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Oh the Feels of #PBandJTerm

Spoiler Alert: This blog post you’re about to read will be completely as comedic as I can make it to be to really reflect the atmosphere in class. There was a whole bunch of material that we learned, and while I started out really nervous because I didn’t know anything, I left the class confident and ready to rule the inter webs. You can check out my other blog posts about what we learned, but this post is entirely dedicated to the times when I almost went to the bathroom in my own pants from laughing so hard (TMI? Oh well). This list is not in any specific order. Also, Jill Falk should be proud, because this class finally beat my Spanish II class in high school for favorite class I have ever taken. I wish it was longer than 3 weeks. Sigh. Side note -for all who were concerned if I finally figured out Feedly or not, I did, and it is a really easy way for me to share great blog posts that apply to class on the Google+ page. Thanks for sticking with me throughout my J-Term journey, I can finally stop ranting now (mostly to make the 500 word limit count…. I kid… sort of) and let the top 10 favorite moments list begin!

1. Spontaneous Skype Call with Scott Stratten

Skype Call with Scott Stratten

Skype Call with Scott Stratten

All because of the assignment, “A Brand You Should Know” we tweeted enough to get his attention. He gave a lot of great advice on how to succeed and how he began -which was by tweeting 7,000 times in a month (thought it sounded crazy, but after this J-Term class, I think we all did). He was professional with a mix of spunk. Probably one of my favorite moments during this interview was when Michael Sprague and Ryan Oldham were being complete fan girls and couldn’t decide who would ask him a question first. Another Scott Stratten moment I laughed at, was his sassy comeback to Glendon’s tweet about Google+ to him. He was watching Glen….

2. The Car Ride to Switch

Basically it was such a good event that there was live tweeting going on for it.

Ryan, Melissa, Vincent, and Marko…. These videos are dedicated to you.

3. Visiting Switch

photo-3

I’m going to be real honest and say that I was so in awe of the environment that it was hard for me to pay attention. I could definitely tell they were good at what they do because of how the office was designed for Switch. When you first get to the office, here is just this little door that you walk through, and it’s pretty plain on the outside. The inside however, could be a big enough mansion for Paris Hilton. There are a lot of people who work there, but they all had an important job, so each person is a big asset to the company.

3. JaeYong Kim -Just Everything

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This picture above doesn’t even sum up how hilarious he was. I was really happy to have had a class with this guy. We had to come up with five words to describe our brand, and one of his was, “hilarious” which then made him a little nervous to live up to the standard he created for himself. He definitely lived up to it. Every presentation, every tweet, every Google+ comment, he had me crying I was laughing so hard. One of the biggest things I learned from JaeYoung was that I can trust him to fix my computer.

3. You Know What I’m Saying?

Photo Courtesy of: Emily and Andrew's Mom

Photo Courtesy of: Emily and Andrew’s Mom

He was rather quiet during lectures, social media pages, and class discussions, but boy did he engage the class when he did his presentations. Andrew Balint should be a motivational speaker when he grows up. The energy was nuts and he was funny when he wasn’t even trying to be. He was another one who kept me laughing during presentations. Also, he’s a good sport for allowing us to use him as a meme -you know what I’m saying? (his catch phrase)

6. Speed Branding

We all went around and met each other one on one and we had to fill out certain questions about ourselves. It was a great experience to be able to get to know one another, which in the end, helped create the best college classroom atmosphere. Also, thinking about this experience, it makes me miss everyone already… I must move on to number seven before I get stuck in nostalgia.

7. Pinning Everything in the World

Photo Courtesy of: Meagan

Photo Courtesy of: Meagan

This made me feel a lot less guilty for spending time on Pinterest (good idea Jill) and I liked that I was able to teach others how to use it, because it made me feel useful. Sorry not sorry about spamming your e-mail with pins (mostly blame it on Melissa… although she had good material).

8. Justin Beiber Mugshot Appreciation

Photo Courtesy of: Google Images (assuming that's where Michael got it).

Photo Courtesy of: Google Images (assuming that’s where Michael got it).

Taking time out of our day to honor this mugshot by listening to one of his songs was really gracious of us. As Michael Sprague consistently said that un-forgetful day, always #Beileb.

9. Almost Dying on the Way to and from Class

Snow day on the first day was a good idea, and a snow on the second day would have been another great idea. Luckily I was able to be alive to make it to the rest of J-Term, although I’m still traumatized and bitter about the whole thing.

10. Finding My Niche

On a serious note, I am really grateful I received help on how to do something about my passion for Women’s Rights. I created a new blog that I am taking seriously and I also signed up to volunteer for the XXXChurch. As if I wasn’t inspired enough by everyone else in the class, I can’t wait to make a difference in the world alongside my classmates.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Loosing many Twitter followers and gaining a bunch of random ones.
  • All the inspiration shared on the Google+ page and Pinterest Board
  • The song of the day, (even though my Tupac one was depressing, but if they listened to the lyrics they would know it’s inspiring)

Literally My Favorite Thing that Happened All J-Term:

jillonce

Jillonce and all the other Jill Falk memes.

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Up in the Clouds With Jenn Cloud

Jenn Cloud, Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Jenn Cloud, Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Just Go Right In and Do Your Best

Jenn Cloud, freelance Videographer, and former spokesperson for Young & Free St. Louis for Vantage Credit Union, learned through many obstacles, how to become a social media wiz and master personal branding. She graduated college in 2008, when the economy was doing horribly, and of course it was difficult to find a job. After trial and error, she was forced to go back to her hourly-pay job at the Cheesecake Factory, which is where she decided she was going to take a leap of faith and do what she loved.

“Get in the cockpit and take control because we’re all counting on you,” is what Cloud advised the class. She had to start from scratch and learn how to put herself out there, and show credibility to future employers in hopes of getting hired. She said, “To set yourself apart, take blogging seriously.” One of her big starts was becoming the spokesperson for Young & Free St. Louis, and her ability to have an active presence online made her  stand out among the other candidates for the position. For a whole year she was the key content creator for Vantage Credit Union in order to get young adults between the ages of 18-25 to sign up with their bank. Some of her duties included making appealing videos, blogging, and visiting events.

Now that she’s freelance, she still continues to go to different events around the St. Louis and surrounding areas, to build connections, and to stay on top of what is happening. When you stay on top of trends, you stay relevant. She also spends a lot of time volunteering, because it shows she cares about something, and as  a brand, it shows loyalty and trust. Clouds currently is doing a lot of work with cat rescue group, Tenth Life. Those two elements also help your audience connect to you and as Clouds said, “Make them love you.”

We learned all throughout this class to live out your brand, and not just save it for the internet. Actually physically putting ourselves out there, we can achieve this. It is required to blog because it is meant to set us up to being comfortable with our online presence and know how to create the best blog for our brand that we can. This practice is to help us when it comes time to sitting with our potential boss and having to successfully sell ourselves with more than just a piece of paper of achievements.

Mistakes Don’t Keep You From Succeeding

Jenn Cloud, Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Jenn Cloud, Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Clouds is no stranger to embarrassing ones self. The reason behind sharing all of her fails, was to be a live example for us to see that when you mess up, it does not mean the world is over and you’ve entirely screwed up any chances of doing your dream job. “Messing up doesn’t put you back, the next step will always be a greater one than before,” Clouds reassured the class. She had her fair share of stories from when she was told she looked naked in front of a large group of people, to completely misinterpreting the interview for the Young & Free St. Louis spokesperson position (which we all know how that ended).

She reminded us that mistakes make us a person and that you have to work really hard to get where you want to be. It’s easy to hear that, but to hear it from somebody who shared many stories of failure, made the advice a lot easier to swallow.  “Overtime you have to learn your own weaknesses and get better,” Clouds reminded us.

It’s easy to want to become a big star overnight, and sometimes it seems like some people did, but that is just a mirage. What it seems like the biggest concern for the class is, is how to get a lot of followers and fast. We’re inpatient, but it won’t happen as fast as we would like it to. Overtime you have to build yourself on social media, and produce quality content. Clouds didn’t become as popular as she did without having to try out different jobs and mess up a few times along the way.

Find Out Who You Are As a Person

“Be honest and realistic as you develop your story.” Part of what made Clouds appealing as a person to listen to and follow on social media, was the fact that she acted exactly like she does online -spunky, energetic, and clever. Even just the way her appearance was fit her brand, with the bright red hair that made her stand out. She told the class, “The more realistic and honest you are, the happier you’ll be.” She of course, was beaming with happiness. Plus, there is less stress to try and think outside of your natural element if you’re already acting how you are online, how you are in real life.

“Ask other people what they think of you. There’s no bias, and you see what people really think.” Luckily for this class, we were assigned to do just that, which personally helped with being confident in the brand we want to portray. We found out that we are already fitting the brand we are pursuing to be. Although, she reminded us to constantly do it, because it helps us stay on top of living out our brand.

One rule that she has for herself and encouraged us to have for ourselves, is to be fearless. Try something new, do something that scares us, and don’t hold back. No matter what niche you’re going for in a blog, there will always be something that you will have to do that will take you out of your comfort-zone. If you want to do a blog on decorating dorm rooms and you’re a female, it might take you out of your element to do blog posts for men. If you are an animal activist blogger, it might scare you to actually visit a slaughterhouse and interview someone. No matter what, if you aren’t putting yourself out there, you’re not doing your job, and aren’t providing quality content. Cloud’s favorite quote that everyone should always keep in mind is from the late Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do something everyday that scares you.”

Jenn Clouds, Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Jenn Clouds, Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Week Two: Past the Rookie Stage

Content Is Everywhere

Too bad, you can’t escape it and when it’s done right, you don’t even realize you’re consuming it. Take the Target ad above for example. It’s a stop-motion, it’s fun, it’s bright, and the whole time you’re so amazed at what you see, you don’t realize it’s an ad until the end of the commercial when it says it’s for Target. As an advertising perspective, that was a job well done. How about for your blog, or your Twitter, or whatever else you use for your brand? What content are you using?

Content is so important if you want to create a large following, and maybe even make money someday off blogging. When you pick a specific topic to focus on, it allows you to create better content, and it keeps it organized, so those consuming it don’t get overwhelmed by everything available to look at. It also helps build trust for your brand as well. When they like what you post, they are more likely to share it with others making more traffic for you. Also, try and have a variety of content to really show you’re passionate about what you’re posting and you know a lot about it. Different types of content includes: videos, micro-videos,blogs, micro-blogs, infographics, presentations, photos, apps, and more. The list for content isn’t limited, so neither should you!

Have Gratitude For Life

My Niece Liliana at the Lake

My Niece Liliana at the Lake

We watched a Tedx Talk in class from Happiness Researcher, Shawn Achor, on having gratitude and having a positive mind. He says there is a connection between happiness and success, which I think a lot of people forget that. You often find your workplace that there is a lot of negativity, whether it’s your career or just a part time job. I have had four part-time jobs, and two of them had a positive workplace, which allowed me to be more positive myself. I had better sales, I got along with my co-workers better, and I didn’t complain about having to go into work. I didn’t feel like I was selling my soul for a paycheck every two weeks.

When watching that video in class, this one instantly came to my mind. I cannot help but tear up every time I’ve watched (which has probably been around 100 times). I always go to this video when I’m having a bad day, or if I’m feeling uninspired, and it instantly brings up my mood. Sometimes we forget to appreciate what we already have, and instead complain about it; whether that is people in our lives, not having designer clothing, whatever it is. We, as a culture, made the hash-tag, #firstworldproblems a popular thing, and I admit, I contributed sometimes. Looking at a big picture, how ungrateful does that make us sound?

I don’t mean that in a way to ride off any worries you have just because others have less than you, because it doesn’t matter the amount of money you have to be upset, what the big picture I’m getting at here is that you choose happiness, and by choosing happiness, you’re choosing success. Stress is a thing made up with our minds because we are doubting ourselves.

Unexpected Guest Speaker Does Good

It’s not everyday that someone wants to do an impromptu Skype interview with the class. All it took was a few students in the class  tweeting at Scott Stratten, for him to put on a pair of pants and chat. He is ranked one of the top influencers on Twitter in the world, and that’s just among some of the things he does. One of my favorite things Stratten said was, “Never force content, no one reacts to it.”

Skype Call with Scott Stratten

Skype Call with Scott Stratten

Stratten told us the secret to how he built an empire on Twitter, and that was that he tweeted 7,000 times in one month. I’ve been on Twitter for about four or five years now, and I just now hit a little more than 11,000 tweets. Trying to tweet that much in one month seems so hard. I would worry I would loose followers, I would run out of things to say, and I would overly worry about saying something important at all times. However, if it worked for Stratten, it does not mean it is impossible. But like he said, “When you write, you’re putting yourself out there.”

RSS Update:

I figured out how to make a category on Feedly. Other than that, I’m still slightly lost. Hopefully with my final week update, I will be able to tell you why it’s helpful.

Brittany Velasco, senior at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. Collecting that Broadcast Journalism Degree in May 2014. Hopefully someday I’ll be living the dream on a war field reporting.

Steve Kornfeld and I anchoring the news.

Steve Kornfeld and I anchoring the news.