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  • Danielle 7:55 pm on December 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: communications, , final exams, , , last week, what i have learned   

    It’s the final countdown. 

    …no not that famous 1980’s song, but the actual final countdown. Today is Tuesday and I will be done with all my exams/papers/internship THIS Thursday! I know it is so cliche, but where has the time gone?? Wasn’t it only last week I was uploading my intro post and getting lost on the metro going to work? How did all of these papers sneak up on me all at once?

    (More …)

  • Danielle 9:18 pm on November 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , communications, confirmation, , ,   

    Total Career Confirmation 

    So, today I had the opportunity to interview of one my colleagues who has recently returned from a trip to Liberia where she helped to implement a two-day workshop to train local leaders on how to best report data to our organization. See, our organization (Fund for Peace), aims to prevent conflict, so it is vital that we have an ongoing and accurate stream of info to do so. What I found out is that, for lack of a better phrase, you don’t know what you don’t know.

    (More …)

  • mrbrefast 7:48 pm on September 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: communications, , Diversity, , Expectations, , small group meetings   

    Variations on a theme: Diversity in the Workplace 

    As a student of American University, we often learn about the vital importance of a pluralistic society, wherein people of all types (be that gender, age, ethnicity, &c. ad infinitum) can coexist and thrive together no matter the challenges that approach them.  As I mentioned previously in a post on this blog, I attended AU at the undergraduate level as well, so I have received all sorts of wisdom and insights into the process of enabling various groups of people to live and work together successfully, but there are times when the direct skills or knowledge one has about diversity can simply fail to carry the day when attempting to implement it.  I am not speaking about problems of accepting difference of gender, race, or the like – my office here at ICMA is actually quite diverse, and we all get along extremely well along those lines.  The problem I refer to is one of different ages, and the effects that ends up having on learning, communication, and by far most importantly: expectations about learning and communication. (More …)

  • Kristine Untalan 1:02 am on July 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , communications, , metromix, ,   


    I’ve been having a lot of fun these past few weeks — even more so with some projects out of what I normally do while in the newsroom (videos/newsmaker/editing), which I really enjoyed.

    My mentor Angie has been working on some stories for distracted driving within the DMV area and I’ve been helping out with the research — namely, laws from each area (and they are severely different) and other things to report on from a local angle. That segment came out great. I had completely forgotten about this promotion, but Sprint and the Do Something project are backing the anti-distracted driving movement by providing thumb socks to stop people from texting, which is brilliant — and possibly the next story she’ll work on. Fingers crossed (no thumbs though)!

    I’ve also been volunteering with DC Metromix (affiliated with WUSA9) for the DC’s Hottest 5 concert series at some local bars. It’s been a great experience to do the more gritty work of live events from a promotional point of view, and I’ve been able to listen to some great music and meet some great people in the process. While I don’t think party/event promoting is in my future, it made me reminisce of my high school tv production days of pulling dirty cables around.

    ALSO: I have my own blog post on Angie’s site! Small accomplishment, but seeing the ‘By Kristine Untalan, Special to OMG’ is still pretty cool.

    Behind the cut are some photos from the event! Clicky clicky! (More …)

  • Alex Priest 3:49 pm on July 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: age, communications, , , labels, student, titles, young   

    Is “Student” a Dirty Word? 

    I started thinking about this just this morning when one of my professional friends, who I greatly admire, respect, and trust, was explaining to me how I don’t necessarily need to emphasize my inexperience when talking about my skills. In other words, my bio doesn’t need start out with “Alex Priest is a senior at American University…” and all my “first time” experiences don’t necessarily need to be labeled as such.

    I agree, for the most part, but it got me wondering… is “student” a dirty word in today’s world of professionalism and networking?

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    • Minna Scherlinder Morse 3:37 pm on July 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Based on my experience with students, I think that rather than a label that “defines” experience, age, maturity, etc., in reality the term student actually DEFIES those expectations. It’s all about your audience and their expectations. There is much to be gained by identifying yourself as a student while you can. People are willing to take you under their wing in a way they may be more reluctant to when your implicit title is simply “job hunter.” Use all your identifying titles/labels judiciously. If you want to impress someone with your readiness to work for pay, then shy away from “student” a smidge. But if you’re loving soaking in all the insights and knowledge the world has to offer a “student,” soak away…

    • Robert SanGeorge 8:45 pm on July 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      No, student is not a dirty word. But I would frame the issue differently. Rather than worry about being treated as a second-class citizen in some workplaces because you are an intern, think of the glass as being half-full, and how you can encourage people to treat you as a budding young professional. There are numerous ways to make this happen. Perhaps you already do all the things I’m about to mention. If not, consider it.

      For example: you tell people you are a young professional by the way you dress, the way you carry yourself, the way you greet people — and by displaying a constant seriousness of purpose, while of course maintaining a sense of humor. You tell people you aspire to move up in the professional world by showing up for work a little bit early and leaving a little bit late. You jump in and roll up your sleeves no matter what the job, and even if you were not asked to do it. Arrange the chairs for a workshop — yes. Greet conference attendees as they get off the elevator — yes. Take notes as a meeting for the entire group — yes.

      You raise the issue of social media. When it comes to Twitter, facebook, et al, young people for sure tend to be more experienced than others and have a good intuitive sense of what works and what doesn’t. But understand that much of the best analysis and strategic thinking about social media outreach is being done by people over 30 who have a broad, comprehensive grasp of all communications media and their use for political campaigns, advocacy causes and for-profit product marketing. That is the difference between being a social media content producer or being a vice president of communications.

      Yes, there is no question you might not be treated as a full professional in many workplaces until you receive your undergraduate degree and lose the title of intern. And that is no excuse for anyone treating you disrespectfully or disdainfully. But as a one-time student of Latin, I can tell you that the English word is derived from the Latin “studere”, which loosely translated refers to someone who pursues the learning of a subject with zeal. Certainly that is something of which to be proud and not ashamed.

      • Alex Priest 3:04 pm on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I couldn’t agree more! I think my post came off a little more negatively than I’d intended–it’s not necessarily that that happens to me often (it doesn’t), I was looking at it more from a philosophical standpoint, i.e. wouldn’t it be nice if students were *always* looked at as “someone who pursues the learning of a subject with zeal”?

        You give fantastic advice and as an intern I strive to do all those things each and every day. And I couldn’t agree more in terms of social media. I’ve consistently found that, while I often know the tools, terminology, and execution better than those that are more senior to myself, I’m constantly learning new tricks of the trade in terms of broad, comprehensive strategy and traditional marketing techniques from them.

        I’m very proud to call myself a student–and I don’t think I’ll ever shed that title (we’re all students, right?). But it is interesting seeing how just those words “student,” “intern,” etc. can result in very different interpretations depending on the viewer.

        Thanks for the comment!

  • Alex Priest 2:31 pm on June 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , communications, , facebook, , , , , theory, web   

    Just How Thin IS The “Thin Line” Between Marketing and PR 

    One of my first lessons at the CEA? There’s more to differentiate marketing and PR than I previously thought. I still believe it’s a pretty thin line (and always getting thinner), but it’s been fascinating to see things from a marketing perspective as opposed to communications.

    In the past, as I’ve said before, most of my internships have been in communication departments and at a PR agency, always bordering on marketing, but never enough for me to call myself a “marketing intern.” At CEA, that’s my title, and the differences are becoming more clear to me every day.

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    • ashleywolos 1:34 am on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Alex,
      I totally understand what you mean. For the past year I interned at a marketing, advertising & PR firm but worked mostly on marketing and advertising whereas now my current internship is specifically in a Comm department. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it. While the line still exists it’s more like a dotted line that has occasionally has some solid segments occasionally.

  • Alex Priest 2:00 pm on February 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: communications, conference, , , outsidetheinternship, , rc10, rootscamp, unconference   

    Life Outside the Internship — RootsCamp 

    Now even though this blog is technically just about interning, I’ve got a feeling they won’t mind me giving you a few tips for outside the internship as well. In this case, I just wanted to mention my participation in the New Organizing Institute’s RootsCamp here in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.

    The “camp” was actually an “unconference.” An unconference is sort of a new style of conference, one in which the participants completely control the agenda of the weekend. Basically, the hosting organization sets up a space, basic time schedule and arranges food, ticketing, etc. Then, when participants arrive, they are given a blank card to create their own seminar-style session, which then fits in on the giant “grid” of sessions for the conference.

    Surprisingly, it usually goes far more smoothly than real conferences. Anyway, RootsCamp was a conference for organizers of advocacy campaigns, social justice campaigns, and progressive political campaigns to get together and learn from each other. Sessions were wide-ranging: some focused on communications tools and strategies, like social media, while others focused on specific policy areas, specific organizations, or even just a current event or person in the news.

    But my point is… take opportunities like this! Get involved in your community, whether it’s here in Washington, D.C. or a small town in Kentucky. There are always people to learn from, and events like RootsCamp make for an incredible chance to do so, as well as network! For more information check out my post on my personal blog about the camp, and check out my entire gallery of photos from RootsCamp by clicking on the photo below!

    • FB 1:28 pm on February 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great photo and great point! Get involved as you can and take advantage of opportunities. Do you have any tips for folks on how to balance and prioritize? Sounds like you’re doing well in that area and lots of folks could use some insights to help them out.

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