Opportunities Arise When You Least Expect It

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I was sitting on my couch, relaxing and watching some TV, when my phone made its doorbell sound, indicating that I had received a new email. Not expecting anything but another advertisement from Apple, I left it alone and continued watching my television program. But after I turned off the lights and decided to go to bed, I took a peek at that email and realized it wasn’t just another ad from Apple, it was actually an internship opportunity! Now back in January, I had applied for a million and one internships, hoping to get one (and I did!). I thought that since these companies had not contacted me, they simply weren’t interested. But that wasn’t the case! This lady had kept my resume on file and sent me an email when she had an open internship position available!

So there went my whole philosophy of “don’t send out a resume unless you qualify for the job.” It turns out that if they like you on paper, they will probably keep you around for a while, just incase they have any other positions become available.

Now, this is my last semester at UCM and I had no intentions of holding an internship this fall. I wanted to ensure that my final semester was a success both academically and organization wise (I’m the president of UCM’s chapter of PRSSA) and I didn’t want anything getting in the way of it. But when I received this internship opportunity via email, I immediately said, give it a chance and just take a look at the company. Turns out, I really loved the company and their mission, so it seemed like a match made in heaven. And needless to say, I went in for an interview and came out two hours later as their new Fall Intern.

So don’t ever turn down an opportunity because you don’t think your schedule can handle. Challenge your limits, go that extra mile, work like you never have before – do whatever you have to do so that you NEVER MISS AN OPPORTUNITY.

Have you ever had an opportunity find you? I’d love to hear about it!

Five Minutes With… Kurt Austin

Sports. Everyone loves to watch them and almost everyone wants to work in the industry. Landing one of these highly coveted jobs can be anything but easy, but with the right skills, connections and drive, you could find yourself in the press box at the next World Cup, Stanley Cup or Super Bowl.

I spoke with Kurt Austin, Communications Manager for Sporting KC, to see what working in soccer, especially MLS, is all about.

Me: Working in sports is a busy, but exciting career path. What are your daily responsibilities as press officer for Sporting Kansas City?

Kurt: My daily responsibilities can vary greatly from one week to the next, which is part of the fast-paced nature of professional sports. At a broad level, our communications department is tasked with generating positive and continuous coverage of the club. This means working with local, regional and national media members to facilitate interviews while also maximizing the use of the team’s digital properties to showcase player personalities and promote upcoming events. Of course, there is much more that happens behind-the-scenes in sports PR — especially on gamedays — but ultimately it all serves to foster greater interest and interaction amongst those who follow the team (fans and media alike).

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Home is Where the Heart Is

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My whirlwind beginning of July has come to an end. From flying to New York and back, to Regina, to Kelowna and then back to Regina, I’m now on my way back to reality in Kansas City. But as I sit and wait in the ground floor of the Toronto Pearson airport (they literally stuck us in the back corner), I find myself reminiscing of the amazing 10 days I was fortunate enough to spend with my family.

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In the End, All We Have Are Our Memories

As soon as I got home from New York two weekends ago, I emptied my suitcase and began packing for my trip home to Canada. I can say that so far, July has been a month of traveling and I couldn’t be happier with it. Although this trip home is much more special than any other trip I’ve ever made because it just may be the last. My family has decided to move to the west coast, so it’s bye-bye beautiful flat Saskatchewan farmland and hello to the warm coastline of beautiful British Columbia.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m quite excited they’ve decided to move, but leaving the home I grew up in, well that’s not so exciting. I’ve begun packing up my bedroom, sorting it into “Keep” and “Don’t Keep” piles, while reminiscing with my parents about the stories and memories associated with each material item. From toy John Deere tractors and Hot Wheels to my Easy-Bake Oven, each item is laced with memories upon memories that I never want to forget. But hoarding my old toys and keepsakes won’t keep those memories alive.

Life happens and memories are made from the people we share our moments with, not the material items we used in those moments. And in the end, it’s not our toys and keepsakes that will make us happy, it’s our memories.

5 Essentials for PR Newbies

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Recently graduated and think you have what it takes to make it in the world of public relations? Well, you may want to think again and do some research before entering the ever-changing field of public relations.

The pr industry is constantly changing, with the evolution of the Internet and the introduction of social media platforms, pr professionals continually have to keep up with the new technological advances of the times. Most likely, they are not set to an eight-hour work day and sometimes they even work on weekends. And with numerous competitors out there, you have to be savvy enough to deliver exactly what the client wants, with a price tag they are willing to agree on.

So if you think you have what it takes, here’s what you need to do:

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Industry Talk: Auto Racing

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Pursuing a career in the world of sports is on the mind of most recent public relations graduates. Despite the increased demand for sports related jobs, there are simply way too many applicants for the number of positions available. One industry in particular that is rising in popularity is auto racing. Be it NASCAR, NHRA, Tudor United SportsCar Championship, Formula 1, or any other racing circuit, jobs in this industry are in high demand. So what can you do to stand out in the crowd and ensure you get one of these awesome and coveted jobs?

Recently, I attended the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, which is part of the Tudor Championship Series, at Watkins Glen International in New York. Unlike a normal race enthusiast who attended the race purely for entertainment, I was there to learn. I had credentials that got me into each and every area of the track, so that I could experience a behind the scenes view of what it takes to make it in the auto racing industry. As a guest of ZF Motorsports, a large sponsor of the series, I was able to interview Andy Lally, driver for Magnus Racing, and see the journalistic and pr side of working for a large sponsor company. One of my professors also works in the industry, as the pr guy for Alex Job Racing, so I was also fortunate enough to see what his job entails before, during and after the race. But I also had the opportunity of meeting the director of public relations for Kansas Speedway and had the chance to ask her some questions regarding the industry.

Here are the tips I took away that will hopefully help me land a job in auto racing upon graduation.

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Happy Birthday, Canada

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Living in the United States, it’s sometimes difficult to celebrate national holidays, as I never get the days off work. But I find my own unique ways to keep my country pride alive and sometimes I even get others in on the fun.

Today is Canada Day. My beloved home country, the land I call my home, is turning 147 years old and I’m stuck in America. Now most Americans don’t even know there is a country north of the border, let alone that they have an actual day dedicated to Canada’s independence. So you can see my frustration. But, luckily, I work at an awesome public relations firm, with a boss and coworkers that actually appreciate Canada and other nations’ cultures. So today, I have brought my Canada Day celebrations to our office in Kansas City, Missouri, the heart of the American Midwest. We have two beautiful Canadian flags hanging in the windows, red and white balloons taped to every desk, red food-coloured water, red and white fruit salad (bananas and strawberries) and of course all of us are wearing red and white. We listened to “Oh Canada” (twice) and some Dean Brody and have been making Canada-friendly social media posts to Twitter and Facebook all day. Oh and I forgot to point out that I have red and white stripes painted on my face and temporary Canada tattoos all over my hands. Overall, it’s been a pretty good Canada Day so far.

So for all you Americans (or people from any other country) who are reading this post, here are some fun facts about Canada that you probably didn’t know.

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My Weekend at The Glen

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved motorsports. I loved traveling to the local track with my family to watch the drag or stock car races, watching NASCAR and Formula 1 on television and sometimes, if I’m lucky enough, actually traveling to go see the different races across the country. And this past weekend, I experienced the opportunity of a lifetime, as I traveled to Elmira, New York to be a part of the Salhen’s 6 Hours at The Glen race at Watkins Glen International.

After meeting up with my parents and getting settled in at the hotel, I spent Thursday evening in the hotel’s lounge, where I met and visited with the Porsche North America race team. But after a few hours, I decided to hit the sheets, as I had an exciting weekend ahead of me.

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What You Can Learn from Dr. Seuss

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“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.”

“Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!”

“Look, sir. Look, sir. Mr. Knox, sir. Let’s do tricks with bricks and blocks, sir.”

Dr. Seuss has been a part of my life since I can remember (probably around when I was two). His unique way of writing captured my attention and always had me begging for more. I remember that an entire shelf of my bookshelf was devoted to Dr. Seuss books and every night, before bed, I would choose one for my mom to read. And after she finished, I always asked for her to read another, which usually didn’t happen. To this day, I still have my collection, which probably includes about 35 different Dr. Seuss books.

Dr. Seuss. He’s an amazing children’s book author. So as adults, what can we possibly learn from him? Believe it or not, his easy to read rhymes offer inspirational advice for people of all ages. Here are the top five lessons you can learn from reading your favorite Dr. Seuss book.

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