Month: March 2013

Spring Break-Down

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“When People Start Talking About Jobs After Graduation” from What Should We Call Me

Well, I am officially on my last spring break ever. Once again, my spring break is taking place in good ole’ Portland. The most exciting part of spring break 2013 will probably be seeing Spring Breakers.

Clearly, this is a bittersweet time for myself and my peers at the University of Oregon who are preparing to enter our LAST. TERM. OF. COLLEGE. EVER. It’s an exciting time, but talk about stressful. The ever-dreaded time to figure out what the hell we’re going to do with our lives is upon us. I think I’m going to start keeping a tally of how many times in a given week I am asked “So what are you doing after school?”.

And to be honest, right now I have absolutely no idea. I want to travel, but I don’t want to miss out on an awesome internship opportunity in the states that could help me with my career long term. Do I throw up my hands and say “Whatever, I’m going backpacking around Europe!”? Do I teach English in Thailand? Do I find a fall internship in Portland first and travel after? Do I move to San Francisco? Do I keep bugging my dad to connect me with his colleagues in Europe? All of this uncertainty in my life right now is making me want to crawl back into bed where I am currently having a constant Netflix party with Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope and the rest of the Parks & Rec crew.

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Leslie Knope has actually been inspiring me as of late. While she’s a little ditzy and overzealous, Leslie loves her job and the town of Pawnee. I can only hope that I find a job I love doing something that makes me excited about going to work everyday. I know that in order for this to happen, I can’t settle somewhere that I know I won’t be able to cultivate my personal and professional skills. It’s the big ? that’s driving me crazy right now. However, I think that will just push me to find the perfect opportunity for myself right now – whatever that may be. If you have a job for me… I’ll gladly take it. Just putting that out there.

Last Friday, after weeks of stressing, printing, gluing and formatting, those of us in J454 PR Campaigns had our final PR portfolio reviews in Portland at the George S. Turnbull Center. We put on our business casual best (a rarity for us J students… I’ll let the business school gals keep their blazers and pencil skirts) and presented our individual portfolios to three Portland-based professionals. We were to walk in the room, introduce ourselves and leave our portfolio with them for 10-15 minutes. Then we came back in the room and presented our portfolio, going into detail about each project or assignment and it’s purpose. After the official presentation, we left the room again for about five minutes to allow more private discussion about our work. Finally, after entering the room again, the three professionals critiqued your presentation and your work you chose to include in your portfolio.

My reviewers were Mac Prichard, President of Prichard Communications, Jenna Cooper, Owner of JennaCooperPR and Natalie Gilmore, Public Relations Manager at Portland Center Stage. My reviewers gave me a very well thought out and in depth critique of my portfolio. It was truly an awesome experience to interact so closely with these thought leaders and hear what they are looking for in the work of a soon-to-be recent grad. What stuck with me the most was when Mr. Prichard told me that hiring managers are looking for people who are outgoing, enthusiastic and willing to learn more so than someone who’s a bummer to be around and knows everything about public relations. (Warning: humble brag straight ahead) They also told me that I was “engaging and personable and [they’d] like to sit by me in the office”, which I think is one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I feel like now I have the knowledge to update my portfolio and make it kick-ass enough to bring with me on job interviews.

So, that is how I kicked off my spring break. Being a J student, as others are cramming and freaking out about the Blackboard breakdown that occurred all day yesterday, I have been up here in Portland since Friday doing things like going to the gym, making muffins and blogging in coffee shops (which is what I am currently doing…Portland stereotype please stand up).

And with that, now I must go indepthly listen to Justin Timberlake’s new album The 20/20 Experience. I have a lot of studying to do seeing as I am going to see him and Jay-Z in concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco this July.

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Feel free to check out my online portfolio here! Enjoy.