Incorporating my passion for food into my future

A photo of an assortment of fruit and other food on a plate with a bottled drink to accompany it

With graduation six months away, my mind is being pulled in so many different directions of where I could see myself. On one end, I see myself living the glamorous city life in San Francisco. On the other end I see myself moving across the country to North Carolina living a humble life on the lake with extended family members.

Both these situations are completely different, but I want to be immersed in something I am passionate about while utilizing the skills I learned in Tehama Group Communications.

I have been surrounded by cooking and baking my whole life. My dad has always had a passion for cooking. After his career as a golf pro ended he decided to start a catering business, Fuget About It Catering, out of our tiny suburban home kitchen.

Since then it has developed into an incredible business that spread throughout our community by word of mouth. He now has a commercial kitchen and multiple catering jobs a day to prove his success. We started working for him right away as a way to make some quick cash but it soon turned into an amazing learning experience in the kitchen. Cooking is a means to express my creativity and come up with meals using ingredients I would have not thought would be good together.

So, how do I incorporate these passions into my future?

According to an article in Economy Watch, “the food industry comprises a complex network of activities pertaining to the supply, consumption, and catering of food products and services across the world.” This includes the marketing, distribution and advertising of products. That’s where I am most interested within the food industry.

Human’s basic needs will always include food and water therefore the food industry has nothing but room for growth and a profitable future. The food industry is a trillion dollar industry with is wide variety of networks.

O’Dwyer’s released a ranking of the top food and beverage public relations firms and amongst the top three are Edelman ($116,626,00),  Hunter PR ($16,500,000) and APCO Worldwide ($16,283,000). These are just three of a list of 48 agencies that work with the food and beverage industry. These growing numbers prove to me that I can work to incorporate my passion for food with my personal professional goals.

So, what’s next?

Network, network, network! That is the number one word I hear when I do site visits and it’s the way I plan to weasel my way into employers minds. I hope to stand out within these lucrative companies by incorporating my passion for food into my application process and researching their projects that involve food in some way.

Hopefully, in ten years when I am looking through old files I read this blog and have a smile on my face. The smile will be a result of incorporating my professional goals with my passions for cooking and baking.

By: Miranda Carpenello

How to Be An Inclusive Writer

As an aspiring public relations professional, words are a big part of my job. From press releases to Instagram posts, my words matter and they affect a lot of people. That being said, here is a resource guide for being an inclusive writer:

Race: When we, as professionals, are writing for a diverse audience, we are first representing our clients, first and ourselves, second. We must take into account that our audiences are diverse and may not have experienced the world from our vantage point. We do not want to offend our readers, plus, we have our clients’ reputation on the line with every keyboard click. Research always needs to be done when writing about race. Here are four different resources in regards to writing about race. These resources provide you the opportunity to break out of your bubble and be a more conscientious and inclusive writer.

Gender and Sexuality: Gendered language haunts the English language. We use gendered language everyday. It is ingrained in us to say, “policeman or mailman.” Sometimes, it is hard to identify gender-neutral terms for words that we say everyday without a second thought. One way to work in gender neutral terms into your everyday language is by using the singular they/them pronouns. If you are addressing someone and don’t want to assume their pronouns, a good rule of thumb is to use they/them. I have provided a resource along with other links below:

Ability/Disability: Often, means of ability are glossed over by media or negatively portrayed to emit a sense of shame. Instead you could use, “people with different abilities.” Avoiding stigmas around abilities will not only make your writing more inclusive, it can help empower people. Here are some resources to consider when writing about people with different abilities:

As professionals in a fast-paced environment, research before writing is KEY.

Being able to write in an inclusive manner can make your audience feel welcome and safe. It will create a sense of trust and transparency around your company and that can greatly improve its relationship with the public. When a marginalized community can see you took the time to include them, you raise the standards for  companies around you.

As professionals dedicated to the ties between company and community, you CAN do better to be more inclusive. My hope is that this resource guide can be used as a stepping stone to successful inclusive writing.

Other related writing style guides:

Clients that seem challenging are the most fruitful experiences

In a perfect world, every client you have would be, well–perfect. Whether you’re working a summer job, a rigorous internship for school or have been with the same company for years, there are certain clients that seem to take more out of you than your time and effort.

According to the article Coping with difficult clients – three common types written by Rachel Antman from LMV Group, the main types of difficult PR clients include the “busy bee,” “authoritarian” and “scapegoat.”

The busy bee is usually a great client, but so overwhelmed with other tasks that public relations falls to the side, creating slow turnaround and challenges getting critical information to the practitioners on time.

The authoritarian likes control, so much so that the PR professional is no longer seen as a strategic asset but an assistant, making the work less successful than it could be.

Last is the scapegoat. This client tends to take all the credit for good work, then doesn’t bat an eye when blaming the PR agency for every failure.

When working with these types of clients, it’s important to remember that all of your experiences can be fruitful when you actively look for the value in them.

I. Personal Growth

Personal growth is different for everyone—it takes going through certain situations to learn how you can become a better person. Working with a difficult client is a sure way to figure out personal areas needing improvement.

The science of neuroplasticity explains how your thinking can change your brain chemistry. Staying positive can not only help you get through the work, but also rewire your brain to help you deal with it in the future. Even though during client related conflicts it can be easy to wallow in negativity, a positive attitude will be better for the situation, the client and yourself.

Learning to take your failures as opportunities for growth is beneficial in the workplace and day-to-day life.

II. Positive Change in Work Ethic

With a poor work ethic, it can be difficult to get anything done and keep the morale of your team high. Even professionals with a typically strong work ethic can struggle under pressure when dealing with tough situations. By constantly instilling a positive work ethic in yourself, those around you will most likely notice and benefit.

When dealing with a difficult client, it can be easy to get caught up in your emotions rather than logically thinking the issues through. Separating your personal feelings from the situation can strengthen your work ethic and all the components that come with it.

Work ethic is a virtue that’s believed to enhance character and contains many different traits. Professionalism, humility, dedication, accountability and respect are a few key elements necessary for a strong work ethic. These qualities include:

Professionalism: Broad because it encompasses all other aspects of work ethic—not only how you dress but how you act.
Humility: By acknowledging everyone’s contributions, maintaining a sense of humor, always being open to learning and teaching with integrity and appreciation those around your will trust and listen to you.
Dedication: Being passionate about your profession and company, and not submitting work until it reaches perfection, those around you will notice.
Accountability: Set an example for other employees by taking responsibility for your mistakes, not making up excuses and not making the same mistakes twice.
Respect: By always treating your clients with respect—even the most difficult—it will show grace and the value of your personal and professional worth.

III. Reaching Common Ground

One of the most beneficial skills to have when working with clients is communication. Establishing control of the account in the beginning will help you understand not only what the client wants, but will give you the creative freedom you need to do the work.

“I learned you have to say what you want and what the client wants up front,” said Kasey Perez, community manager at TGC, “it won’t happen later if it doesn’t happen in the beginning.”

Taking control from the start will garner respect from the client and allow you to steer negotiations in the right direction. Sometimes, conflicting ideas between PR practitioners and their clients can get ugly and defensive. Manipulating the situation to your advantage won’t solve the issue and the real reason for some conflicts may lie below the surface.

Reaching common ground takes mutual effort between you and your client. Being able to quickly realize the conflict, take control of the situation and find a resolution that works for both parties is a skill that will be beneficial throughout your entire career.

By: Josey Lonzo

Alumni Update- From TGC to Copernio

The Tehama Group Communications staff this semester consists of about 90 percent seniors. So at this time in the semester all of us are scrambling, sweating and seriously panicking about the fact that we will be graduating in less than five weeks.

Where will we live? Who is going to hire us? Was this is right choice?! All of these questions will keep us awake at night, but when we start to have these thoughts, we need to remember the success stories that come out of TGC year after year.

We have seen these successes from guest speakers who come talk us every semester and on our LinkedIn alumni groups.If you still don’t believe me, an alumna who was in our shoes exactly a year ago has a great story of how she has been able to find great success in the professional world of PR post-graduation.

Allison Hahn was in TGC the entire school year of 2015-16 and held the position of Account Executive, being responsible for multiple clients. After graduation Allie was quickly hired by a Copernio, an agency that specializes in Consumer Tech PR, and has been there for almost a year. Below is a Q and A conducted with Allie regarding her life after graduation and some good tips and knowledge for us graduating seniors.

Allie Hahn at the airport on her way to the trade show, “ Get Geeked,” in San Francisco.

  • Question: What did you find most rewarding and most challenging about being in TGC?  Is there anything you learned that helped you with the job search process?  

Answer: I think the most rewarding and challenging thing was one in the same – working with clients and trying to communicate their PR needs with them. When it worked, it was so satisfying, even though it can be difficult to get to that point. It’s something that I experience now in my job everyday.  TGC showed me what my strengths and weaknesses are and what kind of work environment I should seek.

  • Question: When you were hired at Copernio, what was your starting title and what is your current title?

Answer: I started as an intern and am now an Account Coordinator, but since my agency is so small, I have a lot of opportunities to do tasks related to Account Management.

  • Question: Can you give a brief summary of Copernio?

Answer: Copernio is an agency in Orange County that specializes in Consumer Tech PR. It’s a boutique firm with only seven employees. Before I started working there, I always assumed a boutique agency was a young agency that was growing. That’s not the case here. We’re just a small but tight-knit team, but our business model is developed. Copernio is actually the oldest PR agency in Orange County. Within the umbrella of tech PR, we have a rather diverse client base. The clients range in needs and how integrated we are in their company.

  • Question: After being employed for almost a year now, how would you describe your work/life balance as an entry level employee?

Answer: I’m really lucky to be where I’m at because they really promote a good balance. I feel like I’ve been able to establish a life for myself post-grad outside of work. There’s some nights where I’ll have to work late or when I travel, I’ll lose a weekend, but overall my employer is flexible and I am able to take time for myself. I’ve also learned to avoid checking my work email on the weekends and after 7 p.m. so I have some time to actually unwind.

  • Question: What have you found to be the most rewarding and most challenging?

Answer:  The most rewarding is that I feel like my ideas are valued. They aren’t all good, but everyone in the office will listen to me will always listen and help me improve them so I can present them to the client and see them through to completion.

As for most challenging, my agency has a big policy of self-management. No one is going to be breathing down your neck reminding you what needs to get done or checking in on your progress for a project. Overall it’s been a good thing, but it’s an adjustment from college and TGC where there’s a lot of check-ins while you’re working towards a deadline. At my agency, you have to take the initiative yourself to make sure something gets done.

  • Question: Did TGC prepare you well for your entry level job?

Answer: TGC prepared me very well for my job! Some skills you can’t be prepared for and you will have to learn depending on the job you’re doing regardless, but TGC did a great job giving me an understanding of what a PR agency does and how to be adaptable to the needs of clients.

  • Question: What do you wish TGC or the J&PR department would have prepared you for more?

Answer: In college, we talk a lot about planning and preparation, which are very important in PR. However, clients will often throw you curveballs and it can be hard to stay on task with your original plan, so sometimes knowing how to adapt is more important than knowing how to prepare.

  • Can you give some brief descriptions of your biggest accomplishments thus far in your career?

Answer: I’ve had my clients get some really good National Media coverage which is always exciting, including pieces in Good Housekeeping, Refinery 29, USA Today and The Huffington Post. One of the coolest things that’s happened was I got interviewed on camera on behalf of a client at CES and it ended up on Wired. Wired is one of the biggest tech publications out there and sparked my interest in working in technology a few years ago. It was a very cool, full circle moment.   

  • Question: I know you have attended two huge trade shows for your company, in San Francisco and Chicago, can you explain how those experiences were and the major things that you got out of it?

Answer: I’ve been to three press/trade shows so far – Get Geeked in San Francisco, CES in Vegas, and The International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago. All three have been different and have been really good learning experiences.

The best thing about these shows is that you get to work with your client face-to-face, an opportunity that doesn’t happen often, and you get to meet members of the press that you’re constantly pitching. The shows are very crazy though and you lose a lot of sleep. CES was the most intense. It’s right after the holidays and the biggest tech trade show in North America. One of my days started at a TV station at 6 a.m. and ended at a press event around midnight. I was on my feet and talking the entire time. It was very fun, but one of the most exhausting days my life.

  • Question: Do you have any advice to give to J&PR seniors that are graduating this May? 

Answer: My biggest advice for seniors would be to relax and enjoy your last weeks of college! You will find a job and you will make the transition from the college life to adult life successfully. I loved Chico with my whole heart and moving back to So Cal was scary. I was dreading graduation and the unknowns that followed it. I wish I would’ve spent that time being happy and enjoying myself. You’ll never get that time back, so don’t spend it worrying about the future.

As scared as we are and will continue to be until walk down that field, I hope we can take a step back and breath. This internship and program has instilled in us the necessary skills and abilities to get out there and find a way to be successful and #Employeed! Good luck seniors.

 Written By: Kasey Perez

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!).

Life After College

As college students, sometimes we forget we’ve been in school for the majority of our lives. The closer we get to graduating from our four-year institution, the sooner we are left to wonder, “what will life be like now after college?”
Some of us have been thinking of graduation with enthusiasm and some of us have no idea how to feel about the whole idea of entering the “real world.”  The transition is unavoidable, but it serves as a fundamental key to a successful path.

This transition from college student to working professional affects almost all aspects of our life. The idea of adapting to work should not be so surprising, but adapting to a new life outside of work can be challenging. In the process of looking for a helpful guide on how to approach a new chapter in my life, I came across an article titled simply, Life After College.”

The article pointed out several tips that will come in handy as the “real world” arrives.  Some of the tips included making new friends, setting goals and networking wisely.

According to Economic Collapse, “53 percent of recent graduates in America are either employed or unemployed.” One can see this situation as a glass half full or half empty; the fact of the matter is everyone comes to the point in their life where they must face challenges.

As college graduates, we are told that our best years are officially done as soon as we step off the podium and the “real world has begun.” Many of us will land our ideal job in our respective fields and some will take a different direction we had never imagined.

If college has taught me anything it is that one must learn how adjust and adapt to any situation, it’s what makes the difference between being a student and becoming a successful and responsible adult.

5 Helpful Job-Hunting Tips

By Molly Rose Livingston, Account Executive


I graduate from college in less than three weeks.


While that is exciting, it’s also pretty daunting.


My goal is to score a paid internship or entry-level job by the time I graduate on Dec. 21. To achieve this goal, besides paying close attention in my public relations job-hunting class at Chico State, I have also done online research and asked advice from teachers and family members.


The first thing I have learned is that landing your first job out of college is no easy task. It not only takes a lot of hard work and attention to detail, it also requires a large dose of patience.


Here are a few other important things I have learned:


Proofread: Your resume, cover letter and online identity should be free of grammar and spelling errors.

Social media: Employers are hiring you for a job in communications, and they want to see how you manage yourself online. Your online presence should be free of inappropriate content.

If you need to, clean up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, blog and any other social networking tool you use.


Be sure these tools are an accurate representation of you. For example, I try to have a mix of tweets. Some are professional and directly related to my desired field of work, others are funny and about my daily life.


Interviews: The interview process can be intimidating, and your best bet is to be over-prepared. Even if you already know about the company, research them one more time. Check out their mission statement, read their blog and scan all of their social media. If you know who will be interviewing you, do some research on them as well.


Review possible interview questions and be sure you have prepared answers to them. Before a recent interview I reviewed this list of 100 potential interview questions.


In addition to basic questions, such as “tell me about yourself,” I have also been asked why I want to work for the company, how I dealt with a crisis situation and what was the last good book I read.


At the conclusion of your interview you will likely be asked if you have any questions. Now is your chance to learn a little bit more about the position, company or office atmosphere, so ask away. If you do not, they may feel like you are not engaged or interested in the company.


The leave-behind: Always bring extra copies of your resume to your interview. Additionally, it is wise to bring samples of a variety of your work.


Follow-up etiquette: Of course, say thank you! Ask for the interviewer’s card and within 24 hours be sure to send an email expressing appreciation for the chance to interview.


If you were interviewed by multiple people then send each person a separate email that is customized. Along with an email, sending a thoughtful, handwritten thank you note will demonstrate your desire to work with them.


These are the steps I have followed in my job-hunting journey so far. While I can’t guarantee they work, as I’m currently waiting to hear back from prospective employers, I do believe they will give you better odds of landing that dream job.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em Join ‘Em: Find What You Love To Do and Start Networking to Find Your Next Job

By Kelsey Hilton, Account Executive
December graduation is quickly approaching. As I begin to feel the stress of finals week, the pressure to find a job in the “real world” is also haunting me. My college days are sadly coming to an end along with the reality that in less than a month I will move back home with my parents and need to find a job.
Graduating college can be a very stressful time in a student’s life. It is a milestone that many of us have always dreamed of accomplishing, but also a stage in our lives that we may not be ready for. As classes come to an end, the quest for a profession is lurking around the corner.
Job-hunting is a difficult task, but in today’s economy it has become a vastly grueling process. Though it isn’t easy to find a job, there are ways to make the hunt less stressful than it has to be. The stress many of us face derives from the belief that our first profession out of college is going to be our last, and we adamantly search for our “dream job.”
But job hunting doesn’t need to be this stressful.  
Some helpful tips for recent graduates when looking for a job, according to an article in Forbes Magazine, are to first figure out two things: “What tickles your fancy?” and “What are you willing to pay? – Both in the figurative and literal sense in order to obtain that kind of work.”
But even with these tips, it can be discouraging reading real-life statistics stating that 50 percent of new college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. Even with many factors against us, today we have the luxury of technology at our fingertips. More importantly, because of these technologies, recent grads need to network, network and then network some more.
We have the opportunity to be linked to people from all over the world who can possibly help us connect with a future employer or lead us in the right direction. 
The possibilities are endless.
Networking is an essential part of job-hunting in today’s market and you need to be networking everyday. Whether it’s online or through face-to-face interactions–it’s crucial.  
By joining networking groups and associations in a field you wish to enter, or attending industry meetings and conferences, you are increasing your opportunities.
Though these tips do not necessarily ensure a future career, they improve your chances of landing your next job and will make the process significantly less stressful. 
Here are five steps to follow for smooth networking

What to Expect From Your PR Internship

By Heather Wilson, Assistant Account Executive
I am gradually approaching the last few weeks of my final semester as a PR student and one of the things I have really learned from my 16-year college journey is how vital and fundamental internships are before entering the challenging and exciting real word.  
As a graduating senior, I have held four different types of internships including entertainment, fashion, agency and nonprofit. There are several things I would like to share with you that you can expect from any PR internship. 
  • Real world experience: One thing that your PR classes do not teach you is real world experience.  At your internship you will be able to observe professionals and see what a PR job really entails.  The skills you will learn in your real world experience include utilizing media-centric databases, performing client research, preparing clip reports, coordinating and working special events, and helping with social media projects. All of these will give you a taste of the many skills and communication methods that are required to become a solid PR practitioner.
  • Remember you are only an intern: Like it or not, you may have to administer tasks that have nothing to do with PR such as printing, filing, organizing a closet or making name tags.  Try to take on these tasks with a positive attitude and remember sometimes you’re just the lowest person on the totem pole!
  • Contacts: No matter where you choose to intern, you will meet people, both fellow interns and general co-workers.  These people may be able to help you get your foot in the door post-graduation, so it is vital to continue networking once the internship is over.  

Skype as an Interviewing Technique

By Eli Gibbs, Photographer/Videographer
The invention of communication via webcam has allowed the possibility of face to face global communication. No longer does an individual need to be physically present in a room to participate in the conversation. Since its inception, webcam communication has proven to be a vital tool for conference calls, interviewing and much more.
Prior to learning about its professional applications, I always imagined Skype as a way to interact with my family while away from home. Communication has many nonverbal cues that are missed in phone calls and not entirely portrayed in photos. The only way to truly track these cues is through video, which Skype can offer. 

About a week ago, I had my first Skype interview for an entry-level position after graduation. This particular public relations firm has offices in many major cities, but I interviewed for the San Francisco branch because it is best for my desired practice, technology.  

While each employer is sure to differ, here are some tips following my first and only Skype interview thus far:
1. Connection problems are expected

If you miss some information, do not hesitate to ask someone to repeat it. Consider using a cell phone for the audio component.

2. Eye contact is not as necessary as it is in face to face communication

If you were to truly resemble eye contact, you would be staring into the webcam, when it is expected that your attention would be on the screen. Make sure to look both at the screen and the webcam when speaking.
3. Be sure to ask questions, not just answer them

Do your research on the company and ask questions that will allow the interviewer to elaborate on what you can do for the company – not what the company can do for you.
For some tips about what NOT to do in a Skype interview, this article is sure to help.