The Benefits of A Summer Internship

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As globalization continues at a rapid pace, the competition for jobs continues to increase as well. In this day and age you no longer just have to be more qualified than the person sitting next to you, you have to be more qualified than the countless others all around the world. This is where the role of the internship becomes more crucial than ever.

Employers increasingly want to see previous experience in their new fresh out of college hires. Seems like an impossible situation right? Well not if you’re willing to get out their and “pound the pavement”, metaphorically or otherwise. Internships not only allow you to develop your skills, they also allow you to build your professional network, build your confidence, and perhaps most importantly, they allow you to take your career plan out for a test drive. Put in 3 or so months, and find out if that “dream job”, is really a dream, for you.

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This summer I was fortunate enough to intern as The Press Release Manager for the startup fine jewelry company, JEWELv:

JEWELv is not just another jewelry shopping site; it’s a shopping experience where you can create the perfect piece of custom fine jewelry each and every time. At JEWELv, we want to help create lasting memories and lasting impressions with unique pieces that you have the opportunity to design yourself. We believe the gift of jewelry should be as individual as the person it is designed for, and our state of the art technology allows you to make that happen.  The average jewelry store limits you to the inventory they have selected.  At JEWELv our goal is not to sell you a piece of jewelry out of the case, but to help you create something unique for that special person or special occasion. We craft gifts to be treasured for decades to come by those near and dear to you. From stories that start with once upon a time all the way to happily ever after, JEWELv provides the perfect jewelry pieces for every moment in between.”

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I cannot begin to describe how formative, and enriching this internship was for me. I’ve known that luxury PR was my passion for quite a while(I have my Public Relations certification from PRISM, and served as PR Manager for the 35th Annual GCC Fashion Show), but this position really cemented that passion. As the name implies, I was in charge of press releases for the company, weekly blog posts, and influencer/media outreach and collaboration. Interning for a startup was an amazing experience because I was one of a term of nine core employees; I reported directly to the CEO.Working for JEWELv not only gave me PR experience, but experience in luxury retail, and working with startups. It was invaluable.

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While I no longer work for JEWELv, I credit them for where I am today. If not for the skills and experience I received under their employment, I would have never landed my current Public Relations internship position with The Lingerie Lab, which I am working diligently day and night to transition into my permanent dream position. Yeah, PR Manager for a luxury lingerie company is my dream position, trivia fact about me.

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To sum things up, if you’re currently in college, or even a recent college graduate, INTERN! Intern now, intern a lot, and intern passionately and ferociously. Be hungry for the experience, and personal and professional development. Employers increasingly view their internship programs as the best path for hiring new entry level candidates.

 

Fashion for All

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The fashion program is gearing up for the upcoming fashion show, Fashion is… on April 30th and we would like to showcase what individuals who are not in the fashion program think fashion is. I asked people what they thought fashion is and these were their responses:

Fashion is personality. A portrayal of a person even if you conform or stand out. It describes how you feel and how you choose to present yourself. -Olivia B.

Fashion is personality. -Annie H.

Fashion is clothing, but an extravagant piece or garment. It is not something you see everyday. Fashion is a statement piece. -Jovany J.

Fashion is expression. -Evie C.

Fashion is interpretive. -Bridget C.

Fashion is crocs, sweatpants, and some Bills gear. – Corey L.

Fashion is a person’s thought shown through material. -Grace K.

Fashion is culture. -Monica V.

Fashion is the way you dress yourself and how you present yourself. -Payton C.

Check back in the following weeks to see more updates on the fashion show and to see the unique definitions of what fashion is.

 

What is Fashion?

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What is fashion?

Fashion is a ruffle, fashion is a crease. Fashion is for the head, fashion is for the feet. Fashion is denim, fashion is diamonds.

Fashion is safe.

Fashion is risk.

Fashion is reflection.

Fashion is vision.

From leather to lace, from sandals to stilettos, from art to music, fashion is…..everything.

Fashion is subjective and open to discussion.

I am happy to announce the theme for the 35th Annual GCC Fashion Show is Fashion is…

Fashion is… seems like a broad theme for the 35th Annual GCC Fashion Show, but fashion is broad and all encompassing.

Each scene will be called Fashion is… ________.

Each individual in charge of a scene has the ability to name the scene and showcase what fashion really means to that individual and how they interpret the theme.

We want the people of Western New York to think and have an understanding about the role of fashion in our culture. We want them to develop their own definitions of what fashion means to them, but we also want to show and educate them on what we think fashion is.

The GCC Fashion Program is excited to educate you on what fashion is on April 30th, 2016!

 

Starting at an Early Age

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Loving to meet and interact with individuals is how Fany Loughlin found her path in life. Mrs. Loughlin’s love of interacting with people came from going on missionary trips when she was a young girl. The missionary trips also fostered a love of travel, which can be showcased by the fact Fany is a Honduran immigrant who has been in this country for over fourteen years. Fanny is the owner of a home open to students as an alternatives to dorm living and a lot of international students take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for off campus housing. Mrs. Loughlin was invited by one of her tenants, Kaisei Sugawara, to come in to our Professional Sales to speak on Friday, November 6.

Fany grew up in a big family that was centered around a business environment. She started at a young age by selling leather key chains in order to make money because her dad told she had to start making her own money. The desire to succeed and make money pushed her into college for two years until she met her future husband, who was a member of the Peace Corps. She ended up moving to the states to be with her husband where she continued to work in business in various ways. In addition to being a landlady, Fanny is attending GCC to obtain a degree in international business. She is planning to become a buyer and act as a middleman between Chinese companies and South America. She would like to represent companies and help import products to South America.

The presentation was an engaging and story like presentation that the students learned various lessons in business and life.
• Learn a language- it connects with individuals and gives you an open mind.
• Want to make your customers/tenants comfortable.
• Use the internet to learn about the world.
• Learn how to interact with individuals.
• Learn what is needed for a job or task.
• Sell yourself all the time.
• Go into business early.
• Do the extra things because it shows.
• It’s ok to make mistakes.

Fany is a very good role model for students. She pushes herself to be a better student and individual in life. Fany is a mother of two, she takes seven classes a semester at GCC, knows three languages and teaches languages to others, and she is a member of Rotary and a leadership program at her church all while running her business! Fany demonstrates that you need to push yourself to become a better person in business and in life.

 Thank you Fany for a very inspiring and entertaining presentation!

Adventures in Sales: Part 3

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Monday October 26th, three other students and I had the opportunity to attend the Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives Student Day. Kourtney Shearer, Danielle Board, Taylor Tracy, and myself attended a day long conference, which included a choice of one of three tours, a special presentation by Bill Knoche, a networking opportunity, and a dinner presentation with Marc Adler. As I previously stated in my last blog post, I have decided to split the blog post into three separate posts and this is the third part in the three part series.

After our soft skills seminar with Bill Knoche, there was networking for an hour followed by dinner and a presentation, by Marc Adler. Each student who attended was paired up with a member from Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives. I had the great opportunity of being paired up with Joseph P. Lojacono. Mr. Lojacono is the President of Valmark Associates, a Marketing Consultancy Agency, and he was also a former President of BNSME. Mr. Lojacono guided me around one of the banquet rooms at the Hyatt Regency, introducing me to the members of BNSME.

 I had the immense pleasure of meeting just a few of the many BNSME members including Eva Balazs, Anthony Blasting, a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual;, and Tim Finney, a Human Resources Advisor. The diversity of members there was astounding to me and these are just a few of the amazing individuals I had the pleasure of meeting. Mr. Finney gave some fabulous advice about taking the opportunities you are given. He had said that everyone at those gatherings could be doing something else, like being home with their family or meeting with a client, but they choose to give up their time and come to the meetings. They come to the meetings to network, get to know people, and have a fun time interacting and learning. The point he was making was that if you are sacrificing your time to go to these meetings and events then make the most of it by interacting and not being a wallflower. The advice Mr. Finney gave can be applied to not just selling, but to life. Every opportunity we get, we must take advantage of that opportunity and use it to the best of our abilities because we never know how that opportunity could impact us in the future.

In talking about opportunities, Marc Adler, the special guest speaker of the evening, touched on opportunities in his delightful presentation. Mr. Adler’s presentation was called Why Not Marketing? The presentation showcased how we all are marketers trying to communicate some type of message. We are all our own little market and marketing surrounds us all. There are three questions we must ask ourselves in order to be successful in marketing:

  1. What do we want and what goals do we want to achieve?
  2. Who are you going to target?
  3. How do you distinguish yourself from others and how you communicate those ideas?

Each of these questions, are influential to your success if you properly understand them. We all have goals, but we just need to define what those goals are. Once a week you should make it a goal of yours to open the lines of communication with someone you are trying to target. Be different and standout by honing in on the things that make you different. You can find out what those things are by sitting down and finding out what skills you have and how you try to prove it. Tell your story in an engaging way. If you are hardworking then don’t just say you are hardworking show how you’ve been hardworking in the past through examples.

Mr. Adler’s presentation was filled with anecdotes and it was a pure joy to listen to. There are five different points in the presentation that I loved and they were:

  • Follow up- call and send a thank you note. He really emphasized this point!
  • It’s all about the experiences you go through.
  • Always strive to build a greater you.
  • Exhibit the desire and energy to learn.
  • BE PASSIONATE!

The Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executive Student Day was filled with the passion Mr. Adler was talking about. Everyone I met who was a part of BNSME was passionate about their career and they were passionate about the organization they were a part of. Being passionate about the organization and their careers just made such an amazing opportunity that much better. Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executive is a great organization that really does supplement the learning we are acquiring in the classroom. It is an incredible opportunity for students, professors, and anyone in sales or marketing should consider taking advantage of these spectacular monthly networking and learning opportunities.

I would like to say a thank you to Francine Brooks, FB Displays & Design, Bill Knoche, Marc Adler, Joseph P. Lojacono, and all of the BNSME Executives for this amazing opportunity. It was a privilege to attend Student Day! I would also like to say thank you to Professor Dudkowski for allowing myself and the three other students the privilege of attending the joyous sales and marketing day!

Adventures in Sales: Part 2

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This past Monday, three other students and I had the opportunity to attend the Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives Student Day. Kourtney Shearer, Danielle Board, Taylor Tracy, and myself attended a day long conference, which included a choice of one of three tours, a special presentation by Bill Knoche, a networking opportunity, and a dinner presentation with Marc Adler. As I previously stated in my last blog post, I have decided to split the blog post into three separate posts and this is the second part in the three part series.

After our tour at  FB Displays & Designs, Inc., we traveled to the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo to take part in our late afternoon and evening activities. Our late afternoon plans was a special presentation by Bill Knoche. Mr. Knoche’s presentation was on soft skills. Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Communication was the soft skill that Bill’s presentation focused on. The presentation was insightful and offered many useful tips to be the best salesperson you can be.

Growing up your experiences effect your soft skills, most specifically your communication skills and here are some useful tips about how to build your soft skills that we learned from Bill’s presentation:

  • Sales presentations tend to be one sided and that is why communicating with the customer is very important.
  • Start to understand your buyer in order to build a relationship.
  • Conversation is key.
  • Life is little pieces of selling.
  • Breakdown walls.
  • Engage people.
  • Understand people.
  • Understand the question.
  • Understand the process.
  • Stretch the truth.
  • Give the customer opportunities.
The presentation was fabulous and filled with great pieces of information. I will say my favorite quote from the presentation was “Soft skills are just better than average communication skills.” I hope to have better than average communications skills after using these useful tips!

Adventures in Sales: Part 1

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This past Monday, three other students and I had the opportunity to attend the Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives Student Day. Professor Dudkowski selected Kourtney Shearer, Danielle Board, Taylor Tracy, and myself to attend a day long conference, which included a choice of one of three tours, a special presentation by Bill Knoche, a networking opportunity, and a dinner presentation with Marc Adler. In order to do this amazing day justice, I have decided to split the blog post into three separate posts and will be sharing the rest of our amazing experience throughout the week.

Our day started off at 1:30 with a tour and the three tours we were able to select from were IIMAK, FB Display & Designs, and Rigidized Metals Corportation. IIMAK, a manufacturer of printing, imaging and marking consumable products with 1,000 employees worldwide. Headquartered in Amherst, New York, with additional manufacturing, distribution and sales operations in Belgium, Brazil and Mexico, IIMAK serves global needs for thermal transfer ribbons, direct thermal films, inkjet inks and related products.  FB Displays & Designs, Inc., is a full-service display and graphic design company. Their strength is “identifying and meeting our clients’ needs”. Their specialty is designing and constructing trade show displays and exhibits using modular components, thus creating flexibility, ease of setup and cost savings. Rigidized Metals Corporation lead ‘s the world in the development and production of deep-textured, three dimensional metals used in architectural, industrial and transportation applications. RigidizedÂŽ products are known for their attractive, economical and functional appeal. The RigidizedÂŽ process adds strength, impact resistance and the ability to hide scratches.

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We selected FB Displays & Design and it was a fantastic decision. We met with the wonderful owner, Francine Brooks. She told us about her company and then she showed us around the office. Francine started the company in 1994 after being a stay at home mom, selling jewelry and doing aerobics classes on the side. When her daughter went off to college, Francine decided to go back to work and after a brief stint with another design company she decided to go off on her own.  Francine started off in a garage and now has a large space located in Williamsville, just outside of Buffalo, NY, where she has eight full time employees and two interns, one’s name is Zach! The company has been around for over 20 years now and has over 1000 clients.

FB Displays & Design’s goal is to help their client achieve their goals from beginning to end and in helping them achieve their goal they are responsible for:

  • Custom Displays
  • Preshow campaign
  • Lead generation strategies
  • Post show follow up
  • Booth staff training
  • Inspector repair
  • Installation/ dismantle
  • Logistics
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Francine gave us wonderful insight about what it is like to
deal with clients and work in a creative industry, such as creating displays for trade shows.  Trade shows are a great way for a brand to stand out because it is a face to face marketing event and it is important to stand out at a trade show whether it is with bright colors, lights, or technology, such as iPad kiosks. When dealing with clients, it is crucial to establish a good relationship with your clients and make sure you are doing what’s best for them. Always have a dialogue going with your client going at all times. Remember to under promise and over deliver. Francine keeps a dialogue open with her clients and over delivers resulting in a very successful business.
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The four of us had an amazing time learning about different displays that are available to companies and brands. We also got some great ideas for displays for the 35th annual GCC Fashion Show! We enjoyed Francine and her employees. Francine said she loves coming into the office because it is a fun environment and the fun environment was definitely shown on the tour. The experience at FB Displays & Design was spectacular and we want to thank Francine Brooks for the fabulous opportunity!
Here are some photos of us enjoying the displays and standing with the wonderful, Francine:
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