Interning after graduating: Is it worth it?

So you just graduated. What now?

Well, some may argue that it’s time to find a job. I agree with that– eventually. Because to find a job, you might need to consider an internship first.

A few reasons NOT to intern after you graduate:

You already have a great job lined up.

The internships you’ve gotten are unpaid (I advise against unpaid internships; in my opinion you should be doing real work and therefore should be paid. If you aren’t getting paid, you don’t be doing real work, and then what’s the point?)

You’re not trying to work.

A few reasons to intern after you graduate:

Your dream company hires entry level employees from their interns (this is a commonality in the PR/marketing/advertising industry, and I’ve seen it in plenty of others like accounting). 

You want to try out a career path before committing to it.

You’re breaking into a competitive industry.

You want to learn more about a company to see if you fit in.

It’s paid.

You’re going to graduate school and want to get experience over the summer.

You’ll gain experience that you would also gain as an entry-level employee (very true of my internship experiences).

You’re trying a new city.

You’re trying to be employed.

Graduation is merely a ceremony and you aren’t quite ready to be a full time adult yet so an internship is a good trial run for the real world.

Yeah, that one.


The bottom line: An internship is often a stepping stone to a full-time job in the career you want, so don’t overlook it. A few months as an intern will be 100% worth it in the end, especially when you might otherwise be spending those few months looking for a job. 
Remember that even med school graduates start as interns in hospitals. If you’ve learned anything from Grey’s Anatomy, it’s that we all need to start somewhere. And one day you’ll blink and be the world’s best neurosurgeon or something.

See, internships aren’t all bad.

XO,

A

10 Media Outlets Every Lifestyle PR Professional Should Follow

Every morning at 8 a.m., I get to the office, turn on my computer, and read the entire Internet.

Okay, not quite. But close enough. It’s part of my job to do a sweep of every major news outlet, checking for news about my clients, the industry, competitors, and any other notable stories that a company’s leaders need to know.

It’s also part of my job to keeping up with trends, getting better at my career, and understanding what’s relevant in today’s society. Pretty tall order, right? Luckily, my go-to list of daily media outlets help me stay on top of everything I need to know, from the latest trending makeup look on Instagram to the most important mergers and acquisitions of the week.

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Lifestyle:

  • Refinery29: If I had to pick a number one, R29 would be it. Which is probably why I listed it first.
  • TeenVogue: I’m not a teen, fine, but TeenVogue is still relevant. Lately their articles have been spitting straight truth.
  • Bustle: An all-around great site with the most up-to-date headlines. If it’s a thing, chances are it’s already on Bustle.
  • Brit + Co: The ultimate DIY site. Enough said.

Career:

  • Corporette: An awesome work-fashion combo blog catering to overachievers.
  • The Everygirl: A down to earth site with some of the most inspiring career stories and advice.

Business:

These are all like spinach for the brain: Not the most exciting, but good for you.

Bonus:

The glossies!

In other words, print magazines that people are forgetting about. These all have webites, of course, but there’s nothing like the “thump”– the sound you hear of a print magazine landing on your coffee table.

  • Glamour
  • Vogue
  • Cosmopolitan
  • The New Yorker

 

Dunkin’ Love

Ah, Dunkin’. What can I say? It’s been a year now since our relationship began, and my life has changed ever since.

Yes, you read that right– the first time I began drinking Dunkin’ Donuts coffee was a year ago, when I had an internship in Bolingbrook, Illinois (Chicago area). Having grown up in California, I never tried Dunkin’. I don’t even remember it being in San Diego, although my memory could be overshadowed by Starbucks.

Which is why, when I started grabbing Dunkin’ on my way to work last summer, I was blown away by what I’d been missing out on.

I mean, really– Dunkin’ isn’t great coffee, but at the same time, it’s great coffee. I can grab a latte at Dunkin’ that tastes similar to a Starbucks latte, for half the price. And it’s fast. In my line of work, speed counts for a lot. At Dunkin’, I’ve never once waited more than 2 minutes for a drink. It usually arrives within 30 seconds. And then I’m on my way, with my giant cup of happiness.


 

Here’s the thing about Dunkin’, though: You have to be careful what you wish for. In other words, if you don’t like sugary coffee, you better make sure you say unsweet when you order, or that drink will be straight Splenda. If you don’t want a ton of cream in your coffee, ask for 1 cream (the default is 3). 

These were lessons I learned the hard way. Learn from me, people. Don’t repeat my mistakes. I made them so you don’t have to. 


A few other reasons Dunkin’ has positively impacted me life:

  • In the summer, a medium iced coffee is 99 cents from 2-6 p.m.. 99 FREAKING CENTS. For a MEDIUM. And I can drink coffee all day, so the time window is nothing.
  • Dunkin’ sizes are realistic sizes. A small is a small. A Tall at Starbucks is like the kid’s meal version of coffee: Tiny and unsatisfying. You gotta go for the Grande, and by then you’re like seven bucks in the hole.
  • There’s never a line. And when there is, it’s like, 3 people. This is true of every location I’ve seen, and I’ve seen many, many Dunkins.
  • Not to state the obvious, but they have donuts.
  • Did I mention donuts?
  • There’s a Dunkin’ near every tourist area, so you can grab a coffee AND see a few walls.

 

Dunkin’, thanks for a wonderfully caffeinated year. 

XO,

A

 

Pickwick Coffee: A sign from above

I was on my way to work one rainy morning, when I walked past an alley and a floating apparition appeared before my eyes: A giant neon sign that said COFFEE.


This sign, to be exact.

I thought I was imagining it. I thought I was that sleep deprived. But when you see a sign from above, and it’s literally a neon sign above you telling you to get coffee, you don’t question it.

So I Googled it later that day and saw that it was, in fact, real, and it was a fabulous hole in the wall coffee shop hidden in an alley (well, not so hidden, given the neon sign). Yet no one I knew had heard of it. 

I had to go again and get a coffee for myself to really know it was real.

So I went with my roommates after church, and there it was:


I was not making it up! My roommates realized my sanity!

I got a cold brew, black, and it was delicious. My roommates got lattes with classic latte art.


Well, if you call an eerie resemblance to the Build-A-Bear logo classic. 

In any case, it was every bit as magical as it was when it first appeared to me in my vision, and I know I’ll be making it a stop on my commute more often. 


Well, except for this week, because this week is MY BIRTHDAY and I will absolutely be claiming my free birthday lattes from both Starbucks and Dunkin’. I have no loyalty, especially when it comes to receiving birthday presents. 

‘Til next cold brew,

A

How NOT to get it done

You’ll find a ton of articles telling people how to be more productive and get things done. Well, here I am to tell you how I don’t get things done.

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If I don’t write it down, I don’t get it done.

Think you’ll remember that mental note? Think again. Everything will fly right out of your head the minute after you tell your boss, “Yeah, I can definitely do that!” And then you don’t.

Use a Post-It. Keep a notebook on you. Set reminders on your phone. Whatever you need to do to get it out of your head and into the physical realm ASAP.

If I don’t tell someone I’m doing it, I don’t get it done.

It’s not always enough to hold yourself accountable. If someone knows what you need to do, even if it’s just your roommate, you’ll still feel more responsible for doing it.

If I don’t block off time, I don’t get it done.

Literally schedule time on your calendar to do a task. Treat it like an important meeting.

If I don’t list my tasks in order of importance, I don’t get a single thing done, I just sit there and panic at all the things I need to do and then don’t do anything.

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. I’ll say it one more time: Prioritize. Categorize emails based on level of importance– this is like dividing and conquering, because once you split up your tasks, you’re mentally putting things into more manageable chunks. It’s still the same amount of work, but because you’re separating your tasks into groups, you can tackle one group at a time without feeling overwhelmed.

Once the panic sets in, it’s hard to stay focused, and you’re so distracted worrying about the things you need to do that you don’t do any of it.

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If I don’t stay organized, I don’t get it done. 

Because if you lose the thing you were supposed to do, you can’t do it.

If I don’t get it started, I don’t get it done. 

The hardest part is when you actually start doing the thing. Until then you just procrastinate and do other things.

If I don’t have coffee in my system, I don’t get it done.

XO,

A

Motivation Monday: Showing Up

In honor of both Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday (they’re back to back, which means I get two excuses in a row to tell him how awesome he is), I’m going to start the week off with some of his advice: Most of success is just being there.

Whenever he says that, I think he’s referring to the famous Woody Allen quote– 80 percent of life is showing up. Or maybe the Thomas Edison quote about genius being 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration. Well, whatever the percentage, one thing is obvious: To do well in something, half the battle is showing up (or more than half…60 percent? Oh, forget it).

To do well in something, half the battle is showing up.

Today was one of my roughest days as an intern so far this summer, which is saying a lot, because interning at a large PR agency is no joke. I had to hide in a bathroom stall for five minutes to do deep-breathing exercises and pretend for a second that email did not exist. When you watch the work pile up, and your day get longer and longer, and your chances of making it home in time for The Bachelorette get slimmer and slimmer than the Bachelorette herself, it’s easy to feel like giving up and calling it a day. And why not? Why not settle for leaving tasks for the next day?

Don’t let that screen stay blank.

You already know the answer, because you’re reading this blog. You don’t settle. You sure could. But deep down, you know that buckling down and tackling that to-do list for two more hours means the world to your team. You know that you are there to do your job, and do it well. And you know that as long as you are there– as long as you haven’t walked out of that office– you are already so much closer to your goals than everyone that marched out at 5 p.m. Yes, it’s demoralizing to be the last one sitting in a dark, quiet cube on a Monday night. But it can be empowering instead. Put on headphones and blast whatever EDM it takes to get in a zone. Grab a coffee (obvi). And chug away, both on the coffee and the work.

Mondays are the worst because they’re about showing up. It’s so hard to show up after a weekend of not showing up. But once you’re there, you’ve already made it halfway/80 percent/99 percent depending on who you ask. I firmly believe that the first person in the office and the last person out are both the people that will be taking the corner office one day, if they don’t already have it.

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They say work smarter, not harder. But sometimes, it doesn’t take smarts to get somewhere; it just takes tenacity. Thomas Edison would know. And if he can invent the lightbulb, well, you can probably fill out a spreadsheeet for another hour or two.

Xo,

A

Caffeinate

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As the name of this blog would suggest, caffeine is a huge part of what makes me, me. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not, because that basically means I’m part human, part coffee.

It is what it is. I’ve accepted it.

Besides, caffeine makes me awesome.

When I created this blog, I knew I wanted caffeine to be an important aspect, since coffee is such an important aspect of my identity and also culture. It means something different to everyone– whether it be a morning ritual, a social activity, a pick-me-up, or an addiction. For me, it’s all of those things, and I’m excited to share them all with you as I post about my coffee-related shenanigans. Topics will include:

  • Coffee shops I find on accident
  • Thoughts on my love-hate relationship with K-cups
  • Starbucks and Dunkin: Pros and cons
  • Pro tips for making iced coffee at home

And that’s all I have planned so far. We’ll see how this goes. Join me and caffeinate!

XO,

A

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