Anything But Boring

IMG_5216Hat: Francesca’s Collection | Blouse: Forever21 | Vest and Jacket: Zara | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

I’ve been a big fan of black and white lately, and I like the challenge of mixing different patterns and textures to create an interesting and dynamic look. I believe in the quote, “black is anything but boring.” By adding the right pieces, you can instantly elevate an outfit to become a standout look. In my case, I made a simple blouse more interesting by twisting the front instead of buttoning it straight down, and I had fun with the accessories.

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Interning at a large PR agency, as told by Buddy the Elf

This semester has been an absolute whirlwind. While I’m wrapping up my time in Boston this year, I reflected on my experience at Regan Communications Group. Working at a large agency has been so much fun and provided me with an excellent learning experience. From administrative work to PR 101, I picked up my fair share of lessons and skills.

  1. At a large agency, you wear many hats for many clients. I drafted press releases and media advisories, posted calendar listings, clipped press coverage, worked at events…the list goes on. One minute, I might be pushing out a media advisory about an upcoming fundraiser, while hours later, you could find me staffing a themed event in the Seaport District surrounded by puppies (it’s happened before)! Needless to say I’ve gotten fairly good at juggling! Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.32.08 PM
  2. Before interning at Regan, I was slightly terrified to make ~professional~ phone calls. I used to screen callers at a previous internship, but here, I was playing the big leagues and talking to journalists and publishers. Dialing all those digits definitely helped me gain more confidence in my phone etiquette. Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.39.27 PM
  3. I even got to spend a few days running around Boston to take photos, pick up products, and run errands. With the large range of tasks I did around the city, I have Boston’s streets memorized like the back of my hand. Also, I may or may not have developed “excellent” pedestrian skills… Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.47.47 PM
  4. When staffing events, I learned to be a friendly face as I was the first person that welcomed guests to the venue and got them settled. (This wasn’t hard, obviously, since our events were always fun!)Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.54.21 PM
  5. After events, the team would occasionally get dinner together, so I also made sure to polish up my dining etiquette. Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.57.33 PM

 

Honestly, the list of things I learned could go on for days. I originally did not plan on interning this semester because of my academic schedule, but I am beyond glad that I did. My most important and meaningful takeaway from working at Regan was the affirmation of the way I feel about public relations: Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 4.02.08 PM

 

Crazy Dog Lady (but, this has a point)

If you’ve talked to me for at least 10 minutes, you’ll know I have a dog. You will also probably be pretty sure that I am obsessed with said dog. What you won’t know, however, is that she’s only been mine for about six months.

This is Lexie. Lexie is a two year-old chihuahua Jack Russell terrier mix who I adopted from the Peninsula Humane Society this past summer. Although I’ve only had her for six months (and because of college, physically with her for three), I feel like she has been a lifelong best friend.

Although small, Lexie has one of the biggest hearts and biggest personalities I’ve ever experienced (humans included). She’s sassy, smart and loving. I know all dog owners say that, but I think she’s special…and I shamelessly express that about every three hours.

The point of this blog post isn’t just to express my love for my dog. Here’s some background: Lexie was found in January 2015, tied to a pole with a short rope and no food or shelter. Nobody knows how long she was left alone, but she was six pounds when they found her (today she’s at a normal weight of 12 pounds). The shelter took her in, nursed her back to good health, and she was ready to be adopted about two weeks later. You would think that with such a good temperament and adorable face, she’d get adopted in no time.

Fast forward to late May 2015, Lexie was still in the shelter. My dad and I stopped in one afternoon to just look around and ~consider~ getting a dog. I found a shy dog snuggled up in the corner of a room full of yappy, jumpy chihuahuas. She had the same markings as my best friend’s dog and my Big’s cat, so I asked to see her out of curiosity. We fell in love and brought her home that same day.

From day 1, Lexie approached me with unconditional love, enthusiasm, and trust. To be honest, that’s the way she greets almost every human. From the way I’ve seen her react to certain situations, I can tell she was abused in the past. She went through so many traumatic experiences, from abuse to abandonment to almost six months in a shelter.But what I find remarkable is the unwavering resilience and trust she has in people. And this isn’t true for just Lexie. I’ve seen the same characteristic in every shelter dog I’ve met.

Shelter dogs have an unbelievable about of trust, forgiveness and resilience to them that is so inspiring. And to top that, all they want from people is a little love and attention. I know that dogs are on so many wish lists this holiday season, but before jumping at anything, please stop by your local shelter and consider adopting a best friend.

Brunch Time: Bees Knees Supply Company

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First of all, major props to anyone who can make Allston look this classy and trendy. Bees Knees is a cafe and mini-grocery located in Allston, MA that serves great food, keeps up with the latest coffee culture and supports local businesses. It makes for a great casual brunch spot on the weekends, or a cool study place during the week.

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My friends and I take our breakfast sandwiches very seriously, and Bees Knees didn’t disappoint. I had the Lobster McMuffin, which had lobster, egg, arugula and lemon malaise on an english muffin. My friends had the bacon egg and cheese McMuffin, which had exactly that. While both were great, we did all decide that the bacon egg and cheese was our favorite. The three of us also got pumpkin lattes (because fall, duh), which were absolutely amazing. They were a perfect balance of pumpkin and espresso, and surprisingly were not overbearingly sweet.

Overall: I recommend coming here at least once. I definitely want to come again and try their other brunch items and drinks. (Tip: they have cold-brew nitro coffee!) If not for the food, come for the atmosphere. I am obsessed with West Village in New York, and this shop definitely made me feel like a cool New Yorker.

Book Obsessions

School does a funny thing with reading…it makes you hate it. Okay, not necessarily hate, but reading becomes a chore the minute you are forced to do it. It makes the pages of a book lose their distinct smell, and the magic within the story disappears through analytical papers and tedious exams.

But I really do enjoy a good leisure book. While my definition of “good” varies from others (sorry, lifelong Harry Potter fans), these are the ones I couldn’t put down this month.

GOING OFF SCRIPT | Giuliana Rancic

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Considering I wanted to be the next Giuliana Rancic at one point in my life, I may be a little biased towards this book. But it is amazing. I laughed, I cried, and I learned a lot. I learned so much about Rancic and her journey through life and work. Reading this book and taking a ride with her (I phrase it like that because she writes in such a friendly and approachable manner) also encouraged me to think critically about my life, reflect on my experiences and look to my future. While I thought I would gain insider information on Hollywood reporting, I actually learned how to be happy and embrace myself. Rancic’s goofy anecdotes reminded me of life’s simple pleasures. Her heart-wrenching yet courageous narrative of her battle with breast cancer and IVF taught me to be resilient and brave. And her candid descriptions of past relationships and marriage to Bill helped me reflect on and recognize my self-worth.

LEAVE YOUR MARK | Aliza Licht

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Leave Your Mark is the most interesting and well-written textbook I’ve ever read, but it’s not actually a textbook. I call it that because I honestly think this book is more valuable than any other textbook I’ve read as a COM student at Boston University. While this is targeted at a female audience, it provides so many lessons that any young media professional can use. Licht is the brain behind @DKNYPRGirl, an account that launched fashion into the social media world. She writes in a way that is authoritative, compelling and inspiring. The media maven also includes anecdotes and real-life examples that clearly illustrate what you should and should not do through each step of your career — from being a student all the way up to CEO. While this one is for a narrower audience, I encourage any and all aspiring PR professionals to read it.

New England Fall

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As much as I complain about Boston’s weather (one day it’s too hot and humid, another day it’s too cold and frigid), I can agree that they do autumn right. From the perfectly crisp air to beautiful leaves and fun fall activities, times like this make me wish I grew up in New England. Everything in the area during fall looks like it came out of a movie!

Every year, my sorority goes apple picking in Stow, Massachusetts, a small suburb outside of Boston. Prior to college, I had never gone apple picking before, so I go a little nuts each time I’m at the orchard.

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I also forgot to eat breakfast, so I ate the first five apples I picked.

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Summer Internships

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After weeks of polishing your resume, begging your peers and colleagues for feedback, hours of interviews and sleepless nights, you finally land an internship for the summer.

Summer is the most competitive season for interns because with no classes, everyone has time to intern. While nailing a summer internship can be hard, sometimes the harder part is getting noticed at your internship, or learning all the skills you hoped to acquire. With giant offices and teams of interns, it’s easy to get lost in a crowd or get intimidated by the office setting. Many of my friends have told me that once they step foot in that office, they often get forgotten in the cubicle, left to twiddle their thumbs or pretend they’re working.

Here are some internship tips I’ve learned this past summer:

1. Don’t be shy. You probably went through some sort of interview, so the company obviously saw something in you and enjoyed speaking with you. Keep the conversation going. Ask questions. At the end of the day, summarize what you did (be sure to check tip #3), ask if there’s anything else you can help with. Remember to stay professional, but match the level of your supervisor/coworkers. If they crack a casual joke, laugh. If they tell a story, react or compare with a story of your own. Don’t be that stereotypical silent intern. Be someone they will miss having around the office.

2. Don’t dismiss the “grunt-work.” I know that for most interns, work isn’t always the most riveting, time-pressured, exciting project we’d hoped for. But it is work that needs to be completed, and the company depends on it. While research, compiling lists, social media, answering phones, or even coffee runs seem so mundane, think about how the company would function if they skipped that step (if we skipped the coffee step, we would all be zombies. duh.).

3. Go above and beyond. Exciting or boring, treat all projects the same. That means go above and beyond for everything. Make sure you’re doing the best possible job on the task at hand. For research, annotate your research to make it easier for the reader. For social media, use Iconosquare or another app to keep track of engagement and followers, and report back with results. Find creative ways to produce excellent work and leave a *small* taste of you in that work. You don’t want your voice all over that work, but you want your company to know that you are consistent and valuable.

4. Keep tabs on your projects. At the end of the day, draft an email that summarizes what you worked on, how you achieved the goal, goals for next time, and something you learned. It’s up to you if you want to send this to your boss (maybe not every day, but on a day you’re very proud of). Regardless, it is a great habit to get into because self-reflection keeps you mindful and will jog your memory next time you go add to your resume.

5. Network! I can’t stress how important this is. I built excellent connections at my internships by generating common ground with my coworkers and supervisors. Make yourself memorable through reliable work and friendly office demeanor. Always be approachable, eager, and ready to take on more. But at the same time, suck your internship dry. Go to lunch with your supervisors or coworkers, ask for career advice, tell them what your plans are after this internship.

6. Enjoy the summer. If you have an internship, chances are that you’re in college. As college students, our summers are limited. Savor every moment and make sure you still have time to enjoy classic summer activities. Even just enjoy the weather by stepping out during your lunch breaks! Last year, I made the mistake of working every single day that I was not at my internship. I just went with the motions and before I knew it, summer was over. This year, I still work outside of my internship, but I don’t work weekends. So although summer is still flying by, I have enjoyed beach days, weekend trips, zip lining, and countless memories with friends. I know this can be tricky, but the easiest way to do this is follow this rule: weekends are weekends.