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  • Brittany Horowitz 8:55 pm on November 28, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: CFox, gossip, , , water cooler   

    Skip the Water Cooler 

    In movies and television, office environments always incorporate the water cooler scene. Employees are shown around the water cooler gossiping and chatting about coworkers or bosses. Let’s not make this into reality. Gossiping at work, especially about your coworkers or boss, is an extreme no no, in my book. I cringe at the thought of interns partaking in such behavior, so I thought I’d blog about it.

    Office gossip is something that happens in all different types of professional environments; however, ironically, it is the most unprofessional thing you can do. Luckily, my office has not fallen victim to office gossip. I am especially happy about that. However, there will be times when we will work in environments where people will gossip and bad mouth their coworkers or bosses. It’s important to stay clear of such behavior. It gives off the wrong impression, most importantly. It’ll show a bad trait in yourself to those you work with, and if your boss catches you, it will make you look unprofessional. You should be working, not chatting about irrelevant topics.

    It’s important to voice your opinions and concerns, however. So, don’t keep silent if you’re unhappy. My office conducts one-on-ones where everyone meets once a week with their supervisor. I get to chat with my supervisor about the work I am doing and about any concerns or questions I have about my tasks or assignments. By allotting this time to employees’ happiness, it shows how concerned my bosses are with the organization and happiness of their office environment. I find it very useful. So, skip the water cooler, and use your time for more important tasks, such as actually doing your work.

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  • Brittany Horowitz 2:56 pm on November 28, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: CFox, community service, , ,   

    Vacation: A Thing of the Past 

    As winter break gets closer, I am beginning to realize something every student dreads: the end of vacations. No more summer vacation? No more winter break? Not even spring break?! Each realization hits me harder than the last. NO MORE VACATION?! You mean I have to be an adult who works all the time? This winter break will be my last winter break – ever (ew!). Every senior reading this is probably asking, “Why is she talking about this?!” Well, there is a reason – while interning, I have realized that there is still hope for some time off even after our college years are over.

    Even though the times of three month vacations and mid-winter breaks are going to be over, there are components of careers that have perks as well. At my internship, full time employees are given days off to volunteer or to participate in community service. I didn’t even know employers offered such a thing. I think it’s awesome! Also, people are given vacation time, so that is something to look forward to as well. Most importantly, no homework! Sounds silly, right? But, it actually will be such a nice addition to our new lifestyles after graduating. After the work day is over, we will get to go home and relax. No worrying about future papers that are due or upcoming exams. Weekends off for some, or maybe even getting to work from home!

    This is a blog post for hope. Even though I still have to push away panic attacks over the idea of never getting to relax for months at a time in between semesters, I still have hope. The transition to a full time career will not be that overwhelming if you keep these components in mind. When college ends, we will realize that there are perks outside of our academic lives. We will be working in fields we love and using the knowledge we learned in college. Remember, just breathe. Oh, and enjoy every day of winter break!

     
  • Brittany Horowitz 6:05 pm on November 17, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , CFox, Image, , reputation,   

    Choosing an Internship: It’s Good to be Picky (Sometimes) 

    Nowadays, people are just happy if they can find a paying position, so being picky is not a luxury they can afford, which is completely understandable. However, I believe it is important to be picky when it comes to a certain aspect of a potential employer: image.

    How a company or organization represents themselves is important because once you become their employee your image suddenly shifts, and part of you becomes identified with the company, which is huge! You don’t want to be connected with an organization that conducts business that you disagree with or takes on clients you are not comfortable with. Also, it is important to choose an employer that focuses on professionalism and equality. It’s vital for a person on a job hunt to really know who they are applying to work for. Focusing on the small details is really important because when those little details are pieced together they translate the big picture of the company. How is their website? Is it professional, or does it look neglected? What is the office like? Is it clean and organized, or is it repulsive? How are the email exchanges? Are they professional, or are there spelling errors and typos? These might seem like meaningless factors, but they are actually important. They all reveal whether or not the employer is organized, a good time manager, concerned with their employee’s work environment and professional. I once interviewed with a really prestigious company that represents huge clients across the country, but their office in DC was messy, dirty, and extremely uninviting. I was actually offered the position, and the interviewer emailed this offer via email, “Brittany, you got the internship if you want it. Let me know.” I was shocked. I thought, “Is this what they believe is a professional offer?” I turned it down.

    It isn’t necessary to be picky about every last detail of an internship or job position, but it is important to take the image of the company you are contemplating to work for into consideration. Once you are hired, their image becomes your image. You want to be proud of who you work for, so choose wisely. Check out C.Fox’s website, and you will quickly see a great representation of what this company has to offer.

     
  • Brittany Horowitz 10:58 pm on November 15, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: alumni, , CFox, , ,   

    American University is Everywhere: Make the Most of It 

    Ever since I began interning years ago, I started to realize how widespread American University’s imprint on DC was (and even further). At a previous internship, my coworker graduated from AU, and my boss previously taught at AU. While I was studying abroad in Beijing, China, I met AU alumni at a random restaurant one night, and they are currently teaching English to students. Currently, my office is extremely connected to AU, and I didn’t even know it when I accepted the position. One of my coworkers has known a previous AU professor of mine for forty years; one of my coworkers is married to an AU alumni; one of my coworkers is currently in the School of Communication’s graduate program; one of my coworkers is an AU alumni; my boss knows various AU professors very well.

    This made me realize how big AU’s connection to the DC community is. We are well represented throughout the professional arena, and we should be proud. This realization boosted my school spirit, and it made me realize how important it is to network and make use of the connections that this great school has to offer to its’ students and alumni.

    There are so many amazing and talented people who have graduated from AU who have gone on to have successful careers, and students should really utilize this by connecting with them and learning from their success. Also, during networking opportunities, students should ask people where they went to school and what they studied. In DC especially, there will most likely be times when you’ll randomly meet an AU alumni. Through this connection, students should stay in touch and keep that connection going because you never know where it will take you. It could mean a potential job interview or even just a friendly new acquaintance to keep in mind for future opportunities. AU’s presence in prominent businesses and organizations throughout the country and world is something to be proud of, and students should make the most of it – it’s something to be excited about!

     
  • Brittany Horowitz 4:27 pm on November 14, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: CFox, CHF, , , Travalo   

    What do you do at work all day? 

    I am at my internship three times a week, so I am devoting a lot of my time to C.Fox. My parents and friends are always curious about what I am working on throughout my hours interning, and luckily, I always have a lot of things to update them on. I am always busy at work, for I am given a lot of responsibilities and time consuming projects, which is awesome. I never just sit around counting the hours down throughout the day. Instead, I am responsible for a variety of our clients, and I am given assignments that really contribute to our clients, making my intern role meaningful.

    I have been involved with various clients throughout the semester. In a previous post, I mentioned CHF International, which is one of our nonprofit clients that does developmental work all over the world. I have done a lot of research for them to create social media campaign ideas that are meant to engage more people and bring attention to all of the great work their organization does for the world. Also, I have built media lists and written press releases. I also write pitch letters. Basically, I do a lot of different tasks for this client. I have loved working with them because they do great work for so many people around the world, and they deserve the media attention. I also conduct media sweeps for this client, and it’s a great way for me to stay in touch with the news going on around the world since they are based in so many different countries. I am more aware of world news because I have to be for this client, which is great. It’s important to be in touch with current news.

    Another client I have worked closely with this semester is Travalo, a fragrance atomizer that allows consumers to take their perfumes or colognes on the go for traveling or daily errands. It’s a great product that I fully back since it really adds convenience to life. It’s been fun working with a product because this is unfamiliar territory for me. I have done a lot of pitching for this client in order to get it in different media outlets. A great feeling during my internship was when I earned a handful of successful pitches for this client. Different outlets agreed to review it, and their reviews are beginning to post. It’s thrilling to see your work pay off. To learn more about Travalo, you can go to the website: us.travalo.com

    C.Fox offers a lot of variety with their clients, which I really enjoy. I get to be involved in such different projects, which keeps things exciting and prevents the workday from getting dull. Thankfully, when I am asked, “What do you do at work all day?” I always have a list of projects and work to discuss. Unfortunately, there are internships that only involve coffee and copying: getting coffee for your boss and making copies. C.Fox is not the type of company that would run such an operation. Interns are important to them, and they enjoy teaching. Fortunately, I am learning a lot.

     
  • Brittany Horowitz 5:29 pm on November 9, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: CFox, , , ,   

    What’s the name of the intern? 

    Don’t you hate it when people forget your name? Or, when a professor doesn’t even know your name after months in class? No offense, but that’s your fault – not theirs. There is an extreme need to make yourself known and memorable in your work environment so that you never have to overhear your coworkers whispering, “What’s the name of the intern?” Make an impression, so no one ever forgets your name again.

    Ask questions, volunteer for tasks, start small talk with coworkers you don’t know very well. The important point here is to take action. Don’t just sit at your desk, complete your tasks, and then leave for the day. Make it a point to make something about yourself stand out, so that even after your internship ends your impression lives on.

    I still keep in touch will all of the companies/organizations that I have interned with. It’s important to prove that you were more than just an intern – you were a key figure in their team during your time there, and you should remind them that you’re still around long after leaving. I enjoy building strong relationships with my bosses because it allows you to connect with them more, and it shows that you’re not just some robot sitting at a desk completing work from 9-5. Rather, you are an interesting person with opinions and insights, and you have a passion to discuss those ideas with other intellectual people. If you have no voice, then how can you ever be heard?

    Even after you leave your internship, you should touch base with your previous bosses or coworkers from time to time. I think the same goes for professors. Making connections is easy. It’s making those connections last that most people have difficulty with, so don’t be lazy or scared. Send a friendly email. Pass along an interesting article you think they’d enjoy. Call them if you’re feeling extra daring. Just, remember: do something, or else you’ll become known as, “That intern from last semester.” Don’t you deserve more than that?

     
  • Brittany Horowitz 6:32 pm on November 7, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , CFox, , , ,   

    Does this sweatshirt look professional? 

    In college, some students do not put much effort into their appearance. It’s a matter of which AU sweatshirt to wear with the most comfortable jeans. That is fine for college (even though I still cringe every time I see someone come to class in their pajama pants – impressing your professors is important too!). However, once you enter the work force everything changes, or at least you’d hope. I take pride in looking professional and put together for my internship, but there are some students who seem to forget they are no longer in their dorm rooms and in a professional setting. I have learned a lot from my past internships about what is appropriate office attire, and I think it could be helpful to share some tips:

    1. Overdressed is better than underdressed: Especially on your first day, you should arrive dressed in business attire. That means, no jeans, tank tops, sandals, t-shirts or any other article of clothing you’d be embarrassed to run into someone important in. It can be tricky to decide what to wear for the first day of work because you might not know what everyone else in the office wears, which is why it’s always safe to dress up rather than down. You don’t want to be embarrassed by your outfit, and you don’t want to make a bad first impression. Before getting the job, if you go in for an interview pay close attention to what people in the office are wearing because it’ll be a good way to see what you should wear in the future.
    2. Follow the leader: At my internship, my boss always looks put together. She never looks sloppy, and she always looks professional, which is why I put even more effort into how I present myself at work. (Side note: Clearly, I am not saying you should show up sloppy if you have a sloppy boss). She’s always ready at a moment’s notice to meet with clients and make a presentation because her job calls for such readiness. So, I have learned to come to work looking professional and ready to meet with any one if my schedule happens to change in a heartbeat. You never know who will be coming into the office or where you’ll need to go if a meeting comes up, so it is better to be prepared rather than put on the spot wearing jeans and a t-shirt. (More …)
     
  • Brittany Horowitz 7:16 pm on November 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: CFox, , , pitching, , ,   

    Intern or Student: Who Am I? 

    I have interned a lot throughout my time at American University, but this semester is the first time I have interned while also taking classes. I usually devote my summers to interning, so I am experiencing something a little different this term, and I like it. Due to the way I organized my schedule, I am only on campus two days a week. The other three days are spent at my internship. With such little time actually spent on campus, I am beginning to identify more
    with my intern role over my student role.

    In the beginning, I was a little upset that I was missing out on the college campus element of college due to my lack of time spent in the classroom and around other students. However, I am months into my different schedule, and I have
    realized how beneficial this switch-up will be for me in the future. As I get closer to graduation, it is becoming even more relevant for me to begin job hunting and preparing for the transition from academic life into professional life. I cannot imagine transitioning into a forty hour week without first having some time to ease into this extremely drastic life change. Thankfully, I have my internship.

    (More …)

     
  • Brittany Horowitz 12:28 am on November 1, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: CFox, , , Passion, ,   

    Like What You Do, Do What You Like 

    A wise SOC professor once told me, “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Isn’t that everyone’s goal? Some people might snicker when they hear that quote because they believe such a dream is merely that: an idea that can only be dreamt of and not actually attained. News flash! It can happen, and it is currently
    happening to me.

    A scary component of going to college is choosing what you are going to study for the next four years. What is even scarier is eventually finding out if you actually enjoy having a job in the field you chose to study. It could be fun and interesting to learn about public relations, but what about the actual implementation? That is where internships come into play. A previous employer once told me that internships are for figuring out what you like, but they are also for figuring out what you don’t like. This is the time for exploration, so explore! And, so, I did. Through my internships, I have realized what I do and do not want in a job. Thankfully, I have come to the conclusion that public relations is a field that I not only enjoy learning about but also an area that I enjoy practicing. Phew! That’s a relief.

    Another important component of the “real world” work arena that I have learned about through interning is the importance of enjoying your work environment. In college, you spend a couple hours in each class, and during those boring courses you might have regretted taking you actually get to leave the classroom and move on, luckily. In the office, you’re most likely there for long shifts, and you can’t leave, unfortunately. Do you mind a long commute? Do you prefer a smaller office? Is it okay that you work from home, or do you prefer interacting with your coworkers? So, choose wisely – these are components that should be thought about too when choosing an internship or job.

    I will close up this post with some images of my lovely office environment that I enjoy very much. My employers really care about the happiness of their employees, so when there is an issue there is always a solution. I recently moved offices with my office mate to a better location within our company space in order to be more included with the other employees in my company. We used to be in a really nice back office, but our office was really secluded from the other employers. So, we now feel less secluded, and we are more able to be incorporated with fellow staff. I have my own desk and laptop, which is lovely because it’s nice to have my own space and feel included rather than be treated like “the semester intern” who will just be moving out in mere months. There is a sense of unity within our office, and it creates great team morale. All in all, this semester, I am doing what I love, and I love what I do! How lucky am I?

     

     
    • Julia Beyer 7:23 pm on November 2, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I love your blog post and I am featuring this in the SOC Spot newsletter. I hope this is okay!

    • Brittany Horowitz 12:19 am on November 3, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Of course! Thank you for the compliment!

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