Introvert. Intuitive. In control.

Penelope Trunk often blogs about knowing your personality type and strengths through the Myers Briggs test. I like knowing just because it helps me understand why I am the way I am. I’ve taken the test twice and scored the same both times. I am an INTJ: Introvert (78%)  iNtuitive (25%)  iNtuitive  Thinking (88%)  Judging (78%).

This personality type is said to value “intelligence, knowledge and competence, and typically have high standards in these regards, which they continuously strive to fulfill.” And, according to Trunk, I am considered a strategist because I am an INTJ. I think my personality type is what makes me great at being a PR department of one at a nonprofit.

Apparently, less than 3% of the population are INTJ. Even more interesting, less than 1% women are INTJ. This is why I’ve always been considered a bit quirky.

For Leadership Saginaw, I had to take a DiSC workplace profile. The 20-page report says I am a “CD.” My primary style is “Conscientiousness” and my secondary style is “Dominance.” I’m actually the only CD in our class of 32 people, and one of only four people with C as a primary style.

The profile notes that my top priorities are challenge, accuracy and results. My most valuable workplace contributions are my problem-solving skills, my high standards and my determination. I jokingly sum up my test results by describing myself as an analytical control freak.

A few other interesting tidbits from the profile that seem to fit me well:

  • “You’re likely to have very high expectations for yourself and others.”
  • “…you constantly work to balance speed and quality.”
  • “…often preferring to work independently.”
  • “You’re not afraid to be blunt and forceful with your opinions because you’re unwilling to compromise what you see as the truth.”
  • “When you set a goal, you’re not easily swayed by obstacles or disapproval from others.”
  • “Because you tend to focus on problems, you may come across as constantly dissatisfied.”
Some famous INTJs include Lance Armstrong, Katie Couric, Hillary Clinton and Peter Jennings.
I like having my personality profile today to help me be more aware of my style of handling different situations. It helps me use my strengths and know my weaknesses. But, I wish it was something I had understood as far back as elementary school. I’ve had teachers and college professors admonish me about my dislike of group projects, my introversion, etc. It’s nice to know that there was a much more valid reason than just my stubborn streak.

Jalapeno Butter Chicken Tenders

My new hot sauce. Purchased in Traverse City

Jeremy bought a new hot sauce for my collection this week. I was dying to try it.

Usually my recipe inventions crash and burn. Luckily, it’s pretty hard to screw up chicken tenders. I made these twice this week and Jeremy loves them.

Jalapeno Butter Chicken Tenders

3 chicken breasts
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Nature’s Seasoning
1 egg, beaten
Jalapeno Butter Cajun Basting Spray

*Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

1. Trim the chicken breasts and cut in half, making them two thin breasts.
2.  Cut these halves to the size you prefer for chicken strips.
3. Mix the breadcrumbs, garlic powder and Nature’s Seasoning.
4. Dip each strip in  egg and then in the dry mixture.
5. Place the strips in a greased baking pan.
6. Lightly spray the top with the Jalapeno Butter spray.
7.  Bake for 25 minutes and then flip the chicken. Then, lightly spray the top of the chicken again.
8. Continue to bake until crispy to your preference, or turn the broil setting on to speed things up (I prefer to do this because I am impatient).

When the chicken is cooked how you like it, serve with a side of hot sauce/BBQ sauce and a beer.

Also, if you’ve never heard of Jalapeno Butter Basting Spray, I found it in the Cajun cooking section (with the Tony’s brand stuff) at Meijer’s:

An impulse buy I do not regret

Social Media | Leadership Saginaw

On April 20, I spoke to the Leadership Saginaw group about social media and personal branding.

The presentation is available on Prezi: Social Media | Leadership Saginaw.

It also was recorded on video. Because of the set-up of the room, only the screen has been recorded. You cannot see me. The sound isn’t fantastic, but it’s not too hard to hear. The video is broken up into four parts:

  1. Part 1 – My background, social media revolution video and intro
  2. Part 2 – Research, planning and reminders
  3. Part 3 – Local examples and rules
  4. Part 4 – Personal branding

Beauty is Pain

I knew a pair of shoes eventually would become a casualty with a new dog in the house. Scout isn’t teething, but will chew on things if you are ignoring her. After losing one shoe to her sharp teeth, I used the other shoe for a creative photo shoot.

Thanks to Bridget Szuminsky for the creative name I used for this post! More photos are on my Facebook page.

Maternity Photos with Jennifer G.

New album posted: Maternity Photos with Jennifer G.

I offered to take some maternity photos for Jennifer because (1) she looks amazingly in shape for being pregnant and (2) her husband is overseas. I thought she would really like to be able to share the photos with him. I also had an idea to use his dogtags as a prop.

This was my very first maternity photo shoot and I discovered that the angles are incredibly difficult to get just right.

I used some PhotoShop actions to really make this photo give her a glow. 

You can see all of them on my Facebook Page, but here are my two other favorites:

Vino to vent by

Another story I wrote has been published in Mid Michigan’s Second Wave:
Vino to vent by: Whine gives residents a place to chill in style 





Photography page launched

I’ve launched a Facebook Page to feature my photography.

Go to to check it out.

Forget your career plan: Five tips for PR and marketing students

I’m an obsessive planner who makes spreadsheets for everything from my wedding to choosing the best dog food for Scout. My career was something I started planning back in high school. But, I’m starting to ease up and feel OK with just working hard toward my goals and letting my career evolve without a hard and fast plan.

The Harvard Business Review says career plans are dangerous.

Toward the end of my freshman year at CMU, I attended the annual CMU PRSSA spring conference and decided I wanted to work at an agency after graduation. I focused my entire college career on agency PR. I job shadowed two awesome agency pros (thanks, Lauren and Nikki!). I had the opportunity to intern at one of the top PR agencies before my senior year. Before graduation, I was offered a job at a marketing communications agency. My ultimate goal was to start my own agency in the future.

A year and a half later, I left. Somewhere along the way, I had a change in heart. Through my work with a probono client, I realized that I wanted to be in nonprofit.

In my interview with the foundation, I was asked where I saw myself in five years. I laughed lightly and said it would likely change, but I was interested in segueing into the world of nonprofit. Someday, I might even want to lead an organization myself.

But, life is unpredictable. Who knows? Maybe, in five years, I’ll start my own company. Maybe I’ll quit marketing altogether and become a photographer. Or a magazine editor. Or a professor.

HBR says: “Instead of formulating the logically perfect ending job and the optimal path to get there, begin with a direction, based on a real desire, and complement that with a strategy to discover and create opportunities consistent with that desire.”

In other words, it’s about the journey rather than the destination.

So, here’s my advice to the young PR pros out there:

  1. Don’t commit. Job shadow, go on informational interviews and intern at a variety of places. Try healthcare marketing. Look into nonprofit. Talk to people who have worked their way up the corporate ladder. Spend your spring break at an agency. Dip your fingers into every single niche you can to get an idea of what you like best. Try organizations of various sizes and cultures. This will help you figure out what makes you tick and where you’ll thrive.
  2. Look outside of PRSSA. I was in PRSSA for four years and it was a great experience. It helped connect me to people who gave me internship and job offers. I made some great friends. But, I honestly learned more during my time as press secretary for the Student Government Association. I was trusted with a substantial budget and was able to make a lot of decisions (and some mistakes) on my own. I also was able to work with some really great students who had broad interests – from chemistry to law.
  3. Match your job prospects with your personality. Are you an extrovert? If so, you might not enjoy a job that requires you to spend most of your days working alone in an office as a copywriter. Are you an introvert? If so, client-facing jobs might be extremely tiring. (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is a great book to read if you’re an introvert, like myself because it can help you understand this better).
  4. Make yourself memorable. Don’t assume that you’re going to get a job because you graduated with a degree, got decent grades and had an internship. You just described a decent percentage of job seekers. Do everything you can to make yourself stand out. Launch a nice online portfolio with your own domain name (yes, I think that matters), take on freelance work, network at events, meet local professionals for coffee, mentor students, speak to groups, etc.
  5. Find many mentors. Find professionals who you admire. Ask them questions about their careers. Ask for advice. Note that these people don’t have to commit to being your “mentor.” All of my mentor-mentee relationships have evolved from networking and simple Q&A via email or in person.
What’s your advice for PR pros just starting their careers?

Rescue Tales: Week 2

Scout has been with us for a week now. Here are some pictures taken at the beginning of Week 2. We got a long line so that we can work on “Come” and see how she behaves with more freedom. She did really well today and we were able to burn off some energy, especially when we played “Fetch” with the tennis ball.




Rescue Tales: Getting to know Scout

Scout has been wonderful so far. Here’ are pictures of her from day two. She is already coming when we call her in the house and sitting for us most of the time.  She will fetch balls/toys and bring them back too. We’re not really asking too much of her since she is still getting to know us.

Jeremy played with her and her new toy. Mostly she just will move it to her toy spot and leave it alone. She likes to put all her toys in the same place. My dog is OCD! She likes to keep the chipmunk toy in her crate, but the blue dog is usually not allowed in the crate (she’ll just take it out). We also bought a rubber ball that put peanut butter on the inside when we want to distract her.

She adores Jeremy…She follows him throughout the entire house.

She has tricked me into thinking she has to go to the bathroom twice. Then, when I get up, she assumes it’s OK to take my place on the couch next to Jeremy. It’s hard to tell a dog “no” when you’re laughing so hard.

I also think she’s got to be part bloodhound with the way she sniffs everything out.