Archives for posts with tag: About me

 

I should write moreI haven’t written in a while.

It is easy to get caught up in daily work/life and forget about writing. I can use lots of excuses for not writing; “I was busy”, “There was nothing substantial to write about”, “I am not passionate enough about anything to write it down”, “I’m lazy”.

All of those excuses are fine in one way or another. However one thing is important to realize when you file through excuses and decide on one, the only person you are trying to convince is yourself.

I have come to the conclusion that it is good to write out thoughts, whether they are good or bad, worth sharing or worth keeping to yourself.

I have been writing for a few years now, and amid the times when I wrote a lot and the times I didn’t write at all, there is one truth to writing I still feel is worth sharing about writing: Authenticity of writing resonates with people.

So I may not always write, but if I do, I will try to keep it authentic.

I’m sitting in the airport, getting ready to go back to reality. It’s been almost a year since I wrote my first post. In that time span a lot has changed; my world has changed. I feel like it is time for a reintroduction.

I started off lucky. I was fortunate enough to get a college internship a year and a half ago at a Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. While the experience was great, it was the people I met during that time that I need to give thanks to, they showed me my potential.

The Executive Director of the Chapter, Jane Baxter Lynn, became a mentor to me. I would work hard, and that obviously earned her respect, but it was her passion and dedication that drove me to work harder, and be better. During my time there, I went from a college student to a communications professional. I learned the tools I needed to make it in this profession; hard work, dedication, and striving to keep things as simple as possible.

With my wings flapping, I jumped. I took my internship experience from USGBC and from my good friends at Greenlights, and aimed high. I had developed a pretty good skill set in online communications. I read blogs, tweeted, and began to understand the online landscape. With that experience, I felt it was time for more. I applied for a position at Edelman.

The first person I met at Edelman was Dave Levy. That is when I knew I was in the right place. Dave is a wealth of information, and he saw potential in me, and invited me to join Edelman’s internship program. I was extremely fortunate to become a part of a team that literally had awesome running through their veins. For as much as I learned in school, and in my two years of interning, I probably learned about twice that in the two months I interned at Edelman. That experience set me up for success; in October of this past year I was offered a full-time position,  working in Digital for Edelman.

All that has happened over the lifespan of this blog. And now, I can call myself a professional. As I have changed, so has this blog. It was once a sandbox for a college student to figure out the online space. Then it was an interactive resume for a graduate. And now, it is a sandbox once again. This time, however, it is the sandbox of a professional.

I often wonder what the new year will bring. What changes will I experience; what things will I learn. And so I leave with my one call to action: share. I want to learn about your experiences, and find out what you have learned.

Its time for me to catch my flight. I wish you safe travels and a happy new year.

My blog  just turned 40.

Like most that experience age 40, my blog is questioning itself in a weird mesh of reflection and bewilderment.

“How has there already been 40 posts?”

“Ugh, those paragraphs aren’t as tight as they used to be.” 

“Have I, after 40 posts, been successful?”

The interesting thing is that I feel a forty-year old would come to terms with the above comments much like I am coming to terms with this blog. A lot has happened over the time period of those 40 posts. The writing may not be as ambitious or written with the same intellectual vigor, but it has developed a tone; it now has structure. And yes it has been successful. It may not have won any awards, but it has carried a message, and has been received well by people.

So… am I supposed to buy a Corvette now or something?

Well, my blog is 40, not me, so I think the Corvette will have to wait. But in the meantime I do have some ideas for what I am going to do:

       1.     I am going to write to an audience, an audience that will listen.

When I started this blog it was intended to demonstrate that I was familiar to blogging, and meant to be a device to help me develop my writing skills. But I got tired of writing to some mythical job recruiter, and I decided to focus on writing to people who can identify with me. I will continue to offer this blog as a tool to recent graduates, employment seekers, and emerging communications professionals.

       2.     I am going to tell a story.

As I look back on some of my past writing, I realize that my best posts reveal something to the reader, and give them something that they can feel. A persuasive argument has no emotion, but an inspiring story can be quite persuasive and can hit people in the gut, where it really counts.

       3.     I am going to continue to strive for excellence.

While I feel I have made great strides in my writing, I want more. I want to engage a readership. I want to see a conversation take place via comments sparked by a thought-provoking post. I want people to tweet about my posts; to ignite conversations of their own. I want my pursuit of betterment to make other people better.

I do realize that those are some pretty lofty goals. But how else do you achieve greatness other than by setting the bar high?

I am fortunate though, to know what I need to do to achieve those goals: Listen. I will listen to criticism, I will listen to advice, and I will listen to my audience to make my online presence, worth something to others.

There is one more thing that I will try do start doing more frequently; leave with a call-to-action. So I say this to you: write. Write with everything you got. Put your head down on a piece of paper; punch out your thoughts on a keyboard. And if you are already doing that, great. Show me what you got. Share your writing with me, as I share with you. So that by the time you and I turn 40, our achievements will allow us to afford that Corvette.

Have you ever heard of the metaphor “river of information?” Well when explaining what it is that I do to people who do not live for communications, I sort of run with this analogy.

Communication is made up of messages. Consider these like droplets of water within a river. There are several different ways that water travels, messages are no different. Messages go through cycles just like water; they are sent down a stream, received, and turned into feedback just like the water cycle.

So messages are like water in a river. There many different types of waterways within which water travels, messages are no different. There are so many different channels of communication out there; consider these like different waterways. There are some large waterways, like rivers, and there are some that are only tributaries that sprout from larger rivers. Communications channels are no different; there are large channels like the web, television, print. And there are tributaries that flow from these large channels of communication. For example, Twitter is a tributary of the web; much like the NY Times is a stream stemming from Print.

So that sets up my world, a world in which I am a navigator. I help organizations pour their messages into streams in a method that will best help that message be received well.

The cool thing is that this analogy can be extended further; my colleagues and I are all essentially navigators, but some are better at guiding certain streams and rivers than others.

I happen to be a fairly good captain of the digital sea; I have experience in online communications thus that is where I can best help an organization send its message. However because I have fundamental skills in navigating one communications channel, that skill can be applied to other communication channels. It also means that because I have experience sending one kind of message, that skill can be translated to a different type of message. For example, I have experience in email marketing to external groups, however that navigation skill can be applied to internal communications as well.

In my role, I do more than just keep an organization afloat.

This is the best possible way I can explain what it is that I do. And the irony is that my role is much like the role of any sea-captain; you don’t know the name of the captain of the Titanic, do you? But you remember the blunder that happened because of the captain. My role is similar because I help enhance the way an organization is remembered; the only difference is that in my role I strive to do more than just keep the organization afloat.

Happo (Help a PR Pro Out Day) is a fun idea for me. I have seven more days till I am done with school and looking forward to the future. I have some job prospects in Washington D.C. and plan on moving there later this summer.

However prospects do not necessarily mean employment so I believe it is wise for me to participate in the #happo frenzy. In that light, here are some quick notes about me and where I see myself going:

  •  I am graduating from the University of Texas with a major in communication studies and a concentration in corporate communication.
  •  My strengths are in online communications; I have experience with website management , e-mail marketing, member/client management tools, communication plan development, and fostering social media conversations.
  • I have spent the last year interning for communication and pr departments of nonprofit organizations in Austin, Texas.
  • I am indeed in student debt but look to be debt free by the age of 28; thus my five-year plan heavily focuses on employment and gaining experience (however I reserve the right to re-assess my situation in two years to possibly consider grad-school).
  • I am active on Twitter and LinkedIn, I have my own blog and I know Google Analytics, and yes; I use it.
  • I am definitely willing to travel, do admin work, work long hours, and whatever else is brought upon me (No, I do not expect the corner office like some Millennials do).
  • Job seeking is fun to me; I find the experience valuable to me as I grow. If you don’t have a job opening I still would love to have an interview with you; even just a chat could be very enlightening.
  • In an entry-level job I look for two key things:
  1. The ability to question (tasks, methods, protocols, ideas, styles, rationale, etc.)
  2. The opportunity to work collaboratively (I want to work in the same room as you and others so that I can build and learn from your brains and be able to piggyback off of your great ideas).
  • My dream job:
    I walk into the office where I have a meeting discussing the company’s social media, websites, blog. I am in charge of monitoring the conversation in the company’s online presence. I utilize metrics and tracking to monitor that conversation, I communicate with key stakeholders and keep up with the trends going on with other professionals in the field. I network to broaden my horizon and knowledge, and have the flexibility to try some of the things my colleagues are discovering.

Thanks for listening and thanks for #happo. Cheers to all you employers and good luck to all you graduates.

Check out my resume if you get the chance!

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