Expanding the Job Market Beyond the Borders

Graduating and moving into the workforce is one of the biggest transitions a college graduate faces. The stress of today’s shaky economy, coupled with rising tuition costs and an increasing unemployment rate can take its toll on the decision-making process for most students.

In times like these, it is more important than ever to be open to opportunities when they present themselves. Living and working abroad is one such possible opportunity that is unfortunately often overlooked by most graduates.

Internship opportunities abroad are often more plentiful than here at home, and some even come with excellent benefits that are usually rarely given to graduates in the United States! Programs such as Cultural Vistas or GoAbroad are available to guide students through the process of seeking work in various locations across the globe. 4-year graduates often already meet prerequisites for many programs, and a student is only required to have the willingness to experience something new.

The benefits of working abroad are numerous. Gaining a sense of international understanding is a great educational opportunity that develops confidence in one’s own work skills. Life abroad can also sometimes be cheaper than here in the states! Getting to travel the world, learning about new cultures, learning a new language, and gaining an advantage in the job market are just a few of the many benefits of seeking work opportunities abroad. No matter what your career path may be, chances are you have a skill that is desired elsewhere in the world, and they are willing to pay you to do it.

So, escape the stress of the job market here in the U.S. for awhile and go have an adventure that pays off (in more ways than one!).

Happy Birthday, Twitter

March 21, 2006 marked the opening of Twitter, a microblogging host that limits user’s posts to 140 characters. The date is recognized because it was when Jack Dorsey, the recognized creator of Twitter, posted the first tweet.

Today, it is said that there are more than 500 million created user profiles and approximately 200 million users are posting actively. It is estimated that 400 million tweets are posted each day.

To celebrate the Website’s seventh birthday, Twitter released a video demonstrating a couple of concepts for which Twitter was able to create a very successful platform.

By now, most Internet users should be familiar with the concept of a hashtag. Twitter did not create the hashtag, but its implementation allows users to search and see anyone posting on the topic. Hashtags are now created for every major sporting event, television show, political movement, cause and much more. The hashtag for the 2012 Summer Olympic games was #London2012.

The hashtag is just one tool that allows crowdsourcing to be so effective. The Jan. 15, 2009 tweet from @jkrums in the video above illustrates how he was able to be a source close to the Hudson River crash while helping rescue people from the aircraft.

The most recent Twitter development is the launch of Vine, a mobile application that creates a user-friendly interface to post short videos–no longer than six seconds, and share them on Facebook or Twitter. Twitter acquired the company and the free app debuted January 24.

Web Design 101

For those of you who don’t know anything about Web design, I will be sharing my top three important rules to keep users from leaving your site.

1. Don’t make your users think. Now, I’m not saying your users are too dumb to figure it out, the point is that we, as Web designers don’t want our users to leave our site out of frustration because they can’t find your navigation bar or things don’t load properly.

TIPS: It’s good to be different but don’t change the user experience so much that users can’t find anything.

2. KIS (keep it simple) This ties heavily back into not making your users think. If your site’s content, images and links are thrown onto a Web page with no clear structure, your user will leave.

TIPS: Create a template and use that design throughout all your pages.

3. Make use of effective writing. Writing for the Web is completely different than writing a novel. The idea here is to provide just enough content for your users without overwhelming them or creating large chunks of text that will make your user leave.

TIPS: Break up the content using bullet points. Highlight or bold certain words to draw attention.

If you want more helpful rules and guidelines to follow, check out this article featured in Smashing Magazine!

Need a new idea? Visit Awwwards, it is full of brilliant and inspirational Website designs. (Remember: DON’T copy! These are for inspiration only!)

Good Luck!

Pass the Ball to Women

The sports industry has typically been a male-dominated field. Large amounts of time are devoted to showcasing men’s athleticism on SportsCenter each night and men typically hold coaching positions and jobs within sports media.

This trend may be due to the characteristics associated with sports, which are also equated to men: tough, rough and strong. It’s natural that they would be sought for their opinions and expertise.

Women also played a prominent role in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and they are paving the way for the rest of us.

I would love to incorporate my love of sports into a future career in public relations. If that career happens to take me to the San Francisco Giants then I certainly won’t complain. After all, there is no better place to be than AT&T Park with the beautiful view of the Bay, Gilroy Garlic Fries and Ghirardelli hot chocolate to combat the ocean breeze.

Enjoying a Giants game with my dad and brother, Joe.


However, positive changes within the sports industry in the last decade have given women a more prominent role within this exciting field. Media personalities such as Erin Andrews of FOX Sports and Anne Killion of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area prove that women can be just as knowledgeable about sports as men.

Growing up I played a variety of sports like soccer, softball, volleyball, competitive cheer-leading (yes, cheer-leading is a sport) and basketball.  Even though I did not continue my athletic career into college, my love of sports has not waned.

With the importance of public relations in today’s social media-obsessed climate, many professional sports teams are utilizing individuals in this field to promote their players and organization.

Why shouldn’t some of these experts be women?

Sac Brew Week: Sacramento, CA

Sacramento Beer Week finished its last pour Sunday of what turned out to be a very successful plethora of craft brew events. As a beer connoisseur myself, I was beyond excited to check out some rare beers that would normally not be available in the Sacramento area. The biggest event of the week, for me, came on Saturday at CalExpo’s Capital Beerfest.

Craft beer: “Beer made in a small, independent, and traditional form” – Brewers Association

The Capital Brewfest of 2013 proved how drinking can be done responsibly and in good taste.  Craft beer is known to bring communities together through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism, and sponsorship events. The day was a complete success. As the 3-hour event began to tap out, happy attendees piled into buses and taxis to find a safe way home.

If you are going to attend a craft beer tasting event, take my advice:

1. Eat before you go.  
There is always food at beer tasting events.  Certain foods compliment particular varieties of beer, and all serve as a necessity for soaking up the alcohol. Sometimes vendors will provide tasters with their own homemade food, but don’t count on it.

2. Drink, drink, drink… water!
There is no limit to how strong a craft beer can be. It is crucial to drink water throughout the event to balance out the beer.

3. Assume every 2 pours is one beer.  
A “pour” is the amount of beer the brewers pour into your glass.  They almost always come in small portions, which can be extremely deceiving. It can seem like you’re not drinking very much beer, but you are drinking a high percentage of alcohol. Don’t let the small cups deceive you!

4. Don’t get too excited (my biggest setback).  
Beer tasting events can be exciting, social events. It’s a chance to talk with the people that brought the beer to your glass. Much like a farmers market, you can engage in meaningful conversations about the product you’re consuming. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the possible tasty beers you are going to drink, and you may even be worried that they’ll tap out before you can drink them, but if you want to last the whole day, take it slow.

How To: No Bake Energy Bites

We all have busy lives and sometimes need a quick and easy midday pick-me-up. These no-bake energy bites are a delicious and nutritious snack that is perfect for anyone who is feeling drained and needs some energy on the go. Even better, no culinary skills or experience required! I have made a step-by-step video showing how to make these energy bites so you can make them at home. I must warn you though… once you have tried this simple no-bake energy bites recipe, you will be hooked!

Here is the original recipe that I found on Pinterest.

Can You Hear Me Now?

In 20 years–maybe less, I will surely be deaf. I know this to be true because my headphones are constantly vibrating so loud that anyone near me could make out each distinct word. But for some peculiar reason, I crave the loud volume. I blame music festivals.

Each year I pine over the lineup at Coachella. Like most young people with a flair for music, fashion and celebrity sightings I scour the Internet to find any image of the experience. I gasp at the ridiculous outfits of the celebrities. Of course, as every music lover will say, I am in awe of the selection of bands. I begin to rationalize with myself about why yet again I am not attending this epic event. I balance the pros versus the cons. A pro is that this festival is a three-day collaboration of artists and an escape from the mundane. A con is that it is 12 hours away and I am broke.

Although, for now, Coachella is out of my financial reach, I can thankfully still attend Outside Lands, or Bottle Rock. Bottle Rock is Napa’s first three-day music festival.  Anyone who is interested in an introduction to festival fun will find these two events to be an unparallel experience.

Outside Lands is hosted from Aug. 9-11 in San Francisco. I have attended this event twice. This short weekend gives me a sense of peace and a yearlong soundtrack. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time in front of the metal grate fences engaging in an unofficial arm wrestle between avid fans. Possibly because these festivals are reminiscent of a freer time, I discover myself erratically swaying to the beat as if I was a modern day Janis Joplin. My outfit is expertly crafted to look as if I spend five minutes getting dressed instead of five days carefully collaborating. Groups sit intertwined together in the grass musing inaudibly. On the off-chance they begin to get too rowdy, someone will shout over the noise, “Shut up! I can’t hear the music.”

I wonder what people will say about this generation of festival lovers, but I figure by this point we won’t be able to hear them.


Balancing an Overloaded Schedule and Your Health

When my schedule gets chaotic the first things to go are exercise and taking the time to make healthy meals.

Convenience food becomes my best friend. It’s easy to resort to the highly processed and fattening grab-and-go foods that you regret eating when you notice that your clothes have suddenly started fitting a little tighter. Instead of living with regret, stock up on some better grab-and-go options.

Hummus and veggies are one of my favorites for a quick lunch or dinner. Go to this Website for simple recipes that don’t have processed ingredients in them. Eating less processed foods gives you more energy, making you more productive.

Going to the gym becomes my last priority when I’m short on time. After a long day of school and work, the last thing I want to do is drag myself to the gym. Instead, I find myself lounging on the couch in front of the TV. Rather than turning into a couch potato, get up and do some exercises during the commercials.

The art of multitasking can be your best friend. Get your work done while you exercise. Take a book with you to the gym and read while you are on the treadmill. Walk or jog while you read and take breaks in between chapters to run.

Try doing your work standing up. This New York Times article explains why it is better to stand than to sit. Not only do you burn more calories, but standing also reduces your chances of getting heart disease.

Small changes can make you feel better and get more accomplished.

“That is Like So Hella Rad, Brah”

I’ll take words you will never hear together for eight hundred, please.

If that title didn’t confuse you, nothing will. If you ask any native Californian, there is an impending debate about which is better: Northern California or Southern California.  Northern California has San Francisco, the academic geniuses of Silicon Valley and the state capital. Southern California is home to Hollywood, Disneyland and miles upon miles of sandy, almost always sunny beaches. The question remains: Nor Cal or So Cal?

Originally from sunny San Diego, I think it’s pretty clear what my answer would be; however, while still at school here in the northern end of this glorious state, I think I will keep my humble opinion to myself.

Southern California Kellie                                                        Northern California Kellie

What I am most interested in concerning this constant debate is the differences in speech. For example, I had never even heard the word “hella” before coming to Chico for college. Now, it’s rare if, for one day, I don’t hear someone say “That’s hella cool!” or “I’m hella hungry.”

In Southern California, we say things like “rad” and “stoked.” Those aren’t just cheesy words used by surfers and reality show jocks to further instill the So Cal stereotype into the minds of others, it’s really how many of us speak.

Another point of notable difference is the use of the article “the” in conjunction with freeway names. For example, in Southern California, interstate five is “the five.” While, in Northern California, it’s just “I-5.” I found these to be interesting factors of separation for the mid-state divide.

If you couldn’t already tell which end of the state someone is from, listen to them talk. The moment the first “hella” or “gnarly” is spoken the mystery will be solved.

So… is there a clear winner and loser? The world may never know.
Until then, stay classy, California.

Just Wanelo it!

Move over Pinterest, Wanelo is climbing up the ladder and joining the spotlight.

Note I said joining–not taking the spotlight, because I am a die-hard Pinterest fan, but I try to stay open minded about my app usage.

Wanelo is a Website and app that is similar to Pinterest, but, get ready for it… you can save and buy things from the Website! Wanelo has endless photos of clothes, accessories and home décor. However, I must warn you, this site is more dangerous than Kesha with a tube of glitter, but it is perfect for gifts and self-indulgences on payday.

Pinterest is known for its original ideas, photos and a spectrum of creativity, but it can be a tease. Call me a shopaholic, but I find it to be heartbreaking when I am scrolling down Pinterest and find a must-have, but can’t buy it because the link leads to an error.

Don’t get me wrong, Pinterest has a multitude of qualities that makes it unique and productive, but if you are just trying to find fun boutique-like treasures, Pinterest can be hard to navigate with the linking situation. I love pinning and finding ideas for hair, makeup, nails and “thinspiration,” but for consumerism purposes, Pinterest just makes you want everything you can’t have simply because you can’t find it.

I am a student, holding down a job and two internships; I really do not have the time or talent to get crafty with mason jars, decoupage and hot glue guns. So for the individual with a busy life, but a superb taste in fashion, trends and the latest ideas, Wanelo it is.