Thursday, December 27, 2012

I should be ashamed of myself

June. Really? That's the last time I posted to this blog. I should be ashamed of myself.

In that last post, I wrote I wouldn't be publishing any masterpieces in order to enjoy my summer. If you bought that excuse for laziness, I guess I can consider it a job well done.

To be completely honest, I have been a busy girl. I guess I'll let my excuses for not writing help fill you in on what has been happening in my life the past few months. From holding an internship (I now have a new one, which I'll touch on later), to starting my LAST year of college, becoming a proud aunt to a beautiful baby girl, taking on the role of a president of a campus organization, and writing my senior honor's thesis (on crisis management in college sports in case any of you were wondering), my free time has been pretty sparse.

I know, I know.

We all think we are busier than everyone else in the world, but this has personally been my busiest school semester.

Now that I am on winter break (whooo!), I felt it appropriate to resurrect my blogging hobby. After a crazy fall semester, winter break seems like the best present this girl could ask for. I have been able to catch-up on movies I have been wanting to watch (Moneyball, The Descendants just to name a few), read books that have been on my "must read" list since the summer ("Gone Girl,"...I highly recommend this one), and basically sleeping and laying around. A much needed mental break before homework, thesis writing, and Bayer (my new internship), take over my life.

So it's taken me from June to write another blog, but I guess the spirit of the new year being just around the corner inspired me to bring back my hobby (as cheesy as it sounds). Unlike most New Year's resolutions, I promise to keep writing in this blog to keep some sanity when the insanity starts back for the Spring 2013 semester.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Empire State of Mind

I haven't written a blog in quite some time, which I personally think is a good thing. I have been incredibly busy these past couple weeks, but now that I have some spare time, I figured I should chat on what has been happening in my life.

First, I have to mention the highlight of my summer, my trip to New York City. I have already been to the big apple with family, but getting to share the NYC experience with my two best friends is something I will never forget. From taking a harbor cruise at sunset past the statue of liberty, to looking out at the skyline from the top of Rockefeller center, to dinner in little Italy and seeing the amazing lion king on broadway, and finally strolling the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park, New York was everything I could have hoped for. It's rare I get sappy (since I can occasionally be a robot) but seeing all of the sights of NYC would not have meant anything at all without my two best friends by my side, so this blog is a little shout-out to Chip and Alliecat for being the two best friends a girl could ask for.

This is my last summer of freedom before entering adulthood. I'm trying to
make the most of every minute of it. Although I'm still working like a boss(Rick Ross voice), I'm taking full advantage of warm summer nights and good times with friends and family.

So there is just a glimpse of what I have been up to lately. I suggest you do the same as me and slack off and enjoy the beauty of sweet summertime.

Monday, June 4, 2012

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite

On Sunday night, the premier of one of the highlights of last summer was shown on the MTV movie awards, the perks of being a wallflower trailer.

For any of you who haven't seen it, WATCH IT. If your from Pittsburgh and don't get a slight case of the chills from the last shot of the trailer, you should probably check your pulse.

Perks is an homage to our city. The author and now director of the film, Stephan Chbosky, is from our great city and stages his critically acclaimed and uplifting coming of age story all around our home.

I was fortunate enough last summer (as many of you probably heard me say a thousand times) to be an extra in the film adaptation of perks. Even though I was only an extra for one day (about 13 hours straight to be exact) it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was one of the many extras attending the football scene in the film where Charlie, played by Logan Lerman meets Sam, played by Emma Watson. First from the standpoint of being a Harry Potter fan my entire life, sitting directly in front of Emma Watson was an experience in itself, even though I was too star struck to speak to her. The other young cast members of perks, including Ezra Miller as Patrick and Vampire Diaries's Nina Dobrev, as Candace were also on set that day and are just a fraction of the awesome cast for the film.

Decked out in early 90s attire and celebrating the same touchdown for about ten hours never got old because I was surrounded by friends who have all caught the film industry bug. The atmosphere was electric. I think all of the extras felt as lucky as I did to even just be a part of perks.

So mark your calendars for September 14, 2012 to experience The Perks of Being a Wallflower. And look for a girl in a beautiful all denim outfit with a red flannel shirt.

Even if I don't make it into the final cut of the film, I loved every second of perks. I loved making my acting debut, and being a small part of a book and now film that has meant so much to so many people. I guess I should say, for those 13 hours, I understood slightly what feeling infinite means.



Monday, May 21, 2012

From Columbus, with love.

As I write this post, I am sitting in my hotel room in Columbus resting before exploring the town with my fellow intern. This trip marks many firsts.

My first business trip, my first time in the capital of our neighbor state, my first time going to business lunches and dinners.

I have only been at Ryerson for almost a month, but I have already checked off many 'big girl' business firsts. This internship has turned into much more than a summer job, it's giving me experience for the future.

For any of you who haven't heard me talk about it, Ryerson is a metal company. Yes, I'm selling metal while working at the beautiful Ambridge industrial park. And no, I'm not wearing a hard hat and a welder's helmet, although I like to tell everyone that I am and Flashdance was a loose interpretation of my life.

To get back on subject, this is my first time traveling without friends and family by my side. And since I love cliches and cheesy sayings, I'm going to say absence makes the heart grow fonder, there's no place like home, home is whenever I'm with you, etc..

Being without having the option to visit my family and friends is a strange thing to get over.

Yesterday, another girl at the office said something that I usually say to one of my friends, and a little homesick pain hit my heart. Only after one day being away.

What can I say but, I belong in Pittsburgh with my family and friends.

So this post is from Columbus with love, and a quick return to Pittsburgh.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Love your baby girl

This post is dedicated to all the mommas out there on the day that celebrates the one woman who is always by our side.

I personally would like to thank my own mom for everything she has done for me. From laying in bed for three months straight just to bring me into this world to staying up with me at night when pet cemetery scared the hell out of me as a child, to checking my 25 page papers, to attending every event i have been in, no matter how big or small, and so much more, you have always been there for me mom. I am the young woman I am today because of you. Even though I'm an almost college grad (who has her own business cards now), I am still and always will be your little girl. Even though it's not enough, all I can possibly say is thank you.

Now for the other most important woman in my life, my grandmas.

For my grandma Norma that's in heaven, I miss not seeing you on day's like today. But I still know your always with me and watching me grow.

To my grandma, Alba. In every picture I have as a toddler before I could walk, you are holding me up to stand on my feet. From that age until now, you were always helping me to stand strong. Your always there to support me (and feed me) and I can't ever say how much you mean to me.

To my readers, tell the mommas in your life how much they mean to you. I think we can all agree they deserve it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

FREEDOM

Finally. Finally. is all I have to say.

School is finally over. Grades are posted. Stressing over papers and projects is nothing but a distant memory.

Every summer, I try to set some goals I want to accomplish. Read certain books, watch certain movies, visit new places. This weekend, I started off my summer doing some I those things I always want to do, but being perfectly honest, never get the chance to do.

First. On Friday, I kicked off the summer with purchasing a ukulele. Yes. A tiny ukulele. It is a beautiful instrument and I am teaching myself to play for the summer along with a kind friend who decided to take the challenge with me.

Second. I have recently become...I guess you could say obsessed... with the series LOST. I never watched it while it was on television, but I have started from the beginning (with the same friend who has accepted the ukulele challenge) and it is fantastic. I highly recommend the series or starting to watch a series that is no longer on television from the beginning. Avoiding the week to week anticipation makes watching tv so much more enjoyable. (In case anyone was wondering, I have five more episodes to finish the first season)

Third. I planned a trip to NYC. I went last summer with my family and I loved every second of it. So much so, I decided to plan a trip with my friends this summer (Broadway show included- The Lion King). So watch out NYC, we are coming for you in June and you will most likely never be the same.


For a first weekend off from school, I couldn't have asked for a better kick off to glorious summer break.

Happy summer readers. Have fun, and try not to be boring, it seems to be frowned upon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finals week from a bird's eye view (a few select people will get this joke)

Walking into the library today, I immediately felt something was wrong.

1) Why are there so many people here?
2) Wasn't that kid supposed to graduate 3 years ago?
3) That person looks like they might freak out on everyone in here in five seconds.

Until it hit me, it's finals week. Your probably wondering why I wouldn't be immediately aware of this, I must be a terrible student. Not the case. I can explain this in five words. I am a communication major.

Now I know what most of you are thinking. Communications is the easiest major that's why she doesn't have finals.

Once again, I'm going to argue not the case. As comm majors, we may not have out noses stuck in books memorizing complex mathematical equations or scientific diagrams. But, tonight I got to pitch an advertising campaign for chick fil a (that they may possibly use) for my 'final exam.'

That's the life of a comm major. I'm not here to argue that we deserve the same respect as other majors, I'm just saying what we get to do is complex and awesome in its own way.

So I may not be in the library pouring over equations, but I'm printing my flyer for chick fil a that I designed myself and that they may use to advertise to you to get you to buy their food. And that's good enough for me.

Happy Finals Week everyone, and good luck.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Want to really get to know a college student?

College students get stereotyped in 4000 different ways. Think about it. You can name 10 stereotypes without even thinking. The party animal, the frat brother, the honors student so on and so forth.

But if you really want to get to know a college student, look at their minor. A student's minor tells you who they are, who they wish they could be, what they love, just by one word.

A person chooses a major they know will lead to cash money after graduation. It's usually something they are good at, not something they enjoy doing.

But the minor is the window to the soul. It allows for us students to study what we love, without having to explain to our family what in the world we are going to do with a degree like theatre or, no offense, philosophy.

I personally am an English studies minor, aka, I read literature. I love books, but book reading is not a very lucrative future career. Minors let us cheat the college degree system and study what we love, not what society loves.

So for a future college movie idea, look to a minor area of study. It usually tells a major amount about a person.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FATE

The past couple days the word "fate" has been following me everywhere I go. From conference presenters to watching the series LOST, I can't get away from it. So I figured I should contribute my thoughts to the word that carries so much baggage with it.

Let's get one thing straight. I hate talking about feelings. I hate when people talk to me about their feelings. So basically you will never find that crazy talk on this blog. So don't worry, that is not where this conversation is going.

 I have been reflecting a bit on life as I've started to mature and there is one constant that life has promised me. Trust fate.

Trust fate. For a person like myself wrapped up in logic, trusting something so intangible can be difficult. But lately I've learned that the less I think about something or try to plan it out, the easier life becomes because fate takes over.

Many instances have showed me that just when you think you have everything figured out, life offers a big "just kidding!" Recently, these "just kiddings!" have brought me the most happiness in life.

After high school, I thought I had it "figured out." I had my "best friend," my future career plan. My whole life played out.

To quote Megan from Bridesmaids, "not the case" for any of the above.

My best friend, career path and many other things have changed for the better. It's pretty awesome to be truly happy and believe it. More importantly, to have people around you who make you happy by just being who they are and for allowing you to just be you.

But I guess that's fate or more importantly, that's trusting fate.

And personally, I can't wait to see what else it brings me.

So trust fate everyone. It's been pretty good to me so far. Trust me.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Maybe physics isn't so bad after all...




I know you all have been anxiously awaiting it, so here it is, a sneak peak of the bowling and physics experiment. 





                                              video
(song "Roll to Me"-Del Amitri)


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Physics is my easiest class?

This semester, I was required by the honors program to take an honors seminar class that combines two opposite disciplines into one class in which the topic changes every semester. Being that I am graduating in a year, I felt like it was now or never to get this over with. Of course, this semester the topic was physics and sports. Being that I never took a physics class in my life, I hate math and I don't really care for science either, obviously the logical step was to register to take this class.

After freaking out the entire winter break about physics equations I might have to learn, I was entirely surprised that my physics and sports class has turned out to be my easiest class.

Why?

Because in honors program classes, we make the rules. Professors know we are already over-achievers, so they give us one assignment and let us do with it what we want.

Today, I am conducting my experiment to test the physics of bowling. I may not be too sure what I am doing, but I have done my research.

If there is one thing I can count on, I may not know physics but I am a communication major, so I can make my presentation stand out from others. Hopefully.




Sunday, March 18, 2012

Only 10% Irish, doesn't matter.

This weekend I took a break from interviewing and feature stories to have some fun with friends and attend some St. Patrick's Day festivities. Being that I just turned 21 in November, this was my first big St. Patrick's celebration and my first time being in the South Side for the event. Needless to say it was crazy but a really fun time. It was nice to forget about school for a while and just have fun with friends.

Although I'm barely Irish, St. Patrick's day has become a holiday for everyone. The beautiful weather this weekend had everyone out celebrating and it made me want summer to come asap.

In a little over a month, that wish will come true and I cannot wait.




Saturday, March 10, 2012

I thought this was called spring “break?”


If I wanted to not bore you in this blog, I would have to make up everything I did/wanted to do during spring break.

As much as I would like to say I traveled on an amazing trip to an exotic location, my reality for spring break is that I worked, worked, worked…and worked. Between writing press releases for my internship, selling Pandora bracelets at my retail position and interviewing what feels like half of the RMU faculty and staff, my spring break has been anything but a break.

Instead of jetting off to Cancun, Mexico, I let my break become a pathway away from stress in order to catch –up on homework.

In order to save my sanity, I did make some time for fun. I got to see friends who came home from school, watch a live band, go to a food tasting party. Nothing extremely glamorous, but I had to take what I could get.

To me, sitting around with my best friends tops any trip to an exotic  location anyways.

My most exciting part about break? Getting to shop for baby things since I discovered I am going to be an aunt for the first time. All of the stress of school, work, and internships melted away when I saw the little peanut on my sister’s sonogram.


While my spring break wasn’t the most exciting event, I figured I would save all of those exciting plans for summer…or it could be just work, work and more work. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blogging About Blogging


With constant news updates about the world’s hottest and most controversial topics, blogs have grown to be one of the most popular sources for news. I personally enjoy reading blogs because they give short descriptions of current events and they can be easily accessed through smart phones. Being able to access blog sites has become as simple as touching a button through sources like Twitter, which is why I find myself visiting these sources more and more each week.

I visit several blog websites each week. These blogs range from world events and politics to celebrity gossip and television shows. As far as current world events, I follow Newsweek’s blog titled, “The Daily Beast.” I enjoy reading this blog because it has a good mixture of important news stories and entertainment stories, such as a recent feature on the Grammy awards. Newsweek is also a credible news source that is respected by many, which allows me to trust the majority of the information presented. As much as I would not like to admit it, I also frequently check TMZ, the celebrity gossip and entertainment blog. I do consider myself to be a pop culture fan and I follow this blog to satisfy that hobby. To also satisfy my entertainment need, I also frequently check T.V. Fanatic, a blog dedicated to previewing spoilers for my favorite television shows like Revenge and The Good Wife. T.V. Fanatic allows me to never have to feel impatient about learning new details about my favorite shows.

I believe that each of my entertainment blogs, although entertaining, are not as reliable as mainstream news distributors because of the fact that they want to produce interesting gossip stories for the public and are not as concerned as gathering facts as mainstream distributors. Gossip blogs like TMZ are concerned solely about producing a story that grabs media and public attention and cannot be trusted for news facts like websites such as ABC News and CNN. I do believe, however, that “The Daily Beast” is a credible blog like mainstream news distributors because it is produced by Newsweek, which is a reputable news source that produces a widely recognized magazine.

If by some chance “Shooting the Bri’s” became an opinion leader blog, I would fully disclose, if allowed by the company, that I am being paid for advocating for the product. The only reason I would not admit this would be that I would be in legal trouble with the company for breaking a confidentiality agreement. I believe that admitting to others the truth helps the public to trust you more because of your honesty. If the public finds out later that I was being paid for a blog, it would ruin the whole reputation of my blog and my company’s image. Being in PR, maintaining a good relationship with my client and public is the key to success.

By listening to Professor Holtz’s lecture, I discovered many useful and interesting things about the craft of photography. I learned about the importance of lighting, as well as the different techniques of framing in photos, such as using lines to draw attention to the subject of the photo. Taking photos from different angles, such as an aerial view, can also improve the quality of a picture. Instead of focusing on trying to get a wide angle of a shot, I also learned that it is more flattering to zoom in on the subject of the photo. I will use this concept, as well as remembering that simplicity is the key to a great photo, to benefit me as I start to complete my interviews of the Middle States members for our class “Builders Project.” 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One More Writing Style for the Resume


As a Communication major with an English Studies minor, I have written my fair share of papers. I have discussed everything from workplace anger and conflict management styles to Sylvia Plath’s use of symbols and allusions in poetry. Despite a pretty lengthy writing resume, I have never written a feature story. To be honest, I always feel slightly apprehensive when writing in new styles. This is mostly because I sometimes find it difficult to switch from an academic writing style to a more journalistic style. With a feature story, you are not writing about facts or concepts in a book, but trying to tell a story about a person’s life. I personally find telling someone’s life story a big responsibility, but it is a challenge that I believe will be very beneficial in the future.

Despite never writing a feature story, I still believe my diverse background in writing will help me to write a compelling piece. I feel that I have a talent for taking multiple pieces of information, such as pieces from an interview, and compiling them into a fluid document. From recent experience in my internship, I also believe that I know the appropriate time to use quotations and vivid language. I have also learned to adapt my writing style for audience, which is a very important aspect of feature story writing.

When writing my feature story, I feel concerned that I did not gain enough information in the interview process that will allow for me to use my strengths of compiling multiple quotations and pieces of information. I also feel that I may have difficulty switching from academic writing to a more journalistic style in order to avoid the story sounding too bland and impersonal. Overall, I feel that it may be difficult to exceptionally capture the true personality and essence of an individual.

During the video shoot for the admissions office, I noticed that the videographer moved his position multiple times to capture different angles of Rogal Chapel. This was most likely to capture the architectural structure of the chapel, including the stained glass windows. I also noticed that the videographer moved the tripod that held his camera to different levels to also gain different perspectives. With the beautiful stained glass window at the front of the chapel, I also noticed that the videographer chose to showcase this feature by filming at sunset. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Relationships, relationships...and relationships


In my understanding, practicing public relations can be summarized with one word: relationships. As a public relations (PR) practitioner, it will be our responsibility to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between our client and the public. PR revolves around placing a great image of your client into the public to form trusting bonds that will ensure mutual success for both parties. By building strong relationships, a PR practitioner must possess the ability to understand both the client and the public’s needs and be able to successfully address these needs. To successfully address these needs, PR involves, in many cases, working in a fast-paced environment where strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are mandatory to complete press releases, and handle media relations. Public relations practitioner’s can work in industries ranging from non-profit to government agencies. Regardless of the type of industry, PR practitioners must always be ready to handle crisis situations by working as mediators between the public and the company or client. With many skills demanded by PR practitioners, it is very important that as current students, we focus on not only learning but also retaining the information we are being taught to use in the future. Another excellent way to retain important PR skills is to apply them in real job situations. This is exactly the reason why undergraduate internships are so valuable. Through personal experience in my current internship, I am gaining priceless job skills in the PR field by developing press releases and media alerts. Internships also allow for the building of relationships, which is the base of the public relations field.  

As I stated before, learning and retaining the skills we are taught in school is a very important tool to future success in public relations. That is why visits by professionals like Professor Houser are so valuable to students. Learning from individuals like Professor Houser who have worked in the industry and who are using their experience to teach us new skills is irreplaceable. Not only will the journalism tips that Professor Houser gave us be beneficial in the future, but they will also benefit myself and my other group members with our Builders Project.  Listening to Professor Houser describe the process of writing a feature story allowed me to gain a better understanding of how to conduct an interview, gather quotations, and put them into a compelling piece that tells a story about a person. I especially found it very beneficial to learn how to ask questions that provide open-ended answers. In school, there are very few chances to break- away from academic writing and touch on more personal subjects which is why I enjoyed hearing about Professor Houser’s process.

With entering the beginning phases of any group project, problems arise. With our group, we have had an unstable start because of group members dropping the class. With these transient classmates, our group has not been able to focus as much on the content of the project, but instead about trying to organize group dynamics, such as not being able to e-mail other group members and being assigned a new group member after class has ended. This has also affected the organizing of the interview schedule. Despite these challenges, our “founding” group members have been communicating very effectively through e-mail, such as being able to decide on a group name and logo all outside of class. We are also using the cost benefit analysis to assign group members assignments that will bring out the strengths of each of us, such as using group member Patrick’s skill in design to create our logo while I developed the team name.

I am a firm believer that the learning process does not end after we graduate. This is why I am always striving to learn more, especially about the PR field. By focusing intensely on my academic courses, my knowledge of public relations has grown immensely since I first declared my concentration. I believe that I have grown the most as PR practitioner through my current academic internship. I have been given the opportunity to develop press releases and media alerts, as well as learn new technologies that I do not get to use in school, such as contacting print media sources through Constant Contact e-mail blasts. In my particular internship, at the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, networking and business development is the purpose of the organization. This is why whether through my academics or internship opportunities, I am learning that the key to the field of public relations will always be: relationships.