When Beyond Stressed, I Write.

The past few weeks have definitely taken a toll on me. Surprisingly not about my personal life, but all with college. When you are deep in group projects, applying to jobs, preparing for internships and traveling to a conference out of state, it gets a little hard to breathe. Let alone enjoy the final semester of college. 

This week was one where I saw the downfalls of being a perfectionist with my work; however, as I have recently told many people, it is because I truly pride myself on the work I produce. This can be difficult when it comes to working on so many group projects in our communication major. Everyone has different perspectives, different motivation levels, and different styles for producing their own work. None of this is necessarily bad, but it definitely is important to understand that work and leadership styles vary from person to person. This is why the past few weeks, and few days in particular, were a great learning experience because I was able to take away personal notes for improvement. I understand what my strengths are, but I realize what my weaknesses in group dynamics are as well, and how I can better cope under stress.

I’ve mentioned this to a few people jokingly, but recently I took a personality test. Yes, it was online, but it was quite a substantial test for something I found shared online. Anyway, the test showed me that I have a pretty high level of anxiousness; however, that level also matched my high level of orderliness. I joked about this finding in that I may get a little anxious, well a lot anxious, during times of stress; however, the project is going to get done, and it is going to get done with 100% of my effort.

Hence, the blessing and the curse of being a perfectionist, and why I have learned over the past few years to not overcommit, to say no, and to remove myself from situations which are not positively contributing to my life.

Mental, emotional, and physical health should always come first. When I have high expectations for myself and others I am working with, it is sometimes hard to distinguish when these three forms of health may be taking a toll because I am so focused on the end product.

What’s cool about understanding all this at my age is that I’ve been able to really narrow down where my passions lie, and what pieces of my life I choose to commit 100% to. Although I’m a little sleep deprived right now, I chose to commit everything to this project because it’s a project that will honestly benefit my passion in the long run. It was a creative project, based on branding and design and I had a leadership role. Although I was not a perfect leader, as I mentioned earlier, I learned a lot about myself during this short project which I can take with me as I move forward in my career. I know you may be wondering why I put so much thought into a silly group assignment in college. Well, this project is just a small glimpse of the type of content, style of project, and leadership situation I hope to see myself in for many years to come, on a larger scale of course.

It’s just another reminder that I’m entering a career field I’m supposed to work in, one that I’ll enjoy working in. 

-Rachel

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“Work Where Your Passion Is”

I know what you’re thinking — long time no blog, huh? My last post dated back to May 13th. For someone who used to love writing constantly, it is sad to see that I didn’t find time this summer to do so. Between work, family, and personal times, it just did not cross my mind to put my thoughts down into words.

What did I do this summer that kept me so busy? I had a rewarding internship working on the corporate communications team for a company that only reaffirmed my career goals. It made me positive that I can find a solid job in the communications field, I can work extremely hard doing what I love, and yet still enjoy life outside of work as well.

I cannot begin to explain everything I learned the past few months, but I can focus on a couple things.

Work where your passion is.”

This summer, I followed my passion. Those that follow me on social media know I worked for Constellation Brands Inc., a company that produces, sells and markets alcohol. Is my passion alcohol? Not by any means.

My passion is communicating. My passion is people. My passion is laughing. And my passion is learning.

My summer involved all of this, and that is why I am not worried about my life come graduation (now a short nine months away). I know that my future will be rewarding because I do not intend to settle for a job, a life, or a career I am not passionate about.

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“Working.”

Throughout the internship, as I began building relationships with several people, there were moments when I did not necessarily feel confident in who I am. What I’ve come to realize though, is that my personality is what contributes to the work I produce. I am a communicator who creates projects. Along with this personality, I am sometimes too loud, I am sometimes too clumsy, and I sometimes go on tangents. However, as long as who I am allows me to continue to work passionately and remain professional—then there is nothing to worry about, and no reason to second guess myself.

Truth be told, I’m learning who I am. I am building the confidence to make it through life without losing my self-assurance. It is so easy to focus on your own misfortunes or insecurities when in reality life is whole lot happier after you accept each piece of your personality, your body, and your intelligence for what it is, and make the most of the life you’ve been blessed to live.

The past few months have not been an easy time in my personal life; however, working at my internship has been such a bright light in those rougher times. I met amazing people, laughed a lot, built new relationships, and of course worked harder than ever to create and design several communications projects. If I did not enjoy coming into work each day, then I’m not sure how I would’ve handled this summer. I learned that if you love what you do, it can become a creative outlet to focus your attention on producing high-quality work, rather than focusing on things in life you just cannot control.

I encourage everyone to find a job, a hobby, exercise, or an activity that allows you to do the same. It really makes all the difference. I know moving forward in my final year of college, I’m going to remember to find those creative outlets that allow me to decompress and to relax in between all the serious moments life sends my way.

-Rachel

Communicate for Good: Finding a Cure for PCA

Some of the best advice I have received in my undergraduate career was in my Media Relations course at Boston University. Our professor shared plenty of knowledge and advice from both his professional and life experiences. On the last day he told us about his charitable endeavors, and continued to explain to us that once we learn all these communication skills and become experts in the field, we have the chance to do so much good with these skills.

That is what solidified my goal of one day establishing a foundation to raise money and awareness for a cause that has affected my family firsthand—Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA).

In class, I am taught how to communicate, how to share messages and persuade people to act. These skills do not have to only be used to sell products; although let’s face it, that is what’s going to pay the bills. In my spare time I plan to do good. And with this goal of doing good, I choose to begin with something very close to my heart, Posterior Cortical Atrophy.

I do not have a talent that will make me famous. I will not become a celebrity of sport or entertainment to place myself in the media on a large public scale. However, I do have a computer, this blog, and the ability to publish my thoughts. With this platform, I choose to communicate something far bigger than my daily complaints and random lessons. Today I choose to communicate a call to action: please join my family’s PCA awareness campaign and donate to PCA research.

It is not a foundation quite yet, but it is a step in the right direction. This amazing cause, which can be supported through my family’s new fundraising page, is intended to one day find a cure for an awful neurological disease that lacks awareness and funding.

Even a single dollar donation may not seem like a lot, but added together it could keep these doctors running the labs and studies that may find medicines, treatment and one day a cure for PCA.

Thank you.

PCA-Instagram

-Rachel

Public Relations, Soccer, and Sunshine–How I’ll Spend My Summer Vacation.

Yesterday was my first step into the real PR world. It was my first day at my internship, and it couldn’t be with a more perfect organization for the goals I have for myself this summer (no pun intended).

My excitement walking into Sahlen’s Stadium actually resembled a kid on her first day of kindergarten.

This wasn’t because the stadium tour involved sitting in the sun on the turf watching players practice the sport that took over twelve years of my life–even though this was something that I couldn’t be more thrilled about. But it was because I get the chance to experience everything I was taught in my media relations class–to learn firsthand how to professionally write a press release specifically for the team, how to coordinate media requests, how to implement social media campaigns. Yes this may sound boring to many, but for a communications student who has only written class assignments from case studies, this opportunity is a huge deal that leaves me with pure excitement.

The thing about this internship is that even after the first day, I can connect so many concepts I learned from my professor to this sports industry and more specifically, to this single Rochester Rhinos organization. No matter what industry you are in, the organization has key messages, a key audience, and different vehicles to utilize and implement different ideas. It may look simple from the outside, but so much goes on behind the scenes to make a professional sports organization run smoothly, and this summer is my first chance, not to sit up in the stands and watch the Rhinos play the games, but to sit in the press box and take game notes, to work with the media and players, and to LEARN how communications skills, plans and campaigns are applied in the “sports world.”

Maybe I’m getting excited too soon. After all, I’m still in the orientation process. However, tomorrow is my first game as a member of the Rhinos organization. And even being an intern, the smallest one on the “corporate ladder,” I couldn’t be happier to embrace every moment and lesson that this summer has to offer–no matter how small the task and no matter how many mistakes that will inevitably be made in my first internship.

#GoRhinos

A little throwback for the soccer-themed summer.

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-Rachel

City Farewells and Summer Hellos

And just like that my two years at BU have finished. From the last final, to packing up the dorm room, and then onto a traffic-filled drive out of Boston for a weekend pitstop on Long Island with my grandma. Exams are no longer on my mind, which is why I have time to let it sink in that a lot of changes are coming my way in the next few months.

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BU set the foundation for so many aspects of my life–both personal and professional. It’s going to be a lot to get used to when August hits and I don’t return to the amazing city, but that does not mean I’m any less excited for what I can make of these next two years in Ithaca. I’m ready for the college town, the beautiful campus, the hiking trails, all the organizations, the sports teams, and most of all the Park School where I can continue learning the world of communications.

As i mentioned, I have a lot of changes to come in the next few months, starting with my very first internship. Cue the nerves. My excitement to step foot in the “real” PR world definitely comes from the classes I took at BU where I became eager listening to my teachers talk about their own experiences. This is my first chance to be in the action of the industry and learn from the experts in the field. I can’t wait to practice, can’t wait to absorb all the information that my mentors have to share with us newbies of PR.

For the past few years, soccer has unfortunately only been a part of my life through knee pain as a reminder of my injury-prone self playing the sport years ago. I’ll always miss playing the game, but this summer I’m lucky to bring the sport back into my life. I may not be playing, but I get to experience a different side to the game. The behind-the-scenes. I have the opportunity to combine my education in public relations with my favorite past time–a pretty ideal set-up.Rochester_Rhinos_2011.svg

Interning with the Rochester Rhinos is my first step into the sports communication industry, and I couldn’t be more excited (and nervous) to begin this experience in just one week. I have so much to learn and I believe this summer will be the perfect way to bridge the transition from one college to another.

Lots of changes–changes happening this year, this month and even this week. All the transitions will take some getting used to and a lot of deep breaths, but I like to think that I’m taking steps forward in my college life, my personal life, and now with my future career.

From one hard farewell to my first college home to one hello to the busy summer before my move to Ithaca. I’m ready for you, Summer of 2015. The summer filled with family, hometown friends, sun, running, Ithaca prep, learning PR and now even soccer. Who knew I would ever get the chance to say that one again!

For now though, at least for this one week, I’m going to enjoy a little R&R with family before the summer gets a little more serious!

-Rachel

Thoughts from a Female Fan Who Would Rather Watch a Baseball Game Minus the Feathered Boa.

Call me crazy, but I am a baseball fan and yes shockingly, I am female. Everyday in my PR classes I study how companies target audiences with an intent to bring greater awareness to their organization and call said audience to a specific action (e.g. buy tickets, view games). One of Major League Baseball’s target audiences is their current and potential female fan base. As the MLB is showing a consistent decline in sales and viewership, it is critical to build up this female audience.

As a female who has loved the Yankees since I first stepped up to that tee at five years old (no I don’t remember the exact moment, but just roll with me here), I don’t really see how nine MLB teams plan to grow a female audience by—what I believe—is through patronizing that audience.

Adweek recently put out an article sharing how nine clubs will be holding “Ladies’ Nights.” At first glance I was a little concerned yet curious about the idea, but hey maybe that just meant a discount and a t-shirt? Wrong. The MLB’s (not all teams, just the nine) idea of a “Ladies’ Night” is giving out free jewelry, boas and wine to bring in that female audience.

And that’s where they lost me. Boas. At a BASEBALL GAME. America’s past time. You know the place for beer, hot dogs and Cracker Jacks? They want to hand out bracelets and feathered boas. Call me crazy again, but unless it is a bride-to-be’s bachelorette party, feathered boas have no place in a baseball stadium.

I understand the necessity to find ways to lure in your target audience, but stereotyping female fans so much that you believe a female will only come to a game to receive free jewelry and a boa is pretty offensive.

With the decline of MLB ratings and sales, marketing strategies need to be on point with their target audience. I get it MLB, you think if you add glitter and pink to the game, the girls will come running. But what about the fans who grew up playing catch in their backyard? The girls who went from Tee-Ball to Coach Pitch to Little League to playing for her school’s softball team and loving the actual game of baseball. These fans probably (no, definitely) don’t appreciate being alienated by the men in charge who believe you can give a male fan a baseball or bobble head at the door, but need to give a female fan jewelry and glitter. Now if at the gate you offer me a jersey or a discount on the nine-dollar beers and five-dollar hot dogs, maybe we will be in better agreement over this whole marketing thing.

I just want to add that this is not a campaign for all MLB teams as each club has their own marketing departments, opinions and strategies. It’s just nine clubs, but each of those nine clubs does represent the entire league in my opinion.

I do understand the thought process and goal behind launching this “Ladies’ Night” campaign. However, as a current female fan of the game, I just can’t help but be a little offended that it’s assumed I could be lured to a stadium with a feathered boa.

-Rachel

As if you didn’t already know my team:

386977_527323177289624_1465471416_nSenior Year, Spring 2013

1488239_947834601899412_4466598314545749735_nYankees vs Red Sox, Fenway Park, Fall 2014

251625_260864003929812_2945465_nYankee Stadium, Summer 2010