Fresh Start – where to next?

Two. Two more classes. Two more summer classes separate me from completing my master’s degree in Emerging Media Studies. My program at Boston University began on Sept. 2, 2015 and it has been a whirlwind ever since. To think that I’m already graduating this Friday, May 13th, is both exciting and daunting! Have I learned everything I needed to learn to secure the kind of job placement I’m hoping for? The answer is no.20160508_234115

But the answer should be no. Why, you ask? Because I’m constantly learning new things every day. And that is precisely why I chose to study emerging media. The only constant in the media world is change…which is also daunting, but oh so very exciting.

Having worked for The Walt Disney Company, I have high expectations for my future workplace. I was and am very proud to have worked for the Mouse and it is still tough to think that I may not return to work there again anytime soon. BUT, for now, Boston is my home. I love it here and feel extremely lucky to call this my city. Soon, though, I will be a free agent, which means it’s time to really put myself out there and find my dream job. Or just a job. “Gotta start somewhere,” as they say, right? Well, kind of…

You see, after losing my Mom to pancreatic cancer and moving to MA to start anew, I decided that life is too short for mediocrity. I don’t want to just work anywhere. And, as corny as it sounds, I want to make a mark on this world we live in. I want to make an impact, a significant difference, wherever I do end up going.

I have more passion than I know what to do with. I love to know things and that will never change. I love to write, listen, create, think, brainstorm, fix things, problem-solve, tweet, snapchat, gram my life away and # EVERYTHING (but really, though). Most of all, I love to EXPLORE.

Before my graduate program, I considered myself a journalist. A writer. A social media enthusiast and a storyteller. But now, I know I’ve evolved way beyond that. I’m still far from an expert in big data analysis, manual coding, social strategy, SPSS, R, data science, HTML, CSS, Qualtrics, survey-making, etc., but I got my hands dirty in all of it. I’ve spent the better part of the last eight months doing a lot of things that once intimidated me. As someone who has never felt good with numbers (hey, how many communications majors actually do?), I never saw myself even touching most of this stuff. But I’m so glad I did.

Now, I just have to find my place — somewhere that I can put all of these skills to good use. I’ve worked for one of the largest, most well-known and respected brands in the world. I’ve also worked for small newspapers and magazine startups. I’ve been coordinating my program’s Facebook and Twitter since October and I love to dive into all things social. I may still be too young to have 10 years of experience in anything, but I am a hard worker.

So…the goal = stay in Boston. Find a job. But not just any job — find a new home. A place that I’m excited to go to day in and day out, because I do believe that exists and I won’t stop or give up until I find it.

If you’re reading this and you’re hiring in the Boston area, please connect with me (rforman@bu.edu)! Or even if you just have some advice to offer, leave or comment or let’s chat over coffee! I’m open to all opportunities, I’m excited and I’m ready to go!

 

 

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Beware of Referral Key

So when you’re in the process of looking for employment opportunities, you tend to pay a bit more attention to emails and your LinkedIn profile.

On Feb. 11, I received an odd email from one of my LinkedIn contacts about what sounded like a lead to possible work. Since it was from someone I knew on LinkedIn, I trusted the link and opened it.

Note: I removed the sender’s name and business.

To read the entire message, you need to join the site, Referral Key, which as we all know only takes a few seconds to do. The message itself included this YouTube video, which instructs the user on how to export their LinkedIn contacts to their profile.

However, the video does not inform you that completing the process will email ALL OF YOUR LINKEDIN CONTACTS.

For someone who has 730+ LinkedIn contacts, that created quite the mess. I’ve already had to email countless friends and colleagues who messaged me to see if I had been hacked. (Apologies if you were one of them…)

Mashable endorsement?

Mashable endorsement?

So was I hacked? Technically, no. Apparently this site is real. I’m still having difficulty figuring out what its exact uses are, though. All I know, is that a few clicks can easily damage your reputation, so I advise you NOT to join this site.

The same exact thing happened to poor Cathy Miller…”How Referral Key’s Spammy Practice Embarrassed Pollyanna.” AND this article is another one I wish I would’ve read before this happened – it would have saved me a ton of grief.

Needless to say, I have already emailed the site and deleted my account. I also messaged the contact who initially invited me to the site.

Have you heard of this website? Has the same thing happened to you? I’d love to hear about it. Definitely NOT how I intended to spend my Wednesday afternoon…

*Update (2/13/14)*

It appears the site has removed the “Contact Page,” which is where I sent my complaint. Instead, they now have a “Support” page, which gives a quasi-FAQ. It conveniently has buried the fine print that the user is “100% responsible” for how they use the site. However, none of this verbiage was even on the site before. And, not surprisingly, I haven’t heard anything back from them.

When things fall into place: #EIJ13

Last September, I attended Excellence in Journalism 2012 #EIJ12 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I’m from Florida so it made sense to go. My SPJ chapter went as a group and made the four-hour trek south to the convention. It was definitely a new experience and certainly a rewarding one. I mean, how often do journalists from all across the nation come together for a weekend in the name of all things journalism?

But, as much fun as it was, I figured I probably wouldn’t get the chance to attend again anytime soon. I knew the location changed every year and I assumed next year’s event would probably be on the other side of the country. And I was right.

However, this past January I began working for The Walt Disney Company, which led to me having roommates. One of my roommates, the one I shared a room with, is from the Los Angeles area. This past April, said roomie invited me to go home with her to California — which ended up being my very first trip to Cali! Fast forward a few months later to find out that not only is this year’s convention IN California, but it’s being held across. the. street. from. DISNEYLAND. Really? What are the chances?

So, four months later and I am preparing for a journey out west once again. Isn’t it funny how life works out sometimes? It is truly remarkable how seemingly little choices and decisions can affect other aspects of your future. It’s fascinating to reflect on the little web that is your life and the zillion degrees of separation that form and intertwine from within it.

So, here is what I’m looking forward to:

  1. IN-N-OUT (Hey, at least I’m being honest here.)
  2. Yes, journalism. Of course. It’s always fun to be in a room with other crazy newsies.
  3. Being reunited with my roomie!
  4. Cali weather & landscape (a.k.a. me staring out of the window the entire flight with my jaw to the floor from seeing land that isn’t flat. I still love ya, Florida…)
  5. DISNEYLAND – #DUH. I mean, I’ve only spent one day out of my entire life in this resort, so there is SO much more for me to see and explore. Funny sidenote: the convention is giving each participant two free park hopper tickets. OF COURSE THEY ARE…now that I can get myself in no problem. See, life wins again.
  6. Seeing Jason Mraz in concert on Labor Day. That’ll be one off the bucket list.
  7. The culture & languages – I can practice my Mandarin AND my Spanish all in the same day!
  8. Being somewhere else.
  9. Not knowing what the day will bring.
  10. Making new life connections – who knows where these new stories and experiences may take me!
EIJ12 Welcome Reception: USF SPJ with our genius professor!

EIJ12 Welcome Reception: USF SPJ with our genius professor!

Disney Professional Internships: Stage 1 Complete

I’m not very good at waiting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very patient person, but when it comes to things that I’m really excited about…I want to know NOW…or yesterday for that matter.

Just  a few minutes ago I had my first phone interview for a Disney Professional Internship. I was able to schedule the interview on Monday, so I did not have to wait very long for it, but I was told I might not get a response/official offer for a position until early December!

My interview was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. My phone rang at 3:29. Typical Disney and that is what I love about this company. You can count on what they tell you. They’re just dependable like that.

According to my phone, the interview lasted 15 minutes and 16 seconds (shorter than most wait times on property)! A lot was riding on those few minutes, so I spent a good amount of time preparing for my onstage moment. I know The Mouse like the back of my glove, so I didn’t want to over-think the entire process, but I did print out the application, take notes and ask friends and family for advice.

It’s been a few years since I was a Cast Member (although, once a CM, always a CM, I like to say) and I really miss it. I hope my answers grant me the opportunity to move on to the next step. I know the competition is fierce and the opportunities few, so I’ll be checking my status and keeping my fingers crossed.

I have found I can connect every one I meet to Disney (it’s a great ice-breaker if you’re ever in need of a conversation starter). The Disney name is global and every life has been touched by the brand in at least some form. So, what’s your favorite Disney memory? Do you have a favorite park? Character? Event? I’d love to hear it.

Faith, trust and pixie dust,

Rebecca

If you’re a Walt Disney World fan, follow my Disney Twitter account: @TweetsFromWDW

Exciting things on the horizon!

Hello there, world!

It’s truly amazing how quickly life changes. I have learned a lot about the media industry, and people, in a very short span of time. The saying is true: when one door closes, another opens. I’m feeling very happy and excited about the many opportunities out there and I don’t intend on wasting any of them!

The fall semester starts on Monday and I’m actually excited for it. I’m very near to graduation, so that might have something to do with it, ha ha. I’ll be taking Public Affairs Reporting, which I’m sure will only strengthen my fact-checking super powers. I also signed up to take Mandarin Chinese. The language has always fascinated me and it’s only spoken by like a billion people, so I figure it can’t hurt to try it out.

This will also be my first semester as vice president of SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists, for those not up to speed.) The executive board has come up with several ideas for the semester and I’m amped about our potential. Next month, we’ll be attending the Excellence in Journalism conference in Fort Lauderdale, which should also be a wonderful networking opportunity.

Another opportunity (I notice a theme going on in this blog post) I’m going to try for is a Disney Professional Internship. If you’ve read my “About Me” section, or taken a glance at my résumé, you already know that I’m a Disney College Program alumni (Fall 2007 represent!) Well, this internship is a step beyond that and is a very competitive position. So if the Mouse offers me a spot, I’ll be moving back to Orlando coming January 2013. Zip-ah-dee-doo-dah, indeed.

Other than that, I’m still tweeting, Pinning and Instagram-ing up a storm, watching copious amounts of The Newsroom, Storage Wars and True Blood, counting down the days until season 3 of The Walking Dead, missing Ireland, bracing for Hurricane Isaac (and the RNC), working on my fitness and…pretty much enjoying what life has to offer…which is a lot. Hope you’re doing the same.

P.S. I’ve finally posted a few photos under the Photography tab…so go check ’em out!

P.S.S. (lol) As I type this, I have 1,137 views on this here WordPress. So I know I’m getting some traffic…why not leave me a comment?