My First Half Marathon

 

after the race with our medals

 

This weekend my friends Riley and Chelsey and I went to Disney World for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. It was my first half marathon and I was pumped! We signed up for this race in September, but had been planning on it for over a year. I can’t believe it is now over!

After my Avon Walk in October I completed a six week walk to run program from Women’s Health Magazine then I started training for the race!  I ran 3x/week and the longest run I completed before this weekend was 10 miles.

The running itself during the race was difficult for me. It was very hot and humid in Florida, even at 6am. In addition, the race was on concrete or roadways the entire time, and there were some hills (not expected for FL).

But the race was amazing! 17,000 women (and a few men) ran/walked in princess costumes. There were characters and music every mile and we ran through Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s castle.  The best part was seeing all the supporters out cheering us on! Although I did not run as quickly as I hoped, it was still a great experience.

I never considered myself a runner until today. I am proud of this accomplishment and can’t wait to see where I’ll go next!

PRSSA meeting: Advice from USA Today HR Staff

At Elon’s PRSSA meeting this month we skyped with Amy Pesavento a human resources director at USA Today and Gannett. She gave some great advice related to the job search:

• Develop an elevator speech: be confident and keep your goal in mind

• Develop several resumes: each tailored to  agency, corporate or government/nonprofit

• Cover letters should not repeat your resume: pick 2 highlights from your resume to focus on

• If you really want the job then you can email or call a contact person about a week after you applied: you can say “I’ve applied for x position and was wondering if you have any advice how to get an interview”

• Have your resume, cover letter and job posting in quick reach for when the company calls: they may do a phone interview right on the spot

• Sample interview questions: why did you apply for this position,  jobs you have had in the past, why you chose your major/school, favorite/least favorite aspect of work experience,  provide examples of situations or skills.

I am in the beginning stages of my job search and would love any advice you have for me! I am looking for a communications position in North Carolina (specifically Charlotte, Raleigh or Greensboro).

Strategies from School of Communications Alumni

This week at Elon is Professional Discovery Week and I attended a session today called  How to Win Friends and Influence Your Career: Strategies from School of Communications Alumni

Here is some of the key advice I took away from the panel!
Advice on the job search:

  • Ensure your self-marketing tools are on point.  Tailor each application piece for the company you are applying for. Making the extra effort will show your passion.
  • Always write a thank you note. Laura Ward ’09, post production coordinator at National Geographic, wrote her thank you notes in the hotel and mailed them from D.C. to ensure they arrived before a decision was made.
  • Have an attitude of gratefulness. People love to help people and will be more than willing to talk to you.
  • Network network network. All 4 panelists got their job from face-to-face contact and referrals. Don’t underestimate the value of meeting in person.
  • Go after what you want.  If there is a company that is your dream to work for them, then go for it!

Once you get the job:

  •  Do work beyond your pay. Contribute ideas, work after your job to show your passion and initiative. Become a valuable resource to your company and your co-workers.
  • Learn and embrace the culture.  Understand the attire, how lunch breaks work, etc
  • Meet as many people as you can.  Get to know their interests, experience and get advice from them.

On connecting with your contacts:

  • Think of excuses to email them. Tell them about stuff you are doing outside of work, an award you won, etc. For example,  Julie Marateck ’03 communications coordinator for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, let her contacts know of a photography exhibit her put on.
  • Use Google alerts for the company. When you see the company you interned for won a new client or got an award, send a quick congratulations note.

General advice:

  • It’s okay to be scared before graduation – Ryan Sweeney ’10, monitoring and metrics specialist at Ignite Social Media
  • Stay ambitious, stay humble” – Eric Hall ’05 , producer for  CNN in Atlanta

What I Learned at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Last week I had the opportunity to volunteer with the media team for the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. I thoroughly enjoyed my time, learning about a sport that I’ve always just been a spectator for.

As a volunteer I assisted with escorting skaters from the Kiss and Cry (where they receive their scores) to the media mix zone to be interviewed by journalists. I also helped record their comments to be later used as quotes. In addition, after every competition session there was a press conference for the top three competitors. For this, I assisted with set-up and also ran the microphone to the media to ask questions.

One of the biggest things I enjoyed while volunteering was getting a chance to know the athletes. Granted, it was mostly through interviews and press conferences, but I loved getting to know them as more than someone I saw compete on tv. It was nice to hear them talk about their training, the story behind their programs and their goals for the season.

As far as communications experience, I learned how quickly you must act during a live competition and a nationally televised event. Everything is rapid fire and requires a lot of planning and communication. You must keep track of athletes, pay attention to the scores and know who the journalists want to talk to.  I also learned a lot about the sport technically – like terms of elements in the programs and the different between pairs, dancing and novice/junior/senior. I loved being thrown into a situation and trying to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible.

As a media volunteer, I was in the media workroom often. I liked seeing how the media work during a competition, with photographers on one side to use the ethernet cords, while journalists wrote using wi-fi. They were always provided with food and tvs showing what was going on the ice. They also had access to stands at the ice rink to write while they were watching.

The skaters continuously said they enjoyed the city of Greensboro, and felt that it was a very welcoming environment. There were banners on the street lights and the fans were good too.

It was fun to be part of something on a national level and know that I helped make the event run smoothly. The staff, media, other volunteers and skaters were great to work with. The championships were a great atmosphere and had lots of energy because it is a national competition and I hope I can work with something similar in the future.

This put a new idea in my head about working with sports communications. I have always been interested in gymnastics, but having this experience at a competition made me think this is an option for a career.