Unemployment Diaries: California Edition Part IX

My follow up interview was at 3:30 Monday afternoon, and I did as much cleaning, exercising and organizing to settle my nerves.

I was meeting the rest of the team at the Marconi Automotive Museum, and to not test the jinx rule, I wouldn’t allow myself to get too excited just yet, and it was hard to keep my emotions level.

But I kept my chant of why not me going in the back of my head.

True to form I showed up early, but not as early as the previous interview. I still had a case of the nerves, and I felt more anxious than I had the Friday before. Probably due to the fact I knew I could possibly get the answer I had been waiting for, for the past 10 weeks since graduation.

I was potentially going to become a productive member of society, and I could almost taste the sweet nectar of victory.

An hour later, after meeting the rest of the Marconi squad, I was pleased with how comfortable I felt during this interview, too. They all seemed like motivated, successful and fun women to work with, and I was hopeful I would be added to their team.

As the interview began to wrap up …..

I WAS OFFERED THE JOB. 

Say hello to the new marketing coordinator for the Marconi Automotive Museum!

It’s a wonderful thing when the universe works in your favor. As my FIL would say, “when it happens, because it doesn’t happen often, it’s like you understand everything completely. The path you took now makes all the sense in the world.”

And it’s true. I think the universe knew I didn’t want to live in Texas for another tornado season. It knew I wasn’t made to be a Texan for life and that California living could be the place for me. But due to my stubbornness it also knew I had to feel like I had given it my best shot before exploring other options seemed plausible.

Why not me. 

I will hopefully never serve another cup of coffee or Thanksgiving dinner as a waitress. I was able to make my phone call home and scream “you’re moving to California, I got the job!” And I was able to jump up and down with my in-laws (still too early to be nerdy with the Marconi squad) singing I got the job, I got the job!

I can’t wait to learn and grow as a communicator and begin this new chapter in life. A special thanks to my husband for pulling the trigger and shipping me to California, because he knew I needed the change and helping push. To my in-laws for housing me and loving me like their own, and to my parents, thank you for the constant support. I am who I am today because of you.

Life is good.

Subliminal Journalist In The Making

Thanks to Netflix I have been re-watching one of my favorites, That 70s Show. After the Hubs gets home from work and before he leaves for school we watch a few episodes together; squeezing in time for each other before it’s time to say goodbye for the night.

We recently watched an episode where the audience learns ‘Donna’ likes to write and wants to possibly pursue a career in journalism. It got me thinking about how many characters in my favorite TV shows were or wanted to be journalists.

Hmmm, maybe subliminal messaging just turned a new leaf? Where my conspiracy theorists at? Just kidding, #aintnobodygottimeforthat

1. Rory Gilmore – Gilmore Girls

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2. Phoebe Halliwell – Charmed 

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3. Carrie Bradshaw – Sex And The City 

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4. Clark Kent – Superman 

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5. Sabrina Spellman – Sabrina The Teenage Witch 

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6. Robin Scherbatsky – How I Met Your Mother 

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7. Donna Pinciotti

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8. Kermit – Sesame Street

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9. Rebecca Katsopolis – Full House

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10. Harriet M. Welsch – Harriet The Spy

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I’m not sure Harriet counts, officially. But we can categorize her as an investigative reporter in the elementary school department. This movie was one of my all-time favorites growing up. You’d have to ask my Ma how she managed the re-runs.

I’m sure plenty of other kids watched the same television shows growing up and connected with the same characters, and most probably didn’t want to pursue a career in writing. Personally, I can help but feel I might have been drawn to these characters for a reason and if anything, it’s another sign I might need to keep me motivated.

Maybe destiny really is written in the stars.

Post Graduate Problems

Another day another dollar, except when you’re a postgraduate looking desperately for someone, anyone, to hire you. Then, there are no dollars.

My mornings have been spent scouring the Internet and checking emails. In fraught need of different scenery, I sit at a local coffee shop filling out online job applications.

Its patrons are current college students, street sleepers or weathered motorcycle men enjoying the mid morning sun. I fit right in with my messy bun, workout shorts and oversized T-shirt (not Greek related).

Organic fruits are freshly juiced and blended in the background, while hipster coffee is being squeezed through expensive pressers. The air is obscure due to the dark brick walls, thick wooden tables and the only natural blocked because it’s not early enough in the day to beam through the windows.

 As I sip on ‘blended #1’ I contemplate where my life is headed.

“Will I ever find a job?”

“Of course, don’t be so dramatic.”

“What if I’m a waitress forever?”

Don’t be silly, you have a degree!”

“Are my social media pages haunting me?”

“Shannon, your most embarrassing pictures are on MySpace and they were deleted a long time ago.”

The statistics aren’t in my favor; only 27 percent of college graduates land a job in their desired field. The most hope one can have is that a job miraculously falls into your lap, preferably before student loans start its withdrawal from your already suffocating bank account.

“Network. Network. Network.”

It’s all I ever heard the last two years of my undergraduate degree. Professors, public speakers or guest lecturers were all obsessed with networking. I figured it was important and ran in circles making connections throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

If it was an internship, I got it. If it was a meet and greet, I did it. If it was an open event to college students, I signed up. You name it I did, went and tried it.

“It’ll help me get a job. I won’t be a part of the statistic. I’ll have a job with my degree after I graduate,” I’d say with motivation.

The Metroplex is supposedly the number-one hot spot for college graduates, according to Forbes. It’s also in the top ten of places to live in the United States. I currently beg to differ.

It’s been almost two months since I began applying for jobs. The outcome is as dismal as the day before I started to apply. My hard work has resulted in multiple insurance agencies “recruiting” me for “competitive salaries,” which in the biz means, based off commission.

My email inbox has been championed the “thanks, but no thanks” collector of denials and contacts I had “networked” with haven’t responded to any of the polite, yet titillating, email inquiries.

A women my husband works with at a fitness company can’t find a better job than front desk attendant, because her resume proclaims she has a Master’s Degree.

When did accomplishing an academic achievement become detrimental to your resume? This bit of news came as a swift kick in the pants. I just graduated with my Bachelors. I literally can’t even think about graduate school, yet.

I reflect on YouTube sensation Jenna Marbles. A young woman who couldn’t find a job after graduation and became a viral hit through vloging instead.

I hear there’s a woman hawking her degree on EBay for the best offer. College experience included. For a hefty price you can purchase the full college voyage with campus tours, popular hangouts and bars, and full access to drunken texts you regret from the night before.

Am I destined for this same fate?

Maybe.

“Every no is one step closer to the yes.”

This sentiment has almost become as deterring as “be sure to network while in college.” Is this myth only one with years of experience can crack the code and then gain permission to tell hopeful candidates?

I never understood why professionals preached job searching is hard. I planned ahead and full heartily believed I’d have a job offer before or immediately after graduation. Ignorance is truly bliss. Where are all these jobs one speaks of? Can you ask them if they need a strategic communication major?

At least I have my health.

Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference 2015

This was my why not me moment.

Somewhere in March I received an email asking how much my words were worth. Intrigued, I actually read one of the zillions of emails sent by the university, daily. It was informing students about a nonfiction conference in Grapevine, Texas. You could submit work and if selected, attend workshops with editors, authors and professionals in the literary world.

These selections would also be in the running for cash prizes. As a broke, almost graduated, ever-since-I-was-young-wannabe-writer and student, I submitted a personal essay, why not me. And I was chosen for selection! I was floored, I finally threw out my insecurities and dove in head first and it paid off!

The conference was this past weekend. I don’t think I have the words to craft a proper gauge on how I felt. You know when Hagrid tells Harry, ur a wizard -arry, and Harry begins to understand he won’t have to spend all his time with the Dursleys? Or, when Harry rides his broom for the first time and finds out his father was also a decorated seeker? Or … well I could keep the Harry Potter metaphors going all night … you get it.

The conference was more than just a learning experience. I felt like a grew as a person who loves words and reading/writing stories. Here are a few of the speakers from the lectures I enjoyed the most:

1. Anne Fadiman speaking about her book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall DownHer keynote speech left me feeling full. She emerged herself into a unfamiliar world of Hmong refugees struggling with new life in California. “I believe in accidents, without them I never would’ve wrote my book.”

Happy accidents, this resonated with me. I need to embrace all the humps because those are what put me in the right places at the right time, like this literary conference. 

2.  Dan Barry and Kassie Bracken speaking about merging the two worlds of journalists and photographers. The importance of collaborating with professionals to tell a compelling story.

“Writing about people of poverty like victims is a mistake. It’s not fair to them as an individual.”

I think it’s easy to feel sorrow for those who aren’t as well off as an “average” human being. But it’s not just about their monthly income, it’s about the story and how people of poverty survive. 

3. The panel discussion with Caleb Hannan, S.I. Rosenbaum and Hanna Rosin. Hannan wrote an article about “Dr. V” and her magic putter. The outcome was tragic as the subject committed suicide during the interviews. His candid testimony led us to believe if you feel like something bad is going to happen, then you need to have an open discussion with your editor and vise-versa.

I personally believed he had balls to talks openly and honest about his mis-steps and answering the questions from his panel-mates. You can read the article here, and the letter from the editor here. And Rosenbaum’s after the fact article here.

4. George Getschow’s lecture about the importance of place in a narrative. “I’m always surprised to read an article that misses the importance of place.” Place is like a secondary character and it needs to be just as important as character development. These are the dimensions of place, as explained by Mr. Getschow:

  1. The History- Research it and find out what makes your place tick.
  2. Economy- How does the place survive. Is it an oil, ranching or low income?
  3. What do people wear? What do they eat? How do they communicate?
  4. Weather- It influences peoples mood for the day and how they dress. Using weather can reveal character.
  5. Gestures- How do people greet each other?
  6. Superstitions- paying attention to local legends or tales?
  7. Sights & Sounds

As I sat in a dimly lit lush ballroom with desserts on top of clean white soft linens, tempting guests to eat their cake before dinner, the winners for the top personal essays and reported narratives were announced. The top three in each category were awarded cash prizes, and the top ten would be published in the literary journal Ten Spurs.

There’s no better way to say this then, I WON! My name is called after the 8-minute mark in the video below and I get on stage after the 9-minute mark. A professor of mine called my name as I walked by to get on stage and I tackled her into a hug. “I didn’t know you submitted a piece! I’m so proud of you!”

There is no better feeling than hitting a home run. Now that I know how it feels I want to do it again, over and over again as many times possible. This was the perfect way to kick me off into the professional world and end my stay with the University of North Texas, Mayborn School of Journalism.

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It’s a cliche to say, “follow your dreams,” but it’s true. Many times I was red-inked, felt like a poor writer and told I’d never make any money as an author. My personal dialogue said the same thing. I finally told the voices the shut-it and jumped off the high dive.

It was a rough road. I felt exposed and unsure if I propelled my story with the correct words. I cried reliving certain slices of my life. In the end it all happened the way it was supposed to, why not me. 

This conference also added readings to my already to tall stack of books. This list is more for me so I won’t forget, but If you’re looking for something new to read, all the better!

Holy Tornado

I like to portray myself as a very strong, brave and stubborn individual, but when it comes to spring in Texas I am the biggest baby in the world. The weather in North Texas is insane, and that’s putting it mildly (unlike its summers). In the winter temperatures drop cool enough to produce snow. In the summer it bakes you like a chocolate chip cookie. Who even knows when fall begins.

The harsh changes in temperatures makes it the perfect breeding grounds for tornadoes. The sky turns into a swampy black color and the clouds droop lower to the ground. The whole experience with a tornado is intense. Last April I went through my first tornado drill, this past Sunday I got to practice again, alone.

I used to sit outside and watch the storms roll in when I lived in Jacksonville, Florida. I would hang out in the garage with my pops and count the number of lightening strikes. It rained everyday in the spring and summer at almost the exact time in the afternoon. I loved it. The thunder and heavy rain could put me to sleep like a baby being rocked.

In Texas I stay huddled under the covers if there is even a slight risk of a storm headed my way. I don’t play with tornadoes. My buddy and meteorologist, Rick Mitchell from NBC5-DFW had told me all week to stay weather aware and I did. My husband was up in Washington State for the weekend and I knew if anything happened I wanted to know about it first. I checked Twitter and kept the news on all day every day.

On Mother’s Day I spent an hour crammed underneath a mattress in my closet with my two pups. The sirens went off as I was digging through old photos. I was sitting on my bedroom floor trying to find the best oldie of my mom to post on Instagram for the holiday. I needed a break from studying and obsessing over the weather.

It’s pretty funny (now) that I spent days paying attention to the weather and nothing severe happened. I took a 15 minutes break to catch my breath and BAM holy tornado. I swear nothing is eerier than sitting around waiting for something to happen while the sirens are going off. It’s the fight or flight response except it gets sawed in half. You have to fight, you can’t run, you just wait.

It took a few seconds for the siren to register as the tornado alarm. I remember thinking, no that has to be an ambulance or firetruck off in the distance. Your brain really does try to protect you from emotional trauma.

A year ago I spent some more quality time with my closet, but last year it had my husband in it with me. I wasn’t upset or afraid. He checked the weather apps while I browsed through Twitter, both trying to get more information on where the tornado/funnel cloud/storm was headed. I wasn’t bawling my eyes out. I was just there and kind of numb.

This year I was alone. After I realized my brain wasn’t playing tricks on me I dashed towards my closet. I had made it a bunker the night before in preparation for Saturday night’s weather that would continue into Sunday.

One dog followed me straight into the closet. She was watching me like we were playing a new game. The other dog went under the bed and I couldn’t convince her to come out by cooing her name or bribing her with treats. I had to get underneath the bed and drag her to the closet. It’s a pretty crappy feeling when you have to drag anything anywhere.

I wrangled all of us into our makeshift bunker within a matter of two minutes. The heart was pounding and my hands were shaking. Have you ever felt so terrified that you thought you were going to puke? I thought haven been through one tornado last year I’d feel some kind of confidence. NOPE. After 15 minutes passed trying to convince my dogs we were going to be okay, I sent out text messages.

“Sirens going off”

My husband had no signal and my mother was at work, but hallelujah my in-laws called me immediately. My mother-in-law asked about school and finals to help distract me from my current situation. My father-in-law searched online for updates on the storm. They couldn’t be in the closet next to me but having them through the phone was more than enough. I wasn’t alone.

It’s funny, I want to be strong, tough and handle things on my own 24/7. My first thoughts after I was situated was MOMMY! Ironic this happened on Mother’s Day, no? I don’t care how old you are, you are never to old to still want your mom and if you’re lucky enough, after you get married you get another one. Thank God for Moms. Happy belated Mother’s Day!

The Denton Tornado

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Homecoming

I want to throw it back to five years ago when my husband and I experienced our first homecoming together. I’ve rewritten the first few paragraphs of an introduction over an over again never satisfied with how my words sounded on paper. Instead I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves, after all a photo speaks more than 1,000 words.

All you need to know is this:

  1. Matt was in the Navy
  2. I had been living in Florida
  3. It had been 8 months since I’d seen him in the flesh
  4. He had been on deployment for almost 7 months
  5. I was worried about seeing him again for the first time in what felt like ages
  6. His father and uncle also were there to welcome him home

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It was a hot day in Virginia Beach near the end of June. Thousands of eager families crowded around pier 11 hoping to spot their sailors. Each seamen was dressed in their Navy dress whites making the search a grown up version of Where’s Waldo.

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Finally after hours of sharing the sweat being passed between the shoulders of fellow families waiting. We could see the Dwight D. Eisenhower pulling into the bay.

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I stood on my tippy toes waiting to see if I could find Matt first. The sun was hot; beating down on my back and burning the soles of my flats to my feet.

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I was nervous and unsure if I should be there. It had been a bumpy ride to get where I (we) was at and not knowing how everything was going to unfold was worrisome. This can either go really bad and awkward or overwhelmingly wonderful.

After what felt like hours, Matt’s father finally spot Matt in the sea of sailors trying to find their loved ones for the long awaited hug. All of a sudden the past 8 months had flown by and now I was about to see him again. My stomach dropped to my knees.

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As soon as I was able to touch him all those worries went away. It was the best hug I had ever received and still stands as number one to this day.

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It was an overwhelming feeling to finally be able to see him face to face. It was as if nothing had changed. He was a tad bit skinner and a heck of a lot whiter, but he was still my Matt.

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And they lived happily ever after.

The End.

Aww-Jammit

Per a sporadic conversation last night with my husband about a documentary we watched on Netflix. The conversation was about controversial topics and what our own personal opinions were. I brought up the Kellogg’s PB&J Aww Jammit commercial that was aired before Superbowl Sunday in February.

My husband didn’t believe me when I told him it had caused such a hubbub online. I brought up Kellogg’s Facebook page and found the commercial post that can be found here. I began to read the comments out loud and I must say, if you ever want a good laugh, head on over and make sure to read them OUT LOUD.

The number one complaint I found from consumers through comments was the notion the nurse had eaten a baby. Second, that it promoted cannibalism and thirdly, it was wrong to craft such an advertisement that is geared toward children.

I find it hard to connect an animated poptart that is drawn on paper and jump to Kellogg’s murdered a baby. That is a huge leap and frankly a bit dramatic. You can’t murder something that isn’t real nor living.

Second, cannibalism is defined by merrian-webster as a ritualistic eating of human flesh by another human, or the eating of flesh of an animal by the same animal. So by definition the human nurse who is assumed to have eaten the baby poptart cannot be used as an example of cannibalism, humans are supposed to eat poptarts.

Thirdly, yes the poptart is a baby and the commercial is geared toward children, so why is it acceptable to promote such behavior to a child? Easy, kids thoughts are very singular and wouldn’t see the problem unless an adult prompts them to think otherwise. Children know that poptarts are supposed to be eaten for breakfast as a tasty treat.

The first thing my husband said after I read through some of the nasty baby murdering comments, was that this is what Kellogg’s wanted. The company wants people to talk about their brand and as said before in a previous post what is really deemed bad PR?

Is there a line brands shouldn’t cross? Well, personally I hardly think an animated poptart being eaten (the way it should be) should cause so much of a stir. Then again, people were up in arms about the bi-racial couple in the Cheerio’s commercial and their daughter. So who knows what people are thinking.

In conclusion I don’t think you can make a line between good and bad PR, because everybody is different and have different triggers. So though this commercial doesn’t upset some, but it obviously upsets others.

I guess the only thing you can do is not intentionally cross any true controversial or disturbing line.

The Mayborn Literary Convention

Recently I got an email from the University of North Texas about the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. Every year, unbeknownst to me this conference is held in Grapevine, Texas. There are multiple categories to be entered in, but the ones I’m interested in are ‘Mayborn Writing Contests.’

There are three subcategories in this section are: Reported Narrative, Personal Essay and Book Manuscript. Each requiring a separate application form and fee to enter your writing pieces into competition.

I got the email early in the morning, didn’t delete it, but didn’t think anything of it until later in the night. Why not enter? Why not me? That mindset is the one I need to keep, I’m about to be graduated and I’m looking for the stars, as cliché as it might sound, it’s where I need to be!

The application deadlines aren’t until June, so I have plenty of time, though I will not be waiting last-minute to complete this. I’m also sure I will be entering in two of the categories, personal essay and book manuscript. I’m so anxious, excited and nervous at the same time.

I don’t have high expectations in winning the grand prize, wish differs for each category, but I’m hopeful that I do write well enough to make an impression, which is all I want to accomplish, because who knows, this may rub elbows with the right people and get me headed in a hopeful direction.

Though, winning would be FREAKING awesome. I could be that person who gets lucky, who knows what will be will be, I’m just excited that something has me pushing for what I want and I have a grounded idea of what I want to write about! Always good news!

There are always going to be opportunities presented that you should consider. My own fear should not be holding me back! So here’s to good luck and going out on a limb. I encourage you to do the same! It’s scary but it’s pretty exhilarating!

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Cliff Dwellings of Manitou Springs

Sigh-our last full day in Colorado Springs, a bit more than bittersweet, we didn’t want to leave at all. If it were possible to move all our belongings in a blink of an eye, I think we would have.

In the beginning of a trip, that first wake up means the whole adventure is in front of you, so when it ends, it feels like it came and went to quickly. As soon as you book a trip, it takes forever to get there, but when you’re on vacation, it flies by faster than the speed of light.

I’m just grateful I got to spend it with my guy and our two puppies.

After breakfast we headed into Manitou Springs to visit the cliff dwellings. These dwellings were homes to the Anasazi ( The Ancient Ones or The Ancestral Puebloans). The people of this culture lived from 1100 A.D. to 1300 A.D. in the four corners area ( Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico).

These apartment homes were carved into the side of the huge red rocks to protect themselves from invasions by intruders, so their backs were always covered, no sneak attacks from behind.

Cliff Dwellings at Manitou Springs 2015
Cliff Dwellings at Manitou Springs 2015
At the entrance of a home inside the Cliffs
At the entrance of a home inside the Cliffs

The tiny narrow hallways and low ceilings gave you the feel of what it might have been like to live in one of these homes. The stairs were just as narrow and with the sun behind us, it was very dark.

A view from the inside. It was cool on the inside and felt damp.
A view from the inside. It was cool on the inside and felt damp.
They are so cute, my three ruffs.
They are so cute, my three ruffs.
A better angle of what we were looking at and how each home connects
A better angle of what we were looking at and how each home connects

There was also a museum housed inside a Pueblo. A structure made from clay and hay, because of the cold winters Colorado has, the snow melts the clay and has to be replenished yearly. I hate mowing the grass, how spoiled are we, can you imagine?

We were also in for an unexpected treat that day, there were wolves walking around, real life BIG ones. The Hubs and I got to pet and feed them, totally insane!

I was walking up to the female when the male, Ghost, came galloping up to me, nuzzling me with this long thick snout. I’m not going to lie, for a quick second I thought this was it. “Here lies Shannon, eaten alive by a wolf.”

The handler explained people adopt these animals and try to mix them with dogs, because they think it’s “cool,” and when they become an adult, they’re too much to handle and get left in shelters, or in the present females case, tied up to a tree.

Because they end up in shelters, nobody wants to adopt them and they end up being put down, a sad fate for a wild animal. So, he takes them in and cares for them.

The wolves eat between 6 to 9 lbs of raw meat a day. So the handler brings them out to help raise money to feed and house them. They can’t be domesticated, meaning you can’t house train them. They live in a huge back yard with man-made dens, another female wolf is the pack leader. You Go Girl.

Just giving Ghost a treat, from my bare hand!
Just giving Ghost a treat, from my bare hand!
The hubby got to too!
The hubby got to too!

After the dwellings, we dropped the dogs off and went to downtown Colorado Springs and historic Colorado City. Downtown was nice, a small city with clean streets. The homes were Victorian style, where the floors probably creaked and the banisters were hand crafted wood.

Historic Colorado City is like any historic area, small trinket stores, hand dipped chocolate goodies and a grassy area for guests to sun bathe on. It’s cute, nice for tourists and people who eat lunch outside.

It was built by a few guys who had enough money to spend, pretty much the same song and dance for any town in those days.

We got back to the hotel early in the afternoon and were wiped out. All the hiking and exploring caught up with us and we were done-zo. I crawled under the sheets and dozed off for an hour, woke up to The Hunger Games on HBO and a very hungry husband.

The Hubs found a restaurant that was inside an old Boeing KC-97, him being an avid aviation junkie, especially during the WWII era, so we had to go. It didn’t dissapoint.

The building surrounding the plane offered additional seating and plenty of eye candy hanging on every inch of the walls. The menus were newspapers you could take home as souvenirs and the waiters were dressed in airline attendant fashion.

Matt checking out the cockpit
Matt checking out the cockpit
Me reading the local news, I mean looking over the menu
Me reading the local news, I mean looking over the menu
The view from outside
The view from outside

Let the record show, I Shannon, was in a plane willingly without any mild heart palpitations or panic attacks. Plus, the food was pretty good. I got an avocado burger, the Hubs got salmon pasta something or other and we split a brownie sundae.

A great way to end the day and trip, because in the morning, we had an 11 hour trek back home ahead of us.

My First Agency Tour

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Photo Cred: Awo Eni

Today PRSSA and myself got the unique chance to tour the Weber Shandwick office in downtown Dallas, inside the Comerica Bank Tower. The PR firm represents over 3,000 companies and have multiple offices in 80 countries, including the United States, London and Middle East. In regards to the work they do, they are a little more corporate and little more traditional.

After climbing to the 16th floor, we entered a lobby that had double glass doors on opposite sides, upon entering the bunch of us were shuffled into a magnificent conference room with a gorgeous view of downtown Dallas.

We got a run down of the afternoons schedule from Senior Vice President Tracy Donalson and then dove into specifics about the firm and its daily routines from Neil Nowlin, executive vice president and general manager of Weber and Shandwick. Lesson one, it’s never routine in their offices.

While listening to Mr. Nowlin talk, these are a few of the things we all took away from his speech:

  1. Take the initiative in all aspects of the job.
  2. Alway bring a positive attitude into work, a bad attitude is just as contagious as a good one.
  3. Be willing to do anything, don’t be that guy who walks in to an interview with stipulations and a chip on your shoulder. If they want you in a hotdog suit, waving at potential consumers, JUST DO IT.
  4. If you haven’t had a lot of experience thus far, think about what you can do. For example, can you take on a leader ship role in a club at school? Have you volunteered in your community or tried to work for a nonprofit? Is there a political campaign you can volunteer with?
  5. Practice your writing skills! The PR world needs strong writers, have you mastered the art of writing persuasively?
  6. NO RÉSUMÉ ERRORS!!!
  7. When submitting résumés make yours stand out, one guy sent his on top of a cake!

Then, we got to hear from staff who worked in the technology department, graphic design and videography department and most importantly, from the people who manage the interns they have quarterly each year, about six to seven in each batch. So if you are looking for something in the agency life, check out the opportunities here.

I also hear Senior Art Director Matthew Weir is always looking for a graphic design intern, and he hears The University of North Texas has one of the best programs around, so tell your friends.

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Gazing at the social media hub Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
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The Weber Shandwick break room. What a view! Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
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Another great view from their office windows. Photo Cred: Shannon Randol