Thoughts of a Graduating Senior

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  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Where do I even apply?
  • When do I apply?
  • Where am I going to work?
  • How do I negotiate my salary?
  • Where am I going to live?
  • How am I going to figure  all of this and pass this impossible class?

These are a few of the questions swimming in my mind as I approach graduation. I’m a May graduate so I still have a bit of time, but with every friend that accepts an offer I think I’m running out of time. (And will probably end up living out of a cardboard box.)

So let’s start at the top. “What are your plans after graduation?” This question has started to make my flesh crawl. “My plans are to be happy and successful” is not a suitable answer. As a freshman you probably could just say “I’m a ____ major and I want to work in the ____ field” Very vague, when you’re a senior people expect interview dates, a list of companies cities, and actionable life plan. So instead of giving yourself insomnia just spend a weekend brainstorming. Spend some time and think about what it is you love, what you’re good at, and where you want to be.

For me my brainstorming lead me to multicultural marketing. Most of my time is spent using my marketing skills to recruit students, finding out how to keep them engaged in my organization, and with Texas Tech University. I serve as the social media coordinator for two multicultural organizations and I’m constantly thinking of campaigns and positioning strategies.

  • Then next thing I did was talk to a recent graduate who was in that field.
  • Then did some research about a few companies that did that type of marketing.
  • Talked to hiring managers at former internships to find out when the general hiring time is for Marketing industry. (Or your University Career Center)
  • Now that you know what you want to do, you can take on projects to help get your more experience in that industry.  You might want to consider doing undergraduate research.

I don’t have all the answers, but I have a pretty good starting point.  The most important thing is to remind yourself to breathe! Have faith in yourself and the skills you’ve acquired at your school and search with a clear head. The last thing you want to do is apply for the wrong type of job and settle for something you hate.

Happy Hunting!

What you need to know about Business Cards

These are pretty much the coolest business cards I’ve ever seen. I got a Klout perk for some for free and checked out their site. If you’re a creative person (Graphic Design, Fashion, Photography, Modeling, Accessories Maker, Musician) I’d HIGHLY recommend these. They have plenty designs to choose from, or you can upload your own art. The cool thing about Moo.com is that each card can be customized to say a different thing. The only things is with the perk you have to have Klout on the front 😦

These are some what my practice card until I perfect what I should have on them for the long haul.

Check out my favorites below

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Take 10% off by clicking here: http://www.moo.com/share/tx2ptb or join Klout.com and get the perk yourself for FREE!

You can also check out Vistaprint for some free cards or the career center at your college. The Career Management Center at Texas Tech offers business cards for a low cost.

When designing my card I started to wonder what makes a good creative business card? What should I have on it? QR code? A photo? I stumbled upon this article What College Students Should Have on Business Cards.

What to Include 

Contact information should be the main focus on college students’ business cards and should include: name, phone number and e-mail address .

“If you want, you can include ‘NYU class of 2011’, or you can include what field you’re in, such as ‘marketing professional’,” says Pollak.

Tony Conrad, founder of About.me, points out that if you have a URL that recruiters might be interested in (such as a professional blog, or personal Web site) you can include a QR code.

“The fact that you have [a QR code] and understand it and that you’re using emerging technology, that shows that you’re ambitious enough to seek out something new and implement it to your benefit,” he says. “It means they can contact you for your specific talents and start the conversation already knowing some of your background.”

Creativity

Depending on the field (especially in graphic design, architecture, art, etc.), experts encourage students to get creative with their cards.

Conrad advises students include an aesthetically-pleasing image that makes a statement rather than going for shock value.

“Well-shot photography and clean typography has been a winning strategy in advertising for more than a century,” he says. “If you think of yourself as a luxury brand, present yourself as a luxury brand.”

I also read this article on Forbes.com

Make Your Business Card Stand Out

Don Crowther thinks you should put your picture on your business card. Not only that, but he wants you to include a mini-résumé, your Twitter handle and some sort of special offer that entices each recipient to get in touch.

Check out both of these articles and get yourself a deck of business cards!

 

**Update**

My Business cards are here! If you sign up with About.me you can also get some free business cards!

Business Cards

Intern Hack No. 2: Job Description Deception

You’re scouring the job boards for an internship, or full time position. You’re eager to put everything you’ve learned in college to work and you think you’ve found a great job that works with marketing! You run across an entry that has buzz words like

Business to business sales, direct marketing methods, and other pay.

After going through an exciting first interview you find yourself in the middle of some unknown location selling something to patron on the street or going door to door on a commission only salary.

Not what you expected right?

The thing about marketing is that is covers such a broad range of activities. A lot of what is posted on job boards is sales, and to the untrained eye you might not realize that’s what you’re signing up for. Nothing is worse than applying for a job, and realizing that it’s not the right fit. The best way to combat this is to know what exactly you field you’re looking for.
Who remembers Vector Marketing the company that sells knives door-to-door?

This one is pretty vague, does this sound like you’re driving around town being a door-to-door knives salesman?

Here are some items to look over before you submit that application:

1. Identify what exactly you want from a job. What skills do you have and what would like to earn through your new career.

2. Find your career spirit animal. What does this mean? (I just made it up) Find someone who is doing what you would like to do, and learn what their job title is and what it entails. Hopefully you can network with them, and find out what to look for in your search from someone who has been there.

3. Linkedin- I often type in a job title or company name and see what they have listed under their job description–slightly creepy, but this is the  life or death of your career we’re talking about.Or if you’re not a creeper like me you can check out company websites to find out what they’re job description says so you know what you’re looking for.

Sales isn’t for everyone, and some really thrive at it. Be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

4. Most importantly during the interview ask them what a day in the life entails. Nothing is glamorous all the time is this is a very good question to find out if you would want to do this EVERY DAY and it shows interest.

Usually it’s a bad sign if a MARKETING company has little or no presence online, if they’re extremely vague, or if you go to their building and it’s just an empty office with no phones or furniture.

Horror Stories

Jane Doe* is a recent college graduate, and went to search for a job in NY. She had a phenomenal interview with a marketing department, and for her second interview she ended up in a bad part of the city trying to convince people to change energy providers. She was only paid if she got a person to sign up for the new service. She had to find her way home from this remote location, and catch the Subway home!

John Doe* is a college senior wanting to break into the sports and marketing field. He found a internship position for a marketing company in his area, and had a successful interview. He noticed that the office was nearly empty, but assumed they were remodeling.  The 2nd interview would be from 8-6pm. Once he showed up they drove to Austin, Texas where they spent the day selling tickets to a minor league baseball team in the 100 degree heat. Solicitation to businesses is illegal and even had to duck or hide from police when asked what they were doing!

It’s my one month anniversary at Mosaic!

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I’ve been at my internship one month! I’ve been working with the GameOn department which focuses on Video Game Merchandising! It is one of the top departments in the company and brings in MILLIONS of dollars. SO besides being well versed over the new releases what do I do? I work on the code articles, which is essentially the bible that the Regional, District managers, and field reps all over America use to determine what marketing placement they’re supposed to use for the week. I monitor and report on the shipping for hundreds, and depending on the week thousands, of stores. I also take photographs to make sure the proper products are in place to make sure our Clients are happy. Needless to say in the 30 days I’ve been here I’ve been given a huge amount of responsibility. I’ve already learned so much that will make life so much easier once I go back to school and apply to my classes and projects.

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My department is like a family. 90% of the bonding we do is through food! (lol) Every Wednesday we have a team lunch and relax. It’s the ideal environment for me because I’m always learning, and I’m always laughing!

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All the other interns are really great as well, the culture of Mosaic is really inviting and open. Most of the managers and directors always have their doors open, there’s cake for birthdays every month, and everyone greets you with a smile, and not to mention the Relaxed dress code. (Gotta love a company that will let your inner Fashionista shine!)

I’m excited to work with these guys on our North American Video Marketing project with the Canadian Interns! I’m the Promotions Coordinator so I’m really happy to see what we’ll present at the end in August! I already have a couple of ideas, and I’m planning on taking the crew to the #LemonadeStand to network with some other Dallas Interns at The People’s Last Stand. (Shout out to ThinkFruiton!)

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Check out the Mosaic Intern Blog ran by our Social Media Intern TheInternNet.tumblr.com!

Check it out My Photo was featured in USATODAYCollege (Its the Ice Cream Cone)

Welcome to the InternNet

I call this flyer the beginning of “Cubicle-Guerrila Marketing”  It started a little rough with my first version.

Extremely unapealling, but a good effort. So I made it a lot more sleek. Since I have prime housing in cubicle nation with my window facing the main Hallway placing one in my window has already caused people to stop and inquire about the sign.

I also plan to try writing on the boards in conference rooms. How do you feel about Guerrilla Marketing?

Networking for Dummies!

t’s that dreaded time to get a recommendation letter and other than your Mom, best friend, and co worker from high school you’re drawing a blank. I personally hate asking for reference letters, but they are essential and a must have. In person I don’t mind talking to people, but I dread drudging up people from my past to beg them for a letter. So how do you build your networking circle? Here are 5 easy steps that might help you out.

  1. Linkedin
    If you have one already change your password, after that start looking for colleagues, fellow classmates, and former bosses. They also have a feature where someone can recommend you which is great so you don’t have to make a billion copies of one letter, or encase an email in amour.
    Now a lot of people say ” I have a facebook, a twitter, a blog why do I want linkedin?” Recruiters might do a bit of research on you before they hire you I know before I started my first day of work the HR recruiter actually looked and added me on Linkedin. This is a great to put your professional presence out into the real world. I’d rather have employers looking at my Linkedin profile at relevant info than my Facebook.
  2. Facebook
    I’m not necessarily a fan of adding employers on facebook, but your current colleauges in school are a great idea. This can keep you connected with the campus or area and when people graduate it gives you an informal way to keep us with people who might enter a field you want to break into.
  3. Mingling
    Good ole fashion hob-knobbing with people. Don’t be shy go out and talk to some people. Even those gnarly professors who seem to be delivered from Hades often have a much more inviting personality in their office away from the Lecture Hall. Going to someone’s office to talk can say a lot more than a quick 2 liner email.  In this day and age people spend most of their time tweeting and texting about where they are than talking to the people who are there. (GUILTY) Staring at your phone can get people to remember you for the WRONG reasons. You don’t want to be the stand offish person in the corner.  Also, don’t stay glued to your friend.You are not Siamese Twins. Branch out! Sometimes standing around with your friends joking can alienate others from speaking to you. Use open body language.
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  4. Happy Hours A lot of organization and company’s go out for lunches, dinners and happy hours as a group. While your initial thought might be “I already have to see these people all day why should I spend MORE time with them?” This is an informal setting to relax and really get to know the interesting facts about people. It’s a great way to stand out from everyone else who is in a cubicle or classroom from 9-5
  5. Tweet!
    Tweet out to professors, follow companies you work for or want to work for. I’ve actually had people in interview say “Oh I remember your tweet”. You’d be surprised how happy it makes people that you saw and followed what they said. I usually don’t follow people I don’t know, but every now again one of your friends followers has some relevant info on their account and might tweet out some opportunities for you.

The best time to do it is while you’re still there because once you switch jobs, graduate,people change numbers, get married, retire, etc then you have out dated contact info, so get out there and work work