westbound and down

My Snapchat and Instagram followers are already well aware that I made the move to Austin, TX. Cybersecurity is a very new, unfamiliar realm for me, but I am so excited to educate myself more on this rapidly growing field through my position as Content Writer.

My parents would always tell me that when attending an interview with an organization, I am interviewing them as much as they are interviewing me. I did not fully understand what this meant until I interviewed with Ntirety. I was having a conversation and going back and forth asking questions and receiving answers. I felt I had a lot of power in that interview to find out what that company valued as much as the company had the power to figure out what qualities I could bring to the team.

I got endless amounts of company swag-this beanie is by far my favorite though.

One of the questions I asked every place I interviewed with was “What do you like most about working for *insert company*?” and “What do you like most about your position?” Everyone always had an answer, but not everyone had the enthusiasm and excitement in their voices like the individuals I spoke with at Ntirety did. They were excited to share their experiences with the company. They were genuinely interested in my accomplishments, and I could tell they actually took the time to thoroughly look at my work history. I felt comfortable talking to these individuals and truly felt like I could be myself.

A few tips I would give to people currently searching for a job:

  1. LinkedIn is in my opinion the best jobsite (I know it’s technically considered social media). Obviously I love writing and words, but I think LinkedIn has a lot more colors and pictures than most jobsites which helps keep my focus a little more when applying to a bunch of places. LinkedIn Easy Apply is a life saver; I do not think I could have applied to as many places as I did without it.
  2. Make a point of letting the company know you are very interested in them (if you feel it is a good fit for you of course). If the first interview is done and you really enjoyed the company and you feel that the conversation went well, say something at the end! Thank them for their time and let them know that this company really stood out to you.
  3. Read up on the company and people you will be interviewing with so you can better prepare for the questions at the end (when they ask if you have questions-ALWAYS ask questions-it shows the company you are interested and are taking the time to research the company and are genuinely interested in making an impact.

I was super excited to start my job as a writer in the city but also nervous about being the new girl (and likely the youngest person) in the office. Day 1 was mostly orientation/getting things set up. I met everyone in my department. I sat at my desk working on stuff and people came over to me and introduced themselves and asked about me. Throughout the week I met the rest of the office. Everyone made me feel so welcome and at home in this new space. I did not pay for my lunch once. The company bought some lunches and two individuals in the office bought my lunch on two of the days. When on a call with people from different office branches across the states, someone asked me if I was the new Content Writer. I felt valued as a person from day 1, and I loved that people approached me and were genuinely interested in me.

I was asked for my feedback on published pieces and got the chance to do some proofreading. The head of my department appreciated what I had to say and told me the suggestions I made were helpful. I have written about this before, but I struggle a lot with Imposter Syndrome: feeling like you just happened to be in the right place at the right time to get where you are, not based on all the hard work you have done. Being in the right place at the right time is definitely part of getting to where you are in the working field, but your work ethic and portfolio pieces make up a huge portion of why you are where you are. Hearing that my feedback was appreciated and seeing that all that I had trained and worked for throughout college and my internships was paying off was the best feeling. I know it’s only week 1, but I genuinely love going to my job and the people I work with. Excited to start on my first writing assignments next week. 🙂

Everything you need to know about database marketing

What is Database Marketing and Why is it important?

Database Marketing may sound like an intimidating term at first, but it can simply be defined as using input from current and potential customers to create a personalized experience to promote a product or service online. A database is information stored within a computer. An example of a database would be a company storing information about its employees, products, or financial documentation. Within each section of information there will be relevant information specific to each section. 

Databases are important when it comes to marketing because they help companies gain insight into the interests of specific demographics. Database marketing catches the potential customer’s interest through individualized content.

Benefits of utilizing database marketing 

Database marketing has many benefits, including a personalized experience for each individual potential customer. Personalized data catches the viewer’s eye over a more generalized message. When a potential customer sees information they relate to, they are more likely to give it a second glance over content that is less specific. The more specific the message is, the more time the customer will spend on the website. The more time spent on the website the more likely the customer will invest in the product or service.

Database marketing helpful resources

There are a variety of ways you can create a personalized message for your potential customers. Some examples of database marketing resources include online advertisements, telemarketing, emails, text messages, or postal mail. 

For online advertising,“cookies” on websites track where each user clicks and what they end up purchasing if anything. This information can then be used to promote similar content through advertising or pop ups on the website. 

Telemarketing is when customers are contacted through phone call. Phone call messages typically need to be quick and to the point due to the ease of hanging up the phone. 

If a customer is signed up for a company’s email list or purchased something through their website, they may receive emails with products specifically chosen for them based on past searches and purchases. Email sign-ups are often incentivized through discounts on a customer’s next purchase for signing up.

Text messages, similar to emails, are signed up for often with an incentive such as a coupon off the customer’s first purchase. Free trials are another database marketing strategy that encourages customer loyalty through a free incentive that lets the customer test out the product or service and realize the value in it.

Postal mail is a more rare form of database marketing with the current digital age, but it has the potential to stand out against other advertisements. Mail that includes the customer’s name, a coupon, or a token of appreciation for company loyalty such as samples of a product are more likely to not be tossed to the recycling bin over a generalized message promoting a company.

How to reach your audience and build a following  

Individualized experience is a key component of database marketing. In order to target your audience, you must pay attention to key demographic components such as age, gender, or race. A 40 year-old mother is going to have different interests than a single 30 year-old man. 

Next, pay attention to items the customer spends the most time looking at or recent purchases made. If a customer recently purchased a navy blazer, sending an email or including a pop-up on a website with the matching pants can draw in more business. 

Social media is a quick, easy way to publish a message, spread the word, and gain a following through the sharing of a post. Social media captions are typically composed of either a short phrase or a sentence or two to quickly send out a message and quickly gain a snippet of what a company values. 

Webinars are another example of resources that are helpful in gaining a company following because they add a human voice through a clutter of online words. Webinars are typically live speaker events that allow potential customers to put faces to a company and potentially ask questions.

In conclusion…

Database marketing helps draw in a loyal customer base while recruiting new ones by creating a unique experience for each individual. A customer is more likely to remain loyal to a company that caters to their wants and makes them feel heard. With the digital tracking technology available, it is easier than ever to create an individualized experience for your customer base.

Thank you for your interest in…

It’s the beginning of March. You see graduation on the horizon, but it is not quite in your grasp. You log into the LinkedIn account you made as a freshman in college but have not touched since. You find the perfect headshot, line up your experience from the past four years, and add any visual elements that will set you apart from the thousands of other circle heads on the site.

You send in your first job application. You don’t have a lot of expectations, you just feel a sense of accomplishment having gotten the ball rolling. You continue to apply to 10 more, 20 more, 30 more, soon stretching over 100 come May.

You’ve had several interviews. Some jobs are just not the right amount of hours or compensation required for your services, so you have to politely decline. And then there’s the worst of all, when you get to almost the last step of the interview process in a dream job with the right pay and benefits and they went with someone else instead.

Graduation comes and you are excited and nervous for what the future holds. A lot of your friends already have jobs lined up. You want so badly to hold onto your college town and to move where everyone seems to be moving, but instead you’re sitting in a hometown coffee joint scrambling so you’re not stuck jobless. FOMO is more real than ever.

It is exhausting applying to 10 different jobs a day just to get that “thank you for your interest in…” email. It is hard seeing the hundreds of writing samples just be shut down without chance to speak on them. It is hard to see all the time, money, and effort come to a halt. It is hard going to family gatherings only to tell them you are still unemployed.

In a time where information is more accessible it is difficult to hide where we are and what we are doing. We want to be able to post on Instagram that we are happy and pursuing our passion. We want to make Tik Toks about a “day in the life” at our amazing job.

We set the bar so high and the reality is our first job may have to be taking freelance pieces from companies when needed just to start making some money and gaining this “5+ years of experience…” that most companies want so bad.

I’m a huge believer in everything happens for a reason. I don’t love that I am living at home right now. I don’t like that I am not in an office or working from home writing pieces on Database Marketing, profiles on my fellow coworkers for the company website, or a feature on how my client has changed the lives of many.

We set the bar so high and feel like if we don’t check off all the boxes in a certain amount of time we failed. We wonder what we could have done differently and what is wrong with us. Maybe you’ll find a job you end up loving in a place you would not have expected. Maybe you’ll make friends you become close with, maybe even closer with than your college buddies.

We want to cling on to what is familiar. Think about your freshman year-you probably did not know anyone. It was a blank slate. You missed your high school friends and wondered how could you completely start over become comfortable being your goofiest most authentic self with a new group of people. I made lifelong friends through my college experience and became involved in organizations and positions I could not have imagined myself in. As much as I wanted to haver these lifelong friends and add more lines to my resume my first semester, I would not have changed a thing.

“Once you stop to listen and look within, you will realize how absolutely powerful, wise and resilient you have actually become.”

Miyoko Schinner

Freshman Abby would be proud of who I am today and all that I have accomplished. I am more outgoing and comfortable speaking in front of people. I look at my writing pieces from my freshman year and they are almost unrecognizable from my most recent pieces.

There is always going to be someone who is more qualified. Getting turned down from somewhere could be a blessing in disguise. Focus on your journey and your success-companies get hundreds of applications for one position and read through so much content. You likely are qualified, you have all that is required, it truly is connections and time and place.

Forbes posted a quote on Instagram today by Miyoko Schninner, Founder of Miyoko’s Creamery. “Once you stop to listen and look within, you will realize how absolutely powerful, wise and resilient you have actually become.”

You did not come this far to turn in the towel. You are that much closer to success.

My Favorite Dairy Free Alternatives <3

Fun fact: no one likes dairy as much as lactose intolerant people. Like what’s it like to eat a penny sized bite of ice cream without immediately feeling it in your stomach? Because can’t relate. Whether you’re lactose intolerant like me, are little upset with the dairy industry right now (also me-see Animal Recovery Mission’s Instagram for why), or are trying to cut it out for whatever reason, it can be hard to find foods that do not contain any dairy. Some dairy free foods taste different or may not be as good. You probably are not looking in the right places if this is the case. I put together a list of some of my favorite dairy-free alternatives I have around my house 🙂 (I have also found I have less break outs when I cut out the dairy–there has been some research done to prove there is some correlation–https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6115795/

https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/growing-evidence-suggests-possible-link-between-diet-and-acne

ANYWAYS on to the list!

  1. Mac n Cheese bb–Ok ya’ll probably saw this one coming. It is a classic and my all time favorite. It literally has cheese in the word so it obviously contains dairy. Annie’s sells this great vegan cheddar Mac and it is delicious. It does have a slightly different taste from normal Mac n Cheese, but it still has a sharp cheddar taste so 10/10. They also sell a creamy pumpkin and sweet potato shells, but it tastes nothing like Mac n cheese. Still great pasta, but nowhere near what I was expecting.IMG_3177
  2. Yogurt. I am a big greek yogurt fan. If you want something with a similar consistency try almond milk yogurt. If you want a slightly sweeter yogurt coconut milk yogurt is a great option. The best part about both of these? They won’t expire as quickly as your regular yogurt would. I love Kite Hill’s almond milk yogurt and So Delicious’s coconut milk yogurt. So Delicious makes a lot of great dairy free products as well another of which I will get to later in the list. IMG_3185.jpg
  3. Milk–it’s used in your coffee, cereal, and countless recipes it seems like this one is pretty hard to escape. The cool thing about plant based milk is that there are so many different options so you can change it up if you want. I switch between almond, soy, and oat. I typically get either soy or coconut milk in my morning coffee if I don’t drink it black. At school (@ FSC peeps) the Moc Mart sells soy and almond milk-the almond milk always seems to go fast though, so I typically buy soy. I know most of you have heard of these alternative milks because they are becoming more popular, especially oat milk in cute lil coffee shops (10/10 would recommend oat milk in coffee).IMG_3186
  4. Protein packed snack–Lenny and Larry’s The Complete Cookie comes in many flavors including snickerdoodle (one of my favs pictured below), birthday cake, chocolate chip, and more. It is vegan and each one contains 16 grams of protein!! I usually pack one for my after the gym snack. They definitely taste a little different (a lot healthier) than a ‘normal’ cookie, but still good nonetheless. IMG_3181
  5. And now for dessert-ice creammmm–a classic. Man I don’t know about my other lactose intolerant friends out there, but this one always hits me the worst oof. But you’re in luck because there are some delicious dairy free ice cream options that are in my opinion equivalent to ‘regular’ ice cream taste. So Delicious sells delicious coconut milk ice creams! Halo Top has some great dairy free flavors as well. IMG_3182

There are plenty of other great dairy-free alternatives I could go through, but I’ll leave you with these for now:) I hope this helped anyone who wants to try more dairy free options or is interested at all. I might do a part 2 of this later on. Anyways goodnight babes and thanks for reading my post I know it’s been a minute.

you know what happens when you assume

It’s been a little bit since I’ve written on here. Sometimes I get little bits and pieces of an idea and I’ll put it in the notes on my phone and not get back to it for a while. I hope this message can help you and your friends find the good in everyone. And I don’t mean that as everyone is a good person, but I mean finding what everyone has to offer the world.

That girl who sits two seats in front of you in a class. She’s super quiet, comes in late a lot, and is terrified of presentation days because she hates speaking in front of people. You’re thinking “this girl is stupid” “why is she always late?” “Why doesn’t she speak up more?”

What you didn’t know is that her mother recently passed away and her grandmother is in the hospital with cancer. On top of that all her professors dislike her because  she’s late all the time. You didn’t know she was bawling her eyes out about 5 minutes before coming to class just trying to hold it together, just wanting to pass thus class.

This is obviously an extreme scenario, but you get the point. You never know what people are going through. This is why it is so important to show kindness and mercy to others no matter what.

Most people would either ignore that girl or speak down to her because they are associating her silence with stupidity.

Let’s get something straight: talking down to someone does not put you above them. It shows that you value the two seconds of an ego booster you receive when you feel like you are “better than” someone else.

Rather than proving our own worth to others, let’s show others how much they are worth.

Some of the best people are the ones who lift others up and show them how great they are. People who put others down, belittle them, and try too hard to “flex” on people are self centered. I’m not saying I am not guilty of doing this. I think we can all admit we do this.

Be helpful instead of harmful. Instead of constantly bringing people down, tell them what they are doing right. We all need to be put in our place sometimes, but it does not help to constantly discourage people. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

I’m going to refer to the Golden Rule: “Treat Others the Way You Want to be Treated.”

God created each and every one of us in his own image. We all have something to offer. Make others see their full potential. What good does it do to speak ill about someone for two seconds of an ego booster versus the endless amount of joy you feel when helping and loving others?

IMG_7062

Comfort in the Chaos

Getting back in the swing of things has been a little crazy and very busy, but I am so happy to be back at school with friends. I thought this week about how lucky I am to be busy doing what I love. For example, this week was my first week being Features editor. I was a little overwhelmed at first at the thought of writing 3 articles within 3 days and laying out all them in indesign (oh indesign) I felt so accomplished getting it done.

I really enjoyed writing the articles. I have always loved writing, I think I enjoy journalistic writing so much because it is like putting a puzzle together (don’t get me wrong I love creative/blog writing-obviously). It’s an extra challenge to have to format things a certain way and convey the message/tell the story in a unique way. I only have 2 more general education courses I need to complete and I will be done. This semester is awesome so far because all my classes are within my major (except Spanish for my BA degree, but I don’t mind it)! I know I say this A LOT, but I am so excited about what I am doing. Like how cool is it that I get to do what I love in college. Bottom line, in the chaos of everything, think about how nice it is to be busy and have the opportunities you have. It’s easy to think about all the stress associated with being busy but take a moment and step back. Think about all your hard work-like YOU did that!! I hope you all have an amazing rest of your week.

♡

-Ab

IMG_4388.JPG

#nofilter

In previous years, even months, I have really struggled with dealing with people disliking me and I don’t mean that a lot of people don’t like me, I mean that I am terrified of saying one wrong thing and someone is gone. I feel like most people low-key have this fear though. Over the past semester and even in the past week I can honestly say I’ve gained a lot more confidence in who I am and what I believe.

Like I just remember stupid that I would debate over like I would just stare at a text for 5 minutes deciding if it was okay to send. Not because it was risquĂ© or anything like that, but other concerns like will they think it’s funny? I hope he/she doesn’t get mad at me, etc. Half the time I was making a mountain out of a molehill. But mostly, what I wanted to say in that moment was what I truly felt and I held that stuff back in fear of people leaving. (Not to say that I’m just going to be spewing nonsense).What I’ve become more aware of lately is that those people who don’t allow you to voice your opinions without judgement are the ones whose opinion you really didn’t need in the first place.

I have been better about “saying it how it is” and voicing how I feel, and it is so freeing. There will always be people who dislike you, so why not be yourself? There was this shirt I had in middle school that said: “be yourself, everyone else is already taken”. Cheesy quote but very true. We are all so different, so go out and embrace those differences.

Have C O N F I D E N C E!!

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

You’re a star♥♥♥

thank u, next

I am now in my sophomore year of college and let me tell you wow what a semester. I am now a member and Publications Chair for Alpha Chi Omega sorority, the designated column writer for the Student Spotlight under the Features section in my school’s newspaper, and next semester will be the Features editor. I say all this because of my last blog post where I reflected on some of the challenges I faced last year. I am so beyond grateful that I have had these opportunities to do what I love-writing.

Recently, even with all these happy times, there has been some sadness in between. Just this week, something came up that made me think of the past, and I wished things were different and that I could change it. The fact is, you can’t change the past (obviously). To quote the Lion King, specifically Rafiki, “The past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.”

It still hurts a little and yes, I still think about it, but I hope that writing this will help me move on from it. I have lost some people which is never fun, but I have formed so many important, genuine relationships since being at college and I am so thankful for those who have stuck by my side.

Sometimes growing up can mean growing apart from people. You are going to change and have new experiences which make you the person you are today. You are not obligated to stay the same for anyone.

60cb97fe99de7f8fa16cde8ce287a6d8.jpg

The First Cup of Joe

For those who know me well, you’re already aware that stuff that happened last year that I wish could have gone differently. A few things actually. (This blog post will have a happy ending I promise! :))

I entered my freshman year of college excited about starting off on a clean slate. No one knew me here. They didn’t know how introverted I was. I could be an extrovert if I wanted and try not to curl up into my shell. The first thing you look for when you arrive at college besides where you’re going to find your next meal would be friends. I had two friends in high school who I was very close with so starting all over again was scary as I know it is for most people.

I started with recruitment. I tried to speak clearly, sit up straight, and talk up a storm. I really enjoyed my first night. Although my feet were dead from sprinting from one end of the campus to the other, I genuinely enjoyed some of the conversations I had with these girls.

Come the second night I got dropped from 4/7 houses, three of which were in my top three (this order has since changed). Not gonna lie it kind of hurt a little, but I continued into the second night. Third day I went to two houses. Bid Day came and while other girls were smiling ear to ear I received the call you do not want on Bid Day.

I spent the rest of the day trying to avoid campus (and social media, but I totally cracked) and spent time writing and reading which actually helped me channel my frustration in a positive way. I reminded myself that there are other opportunities to meet people and become involved in something I love.

The next semester I got turned down for the RA position and Orientation Leader. Yes these were some rough days as well (Abby when are we getting to the good part? I’m getting there I promise.)

I was pretty upset. I was honestly pretty stressed about having nothing to put on my resume for this year (I know it’s only my freshman year). I saw all these other people who got the sorority they wanted, got the position they wanted, got to be in the school ads. I was just like wow these people seem to have it all together.

Oftentimes when people have something that we want we only see that. We don’t realize all that we have from not receiving what they have (sorry if that’s confusing). Basically other doors were opened to me by not getting all that I wanted. And these seemingly perfect people probably have gotten rejected from things as well. Although I felt different at the time, I would not trade these experiences. They have helped me to get out of my shell, stop mumbling, sit up a little straighter and gain more confidence for the coming year.keep-calm-it-be-like-that-sometimes.jpg

I am happy these events made me realize how useful writing is to me for getting my thoughts together when I’m upset. Bottom line friends, for every door closed a new one opens. I know you guys have probably heard that a billion times, but it is true. I am looking forward to the coming year and all the amazing new opportunities that come with it.

I get to room with my two best friends that I met this year, write for the newspaper (this year I’m gonna actually write some serious articles not just ones about makeup and movies), run the lake (another stress reliever), earn some money, and try out for some new things. In the words of Meet the Robinsons (an underrated Disney film)/Walt Disney: “Keep Moving Forward.”

Thanks for reading my dudes. Don’t worry I’ll do some funny blogs I promise.