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Archive for October, 2011


Top Apps for Students


This blog is written by Emily, our campus ambassador from Chapman University in California!
For those of you who think iPhone’s and iPad’s are just toys, I am here to tell you otherwise.  I have an iPad and there is only one game on it.  I filled it with social media, academic and entertainment apps instead.
Here are my top 7 apps for students:
1) Course Smart – With this app, you can rent your textbooks on then access them on your iPad.  No need to schelp heavy books across campus anymore! This app is easy to use and allows you to do more than you can with an actual book.  My favorite feature is that you can search keywords and it will take you directly to where that topic is discussed in the book!
2) iStudiez Pro – This is a digital planner for you.  You can enter your class schedule, put in your assignments and choose when you want reminders to do them.  It also counts down how much time you have left in a class which I love when I can’t sit still any longer in class.
3) LinkedIn – I love having LinkedIn on my iPad.  It easily allows me to look up my connections for when I’m on an internship hunt.  It’s only a mobile version so it doesn’t have all the features of the website but plenty of them are right there at your fingertips.
4) Blackboard – If your school uses Blackboard and you have a iPhone or iPad, you MUST get this app.  I can keep up to date with my grades and assignments while on the go.  It functions so smoothly too and is simple to use.  It keeps me logged in so I don’t even have to worry about entering my information!
5) news related apps – Now this is just a category of apps and it’s all based off of your personal preference but I have NY Times and Reuters for my news around the world and The Hollywood Reporter for entertainment news.  I think it’s important to constantly have access to the news because everything is always changing.  It’s great being able to just sit down in Starbucks and read up on my news around the world and my entertainment industry news as well.
6) Twitter – Having Twitter on my iPad is probably my favorite of them all.  I am a tweet-a-holic (@emsteinyyy).  I am always reading through my feed and tweeting about life and articles I come across.  With the iPad app, it makes it easy to read articles people tweet.  I can read my feed while allowing a website to load right next to it so instead of getting bored while waiting, I can continue to read and get my updates on what is happening in the world around me.
There are so many amazing apps out there that don’t make your device look and act as just a toy.  You should all check out the above apps and explore further into apps that can expand your knowledge and organize your life.  If anyone has an app they can’t live without, share it with me!

A Day on Set


This is a guest blog from Elizabeth Solomon from Mizzou!

Live blogging from the set of a mid-Missouri television show?  I think yes.  Here’s your inside scoop as to what happens during a shoot.

The pace is slow. There’s a lot of looking at your space, wondering what to shoot, what the best angles are for getting those shots, and telling people what you want.  Most of the process of the shoot involves planning the final product, so an intern may do a lot of observing or helping grab make-up or tripods from the car rather than shooting the scene itself.  Although some may find this tedious, it is one of the best ways to learn because rather than focus on your assigned job, you can see how the professionals do theirs.

It can get dirty.  Today is my first experience with this particular advertising agency, so naturally I showed up in business casual attire- think pencil skirt and flats.  I knew I would be observing a shoot, but what I didn’t realize is that this shoot is for a home improvement-esque television show.  This episode involves an attic and insulation, so needless to say… it’s messy work.  If you’re going on a shoot, ask beforehand what you’ll be doing so you know whether to bring a change of clothes.

It can be awkward.  During the down time of the shoot, you’ll have moments where it’s just you and your potential boss, and you have to think of something to talk about.  People love to talk about themselves- you just have to know the right questions to ask.

It can be disappointing. During this shoot, we’re installing insulation around a water heater to keep the heat from escaping, as well as a timer on the heater to be able to control when you’re heating the water.  The electrician just came in to install the timer and although I don’t understand what the problem was, something needs to be fixed before they can keep shooting…  And nobody likes delays.

Even though there’s a lot of waiting around and making small talk, the experience can be rewarding.  With my current internship, as you know about from my first guest blog, I have learned about communicating with clients and working with design, but I have never worked with a team like agencies do on shoots.  Gaining experience is key to being successful, and observing shoots is one more way to do it.  What have you got to lose?


What You Need to Know When Interning for College Credit!


This is a blog written by our Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, Bianca, who attends Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

Did you find your perfect internship to learn that it’s only available for college credit? With the Fall semester quickly coming to a close, it’s time to start planning for a Spring internship. Many companies require interns to receive college credit for legal reasons and as a means of compensation. It’s important to research and learn about your school’s procedures regarding for-credit internships, because every university handles internships in a different way. Read below to find out seven things you need to know when planning for your credited internship!

1. Who’s your internship coordinator?
If there’s one person at your university that can answer all of your internship questions, it’s going to be your internship coordinator. Many universities have specific internship coordinators within the different schools, especially for specialized degree programs. As soon as you begin to consider doing an internship for credit, make sure to find the contact information for your internship coordinator. I recommend meeting with your internship coordinator as early into your college career as possible, because they can provide you with a lot of helpful tips and tricks that can help you maximize your internship experience.

2. Your university’s prerequisites
Every university has different prerequisites and requirements students must meet before interning for credit. For example, I’m a dual-major in music business and marketing, and because the two majors are in two different departments, they each have their separate set of rules and requirements. Technically, my marketing major has no requirements, and I could’ve interned for credit my first semester in college. On the other hand, my music business department has several prerequisite courses, an internship training lab, and collegiate seminar requirements that must be met before you can intern for credit. Many schools will not allow internships before your junior year, and you often have to meet a certain GPA standard. With every school taking a different approach to internships, make sure you find out the specific protocol for your school.
3. How much credit can I receive?

Every school takes a different approach to the credit rewarded for your internship. My school, for example, gives credit on a sliding scale in accordance with the number of hours you work at your internship each week. The more you intern, the more credit you receive. However, this is not always the case at every school. Make sure to ask your internship coordinator about the credits rewarded for an internship. Another important question to ask is the maximum number of credits you can be granted through internships. Universities will typically cap off the number of hours you can earn in internships, because they want you to have a balance with classes and experiential learning. My school will only allow you to receive a total of 6 credit hours for internships during your entire college career, so I suggest you save your internship credits and allocate them wisely!
4. Internship criteria and approval process

Depending on the type of internship you’re interested in, it’s important to find out if your school has certain criteria that the company of interest must meet. As a music business student, my music business internships must be at companies with a significant tie to the entertainment industry, and if I try to intern for credit at a company that’s not entertainment related, I can’t receive credit. Your school may require you to get your internship approved, but if not, make sure that the company meets the college’s criteria to ensure you get your credit at the end of the semester! When in doubt, ask your internship coordinator.

5. How do you register for credit?

Credited internships often require registration, because you are receiving credit just as you would for a class. You may have to register for a special section specifically for internships when you go in and register for all of your classes. Depending on your school’s rules, you may have to receive an override or consult your coordinator before you can register. Either way, make sure you have done all you need to register for your internship before registration rolls around. Many universities will only let you register for a credited internship within the first few weeks of the semester, or until the drop/add period.
6. Once I start my internship, when do I need to provide proof?

Some companies are very strict about students providing proof of credit. Don’t be surprised if you have to provide a letter from your university within the first week of your internship. These guidelines will typically be found in the internship job description, so you’re expected to handle this requirement in a timely manner. When you start your internship, come armed with the necessary documentation in hand!
7. Once I’ve finished my internship, what do I need to do?

After you finish your internship, does your school have any closing procedures you must go through? Some universities require students to write a reflection or closing statement in regards to their internship experience, while other schools may not have any requirements. Try to find out the ending procedures at the beginning of the semester, so you are well aware of what’s in store.


Create, Innovate, Cooperate: Inspiration from Steve Jobs


This was written by Maggie, our campus ambassador from the University of Kansas!

Steve Jobs represents the spirit of creation, innovation and cooperation. Every intern should take a page from his book to feed their motivation and spark their drive to achieve success. What is the difference between a mediocre intern and a highly successful one? Passion and hard work. These two items go hand in hand. When passion is present, hard work follows. You have to create, innovate and cooperate to stand out in a crowd of talented interns. These fundamental characteristics are a product of relentless determination. The first step is to find your passion and an internship is an ideal way to test out different options.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005

You will achieve so much more in life if you love what you do. Take the time to seek out your passion during your college years when opportunities are constantly are your doorstep. Apply to positions and internships that are outside your comfort zone and then rise to the occasion if you get accepted. You have nothing to lose.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005

Pinpoint your dream job and create your own path to success. At the end of the day, you want your work to bring you happiness. It’s really a simple matter that gets covered under competition, money and life distractions. Remember what your life purpose is and go after your goals.

Try to incorporate all of the items daily:

- Read. Above all else, read about the world around you. Read news articles, books about health, fashion tips or whatever else you can get your hands on. Reading sparks ideas and fresh ideas are more than welcome in internships and the working world. It’s best to be a bookworm!

- Be nice and network. Be friendly and converse with anyone and everyone. You never know who knows who and the world just keeps getting smaller the further you delve into a specific field. Seek out connections using LinkedIn and your school’s career center.

- List goals. Write your goals down and look at them every single day. Remind yourself of your desired endpoint and the journey will be worth it. Post this list on your desk and when the going gets tough it will inspire you to keep pushing toward your ambitions.

- Learn. Soak in the knowledge that the world has to offer. Learn whenever you can, wherever you can. Knowledge is priceless and you never know what information come in handy in an interview down the road.

- Listen. Keep your ears open to all ideas and embrace them. Different points of view can lead you an activity, job, opportunity or internship that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Use Steve Jobs’ advice and set your goals, discover your passion and do meaningful work. Good luck!


Jobs to Save $$ for your Big City Internship!


This blog is written by Kristi, our Campus Ambassador for the University of Idaho. Kristi is an International Studies, Public Relations and Spanish major.

A lot of the recent blog posts are “how to’s” regarding summer internships. Every one of them tells you to save your money for that dream summer whether its in New York City or abroad. As we’ve figured out, living in the city is expensive. And unfortunately, saving up is not as simple as getting a second job or maybe even a first job.  I’ve gathered a few oddball ideas to save money that will not cut into homework or vacation time. I also listed the money you could potentially save in the next 7 months (different costs in different places).

For the creative mind: Write for your college newspaper. MAKE MONEY!

For the fashionista: Shop at thrift stores. Money saved: at least 50% of the item’s original price

For the coffee drinker: Make your own. Money saved: $400 ($2 coffee-a-day)

For the one who has it all: Sell your stuff. Money saved: varies

For the environmentalist: Control energy costs with a programable thermostat. Money saved: $130

For the romantic: Cuddle up this winter instead of turning on the heat. Money Saved: A LOT!

For the adventure seeker: Find odd jobs on craigslist like plowing snow or raking leaves: MAKE MONEY!

For the smarty pants: Tutor. MAKE MONEY!

For the photographer: Go to the local high school and offer to take senior pictures for a cheaper price than a studio would offer. MAKE MONEY!

For the fitness guru: Kick the gym membership and workout on home. Money saved: $200-300

For the cook: Grow your own vegetables. Money saved: varies

For the reader: Sell back your books. Money saved: you will probably get 50% back from the item’s original price.

For the shopper: Make a list and stick to it. Money saved: varies

For the commuter: Ride your bike and save on gas. Money saved: $400

With these tips, you could potentially save a few thousand dollars. What have you done to save money or make a little extra money?


The Logo


This post is written by Alicia, our Campus Ambassador from Towson University. Alicia is a Mass Communication major (with tracks in Public Relations and Advertising) and an Italian minor.

In a previous blog post, I wrote about personal branding and how it can help you establish a professional identity. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about how a logo contributes to a brand’s identity – and I think you should have one.

Not only do I think you should have a logo, but I think you should be consistent in using it. I use the logo from my calling cards (purchased on Etsy) on my resume, cover letter, and thank-you cards, and I keep with the same color scheme for all materials I send out. While in some professions, it may not be a good idea to deviate from a standard black-and-white resume, in more creative fields (like graphic design, advertising, PR, etc.) it helps a resume stand out in the pile.

Having a logo is a great way for prospective employers to gauge a candidate’s personality and style, and it will add a little visual interest to a pile of boring resumes. I spent hours on Etsy trying to find the calling cards that best fit my personality, but I’m rewarded for that each time someone sees my calling cards and compliments them.

I challenge you to take some time and find your brand identity, and then harness it to get your dream internships!


Near or Far


This blog is written by Sara, our campus ambassador from the University of Central Florida.

As graduation comes closer and closer, my fear grows larger and larger. Although we hate to admit it, it’s time to grow up. I rest assured that being thrown into the Big Girl World is not a fear I have alone, however. From magazine covers to small city taxis to my Big Apple inspired Magazine Publishing binder, I am bombarded with the desire to move to the city that harbors my dream job. Dead set on moving to New York City when I graduated, I wasn’t letting anything get in my way…until I met the most handsome, amazing, 6’3” roadblock.

If growing up isn’t scary enough, what do you do when you have a dream that lives so far from home but a promising relationship so close? What is a girl to do?!

Now of course, the girl power side of me advises all my fellow interns to go after the most amazing job opportunities you’re offered. But the girl-in-love side of me advises you all to try and have both of your dreams meet in the middle.

Not sure how to make both of your dreams come true? Here are some ideas:

Virtual Work: Online internship can lead to online jobs. With 8 virtual internships under my belt, I can say with confidence that a virtual internship is amazing. Not only are these internships treasured for their “your time, your schedule” style, you can also make both of your work and love dreams come true. Keep those virtual options open when you’re applying for jobs!

Idea Mogul: The amazing Lauren Berger is the perfect example of this! Finding your niche and being able to make it into an extremely successful empire is the perfect job. After having the pleasure of working with idea moguls like, our very own, Lauren Berger at InternQueen, Amy Levin at College Fashionista and Caroline Orlando at CocoKouture Magazine, I’ve learned to look up to these amazing women more than I can explain. They not only had a dream to be something great, but they also had a dream to create something great. If you are the next idea mogul, share it with the world and become your own boss.

Keep it Local: You don’t have to give up on your dream just because you can’t relocate! If you’re anything like me, you daydream of becoming the next Anna Wintour. This dream is possible anywhere! Start at the bottom of the ladder at your favorite local magazine and climb, my friends, climb. You can be the next Anna Wintour of your town’s magazine. If Fashion Public Relations and Events call your name, apply for a corporate position at your local boutique or put together the best local fashion show your town has ever seen. Remember there are always different variations of your dreams.

No matter what you chose to do, always dream until your dreams come true, but don’t avoid the roadblocks.


Hear It From The PR Pros


This blog is written by Ellie Jesse, our Campus Ambassador from UNC-Chapel Hill. Ellie is a junior transfer student studying public relations at the School of Journalism. Ellie was an intern at Peppercom Strategic Communications in New York and is now a freelancer for the agency.

A Q&A with two members of the Intern Committee at Peppercom Strategic Communications

What do employers really look for in resume? What does the perfect intern look like? What does it take to stand out these days? Well I had the chance to speak to Laura Bedrossian and Kristin Davie, both Account executives and members of the Intern Committee at Peppersom Strategic Communications, to hear their take on some of the most commonly asked questions from interns!

EJ: What do you look for in a resume?

KD: Proofreading, do it! Also, include links to your Twitter, LinkedIn profiles or personal blogs at the bottom. Make sure that you include quantifiable details. If you had any past experience at agencies where you drafted a pitch that resulted in any media hits, put that. Quantify results.

LB: We have been getting a lot of resumes where you can tell people have changed the margins to include more information. It shows that they’re not concise. You should be putting the best and most recent experience you’ve had.

Do you have any tips on cover letters?

KD: If you put “to whom it may concern” it shows that you didn’t do any research. That might be a strike against you. Do something to show that you’ve done the research.

LB: You can read the website, you can look at resumes on LinkedIn, but you need to know a little bit about the agency you are interviewing for.

Should applicants follow up to see if you received their resume? If so, when?

KD: Following up is great 2-3 days after you send your resume. We receive hundreds and hundreds of resumes. I don’t mind follow-ups to ask if I received it. We have had people in the past leave multiple voicemails and e-mails and it came to the point where I would never consider them because they were so inappropriate.

What are some interview deal breakers?

KD: Deal breaker: if you show up in jeans, you’re done. Always heir on the side of formality. It’s also very easy to tell if you haven’t researched the company. If you have taken the time to go through the website and do some research, it comes across very easily in an interview.

What are questions you think every prospective intern should ask during the interview?

KD: The best questions are the ones that stump us. Usually I’ll remember those candidates more. Always make sure you have questions prepared. The best questions show that you are a big thinker.

What would you recommend students do while still in school to prepare for an internship?

KD: If your track is PR, become a member of PRSSA if there’s a chapter at your school. If you can take a presentation or public speaking class definitely get that experience too.

LB: Join the student newspaper or try to get any leadership experience that will become relevant for an internship.

How much experience are you looking for in a candidate?

KD: At Peppercom we look for people who have prior experience, ideally at other agencies.

LB: We don’t expect juniors and seniors to have tons of experience, but if you are personable on the phone and convey a go-getter attitude during your interview, that’s great. Writing skills are also huge.

What is your take on social media?

KD: I think you need to show that there is an interest in social media. Some people might come in with more experience than others, but if you’re looking at agencies that do digital work, they’re going to look for at least LinkedIn and Twitter.

LB: I would recommend following your interviewers on Twitter and even Tweeting at them after your interview.

Should interns make Facebook private? What about Twitter?

KD: I would never expect a candidate to put their Facebook page on their resume. I don’t think there should be anything you have to hide on Twitter. From a hiring stand point, if you’re at the age where you’re looking for a full time position, I would suggest censoring yourself. I research candidates before they come in to judge their social media presence.

Talk a bit about the Peppercom internship program.

KD: Peppercom internships are full time, Monday-Friday, 9am-5:30 pm. Interns are put on 5-6 accounts where they work very closely with a Junior Account Executive. They are included on client calls, brainstorms, team meetings, etc. The internship program also includes smaller workshops for things such as writing, social media monitoring and meeting the management.

LB: We have three intern sessions a year. The spring session is January-May, the summer session is April- the end of August, and the fall session runs September-December. You are treated as a regular member of the team and are expected to build media lists, draft pitches and press releases, talk to reporters, etc.

What are the characteristics of a great intern?

LB: Someone who is proactive. We like people who step out of the box and do what people don’t expect. A person who sees what they want to do and work with other people to do it. A great intern will be someone who when the internship ends, the agency will notice that the intern is gone.

If you are interested in learning more about internships and entry level PR, check out Kristin and Laura’s blog, PRiscope ( If you are looking for a spring internship, Peppercom is now taking applications for its spring internship session. Typically lasting three to four months, the spring internship session begins in January and runs through April. The deadline to apply is November 30th. Contact Kristin Davie at if you are interested!

This blog is written by Ellie Jesse, our Campus Ambassador from UNC-Chapel Hill. Ellie is a junior transfer student studying public relations at the School of Journalism. Ellie was an intern at Peppercom Strategic Communications in New York and is now a freelancer for the agency.


How to Gain Relevant Work Experience


This blog is written by Ashley M. our Campus Ambassador from University of South Florida. She is majoring in Mass Communications with a minor in Leadership Studies and will be graduating in May of 2011.

I want to start interning but where do I start? Generic but valuable steps to help you land that internship!

I’ve always gotten this question, how do you get all these internships!? Do you have connects? Do you go through an agency? And my answer will always be you must do your research! This is one of the most important initial facets in finding those internships!

Since I was 13 I knew the field I would love to be a part of and get a career out of. Since that age I started a family newsletter, although I stopped publishing it. Since I was 19, attending community college, I started interning in media related industries to gain experience. One thing led to another and now I keep gaining some awesome experiences because I go out and seek greater opportunities (be proactive!).

Point of the story is, first, it would be awesome if you know the field you would love to go into. Secondly, once you have an idea, research companies you would love to intern/work for. Apart of your research should include, but not limited to: company name, website, contact info (email, phone, fax, contact name, and address), deadlines (yes internship apps do have deadlines!), requirements (recommendation letter, cover letter, transcript, resume) etc… Thirdly, once you have your list and depending on deadlines, go ahead and start your application process. Please note that it depends on each company how their submission policy works. For example, you can submit your resume and application online and others may go as far as mailing in a whole packet that may consist of applications, resume, cover letter, recommendation letters, transcripts, etc (I had to go through that). Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “it’s like applying to college!” but if you want it, you’ll do it. Fourthly, hopefully you’ll have everything needed to apply for the different internships. Go ahead and send out your internship apps (beware of deadlines!). Fifthly, follow up with these apps. The follow up process can make a hell of a difference if you follow up or not. Of course many places will say they don’t accept phone calls, so keep that in mind. You can follow up through email or through the internship program face book page if they have one (be professional!). Sixthly, wish for the best!

These are just a few generic but useful steps into helping you start your internship career, and honestly this is pretty much the process I always use for myself. I just lastly want to stress how important it is for you to do your research in more ways than one, watch deadlines and submission requirements and to follow up! Trust me when I say; following up can really make a difference between you and another intern. I’ve had that be a positive deal breaker for me with two internships so far with MTV Networks and Back\Slash Magazine.

Best wishes and happy interning!


Are You Stressed Out?


This blog is written by Sandhya, our campus ambassador from Ohio University!

It’s around that time where you’re either studying away in the library or study room for your midterms or getting ready for your last few projects before you end the quarter or go on break for a semester. You count down the days until the weekend, so you can finally sleep and catch up on that sleep you missed. Here’s a few things that help me & might help you combat your stress!

  • Tip #1: Have a big exam coming up? Don’t cram the night before. I know it’s been said a lot, but honestly, the best thing you can do is sleep. Wake up a little early on the day of your exam and read over your notes. If you don’t know them by the morning, you’re not going to magically memorize them by your class. Get a planner & make a calendar! I know it’s already two months into school, but print out a calendar and put in all the dates of your upcoming exams, so you’re not stuck in this spot!
  • Tip #2: Feeling overwhelmed with a class? Study for an hour and then browse some internships & bookmark the ones you’re going to apply to! It’ll motivate you to want to better on the exam & study hard so that you can start on your internship application & really focus on your future!
  • Tip#3: Lost your motivation to work? Find some blogs that have interesting posts or follow someone on Twitter that you really are inspired by. Think about the idea that you could someday be in their position! Tweet at them during your breaks or comment on their blogs. Who knows, maybe you’ll hear back from them!
  • Tip#4: Listen to catchy music that gets you pumped up! Find a new artist on Pandora or Grooveshark.
  • Tip #5: Find something that’ll make you laugh. Look at old pictures or a funny video of your friends. Laughing is one of the best things that you can do for yourself! Talk about why you’re stressed & later on, you’ll probably laugh at yourself for being so stressed. You can do it! Just believe in yourself!