What’s Next For Me

After a long and sometimes frustrating job search, I’ve landed a position that starts Monday with a fun snack foods brand which integrates my passion for marketing (on- and off-line) and food.

I’ll be starting Monday at Pirate Brands as a Field Marketing Manager for NorCal. It’s a dynamic role, where you get to use prior experience in public relations, field and guerrilla marketing, and some aspects of social media to develop brand equity and support sales in the region.

I wanted to thank everyone who helped along the way, lent me an ear to listen to me vent, and passed along my resume during these last few months of searching. I also wanted to give some advice to those who are still on the hunt; be flexible. Be flexible with the job title you’ve honed in on and the lead source. Not sure if you want to work with a recruiter? Give it a try. By the fifth recruiter lead, just when I was ready to give up, but it lead to a great fit. It’s not the title of community manager, social media or marketing associate/analyst I may have been isolating my search for. Just keep putting yourself out there as you never know what could be around the corner.

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A Look Back at 2010

In this post nearly one year ago, I walked through my philosophy on resolutions and what goals I set for myself during the year to come. While I sort of abandoned my plans for learning that one new skill and polishing up on an old one, here are some high- and low-lights of what exactly happened in 2010.

What I lost this year:

  • My always loving golden retriever
  • Employment
  • Health insurance

What helped me grow this year:

  • Spending so much time with family that I’m desperate to GTFO
  • Coping with a 2.5 hour daily commute from Albany to San Francisco on public transit
  • Going on lots of job interviews
  • Being told I don’t have enough experience, multiple times
  • Dealing with the social stigma of being unemployed
  • Enduring the manic highs and lows of the quarter-life crisis

What I was thankful for this year:

  • Four unforgettable trips to Las Vegas (some business and some leisure)
  • Re-connecting with family in Boston
  • Gallivanting around New York City, for the first time
  • My rent-free living situation (thanks Mom & Dad!)
  • Part-time promotional work with Attack! and GC Marketing
  • Completing a year-long internship that gave me a solid foundation of work experience in a corporate environment
  • Creating OMGbuymeTHIS and watching it start to take off

While I did all the other things that should go without mentioning – exercising more, drinking more water, volunteering more and the like – I’m hoping to keep up the momentum of new experiences, travels and adventures in 2011, making this five weeks of unemployment thing just a brief stint.

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On The Topic of Internships

Image credit: GettyImages Creative Image #103332502

An article on CNN titled “Is an internship the new entry-level job?” came out two days ago focusing on some recent grads who have taken several internships since graduating. I would have to agree with the headline as I am in the same shoes as many of the individuals interviewed, currently struggling to find that elusive, or illusive, entry-level position.

It had me thinking, with my struggles on the job front, one could argue that internships after graduation could hinder your job search. It’s the dilemma I’ve been faced with, but not yet defeated by, recently.

What I’ve experienced recently is multiple companies I interview with are held back by “my lack of experience,” which I often suspect is attributed to my job titles. Even though my previous year-long internship was full-time, it’s looked at as less than that. Since graduation in 2009, I’ve only not worked three full weeks; the time since I completed my most recent internship on November 18, 2010. One of my internships was at a public relations agency and the other was in-house corporate communications at a large consumer company. Prior to that, I interned part-time at a TechCrunch50 startup and social media agency. How is that not relevant work experience when I’m interviewing for PR- and social media-focused positions? When they ask for one to two years experience in PR, I have a year full-time and a year and a half part-time which doesn’t seem to cut it. What was once considered entry-level, a position asking for a basic foundation and perhaps 1-4 internships in your functional area, is not enough.

Is it just that companies are excessively cautious to take the plunge and be my first non-internship employer after graduation, even though I’m technically qualified? It’s what every interview boils down to: the interviewer in some way asking if I’ve ever had a “real” non-internship job after graduation. The answer is clearly no if you have to ask.

This might also affect the labor chain the other direction, too. Finding my first internship was tough, and there was absolutely no chance I’d land a paying internship in marketing or public relations without taking at least two unpaid internships prior. This was not the case for my good friend, an electrical engineering major, who landed his first summer internship with a hefty $22/hour starting wage. The increased competition for internship-seeking undergrad students from recent graduates might up the hiring criteria, especially for those paid placements. On the other hand, with the threat of a double-dip recession, we could also see a spike in the number of internship openings; a simple game of supply and demand.

Either way, it looks like I should reconsider the option of taking another post-graduation internship because there’s no longer a true “entry-level” job.

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