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

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

Alumni Spotlight: Sara Pimentel

 

Photo’s by Sara Pimentel.

With May approaching, many of our graduating staffers have begun job hunting and looking to alumni and recent graduates for guidance and direction on what is wanted in a public relations agency. We hear in classes or from internships the importance in making connections. Creating connections is valuable in any field of work but especially in public relations.

Networking is Key

Networking is a valuable skill because it opens opportunities with future clients, PR pros, news outlets and journalists. In TGC we create personal relations with our clients, but it can be easy to forget that the most important relationships we make are with our fellow interns. A great way to network is through the connections that we make with alumni in our agency. Our alumni provided our agency with guidance and growth and it is valuable to stay connected with their lives.

Sara Pimentel, alumna of TGC, graduated from California State University, Chico in Spring 2016. She served TGC for two semesters as an Account Executive and Editorial Director for eight different clients. Since graduation she moved to San Francisco and worked for two different PR companies. She interned for SHIFT Communications and was recently employed as an Assistant Account Executive at Finn Partners. She faced some difficulty transitioning from the small town of Chico to the Bay Area because she had to start from scratch, but was is also exciting for that same reason. She got to recreate herself and build new relations with those surrounding her.

Enjoy what you do

Sara emphasized that when choosing a job, it is important to keep in mind that you need to enjoy going to work every day. On her job search the core culture values she looked for was a company that was understanding, fun, supportive, spontaneous and open. These core values are what led to the beginning of her career at SHIFT Communications.

Sara was thankful for her experience interning with TGC and working on multiple accounts because it prepared her for an unusual experience interning with SHIFT. She worked on 7 to 9 different client accounts simultaneously.

“My team knew it was a lot,” Pimentel said. “But they trusted me, and I was able to do it.”

A company’s culture is everything

 

Moving away can be tough you are given a clean slate, starting a new job can be challenging. Sara said the most important lesson she learned from working at SHIFT is the value of being honest.

“If you have too much on your plate, tell someone,” she said. Pimentel chose SHIFT because of their supportive culture. Finding a supportive agency was valuable to her, she emphasizes how important it is to not be afraid to tell someone you are feeling overwhelmed, you are a team and they are there to help.

Change is good

She has just begun working for Finn Partners, and so far she loves it because it allows her to be more creative. Finn works with consumer technology clients, so she is familiar with the space and the products, but it’s still a new world.

San Francisco has become her home and she does not see herself moving away for a long time. She hopes to become even more confident in her abilities and eventually have people looking to her for advice.

Work with what you have

Her advice to graduating students is: “Know what you want, but be flexible. You have to go with the flow. Some things will happen just like you dreamed they would, but a lot won’t, and you have to make that work.”

Written by, Hope Lumbley.

LinkedIn Grad Guide

 

 

 

 

If you’re a recent college grad, or will be graduating in December like myself, searching for your first “real” job can be overwhelmingly terrifying.

However, LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can make the search less intimidating by allowing you to simply continue something you’re probably already doing: hanging out on social media.

The truth is students (myself included) spend a ridiculous amount of time connecting with peers on social platforms, snapping selfies and posting photos of their pets. But what students really should be doing is using this energy in a more productive way by building their professional network.

Below I’ll cover some tips on how you can use LinkedIn to help land your first job.

Julieblog1

 

● Make Your Headline POP

Your headline is the first thing people will see when they visit your page. It’s essentially a 5-second elevator pitch for marketing yourself online. Be sure that your headline communicates what you want to accomplish.

Here’s my new and improved headline:

Julieblog2

● Write a Professional Summary

The summary statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself and grab a potential employer’s attention. Focus on describing your skills and accomplishments; communicate your goals, while also highlighting your personality.

See this article for more essential tips on writing an impressive LinkedIn summary.

● Get Recommendations

Ask your professors, advisors or past employers to recommend you on LinkedIn. Recommendations show your credibility and experience; they can boost your online reputation and set you apart from other candidates.

● Use Keywords

Use keywords when you are describing your work. The more industry-related keywords you have in your profile, the higher you’ll appear on a potential employers search rankings.

● Be Active
Engagement is an important aspect of all social networks. LinkedIn provides the opportunity for you to discover and share interesting content with your connections. When reading articles posted by others, provide feedback and comment on content that interests you.

These are just a few examples of ways you can enhance your LinkedIn profile as a college grad. According to Jobvite’s 2013 Social Recruiting Survey results, 94 percent use LinkedIn to recruit for talent and 92 percent have successfully hired through LinkedIn. So make sure you are doing everything you can to get noticed!

Photo courtesy of http://makeameme.org/meme/recruiter-added-me-5bq3ld
Photo courtesy of http://makeameme.org/meme/recruiter-added-me-5bq3ld

How Do I Survive My First Full-Time Job?

Photo credit: imagerymajestic, Creative Commons
Photo credit: imagerymajestic,  FreeDitigitalPhotos.net

Now that graduation is right around the corner, reality is probably setting in that you are going to start your new full-time job or you are still in the job hunting process.

Let me tell you, having a full-time job is different than being a student. I understand that the majority of students, like myself, juggle school, part-time work and internships just to be able to obtain that full-time job. How could it be any different?

  1.   Get used to sitting in one position for eight hours

I know this might be an exaggeration, but if you are used to running to school, then driving to work for a four hour shift, then meeting with your study group and topping it off with two hours at your internship then this might be a reality.

Being in one location, in one building, when you are used to so many different locations may be a difficult transition for most.

I recommend that you stash a stress ball or some extra snacks in your desk because you will need something to occupy your extra mental space that isn’t being used.

  1.   Eat lunch with your co-workers

This might be difficult at first, but this is just like elementary school. It is easier to make friends when you take the plunge on the first day or week of work.

You don’t want to look like you are too good to hang out with your new co-workers, so lunch breaks are a great way to get to know the people that you work with without slacking on your duties on the clock.

Make sure that you don’t participate in negative gossip that could get you into trouble while you are still the newbie.

  1.   Show up on time

It is bad to be late while you are still new to a job. If there is an emergency, call and let them know ahead of time. This shows that you value the company and you appreciate communication and your job. So set your alarm louder than normal and be on time!

  1.   Set limits

We all want to impress our boss and can get a little “yes” happy when we start new jobs. If you aren’t capable of doing a task, don’t lie.

Tell them that you don’t know how to do the task but you are willing to learn or watch somebody else who knows how to do it. Also, this will help prevent burnout.

You need to find the line between excelling and improving yourself and the point where you are mentally spent and cannot function. Finding that line will help you stay happy at your job without feeling the need to move to another job.

To survive my work day, I read a book and/or take a walk on my lunch break to help compensate for the lack of moving I do being behind my desk writing all day.

The trick is to find out what will work for you early on in your position. These tips are going to be how you survive the transition from being a full-time student to a full-time employee at your new job.

Welcome to the real world.

Here are some other tips that can help you

http://voices.yahoo.com/tips-transitioning-college-full-time-work-265184.html

http://www.letstalkaboutwork.tv/6-tips-for-surviving-your-first-job-after-college/

 

How to Transition to a New City After College

 

Photo credit: Jerry Downs, Creative Commons, Original Photo
Photo credit: Jerry Downs, Creative Commons, Original Photo

Life is made up of many different stages and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that the college stage has gone by extremely quickly. It doesn’t feel like too long ago that I was starting my first semester and now I’m frantically seeking advice on how to adjust to the upcoming post-graduation life.

One of the biggest changes that new graduates often have to face is moving to a completely new city. Many students already have some experience moving away from home after choosing which college to go to, but relocating after college can be very different. There may not be as many opportunities to meet people and the age range of everyone around you varies much more.

After graduation, some students plan on moving back home temporarily, some have made plans with friends to move to a new area and others are moving to a new city without knowing any friends or family nearby. Regardless of the situation, new graduates will generally move to a new area at some point, which can make an already tough transition from college to the workforce even more challenging. Here are five tips for making this adjustment a little smoother:

1. Do your research

Whether it’s a different city, state or country, you should start researching the general area before you graduate to find out as much as possible about potential jobs there. Although you may be interested in moving to a big city like San Francisco or Los Angeles, try to keep an open mind. There might be another city that could be a great starting point. Here is an article to get you started.

http://college.monster.com/training/articles/298-college-graduates-top-25-cities-for-finding-your-entry-level-job?page=1

After finding a job in the area you’ve chosen, start researching neighborhoods to find a place to live that fits your budget and offers the best possible commute. Although we’ve all heard horror stories about bad roommate experiences, having roommates significantly lowers the cost of rent.

Many people would rather live with someone they know, but this is not always possible. It’s important to be careful if you move in with someone without knowing them beforehand, but it might be the best option to save some money in a new city.

2. Make your home more personal

Once you’ve found the right city and apartment or house, try to add some personal items and decorations as soon as possible. It may not seem very important to some, but adding personal items, whether they’re pictures or some souvenirs, to where you’re living can make a big difference when you are away from friends, family and your comfort zone.

3. Put yourself out there to meet new people

It can be tempting to just stick to an easy, comfortable routine when you’re in a completely new area, but doing this can make it harder to adjust. Putting yourself out there to meet new people through your job, internship, volunteering or some other way can help you build connections faster.

4. Stay in contact with friends and family but don’t hold onto the past

It’s helpful to have a support system whenever you’re making a big transition in your life, so remember to talk to and occasionally visit family members and close friends. Distance doesn’t necessarily determine whether you stay close with someone. However, you may want to create new connections and meet people in your new area, so try to avoid only talking to and spending time with old friends.

5. Stay positive

Some people are great at adapting to a new area but if you are having a difficult time adjusting at first, remember that this feeling is temporary. You will eventually adjust and build a life for yourself in your new home, it just takes time.

This is just a new stage in your life to enjoy!

 

Advice for the Real World that People are Too Afraid to Tell You

Photo credit: Anthony Peters
Photo credit: Anthony Peters

Guess what, little kiddies? We are less than a month away from graduation.

For many people, it’s the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. And for a lot of people, it’s the beginning of independence, no more relying on parents for help with anything.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have preconceived notions of what life is like outside these hallowed halls of learning. Luckily for everyone, I am here to dispense knowledge and not just the same cliches that everyone will tell you. These are pieces of advice that people don’t want to tell you, yet will help you more than you know.

The first thing everyone needs to realize is that nobody cares about you except for you. If you have a problem nobody is going to come in and fix it.

Everybody is too busy with his or her own problems to drop everything for you. So, it’s up to you to put on your big kid pants and deal with it. That’s a part of being an adult, not relying on anyone else.

Which brings me to my next piece of advice, having a bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean you have the key to infinite knowledge.

Congratulations, you know how to fake your way through a five-page research paper on the history of the North American fire ant. That doesn’t mean you have enough life experience to tell people how the world should work.

Regardless of what your gender identity 101 professor tells you, it’s up to you now to go and figure out your own world view.

As graduation has been creeping up closer on us all, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how they don’t want to move to Sacramento and are only looking for jobs in the Bay Area.

Well, that’s great and all, but people need to realize that life doesn’t work the way you think it’s going to. You can’t close off one avenue just because it doesn’t fit into your plan. If it were me, I would start somewhere where the cost of living isn’t so high.

Chances are you aren’t going to be making a ton of money, so why would you live in a place where the only apartment you can afford is a studio in the Tenderloin in San Francisco. Be smart about this, there is no reason to start behind the eight ball when you don’t have to.

I know that these may not be the easiest things to hear, but if you just think about what I said, you’ll be all right.

A Well Deserved Vacation Abroad

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
-Saint Augustine

Whether it’s at the end of this semester or in the fall, graduation is quickly approaching for seniors. This can be an overwhelming thought that most students, including myself, are reminded of on a regular basis.

We’ve been in school for most of our lives and now after the long hours and perseverance this chapter is finally coming to an end.

One of the main purposes of college is to prepare for a (hopefully) well-paying satisfying job, but most jobs will be full-time and last for the majority of our lives.

Before jumping into a full-time career, one option is to take some time to travel abroad after graduating.

Traveling is a great way to experience different ideas, new people, create lasting memories and relax with friends and family after working hard to earn a degree.

As we’ve probably all heard before, the best time to travel is when we’re young.

People usually don’t have as many responsibilities as they would once they have a career, start a long-term relationship and possibly have children, which makes it easier to take some time to explore.

Even if you plan on attending graduate school or already have a job lined up after graduating, taking some time to visit another country is very doable and rewarding.

The expense of traveling can be intimidating, especially for recent graduates, but it is possible to find hotels within your budget on a country’s tourism website in locations that still offer an incredible experience.

While popular countries in Europe such as England, France and Italy are generally thought of for traveling abroad after college, there are other locations that are sometimes overlooked.

Whether you’re interested in relaxing by the beach or exploring the history and culture of a new place, here are some alternative  countries that offer beautiful views and memorable experiences:

Thailand

This Southeast Asian country has a tropical climate, fascinating culture and history, and offers a variety of hotels ranging in prices. Thailand’s capital is near the coast and many popular beaches, which is perfect for a relaxing trip with friends or family.

May through August is the tourist-friendly country’s off-peak season, which offers the cheapest prices.

http://www.tourismthailand.org/home

Greece

Whether you’d like to explore the history of the capital, Athens, or visit one of the 227 inhabited islands, Greece is a great place to visit.

Photo credit: Paul Wilkinson, Creative Commons
Photo credit: Paul Wilkinson, Creative Commons, Original Photo

Because of the country’s location and clear waters; water sports such as boating, wind surfing and water-skiing are very popular on the coast and the islands.

http://www.visitgreece.gr/#&slider1=2

Brazil

Brazil offers the chance to explore the Amazon, visit famous cities such as Rio de Janeiro and enjoy Brazilian cuisine and culture.

The country is well-known for its Carnival festival in February, which is a week-long celebration before Lent that includes parades, music and colorful costumes.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/04/travel/brazil-10-things/

Happy safe travels.

I Will Cross That Bridge When I Get To It

When last semester started, it was like any other semester for me. I wasn’t nervous to start classes, on the contrary I was eager to start. I love Chico State. But then this semester arrived, and I must admit, I was somewhat preoccupied. Why you ask? Well I am a graduating senior and this is my last semester.

I don’t know if such a thing exists, or if it is only me who experiences it, but senior year (especially last semester) creates nervousness among graduating seniors. I wonder why that is. Perhaps it is the uncertainty that comes with, “what I am going to do?”

I mean for four or five years or whatever number of years it takes us to graduate, we don’t worry about such things. We merely focus on going to class, earning good grades, going home and coming back and of course the occasional going out — but we don’t worry.

Then the senior year approaches and it brings an army of worries. Things like: “Is your resume ready? Is your cover letter top notch? Do you have any idea where you’re going to look for a job? Where are you going to apply? Are you really ready for life after college?” — you know, all the questions related to the “what are you going to do” category.

And I don’t even know if I have the answers for all those questions. It is something that keeps creeping in on me at times. I would say I would cross that bridge when I got to it, but I’m pretty sure that I have reached that bridge and I’m about to step on it.

I reminisce on my freshman year and how happy I was thinking I still had a long time before my graduation. But last semester I had my commencement ceremony, and this semester I am graduating. It is really true that time flies by fast. Though I don’t regret anything because all the decisions I took made me the person I am today. I go through changes all the time.

So I will cross this bridge and I will enjoy the journey. I know I will cross it successfully. I also know the future me will look back at this time and he will cherish it. I know he will say: “Dude, you rock!” because I will rock! Because this bridge represents another step to adulthood, so I will enjoy the journey over the bridge.

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