Looking For Job Opportunities in Portland

I’m currently looking for online marketing and social media job opportunities in the Portland Metro Area (or remotely). I created a short little video to share what I’m looking for and for you to get to know me a little better. Thanks for watching!

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Tips For College Seniors

It has been a full year since I’ve graduated from the University of Oregon which also means it has been a full year of working in the “real world.” Though it has not been as scary as I imagined it would, I definitely can attribute much of my success to my actions during my senior year at the UO. Although many of my peers have just graduated, I thought it might be helpful to create a list of tips for what I thought benefited me while I was at school.

1. Internships. During my junior and senior year, I was involved in several internships — often more than one at a time. Yes, I was busy, but I also gained extremely valuable experience during the time when I needed it the most. Nearly all were unpaid but in the long run, it doesn’t matter. Take advantage of this experience while you can. Businesses will favor potential employees that have experience (unpaid or not) and it is much harder to work at an unpaid internship after you finish school when you have to start paying back student loans. Tip: There are many ways to find an internship — such as through your school, online, or social media. If you are still having trouble, find a local non-profit organization that you are passionate about. E-mail them and see if they could benefit from some of your skills!

2.Get involved on campus. Whatever your passion is, get involved in groups and activities with other people that share your passion. Though this is something I wish I did more of at the U of O, I had plenty of opportunity. For me, I could have become involved in my school’s PRSSA chapter or even Allen Hall Public Relations, a student-run PR firm at the U of O. If you don’t know of any activities that you can get involved in, ask your professor or talk to an advisor. These extracurricular activities look great on a resume.

3. Get to know your peers, professors and advisors — and stay in touch! Luckily for me, my classes senior year were all small and intimate, allowing me to get to know many of my peers and professors. These people are a great resource for you now and in the future. Everyone goes their separate way when they graduate and in the long run, that separation provides you to have resources in many different places. Not only can these people inform you about potential new opportunities but it’s always easier to get involved in a company if you already know someone who is connected. And, with social media now-a-days, it’s easy to keep in touch with these people.

4. Be involved and knowledgeable about new media. Technology is ever-changing and its growth will not stop anytime soon. Understanding and being involved in current and new technology just adds more to your personal branding. It’s even more important to know how to use this technology to benefit you in your field of interest. I personally have a strong interest in social media and have made an effort to incorporated my knowledge and interest in social media to use strategically for brand management. An updated and constant knowledge and understanding of new media, especially because it’s always changing, will set you apart from colleagues who lack this skill.

Although there are an infinite amount of tips for college seniors, these are my best four. What other tips would you recommend?

Informational Interviews

 

interview-reducedOver the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to have an informational interview with two prominent public relations professionals in Eugene, Ore. I wanted to share some key points that I learned from them.

I first interviewed Bridget Baker, Director of Corporate Public Relations at The Register-Guard. Ms. Baker described how the newspaper industry is severely affected by the economy and had a few recommendations for standing out from other grads trying to find a job. She strongly suggested learning Web design programs, such as Adobe Dreamweaver and believed that it is extremely important to know how to create and manage Web sites. She then told me that The Register-Guard is not hiring, except for in the area of Web design and management. Ms. Baker believed that although job opportunities are slim with the current economy, there are still Web-based jobs that are hiring. From this information I immediately enrolled myself in several ART408 seminars at the UO, which teach beginning, intermediate, and advanced Dreamweaver. It is extremely interesting (and fun), and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to learn Web design tools.

My second informational interview was with Monica Shovlin, Vice-President of the Ulum Group. From this informational interview, I received an internship interview that led to a part-time internship at which I am currently involved. Informational interviews are an outstanding and easy way to network and get your name out there. From this interview I learned more about the Ulum Group as an organization and discovered that it was a place that I wanted to gain experience from. Although public relations has been taking a hit from the economy, there are many companies still investing in PR because it is a cost effective way of creating awareness. Something that Monica felt was extremely important in public relations is knowledge of social media and how to use it in marketing. Everyone can use social media for personal use but it’s important (in the PR world) to know how to effectively use it for a company. From this advice, I decided to take a Social Media Marketing course at the UO to help me build these skills. 

I wanted to end this blog post with a list of the top 5 things I’d recommend to do at an informational interview:

5. Do your research. Make sure you know information about the person and the company before you go into the interview. Google them. It’s important that you go into the interview knowing basic information so that you aren’t asking irrelevant questions (and wasting you and the interviewer’s time). 

4. Dress nicely. Dress so that the company you are interviewing for would want you to work for them. When the situation comes, you’ll want to be more overdressed than underdressed.

3. Bring a polished copy of your resume and possibly a few writing samples to leave behind. Bring your portfolio. Even if you don’t end up giving them to your interviewer, it’s important to be prepared.

2. ASK QUESTIONS! This is why you are there! And don’t be afraid to ask certain question either. However, be reasonable and polite.

1. Lastly, make sure that you ask the interviewer two things: 1) Do you recommend anyone else to talk to? and 2) What can I do to present myself better? Both of these questions will not only show that you are professional and care about your doing, but they will help you in the future. Maybe this interview led to a dead-end but the next interview may lead to a job!

Don’t forget to send a thank you note and maintain contact after the interview.

Quick Update on my Life

Busy Woman

Busy Woman

It has been forever since I’ve written a post, I’m so sorry! This is going to be a quick little update on my life.

Right now I’m interning at the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. I am the publicity intern for the ACS, and I have a feeling that it is going to be a lot of work. I’m going to be doing the publicity for the Eugene Relay for Life as well as the UO Relay for Life. It will be an amazing experience, and I hope to build some great relationships with people in Eugene.

I’m also interning at the American Red Cross. This internship will be fun and not as stressful because it is very flexible. I’m going to be able to set my own hours and gain a wide range of experience. I’ve already created a PSA and a teaser for the local newspaper here. Very exciting.

I only have two more terms left here at the University of Oregon, and I’m a little stressed out. I need to start looking for a job and with this economy, I am feeling a bit worried. Classes this term are interesting. I’m taking two breadth classes for the journalism school as well as campaigns, the final public relations class in the sequence. In my campaigns class, we are put into groups and work with a real nonprofit organizations around Eugene. Our client is the Network Charter School, a charter school in this area. Their goal is to increase enrollment, and we as a group are figuring out ways to do this.

I have so many projects going on, it’s hard to keep them all straight! But I hope to write more blog posts in the near future. I’ll definitely be keeping updates on my projects including all my problems and successes. Check back soon!

PR Help?

thinking_woman4

I have a PR problem that I need help with.

A nonprofit organization that I intern at set a huge goal of fundraising a million dollars last year. They did not reach that goal. This year, they are trying to set a new goal, and they are contemplating setting a goal for a smaller, more reasonable amount of $800,000. Last year they brought in nearly $750,000.

Now, in the eyes of the public, does this look like a cop out? Does it look the the organization is giving up hope? Even though achieving a $800,000 goal would be outstanding, it still is less than the original. In my eyes, moving the goal downward is a bad sign.

But on the other side, it makes sense to set the goal at a reasonable amount. This lowered goal gives the organization an easier chance to achieve it. And, there is still the possibly of completely surpassing the goal.

Does anyone have any knowledge on what to do in this situation? I’m not sure what to do. As of right now, I’m leaning towards keeping the goal at a million dollars. Even though I don’t know if they will achieve this amount, I still feel that the higher goal will make people reach and strive to achieve it. What do you think?

The Point — Do you get it?

logo_wordsI’ve been working with a student organization (Oregon Direct Action) for the past couple weeks, and they’ve been coming up with different ways to fundraise for their group. One idea that I’ve never heard of was to use The Point, a Web site that helps you fundraise. 

This Web site is a little different from other fundraising sites. It is self described as “campaigns meet the tipping point.” From their Web site, “On The Point, all campaigns have a “tipping point” — people pledge to give money or do something, but no one does a thing until the conditions are met to make contributions worthwhile.” So basically, you don’t have to give money unless your fundraising goal is reached. That way people who are giving money know where their money is going. Makes sense!

I thought this Web site was a great idea. The student group wants to raise money to hire and send a sociologist to Peru for part of a project they are working on. But not all fundraising on The Point is serious. One member is going to make a birthday list and send it to her friends and family — she wants to raise up enough money so that she can travel to Peru with other members of the group. It’s very interesting to browse some of the campaigns that The Point hosts. You can search by channels, such as the environment, animals, artists, politics, or whatever you prefer.

It’s interesting how the Internet has become so multifaceted. You can do so much for your company or organization without leaving home. Not only is it more cost efficient (it doesn’t cost anything to put a post on The Point), but sometimes it’s a better way to reach your audience. Looking at some of the posts on The Point, many of them are directly related to college students. What a perfect way to reach their target audience! Please, take a look at The Point and see what you think. Does it look legitimate? Would you donate money to a cause on The Point?

Internships — Free labor?

internshipA couple of weeks ago, I came across a blog based off of the book “Stuff White People Like” (thanks for the tweet Ali!).  Post #105 was unpaid internships.

Although I don’t consider myself white — I am half Japanese and consider myself mixed — I feel like this post refers to me. Perhaps this blog post in particular can be extended to any young person in college, for I feel like most of the people around me strive to find internships relating to their future career.

Anyway, this blog wrote, “Young white people… prefer internships that put them on the path for careers that will generally result in a DECREASE of the material wealth accumulated by their parents.” This means that us young people would prefer an internship that relates to our career aspirations, and not get paid, to a job where we get paid — but is unrelated to our goals.

Of course we’d like the best of both these situations, a paid internship that relates to our field of study, but those are seeming harder and harder to find.

I just got accepted at two internships, both unpaid. Right now, I feel like this is the best fit for me. I get to shape my own hours, both of which I intern for less than 10 hours a week each — something that I wouldn’t have as much control over at a paid internship. My internships are both with nonprofit organizations, places where there isn’t much money in the first place. Even though I don’t get paid, I want to work in nonprofits when I graduate so the experience I’m getting is exactly what I need.

If you look at it from the other perspective, unpaid internships are free labor to the company or organization. Is this really fair? Many internships require a lot of work and effort out of the student, as much as any employee, but they are not getting paid. Hmm, what a dilemma.

In all, internships are very important for college students. You don’t want to graduate without any experience;  it would be much tougher to find a job. Personally, I feel like it’s more important to find an internship that fits your wants and needs than to find one that pays well. Maybe that’s just me.

Perhaps my colleagues feel differently. What do other college students think about unpaid internships?