The Full Time Job of Finding a Job: A (Temporary) Breath of Fresh Air

Landing a job in public relations isn’t an easy feat (heck- landing a job at all these days is hard, ya’ll). From social media presence to networking, there are some huge aspects that can help (or hurt) you in the job search these days- some which you probably haven’t even thought about. From predictable aspects like resumes and cover letters, to factors you don’t even think about like old Facebook posts, answers to questions like, “Describe how you handle frustration,” and handling interview after interview while playing the oh-so-fun waiting game, the full time job of finding a job can certainly test your patience.

However, somewhere within the mess and hullabaloo we call job searching, you can learn a thing or two. During a job interview the other day, one of my interviewers said something that not only stuck with me, but inspired me (and gave me a breath of fresh air) throughout the tedious, sometimes frustrating experience we call job searching.

Hire for the will, train for the skill.”

As a public relations and marketing hopeful, I like to think my skill set is there. I’ve done my fair share of valuable internships, learned all I could about the communications world during college (which is still weird to refer to in the past tense…I’m getting there…), and put my all into beginning what I hope to be a successful, rewarding job search. Yes, the skill set is there, but in the game of life, there will always be someone with more, better, or different skills. Your resume advertises your skill; you need to advertise (and sell), that unique will.


The first way to show that will? Networking. Your resume is one of the most vital parts of the job search, yes, but you can’t always describe and exemplify passion, motivation, and dedication on paper. I mean connecting, networking and staying in touch. Networking, as I’ve learned, is fundamental. Amidst the initial phone interviews, in-person meetings, and somewhat intimidating question and answer sessions, get ready to enter a lot of serious relationships.

Now, I don’t mean calling up those exes for some midnight rendezvous (no judgment, what you do on your own time…). In the workforce, connections and relationships are everything. It’s not enough to simply say hi and bring to your intern supervisor a Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte every so often, and then never speak to him or her after your internship is over. Make the effort to keep in touch. Write a thank you note to the HR representative you talked to for half an hour about the position. Update your past internship supervisor on what you’re doing nowadays. Email the head of the company you spoke with via phone and thank him or her for their time.

Now, avoid stalker status, because I’m not liable for any restraining orders. But, send an email to those past bosses every few weeks, update him or her on your job search and career track, and genuinely ask how they’re doing. Who knows? That stuffy boss you simply tolerated that one semester in college may be best friends with the owner of your dream company, and that HR rep you talked to for a mere half an hour may be an essential piece in getting you that sought-after offer. The worst than can happen? You end up with some adorable, personalized Thank You notes.

In the communications field, you are literally entering a field about communicating and maintaining relationships. Prove you not only can do this, but also want to do this, in the interview.

The most valuable thing I’ve learned so far? Rome wasn’t built in a day…and unless you’re the Elle Woods of your graduating Harvard law school class, odds are your career won’t be found (or built) in a day, either (it has taken me nearly four months of impatience, frustration, and maybe a bit (or a lot) of crying, and I’m still trucking). Remember that old saying, ‘Patience is a virtue?’ Yeah, your parents weren’t just spitting that for their health. You will most likely apply for a lot of jobs, get a lot of non-responses, do a lot of interviewing, and wait a lot of time. But- when all is said and done and you do land that dream PR job- you’ll have a lot of satisfaction and a lot of fun (or so I’ve been told).

Am I frustrated, worried, and a bit tired? Definitely. Have I lost any of that passion and drive to land that job and finally prove myself and show what I can do? Not at all. Your skill set, at least for the time being, is set. It’s a valuable commodity, but if a company knows what they are doing, they’ll hire you for everything you represent off that black and white word document. So go ahead and brag about the internship you’re most proud of, your proficiency in almost every new design program, and your personal blog that receives thousands of hits per day, but don’t forget to let them know that you plan to, want to, and will rock their world.


Oh, and employers? Give me a call… 😉

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Stepping into Giuliana’s Shoes: My Night Interviewing Tomorrow’s Broadway Stars

Being a broadcast journalism major has opened several doors for me over the past few years. What started as shadowing reporters in the field during a local news internship quickly evolved into flagging down Laura Osnes and Patina Miller on the 2013 Tony Awards red carpet, to meeting and interviewing late night star Jimmy Kimmel. I’ve learned that with the right mix of confidence and excitement, a microphone in hand, and a camera behind me, nearly anything can (and with a group of rambunctious and overeager theatre kids- will) happen.

Making the transition from interviewing last year’s Broadway stars to next year’s Broadway stars was an opportunity given to me during the first ever Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards. As a marketing intern for the Long Center, opportunities have been anything but few and far between. For a job description that includes “press releases and social media,” somehow videography, editing, out of the box blog posts, and television-style reporting and interviewing has wedged its way into my internship (with only a *hint* of begging from me). So on Thursday night, when I (much like every other high school girl in attendance) slipped on my old prom dress, reapplied my lip-gloss, and grabbed that microphone; I knew I was in for one glamorous evening.

The most surprising (and at the same time- extremely obvious) revelation of the evening? While reporters often have an extremely difficult time getting people to talk on camera, theatre kids are definitely not those people. Conducting pre-show interviews Giuliana Rancic-style, I felt like the celebrity as nominees, and cast members flagged me down, ready for to revel in their spotlight (a very drama kid-esque trait, I can say from personal experience and my days on the high school stage, *tear*), enjoy the evening, and provide me with some of the most charismatic, energetic, and fun interviews I’ve done. From pre-show rituals, to hopes for upcoming awards show, to Broadway role models and inspirations, this theatre nerd had no trouble talking to the very kids I may one day be speaking with outside Radio City Music Hall.

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I watched pre-show jitters transform into performance-ready high energy, and later, overwhelming gratitude and excitement as I interviewed the evening’s talented winners backstage in the green room. Each and every interview was different- some winners were extremely chatty, going on and on about every thought running through their mind, and giving me (and eventual television watchers) hilarious and energetic footage that can really only come from a fearless theatre kids. Others, understandably, were still in shock, and many were simply happy to be part of the experience. If I didn’t know better, I could’ve been backstage at the Oscars or Golden Globes working for E!- the professional atmosphere was uncanny.

While working the backstage crowd presented me with a few, not-so-exciting surprises (my 22-year-old self being called ma’am by an 18-year-old, for one thing), I could not have asked for a better, more hands-on reporting experience. The opportunities to combine my love of journalism and theatre really are few and far between, and while the Tony Awards certainly prepared me for the evening, the experience of Thursday night was exciting and memorable all on its own. The bright lights of Broadway shone on the Long Center stage (literally- audience members were graced with video messages of some of my favorites, including Laura Osnes and Billy Porter), and the future of Broadway, made itself known in the talented nominees of the evening (these kids better remember me when they’re accepting their Tonys…just saying). I may have even gotten nostalgic for my own high school theatre days (because when you aren’t around theatre kids 24/7 running lines and sharing mutual nerves over auditions and competitions, bursting out into showtunes at any time just isn’t as socially acceptable, apparently).

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From practicing my “gracious loser face” with the display (*cough cough* REAL *cough cough*) GAHSMTA award (Friends reference, for those of you that haven’t seen every episode 30 times like I have (proud of it)), to asking the hard-hitting questions such as, “Who would play you in a musical about your life,” (deep stuff, ya’ll), the Long Center gifted me an unforgettable night in Giuliana Rancic’s and Ryan Seacrest’s red carpet-ready, award show-hosting shoes. And while those shoes unfortunately had to come off at the end of the night (mainly because my feet were killing me), they’re tucked away in my closet, eagerly awaiting their next glamorous, and reporting, night out.

– Wendi

Originally written for and published on the official blog of the Long Center, Long Story Short.


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From Screen to Stage, and That’s About It

Over two-dozen Broadway shows premiere during the 2013-2014 season. Among them are The Bridges of Madison County, Rocky, Aladdin and Big Fish. Sound familiar? Out of nearly twenty-five new musicals, over a fourth have been seen before, in the movie theatre. Translating a Hollywood script onto the stage is risky. Some musicals prove extremely successful; The Lion King stands as the fourth longest-running Broadway musical. Others, however, close in as little as three weeks. As more Broadway marquees display familiar, well-known titles, theatregoers wonder if the Great White Way will stay a haven for creative, new work, or simply copy and paste entertaining, yet recycled, favorites.

Though imitative, familiar stories sell tickets. An inexperienced theatregoer is more likely to buy tickets to The Lion King than to If/Then. The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, and Cinderella get a reluctant foot in the door. The shows are great, don’t get me wrong. Cinderella‘s score is classic, The Lion King is brought to life in an incredible manner, and Mamma Mia! is a fun, laugh out loud musical that has audiences singing along and on their feet night after night. But the best part about these musicals? That patron, who would otherwise not even attend a Broadway show, is now a theatre fan. Consequently, he or she may reach out of his or her comfort zone and see If/Then, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, or Lady Day next time. Headlining superstars such as Idina Menzel, Neil Patrick Harris, and Audra McDonald don’t hurt, either. Returning patrons keep the often- struggling Broadway economy thriving, and make it possible for producers to stage original shows.

Musicals inspired by books, plays, and films are not uncommon. Seeing a wave of films on the stage does not necessarily mean the beginning of the end for vibrant Broadway theatre. Kiss Me Kate, Hands on a Hardbody, and 42nd Street are just some of hundreds of shows with unoriginal beginnings. A Broadway production inspired by a little-known documentary, however, vastly differs from Legally Blonde: The Musical, nearly a carbon copy of the Hollywood script, with new songs inserted to appeal to the Broadway stage. While it gets patrons in seats, it also stomps on unprecedented future hits. A big-budget show based on the Hollywood smash, Rocky, is much more likely to receive backers than a brand new, completely innovative show. Unfortunately, the novelty also suffers when a movie repackages itself and presents itself as new, for nearly $85 a ticket.

Whether audiences better receive musical movies remains a toss up. Newsies– one of my favorite musicals- and Once emerged as box office successes, and continue to sell out. Sometimes, however, stories become lost in translation. Catch Me if You Can and Ghost: The Musical closed after five months. The highly anticipated Big Fish closed in under four weeks. Despite these responses, however, the bright lights of Broadway have always encouraged expression. Whether from a familiar movie plot, or a never-before-seen production, it is important to keep live theatre alive and audiences in seats- no matter the origin of the script.

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How ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Met its Demise

I’ve seen every episode of Friends. Twice. Three times. I can quote each episode backwards and forwards, name an episode from overhearing it in the next room, and still laugh-out-loud at jokes I’ve heard way too many times…

…but I never watched one single episode live during its 10-year-run.

Thanks to Nick at Nite and TBS, odds are that when I turn on my television, Friends is playing. If an episode ended with a gasp-worthy cliffhanger, it didn’t matter- the next episode would play after the commercial break. I watched the episodes out of order, several times, and never had to wait for a storyline to tie up or to find out the fate of a character.

For better or for worse, this has not been the case with the 9 season long How I Met Your Mother.

How I Met Your Mother changed the rules of the average sitcom. First off, it’s a love story told in reverse. Technically, we never had to wonder if Ted was going to end up OK. We knew- from literally the first second of the pilot- that Ted would be fine. We saw his kids, we heard his voice, and we heard him begin to tell the story of how he found his true love.

Did we still worry? Yes. Did we still think, in the back of our minds that he would end up with Robin? Yes. Did we curse when he broke up or got back together with certain characters, even though we knew all of those women were simply red herrings? Definitely.

Which is why this show is amazing. Despite knowing the ending, we still got so wrapped up in the present, that we totally forgot we already knew (some of) the future.

HIMYM changed the rules in other ways, too. Despite its alleged “racy” references (which I found not only hilarious but genius), the show remained a “family” comedy. Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily and Barney aren’t just characters on a run-of-the-mill weekly sitcom; they’re real people. They make mistakes, they openly discuss smoking “sandwiches,” they sing catchy songs about hooking up, and they engage in silly, meaningless fights. They drunk call their exes, lose their jobs, and face the consequences. Find me one avid HIMYM fan that doesn’t want a spot at the booth in MacClaren’s.

And despite its billing as a “comedy,” many episodes were anything but. Parents were lost; significant others were cheated on; a potential terminal illness was alluded to (more on that later). It took the element of surprise and milked it. And when the element of surprise reeled its ugly head, I had to wait. Wait to see what would happen, wait to laugh or cry, and test my patience each and every (well, some more than others) week. Even though we may have shed a tear or two or even yelled at our television sets, we remembered those episodes, didn’t we?

All good things must come to an end, and in HIMYM’s case, it comes about a season too late. Dragging an entire season out over the course of one week, well, failed. What I hoped would be several flashbacks and even more flash forwards turned out to be nothing but somewhat stupid, time-filling plot lines with the occasional revelation or clue that would keep me hooked.

So tonight, the game-changing comedy comes to an end. Whether it’s an epic, smart end like its previous seasons, or a cop-out, unfunny mess like its current season has been the question of the hour.

*Spoiler Alert*

And, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays finally gave us the flash-forwards we’ve been not so patiently waiting for all season long. The first half presented the biggest potential red herring. A few episodes back, it was subtly hinted at that the Mother suffered from a tragic, terminal illness that has Ted in tears. It was placed there, no warning or explanation, for fans to run wild. Tonight, halfway through the episode, we learned Barney and Robin had divorced. The kicker? We spent an entire season dragging out a wedding weekend that would ultimately end in failure. Hmmm. Now, with a Mother potentially dying in the near future, leaving Ted single, and Robin single and regretfully wishing she’d end up with Ted- the theory we’ve been promised would never happen from episode one may very well end the series.

I mean, HIMYM has been subject to many fan theories. This one, however, was nipped in the bud in the pilot. Robin is Aunt Robin. She’s not mom, she’s not stepmom, she’s Aunt Robin.

And Ted, who has talked about true love and marriage the entire series, makes it to 2019, with two kids, still not married. This guy has been the advocate of marriage for 9 seasons. Robin and Barney, two perpetually single people, tied the not (albeit unsuccessfully, but still). Now we learn that the hopeless romantic of the group can’t find time for the one thing he’s been waiting for his entire life? Okay, that’s believable.

One thing that is believable? Barney Stinson, after sleeping with who knows how many women, got one pregnant. Good job, Craig and Carter, one thing you made realistic.

49 minutes in and we haven’t found out much. Well, that’s not necessarily true. Barney has a child, Marshall got his judgeship, and Ted is about to get married after 7 years (not getting over that one). Robin is completely detached from the group and a very young Penny doesn’t even know her (so how we get from that to Aunt Robin has to be a pretty interesting- and fast at this point- story). Am I completely impressed yet? No. Am I hoping this episode presses fast forward and gets to the good parts stat? Hell yes.

Had the episode ended at 55 minutes, I would have been okay, I could have been happy. Ted and the Mother (Tracy, we finally learned) shared an amazing moment in the rain, under the iconic yellow umbrella. They’re funny, charming, cute together, and we see Ted finally getting the ending we’ve wanted him to have since 2005. But then, Ted made the reference to the Mother getting sick, and I began to feel sick as well. As the final scene played out, and Ted broke the fourth wall to conclude his story, a small part of me wanted Tracy to appear behind him and give us all a reassuring glimpse into the future.

The alternative? The Mother is dead. The theory at the back of my mind that I hoped and prayed was just a red herring wasn’t, and the previous red herring of Aunt Robin wasn’t either. The worst part is that the creators filmed the children’s reaction during season two. They’ve known this ending for 7 years (as long as it took for Ted to get married, mind you), and I’m so disappointed. Because Craig Thomas and Carter Bays don’t know their fans as well as they think we do. The love story we’ve been rooting for nine years is no more, and the love story we put to rest in the pilot is just beginning. Smart and funny? Not so much. A complete cop-out? Absolutely.

At least we have old season reruns. And at least I didn’t have to sit through Two Broke Girls afterwards.


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VIDEO: Sunday Morning Lineup

Today marks my mom’s 52nd birthday (Happy birthday, Mom!), and, knowing me, I couldn’t let it pass without a birthday video. After both my dad’s and sister’s videos back in November, I wanted to do something different and unique, and found it with the Susan Birthday Network. Sit back, relax, and turn on the television for some favorite TV hits featuring my mother (and, subsequently, the rest of my family).


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VIDEO: Jimmy Kimmel: The Alleged Cure for Senioritus

It’s mid-February of my senior year and the inevitable has happened: senioritis has kicked in, and in full force. Instead of catching up on assigned readings, I’m applying for jobs. When there’s a project I really need to get started on, there’s also a movie on television that my friends and I just have to watch. And when I have a test Thursday, I’m sitting here updating my blog. But, if procrastinating and finding anything and everything to do but my homework keeps me from dwelling on the scary and unknown future (which my mother kindly reminded me is about 90 days away- not even touching that one), I’ll take it.

The one place my enthusiasm has skyrocketed has been at my internship. As a marketing intern for the Long Center for the Performing Arts, I’m once again thrust into the world of both journalism and theatre, and I absolutely love it. Writing press releases and updating social media pales to what I also get to do; let my creativity and imagination run wild. I’m taking my video editing skills and my love of performing arts to market shows and sell events- a complete 180 of my internship (day-to-day job wise, definitely love both). While the broadcast journalism major in me knows how to report on a story, gather interviews, and produce news worthy content, I’m now taking the knowledge of a reporter to experience the other side…public relations.

Oh, and I also get to meet celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel. Did I forget to mention that?

The late night comedian will broadcast his show from Austin’s very own Long Center during South by Southwest. To promote his show, he visited the Long Center to do a press junket- and I was part of the action. Check out the promotional video I created- and be on the look out for more videos as I milk every second of my awesome (and last!) internship.


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VIDEO: London Baby!

I couldn’t let my family travel to Europe without documenting it to have forever and ever, right? Enjoy my newest video blog(s)!


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