December 15, 2009 10:59 am | No Comments
How hard was it to find a position out of state?
Looking for a position in DC was stressful. My internship was coming to an end, and I knew that they wouldn’t be hiring due to the economy. I knew that I had to make something happen fast. For about a month I was doing five to seven interviews a week. Some were for paid internships, but most for full-time positions.
Any down time I had was completely dedicated to my job search. I went to every interview I was invited to. Even though I needed a job and was completely ready to start my career, I was not going to settle. I turned down a couple of second interviews for positions that weren’t going to fit for me.
Because I didn’t know much about the area I had to do a lot of research. I would drive around looking at names on buildings and go home and Google the names. I utilized every contact I had and just asked questions– where should I look, what companies they knew, etc.
What does your position entail?
My position requires that I head up all efforts in the promotion of GOSO, a social media and marketing suite for automotive dealers. I not only tout the benefits of GOSO to the automotive community, but I also work hard to position the GOSO brand as a social media industry leader. This includes writing all promotional materials: web copy, commercials and blog posts. I present the GOSO product to automotive OEMs (Ford, Chrysler, etc.) and dealer principals. I utilize social media tools and I’m an advocate of the social media movement. I also help design our booth at automotive expos and conferences.
What has helped you develop your career and improve your skills?
I’m lucky enough to work closely with my superiors. The owner of the company, Adam Boalt (@boalt), gives me consistent feedback. He’s readily available and I can ask questions without hesitation. I think that finding someone knowledgeable within a company and using them as a resource is the most valuable way to learn. Honest feedback is priceless.
What has been the most difficult part the transition from full-time student to full-time professional?
As a full-time student and advertising manager at CMU, I was always busy– classes, work and homework. Any free time I had went to being a college kid, as it should. As a full-time employee, my free time is my own. It’s liberating to come home and feel free, but it’s important to decide who you want to be in addition to your 9 to 5. I love my field, and I want to be the best. So, I’ve made my job part of my life. I’m available to clients all the time, and because writing is a key aspect of my job I’m a food writer and I have a personal blog. That’s been the hardest part, deciding what my personal life is going to be like now that I have time for one.
What would you suggest to a young professional who is preparing to enter the workforce?
I suggest entering the workforce with an open mind. I had a very specific idea of what kind of public relations job I wanted, and if I wouldn’t have opened my mind I would not have the job I do today.
Be careful when applying for positions on Craigslist. I was asked to come in for an interview by email for a PR/marketing position posted on Craigslist. When I got to the place, which turned out to be a chiropractor’s office, there were at least 20 other people sitting in the room. The doctor came out and told us that he needed a PR person, but first we had to pass a test. He gave us 100 fliers and told us to go out on the street and hand them out to people who were willing to give their email addresses and phone numbers to us. Then, they would call the people the following week and whichever interviewee got the office the most business would win the position.
Did I mention that this was on an extremely hot DC summer day? I was in a full business suite with high-heals. I had my portfolio and briefcase in hand. The office was clearly getting free help by having interviewee’s work. Truly out of line, needless to say I left after about a half hour and never looked back.