Thursday, January 31, 2013

Turning 25 - 2008. Italy, Alaska and my first big-kid job.

Well, I took a couple days off for many reasons...but I'm back to this blog idea to get blogs that capture the 10 years leading up to my 30th birthday.

February 0f 2008, I was halfway through my second semester of my Public Relations degree (which only left me with 6 more credit hours scheduled for the fall). My last "Spring Break" I would begin following through with that promise I made myself have the year before, "Go travel."

Vatican City / Rome at St. Peter's Cathedral

So, during spring break I would catch a plane ride back to Madrid for a couple days, then take another plane to Rome, train to Florence, train to Venice and then train to was a beautiful trip with monuments and thousands of years of historical art. I would stand in the Colosseum. Look up into the Oculus of the Pantheon. Smell the inside of the Sistine Chapel. Envy the Statue of David. Go photo crazy on the canals of Venice and gawk at the fashion of Milan. Italy was cool to say the least, and a place I can't wait to go back and visit again. From an older and more appreciating stance. Now, back to reality of school.

(To view photo sets of my travels in Europe)
Me and Travel buddy/great friend Doug Vrooman

One of my last assignments in one of my classes would go on to shape my next few years - Interview a public relations professional about their Crisis Communications plans. Well, considering I was practically a fresh PR student (but felt confident to take on the world) I naively had the idea that I wouldn't interview one person...I would interview three.

I wanted to meet more people in the profession. I was tired of reading about it and hearing about, I wanted to experience it. This school project interested me because I knew that I was about to throw myself in some unfamiliar settings.

So, instead of interviewing just one person and set on interviewing three people, I called up 3 agencies that I had heard of at that time. I called on based in Edmond (Gooden Group), I called one in NW Oklahoma City (Saxum Communications) and I called one downtown (Jones PR). I know what your thinking, "But you only need to turn in one report over one person...what are you going to do with the other two interviews?" My answer, "I don't know." That wasn't really too important to me. What was important was getting into the offices of PR agencies, shaking some hands, introducing myself, talking to them in a non-job interview setting (so that when I would be seeking a job, they would already know me).

Wearing a shirt I just bought at a Venitian "yard sale"

My first interview was with Brent Gooden. My second interview was with Renzi Stone and my third interview was with Brenda Jones and Sam Sims. On that last interview (Friday, May 9) I brought up the idea of an internship for the fall semester (as I still had to take 6 hours) and was going to need to fill a lot of extra time and I wanted hands-on experience.Brenda's response, "In the fall? Well, what are you doing this summer?" What I was thinking was, "Nothing. I'm not doing anything this summer. It's my last 'summer break' of my life. I'm going to sleep in every day and do nothing and it is going to be glorious." BUT what I actually said was, "I don't have any plans. Would be open to me having a summer internship? Like, something around 20 hours per week?" (I was really hoping to get up to 20 hours and hoping it wasn't going to be a little 8-10 hour internship). Her response, "Yes, we could wait until the summer...but, what are you doing next week? You could start on Monday if you want. You could take on more hours too, if you wanted. Something around 30-40 hr a week if you could handle it. for that many hours, it would be a paid internship, of course."

There I was, trying not to pick my jaw up off the floor. I went in for a faux school paper interview (not really a fake interview, but I could have potentially handed in a report on one of the other interviews) and possibly looking for a fall 15-20 hour internship...I left there with a 40-hr job beginning Monday.

"Yes, I can be here Monday."

So, that's the story of me getting my first big-boy job. I began working fulltime for Brenda in May of 2008. Sam Sims made me join Twitter immediately and would love it, all of PR, downtown and my co-workers immediately. How dare I even consider sleeping in during the summer when opportunities like this were available.

Before I left Jones PR that day, I did leave with one amendment that I would go on pre-determined/paid for cruise to Alaska with my family. So, one week at Jones PR. One week to Alaska. then, back to Jones PR.

In Alaska hanging with Reindeer. Notice the Hornets jacket?

My internship/full-time job would count towards 3 hours of that 6 I had left, so in the fall, I only had to take one class (in the evenings) and everything seemed to work out perfectly. Holla.

Now at the time, I still lived in Edmond and was no longer a fan of that. After about 5 or 6 months of having that drive from Edmond to downtown everyday (before the construction began on I-235), I was ready to move. So, in November of 2008 I moved to Regency Tower in downtown. The only great spot in Oklahoma City where you can have a high rise WITH a balcony. Glorious.

Also in November, the Oklahoma City Thunder was beginning its franchise in Oklahoma City. I resumed the stats position I had for the Hornets and watched game by game as this team would almost set the record for the worst team in NBA history. It was a long opening stretch, watching the team start out 3-29. Those were some upset locker rooms and it was about the time I actually got to see first hand just how much teams hate to lose. A lot of people (without first-hand knowledge) like to say that players just play for the money and that they really don't care if they win or lose...I am here to tell you that is completely wrong. they care, and they care a lot. happy locker rooms are the ones that win. If they lose, you don't want to be in that locker room anymore than the players want to answer questions about their poo performance.

Like I mentioned a few blogs ago, I went back to school for the opportunity to work in Public Relations for the NBA. Turns out, the NBA would come before I graduated. Before I had any experience and before I was ready. It no longer mattered to me. I was loving life. Living downtown and working full-time for a downtown PR firm. What more could I ask for?

How about...more travel? Yes, that'll do. But it'll wait until I turn 26.


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