Interviewing for a Job

I recently helped Lauren Rosenbaum (@laurenrosepr) write a blog about group interviews. This got me to thinking about the different interview experiences I’ve gone through. Lauren asked me to write about my experience in a group interview. It goes without saying that there are things you need to do at an interview. The surprising part is how many people do not know what those things are!

Research, research, research. That’s right, research the company you are interviewing for. Showing knowledge of the company shows that you care about who they are and what they do. When I looked into the company I’m interning for I found out that they prefer to dress casually when in the office, I wore a suit to the interview and they were very impressed. When going to an interview, definitely dress the part. It may not be the most comfortable thing to wear, but they show you mean business (pun intended.)

I went through a group interview with a job I started after starting college. The group interview is an interesting experience. Seeing who your competition is from the get go can help you elevate yourself above the crowd. I wore the suit, I brought another copy of my resume with me and I talked with the interviewer. The loudest is usually remembered, but talking at the right time is remembered more. Read more of Lauren’s blog about group interviews and you’ll learn a lot.

The best thing to do, in my humble opinion, is just be yourself and answer questions to the best of your knowledge. If you don’t know the answer, or want to think of a good answer, ask the interviewer to come back to the question later. Giving an answer that you have put careful thought into instead of the first thing that comes to your mind definitely helps.

Facebook Business Pages

How many of you out there have a business Facebook page?  If you do you’ll be a gigantic help.  The knowledge that you can share will be readily accepted and greatly appreciated.  I’m graduating from school soon with my degree in public relations and, because of this, my family seems to think I’m already some huge pr guru….perhaps in the near future.

I started a business page for my parents’ vacation rental property, which I’ve blogged about before, and my aunt and uncle have asked for help with their restaurant business page.  I’ve learned that posts with pictures are received better than posts without them, is there a best way to do this?  Should I include patrons in the pictures to liven things up?  What are your thoughts?

Gasparilla Villa      IMGP5943

The first picture is the front view of the vacation rental property and the second picture is of the patio for the restaurant.  I’m in the process of getting more photos of the restaurant itself.

For a vacation rental property what is the best way to spread word of a page that is starting from scratch?  How do I increase the fan base the quickest way?  I have a link to their website in the about section, is there a better place to put it?  The target audience, according to my folks, are in the 45 and older range, especially families.

The restaurant is a family-friendly breakfast and lunch place.  What is the best way to get people involved on the Facebook page?  I put posts on the page Friday morning and just before lunch asking what their favorite items on the menu are, with a direct link the website’s menu….I got zero responses, but two people like the post asking about breakfast.

Any and all help is appreciated and will be a huge help.  Thank you for your time.

Internships

Well, it finally happened.  I’ve reached the final semester of my college career.  While mentally I’m jumping up and down with joy like a seven year old who go his first video game system on Christmas day, I’ve been playing it off like it’s no big deal.  I know it has taken me eleven years to get to this point, and I should be running around the room like crazy, but I feel that it shouldn’t be done.

My friends are all thrilled, my family is ecstatic but I still haven’t fully realized where I am yet.  Once I get closer to the graduation date I’m sure I’ll be running around like that kid on Christmas.  I have slowly realized where I’m headed, I started interning at St. John & Partners in the realm of public relations.  This interaction with adults has been a breath of fresh air in my life.  I’ve been working with kids for almost a decade with an organization called O2B Kids!  Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy my job.  I’ve been a play leader, bus driver, after school/summer camp counselor, I helped in the preschool and I was a supervisor (briefly.)  The job has been very rewarding in itself, helping kids grow up and everything that goes with that.

This internship with people my age has been fantastic.  I’ve only been interning for one week, but the conversations I’m having and the projects I’m working on are on a whole different level than working with kids.  I know I’ll be doing a few of the mundane and menial tasks for the office, but that comes with the territory of interning…or being the low man on the totem pole (just a joke there, nothing derogatory meant.  Ha ha. 🙂 )

I’m now looking forward to the future and what it has in store for me.  Public relations has been a blast learning about in the classroom for the last two years, but putting things in practice has been more fun than I thought it would be.  It helps that I have a fellow intern who seems to be as into this stuff as I am and just as eager to get to work on it.

Gasparilla Villa

  I have to do a bit of a family promotion here.  I stayed at Gasparilla Villa over some of the Thanksgiving break to visit with my grandparents on my mothers side.  The house is owned by my parents and they rent it out during the year.  Gasparilla Villa is located on an island in the Gulf of Mexico called Little Gasparilla Island.  This island is only accessible by boat, is mainly populated by folks that live on the island year around, along with some other rental houses.

The island is part of the Gulf Island chain that includes Sanibel, Captiva and Boca Grande.  Little Gasparilla Island offers something those islands don’t….privacy and seclusion. This island is bridgeless, but is just 10 minutes by boat from the mainland and just north of Boca Grande.  The island also has no roads and no traffic, except for the occasional golf cart, used on the white sand paths for exploring, transporting groceries and visiting neighbors.  When you visit you’ll be surrounded by nature, the way Florida used to be before condos, high rises and vastly populated areas.  The island has 7 miles of pristine white sandy beaches, home to a multitude of wildlife.

  

  Walking or jogging the beaches, looking for sharks teeth and shells, fishing off the dock in the bay, bird watching  kayaking to one of the many mangrove islands, taking nature walks and exploring the island or just relaxing with a good book, you’ll find a vacation on Little Gasparilla Island to be one of the most relaxing and pleasurable ones imaginable!

Life on the Island

  I came down to Little Gasparilla Island where my family has a house, that we happen to rent if you’re interested.  Gasparilla Villa .  I always forget what life is like down here, it is much slower.  I love it. 
  If you’ve never been to islands or spent much time around a beach you’re in for a treat.  When you get to your destination you enter something called “island time.”  Island time is when you have a destination, but you get there whenever you get there.  Clocks become relatively unimportant.
  Island life is fantastic.  We put our phones and tablets away for awhile and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.  Don’t get me wrong, as you can see we still have internet and TV, but we step away from it all for a bit and enjoy each other.  With island life comes a relaxation that you don’t feel in the city. 
  As luck would have it my grandparents and one of my aunts and uncles lives right next door to our house, which means there’s always good eatin’ as southerners would say.  We celebrated my grandparents’ 60th anniversary yesterday.  Sadly, that is a rare thing to celebrate these days, but we had a fantastic time. 
  While walking the beach at sunset yesterday I was able to find some shark’s teeth and honored the island gods at my aunts house by giving one to the pirate treasure at her house.  I’m going to have a ton of photos to go through after this weekend, but that’s always fun.
  Speaking of photos, I got to look at a bunch that my mom and aunt had from growing up, talk about a different time era.  These photos were awesome!  Among other amazing things, I saw times square from the 60s and how different does it look today…wow.
  More to come soon.

Tailgating Continued

  After some thought, and some tailgating of course, I thought I’d add to my previous post.  I don’t know why I had never thought of this until this year, but tailgating after the game is a blast.
  It may have helped the the Gators had a noon game.  There was plenty of time afterward to continue hanging out. 
  The people I was with pulled out a fryer and fried up a bunch of shrimp, chicken nuggets, cheese sticks, jalapeno poppers and a lot more.  We put on some more football, played a few more games and continued to talk and be merry.  Just having won our game against Missouri helped with the happiness.
  I think more people should do this after-the-game tailgate, even the evening games.  How many of you out there tailgate after the game?  I’d love some suggestions for things to cook/do. 

Tailgating…A Way of Life

Growing up in a college town definitely helped me get into tailgating.  I enjoy tailgating for a college game more than I enjoy tailgating for a pro team.  I don’t have a huge tailgating group, but we definitely have fun.  I co-host my tailgating area with a good friend of mine, Danny, and his brother-in-law, Travis.  The three of us gather by UF‘s law school around 7:45 or 8:00 in the morning.  We meet up later than then sometimes, depending on when the Gator game starts.

Once we meet up, we set up our tents, tables, grill and corn hole.  Once we get everything set up Danny and I will go to a great mom-and-pop store across the street called Wilbert’s.  We gather any last minute things we might need and some ice.  Danny and I are both superstitious when it comes to sports so if we don’t go to Wilbert’s we risk the game.  After we gather everything we need one or two of Travis’ friends comes by and we play a few games of corn hole and talk football while I cook up some kind of breakfast.

A few hours later Danny’s family and a few of my friends start showing up.  I’ll pull out my TV and a laptop, we’ll connect to our new generator, and start watching College Gameday and various football games throughout the day.  Around lunch time Danny or I will light up the grill and we’ll put the meat on the grill.  We grill a variety of things.  We try to pair what we grill to who we are playing against, ranging from easy hamburgers and hotdogs to all-day-long grilled ribs, etc.

We’ll all enjoy each others company, a few games on the TV, corn hole and a few drinks (only for those of us that are of legal drinking age.)   We’ll do all of this up until game time.  Danny and I thoroughly enjoy when the Gators don’t play until the evening because we get to eat some amazing food and have a lot of laughs with friends.

What do you like to do during your tailgating gathering?

Public Relations and Event Planning

Wow.  That’s all I can say right now.  I know that event planning is a ton of work, I’ve helped in various classes and with organizations I’m involved in.  I have a new appreciation for those that run events.  I’m co-running an event for my PR Campaigns class and I had no idea it was this much work!  For those of you in event planning, what got you interested in doing this?  It’s definitely interesting, as everything is always changing, but it is definitely stressful.

I’m still connecting the dots between public relations and event planning, but I can see where they can coexist and how they can help each other.  I can definitely tell you adults still act like kids, so working with kids for so long has been a HUGE help in dealing with adults today.  Guerrilla marketing may be a calling for me, that’s for sure.  I’ve had a blast coming up with innovative ideas on how to spread the name of an organization in a new and fun way.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a blast doing it.  I just had no idea what the people at the top did!  I also learned very quickly to work from the end backward.  We had to plan everything for the “day of” the event and then have to work backward in getting everything from everyone and get it sent to where we need it.  This includes the smallest things like napkins for food and signs for parking and directions.  I’m not sure if I’ll be pushing to go into event planning in the future, but who knows.

Working with and meeting all types of personalities is a trip.  I’ve had some very angry people, who I’ve been able to calm down, and some people who are just “yes” people and don’t come through with what they promised they would do.  I’m beginning to understand why some people can get stressed out from all of this, however, so far I’ve been successful in controlling the job and not letting the job control me (so far.)  They gym definitely helps (ha ha.)

I’m definitely up for suggestions on ways to keep things in order and get info sent out to who it matters in a timely manner, please share.

Work and Sports

  There’s nothing better than a friendly rivalry.  Especially when it comes to things happening at work.  Living in Jacksonville definitely breeds ground for rivalries in a big way since there isn’t a “home” college team. 

  Being a native Gainesvillian I’m the “Gator” guy at work.  I work with some fellow Gator fans, as well as Georgia, FSU, LSU and Miami fans.  I’m leaving the pro football talk for another day.

  This weekend is huge in the SEC!  I’ve made some fun bets on this weekend…nothing monetary of.course.  The rivalry between UF and Georgia has made this week at work a lot of fun, we’ll see who has fun at work on Monday.

  Who do you think will win on Saturday?
 

NBC’s New TV Show Revolution

I had to wait until this morning to check out NBC’s new show Revolution because I have school until 8:45 pm, but I think it was worth the wait.  The show is a semi-post-apocalyptic setting.  It starts set in “today” but all technology as we know it shuts off.  Everything from cars and airplanes to personal music devices and flashlights.

We then move 15 years in the future after people have adapted to this new way of life.  No one, except for one person (that we know of) knows why the power just shut off.  I won’t go into major detail because I want you to do some digging of your own, it’s more fun that way.  I’ve always been a fan of post-apocalyptic shows, movies, etc. or even ones set in a different type of future like the show Terra  Nova set in the future, but the cast is sent to a prehistoric past.  I’m still slightly hopeful that Fox will renew the show at some point.

Revolution brought me mixed feelings after watching it.  I was a bit let down, because this show features everything that is typical with the genre: Slightly fascist militia, a drunken “nobody” who turns out to be amazing, the super hot chick who knows how to handle herself, but is to trusting, so she freaks out from time to time, a timid male who will probably end up being pivotal to the show and a doctor in the same situation.

However, the show did have awesome action sequences and some questions were raised about who really knows anything regarding the end of technology at the end of the episode.  These are a couple of reasons I’ll give Revolution a few more episodes to truly reel me in.