Archive for November, 2010
While many of you have probably had internships all over the United States, all cities aren’t the same. I interned in my native hometown, Los Angeles, all summer and I’ve listed a few things to consider if any of you decide to come join me on the golden coast.
1) While it’s true, Los Angeles is the “City of Angels”, us Angelinos don’t have wings. With that, the ultimate must have for a Los Angeles intern is a car. Buy one, borrow one, rent one: whatever you have to do, do it. This summer I interned for the west coast editor of Vanity Fair and a lot of times I was running errands, and this would’ve been impossible to do on a bike. Also, housing that fits into a college student’s budget is hard to find, and chances are that your budget apartment won’t be the closest to your internship– Los Angeles is a BIG city.
2) As you all know, cars = TRAFFIC. In Los Angeles, it is easy to mistake a freeway for a parking lot, especially between the hours of 12 pm and 6pm. That being said, a Google Maps application on your phone is extremely helpful. Google Maps can tell give you back-routes that will allow you to beat the traffic. Additionally, some Google Maps applications have traffic alerts, so you’ll know what streets to avoid ahead of time. And, Los Angeles, being the big city that it is, isn’t the easiest place to find your way around, so Google Maps will be especially helpful for Los Angeles newcomers (I even use it and I’ve lived there since the day I was born).
3) In Los Angeles cell phones have become more than an accessory, they’ve easily become a way of life. This summer at Vanity Fair, my boss’ assistant sent me a lot of email notifications and if I didn’t have Internet on my cell phone, things wouldn’t have gone so smoothly. I know some may think this goes without saying, but everyone isn’t as technologically savvy as some; a cell phone with email and Internet is a necessity for a Los Angeles intern. Most of the time my boss or her assistant were too busy to call me, so only way to inform me of things if I was out of the office was via email. I would receive emails of maps, driving directions, photo shoot information, information for errands, lunch orders– you name it, I got it. Moreover, since Los Angeles is a busy city and most employers know we’re in a rush, a lot of restaurants and other companies take email orders. This saved my life if traffic was holding me back and I needed to get food asap, I would just email in my order and it would be ready the second I got there. In Los Angeles many restaurants also have food trucks, this is a quick way to get your favorite food, but since these things are on wheels, they’re not the easiest to track down.
It’s hard enough being an intern, I mean, you want to do everything right! In Los Angeles the heat, the traffic, and the crowding, can definitely add some unwanted, extra stress to your plate. But, with these tips you’ll be ahead of the game and ready for action.
Read what Arlice Nichole wrote in her story on GoGetterGirls.com: “Catching up with the Intern Queen Lauren Berger”
Busting The ‘College Pro Painters Is A Scam’ Myths: A Former Franchise Manager Shares His Experience
Whether it’s your first time in college and you are managing your schedule for the first time or you already are in college but can’t ever seem to get a handle on your classes I encourage you to keep reading. This blog will help you figure out what kind of schedule you should follow so that you can enjoy school and whatever else you like without unnecessary stress. Is there always something wrong with your schedule? Like for example, do you either have too much time to spare between classes that when it’s finally time for your next class you are already dozing off? Or do you end up having protein bars for dinner or lunch between classes because you have to get to the other end of campus in ten minutes? Whatever the case believe me I’ve been there and I’ve learned from it. The last couple of semesters have been a breeze because of my experience (schedule-wise at least). The next portion of this blog will be one of self-examination. Be honest with yourself and I hope to share some of these useful facts with you. Now ask yourself:
1. Are you a morning person? Can you get up early enough to get ready and get to class in a regular basis without anybody else (no more moms in college) waking you up? If you had to convince yourself that you can, don’t kid yourself. Maybe afternoon or evening classes are more your thing. Hey that’s not a bad thing. If it’s too much of a change for you I would suggest looking for classes that start around 10AM or noon. Don’t even consider classes that start at 7AM if they are not going to work for you or vice versa.
2. How important are your GEs (General Education Classes) for you? Do you love to learn and think every class counts or do you just want to get it over with and get to the good stuff: classes relevant to your major. Regardless you want a good GPA. Usually you have to pick a bunch of these classes so do your research and pick ones that you will enjoy. Don’t choose your electives just because their title sounds interesting. Really research what the class will be about, don’t sign up for a Philosophy class if you are easily hurt by anti-religious remarks (professors will do this a lot in college) or to a Marine Biology class if you are allergic to fish (true story!).
3. Hate your History professor? Yeah me too. You probably already know about RateMyProfessors.com but do you know how to use it? Once I read the reviews for one particular teacher and thought “How bad can he really be?” The answer: as bad as the reviewers claimed. Don’t suffer through a whole term of tyranny if you don’t have to. If every single review is negative in some way there is a reason for it. Some people just aren’t meant to be teachers. Of course, it goes both ways, resentful students post bad reviews for teachers that are actually great. The trick lies in identifying what kind of professor he or she will be to you. Try looking for reviewers that express themselves similarly to you. That way you will find the right fit and spend the rest of the year loving your teacher even though a few people can’t stand him.
And finally, apart from arriving early to get a good parking spot and exercising regularly to have more energy for school that is all for today. Class dismissed.
Over the summer I interned with Intern Queen and got to work with three amazing girls, Kayla Stevens, Andrea Teggart, and Chandra Robrock. I learned so much from working with them and we never actually met in person. We worked together through phone calls, texts, and emails. Lauren strongly encouraged all of us to keep in touch and here are three great ways to do so:
1. Twitter and Facebook - Before your internship ends, be sure to add all of your fellow interns on Twitter and Facebook. This will allow you to keep in touch later on and get to know each other on a more personal level. Just take the time every so often to just post a quick message asking how they are doing.
2. Keeping in touch through email - Every once in a while send a short email just checking in with everyone. Keeping each other up to date with whats going on in your life will allow for opportunities to help each other out or work together on projects later on.
3. Blogging - I have loved reading blogs from my fellow interns where they have mentioned the rest of us. It is a nice gesture to read about how much you were appreciated. It is also a great way to stay in touch because you can comment on their blogs and continue reading them to see what they are currently involved in.
So you’ve paid your PRSSA dues and taken a few PR classes…now what? It’s never too late to start applying yourself and making all of this worth something. I went to Washington D.C. for the 2010 National PRSSA Conference, and I knew I had to make this trip one to remember.
When going to these conferences it is important to take a handful of business cards with you. Companies such as VistaPrint.com offer free business cards. It is your responsibility to prepare cards in advance before attending a professional event. It’s more professional to have a card with you than writing out your e-mail on a scratch piece of paper. Also, don’t be afraid to ask professionals, and even students, for their business cards. We’re in PR- we can’t be afraid to talk to people. It may be intimidating to approach them at first. Take a deep breath, prepare to hand them your business card, boldly ask for theirs and flash a big smile. They know you are a student and will usually take some time to talk to you.
When I get home from a trip, I gather the names I’ve collected and look them up on Linked In and Twitter. This is an opportunity to follow up with the students and professionals you’ve met. It’s a chance to engage. Shoot your new contacts a tweet or an email to catch up with them. Recap a conversation you’ve had…or even just a friendly “nice to meet you” comment. I love using Twitter to interact with new people long term and establish connections with them.
Engaging with the pros might lead to internships and jobs in the future. Be sure to take the time to interact with them at conferences, happy hours and other events. Round up some other PR students (and your business cards) and take advantage of what your city has to offer!