Personal Note: Improving my Professional Life

As I sit here on my comfy sectional, I’m beginning to think of all the items on the to-do list for the summer.  My thought process is aided with some caffeine and Serge Gainsbourg’s “Melody” featuring a wide range of emotions expressed instrumentally through classic rock and orchestral strings.  His deep, mellow voice speaks to me even though I don’t understand any of the French that so eloquently floats off his lips.  Spring term is officially over for me tomorrow and I’m still waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted for the internship I’ve applied for.

It all started with a retweet (Twitter talk for reposting) from my PR instructor stating that GarageGames was looking for a Marketing / PR intern.  I asked my instructor if she though I had enough experience and she told me it couldn’t hurt to apply.  So, I did just that!  I applied about a month ago and made it through the various hurtles including emailing a resume, cover letter, and a sample of my writing in the form of three product descriptions and a press release.  I’ve played video games for over 20 years so figuring out how to describe a game was relatively simple.  The press release was different.  This term is my first in pre-journalism at the University of Oregon and I haven’t been shown how to create a press release, but throughout the term various people demonstrated some writing tips for press releases.  So, with their help and an Internet model, I created my own press release for GarageGames.  Apparently it was good enough because the next step was the interview.

I dressed as professionally as possible without over-doing it but now, when I look back on it, I feel like there could’ve been some better topics to touch upon that I missed.  I think almost everyone feels that way after an interview so I’m trying not to put myself down over it.  I had a brain-fart or two but hoped that my enthusiasm and openness in communication made up for it.  I left the interview feeling pretty good but haven’t heard anything and it’s going on a week-and-a-half since the interview.  Just because I haven’t heard anything doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped researching that company and other start-ups similar to it.

I recently just connected with an old associate that I communicated with occasionally when I first started as a Loud Rock Format Director at KWVA.  His name is Eric Peltier and he’s been really helpful in giving me tips on career finding.  He’s pretty much my idol when it comes to professionalism and I mean that!  So, I’ve been researching what tools PR professionals use and then proceed to get some experience with that tool way ahead of when I graduate.  I’ve also found some great books on PR and video games that I’m planning on reading over the summer.  That’s what real learning is to me.  Finding it for myself, just like the press release.

In short, keep your passions in your everyday life and never stop learning.  Just because something doesn’t go your way, it doesn’t mean you have to be down about it.  If anyone remarks on how you aren’t good enough for something, keep your head high and work harder at it.  If it’s something you’re passionate about, the outlook is good that you’re only going to improve!

Media Fast (More Like Media, Slow!)

I now understand what it would be like to be on a desert island.  It would be BORING!  For my assignment in Mass Media & Society, I couldn’t consume any media for two days.  I decided to choose a Friday and Saturday to suffer it out because Friday was a complete day off from work and school while Saturday was just a full day of work.  I realized all too soon that this was going to be a long, two days.

DAY 1: THE BOREDOM BEGINS

It’s a warm, sunny morning of my media fast and I already had to avoid watching television because my girlfriend, whom I live with, was watching it.  Once she found out that I was on my fast, she complied with my situation and kept the television shut off.  I don’t really watch much television so it didn’t matter to me.  What did matter was avoiding Internet.  I love surfing the Internet because of all the different information on it.  Social media is one of my favorite things to interact with and since it’s a key tool for a Public Relations major, it’s a part of my student life.  I also had to avoid my RSS feed, recreational web sites, and more.  The only exception was school material, (which I found was similar to a smoker quitting by chewing on a straw.)

It didn’t take long before I was bored as hell.  I just sat in my living room with nothing on.  So, I had a bright idea… I’ll clean the garage!  Yeah, that would totally be an awesome way to take my mind off media.  Four hours later, the garage was reorganized, I found a ton of stuff I forgot I had – and I could walk in it.  So, my lack of media consumption had already started to be a positive experience but dinner was still to come.

I imagine that many of the people across the United States all watch television while they eat dinner.  If they don’t watch television, perhaps there’s some music or background noise that provides mood to the atmosphere.  Now imagine having nothing but silence while you eat.  Just. Silence.  It is so awkward!  My girlfriend and I just sat on the couch while eating dinner, trying to make conversation with the silence deadening most of our thoughts.  After dinner, I decided to read my textbook and ended up going to bed early mostly because of how bored I really was.

DAY 2: A MUCH DIFFERENT WORK DAY

The next morning was pretty much the same as the day before.  I checked my school email because it was the only media I was allowed to take in.  Then, I was off to work!  I’m employed at an independent music, movie, and video game store in downtown Eugene.  Luckily, I didn’t have to package any Amazon items that day or else I would’ve been forced to use a computer and that would’ve been like putting a glass of pure grain alcohol in front of an ex-alcoholic fresh out of rehab.  There were only two things I couldn’t do: Pick music and use the Internet.  I was still exposed to some media because there’s always music playing on the sound-system but I made sure not to request anything so that it’d basically be like seeing a billboard on the street.  By the end of the work, I was so drained that I shuffled home and passed out for the night.

Over the previous two days, I realized how much media I actually use and if I didn’t have it around… I’d probably go crazy.  It makes me wonder if that’s the reason why our Government offered coupons for discount digital converter boxes?  How many people do you think would go crazy if they didn’t have their television?