories for other 20 something contributors.

I’m looking forward to see if this book provides any additional feedback or advice that might be beneficial to me as I navigate through these next few months. Let me know if you have any feedback or opinions on the subject. Also you can check out the Facebook site, for more information.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Grad school or work experience, that is the question? As school comes to a close most students are debating whether continuing on to grad school or joining the real world job market is going to be most beneficial to them.

I've spent my moments juggling the question, but ultimately decided that with what I want to do (event coordinating) the sooner I join the event production business the more useful the knowledge will be. But for others the higher education can set them apart from other job candidates.

So how do you decide which decision will benefit you more? Les Potter blogged about the Grad School decision and had many useful tips I thought were worth sharing with everyone else.

He first started with the general question: "Ask yourself why you want to go to grad school?" It might seem like a basic question, but the sooner you can identify what your long-term goals are and what you want to get out of grad school the sooner or more likely you are to make an educated decision.

Secondly, after you decide to surge forward and make the commitment to grad school, you are going to want to figure out what kind of degree you want to seek. A MBA for a more business minded and organized leader role in life or an IMC if you want to enhance your knowledge about mass communication and PR. Either way he suggests you do research and really find out what you are wanting to gain out of this experience.

Finally, he ultimately suggested that if grad school is something you are interested in, wait 3 to 5 years before attending. This way your corporation might pay for your tuition and you go into grad school with a valued experience and networks under your belt, which might help you find a more direct path at what will best suit your life.

His info I thought was very informative, and I thought might answer some fellow student’s questions about whether the working world or grad school is best for them. Hope it helps!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

As the term continues to speed by, my future looms closer; and with this inevitable fate one question seems to be on the tips of everyone's tongues "So have you started to apply for jobs?"

I've spent the last few months researching, joining networks and reviewing event coordinating firms Web sites. But through these months of research I haven't applied for a single job. I still have over 100 days left until I graduate, and to apply for jobs right now seems like a waste. I am of no use to a company for at least another four months because I'm still consumed in my college courses. The question for me is when is the right time to actively start applying for jobs Post College.

I am thinking that come April/May I need to start actively searching, but is this too late? Too early? That time frame I feel allows me time to interview with multiple companies and depending on those encounters (and hopefully offers) it will give me time to continue my search.

What are other individual’s thoughts? Have you already started applying for jobs? And if you are a company, when you are looking for an individual to fill a position how long are you willing to wait for that individual to get started?

Here's a link to one Web site that gives their has some great ideas to go and talk with your career center, and general tips, but no definite yes or no answer. Hmm guess will just have to see if my plan works! :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Podcasting what exactly is it? How can it be used? These were all questions that this past week my class and I have been learning about. And what better way to learn about a new social media forum then to actually create one. So guess what I did!

Now a little bit of a for warning, I am not claiming to be some expert, nor do I think this is a great production, but for my first time playing with the technology or coming up with my own script, I must say I'm a little bit proud of it!

So now that I have gotten the disclaimer out of the way I will inform you of what it's actually about. Our podcast had to be PR related, so I decided to generate a podcast about tips on how to nail an interview and make/leave a lasting impression on the individual interviewing you. I pulled my advice from a variety of sources, and informed my listeners (haha, which I believe is my teacher and my mom) of the interview tips that I thought were most beneficial. So here it is my podcast. Check it out, you might learn something or it could be used for a good laugh! Hope either way it helps!

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

My teacher just passed on a link for Hospitatlity and Event Planning Networks,
which is a website that collects a variety of jobs throughout the United States that are all hospitality and events management oriented, and if you subscribes sends you a weekly newsletter of recent job opportunities.

If this is a field you are interested in, I suggest subscribing to this weekly newsletter, so that you have a heads up on job opportunities as our final days of college are coming to a close. I have already done so and am extremely excited to see what opportunities are to come my way.

Also, if you know of any hospitality or event planning job opportunities the website suggests/asks you to e-mail them to website coordinator,, and she will post it in the weekly newsletter that gets sent out you and all other subscribers.

Thought I would send out any help I could! Hope that this website helps you out, as well as me! Good luck with the hunt!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Love has been the topic of this week. With Valentines Day coming and going, we've been reminded of the relationships that take place in all our lives. Whether they are romantic or professional, we are invested in the individuals that are active in our life.

This concept has been constant in my thoughts this week, but it was the way these relationships entered my professional life that has inspired me to write this post. All to often we would risk our necks for the individuals closets to us in our lives, when they are hurt we want to make them feel better, when they are happy we want to rejoice and celebrate with them. When something goes wrong we want to defend and protect them. I realized that a lot of these same actions carry over into PR. It is the PR professional’s job to construct these relationships with their clients, as well as their audience and the media. PR is purely relationship based and it was guest post author Marilyn Hawkins, from Hawkins & Company PR that allowed me to develop this concept and learn best how to utilize and benefit my future career, and current professional relationships.

Marilyn provided seven tips on "How to make Internal & External Clients Love You".
Most of which were familiar and common sense in how you would treat any individual in your life, but it was her use of an analogy by Michelangelo "Criticize by creating" that stuck out to me. Engage in questions, listen for answers, and talk about problems that might be interfering with solving a problem or creating an opportunity. Being able to address conflict and get to the point has always been a struggle for me, but this simple answer struck me as an ends to a mean. Instead of getting defensive or backing down and giving up, work the problem from another angle, or figure out how to get a fresh perspective. Work it out! That is our job!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!!

Here's a little something short and sweet. I have to give a huge shout-out to one of my friends Kendra because she introduced me to this fabulous site. It's called Entertainment Careers. It's a website that has hundreds of listings for job in the entertainment industry. Since I want to be an event coordinator, and am interested in the entertainment side of event production, this website was a god send.

It’s amazing; you can scroll through various entertainment categories, such as fashion or broadcasting. Click on the link and there are hundreds of job opportunities posted for all to see. Who knew such a thing existed, and could be more perfect. Love it!

Anyways, I'm a little hesitant to share the wealth, but I was so excited after scrolling through it that I had to tell someone! So enjoy! Just don't take the jobs I'm after! :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This week, while I was home for the weekend, I informed my family that I had started blogging. After a 15 minute discussion about why I was blogging and what I was writing about my dad asks "What is a blog?" I smiled and gave him the answer my teacher had given me a couple weeks ago when we started this project.

It was ironic to me, I've heard from multiple teachers and experts that blogging is a generational tool. A girl in one of my classes commented "Don't you think blogging is a limited tool? My mom would never blog, and the only people I know that do blog are people in my generation!" I'd never thought of that before. I know that change, especially in technology is hard for most individuals to gravitate to in the beginning, but as the tools become more universal the easier and more accepting people become of it.

I've always sat in class learned the information provided to me, and retained that information long enough for me to take my test and forget it all. That's my one problem with school, how is what you are teaching me now ever going to apply to my real life? When am I ever going to need to know this stuff? Finally, as I'm finishing up my major, I am learning applications that are useful in my life.

I now understand how to blog, I understand how this interactive forum allows transparency and commentary from outside sources. This unique tool, which allows a variety of people from all over the world to interact and provide their opinions, is a marketing dream.

Most people gather their information from word-of-mouth from people they know and trust. Blogging allows our social networks to grow and our circles of trust to expand.

I swear that this round-about conversation all ties together! I was reading this blog post; The top five reasons companies avoid social media by Shel Holts. The reasons he gave to why companies are avoiding social media, are all the naive reasons people assume blogging is bad. Companies are afraid to be transparent; they don't want to give up control of their companies and so forth. I understand that, and it’s a valid concern; but there are many uses for blogging that provide benefits.

So how does this all relate to my blog and my countdown to the real world? Social networking is a bran new form of communication, as well as, podcasts and so on. As I'm taking my last classes and learning these new applications, I'm gaining skills that will allow me to penetrate change into companies that might be hesitant to embrace social networking or other forms of media that seem natural to me. Basically, I'm finally learning tools that will benefit me in the real world, and help me find a job! Weird how that works! :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How do you know what jobs to apply for and what jobs you are even qualified to do? This has been an on going conversation I've had in my head along with fellow classmates. I've spent a lot time recalling my education, what I've learned, what I've forgotten, and the experiences I've had. I've come to realize that my most beneficial experiences have come from hands-on opportunities. Just jumping in, and holding on tight! Realizing this aspect of my education and coming to terms with it, has been a weight that has been lifted off my shoulders. We all don't know everything; we all don't have a solution to every problem. People make mistakes and you learn from them. While you might be saying, DUH! It's a hard concept to accept. I hate going into projects not fully understanding what needs to get done. But what I've learned from trial and error has been the most rewarding.

I was reading over my PR teachers blog posts, and she had a link that caught my attention. How to get a job you're not qualified for found on Penelope Trunk's blog. She touches on three tips to landing a career you never thought you qualified for:

1. Create a project from a different arena that interests you.
2. Take responsibility for your own education.
3. Just apply.

It was the third tip that struck me the most. Just apply! What a simple concept. Why not, what’s the worst that can happen? You don't get the job! Fine, but trying will never leave you asking "what if?' and you'll never know what could have been. You never know you might get hired, and learn something about yourself and obtain a new skill. You'll never know until you try. So why not, give it a try! Apply for that job you think is a long shot, as long as you believe in yourself; the employer has no reason not to believe in you as well. Each job is a learning experience! So get to learning!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ever noticed that when your life is about to change or when big things happen, there is always a book to help lead you to that next step? I have. Book shelves are littered with the how to guides, and best tips, and so forth. I've always laughed and browsed right past them thinking ‘if you want to succeed, sticking your head into a book is not the way to do it!’ I'VE BEEN PROVEN WRONG! Who says there’s something wrong with a little more knowledge?!

Every year for Christmas my aunt has been sending my sister and I books. I personally have the guilty pleasure of indulging myself in romance novels. That is my idea of a good book. So usually I glance over the title and stick it on my shelf. I don't know what was different this year, maybe it was the fact that the real world is slowly inching closer, or maybe it was just the bright pink cover that grabbed my eye. Either way I sat down and actually read the book this year. Basic Black by Cathie Black 'The essential guide for getting ahead at work (and in life)'. Cathie Black is the President of Hearst Magazines and the book is just a combination of tips and rules and mantra's that she's developed over her many years of experience. A lot of what she says is common sense, but other parts she provides tools for embracing fear and gives tips on résumé’s and cover letters. Her ideas and life lesson's combined with real life stories and failures; give you a glimpse of the real world that shows you hope and reality.

With a little drive, we can all be successful. I suggest you check it out. If none the less you gain a few tips, which could potentially benefit you in the end!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Countdown: 137 days till I join the real world, which means I have 137 days to find a job!!!! :)

Hey All! I'm assuming that you have glanced over my "about me" and gained some insight into the author, me! But just in case, here's a refresher. My name is Brittani, I am 22-years-old and six months away from graduating from the U of O.

With the excitement of graduation always on my mind, the ever increasing question of what my future holds is a constant thought. I've spent the last 22 years of my life in school. Thats what I've done, but with 138 days left, the only thing I can think about is starting the next step of my life. Don't get me wrong, I love college and I love the experiences, memories and friendships I've developed while being here, but I think I'm ready for something new.

A New Beginning!!!!!

The purpose of this blog is to give some insight into the mind of a who is about to graduate college. What my fears, goals, ambitions, and tribulations are, and how I'm going to process and deal with the decisions I'm about to make.

To provide you with a little insight into the direction and interest this blog is going to take. Here's what my future plans holds as of right now. My future goals are to become an event coordinator. If you want a more technical and a clearer understanding of what type of company I want to work for, check-out Bolthouse Productions and read the 'about' section of the website. (If you recognize the name, its the production company that Heidi from 'The Hills' works for, and no I don't want to be Heidi ,I just want her Job!) :)

My idea is to start out in a production firm getting a job as an assistant or apprentice. Progressively throughout the years, I plan on moving my way up throughout the company eventually becoming an independent event coordinator with my own team. Eventually when I want to settle down and start a family, I am going to start my own event production firm in the event type I enjoy planning the most.

The reason I decided to go into event planning as my career, is because it combines all my talents and interest. I am an extremely organized, and determined person. With exceptional attention to detail. It's not about the fame, its not about the lifestyle, I enjoy the outcome that comes along with an event. The final reaction makes everything worth it. I have always been the one to plan the extravagant birthday parties for my friends, but it wasn't until I got into college and joined my sorority that I got the formal training or hands-on experience in planning, producing and executing an event. I enjoyed every minute of it. To follow that year long experience, last summer I joined the Eugene Celebration as an intern, and helped produce the three day street festival that celebrates all the is Eugene. Both of which were hands-on learning experiences, and only spurred on my dreams of becoming an event coordinator even more.

So I believe I've rambled enough as an introduction, to the life of me! Keep checking back to see what the days, weeks, and months left have to bring!