More than a College Student / Recent Grad!

I am faced with a challenge, a big, big, big challenge. The challenge is that employers may be viewing me as a college student / recent grad. Now, what is the problem with that? I am MUCH MORE than a college student / recent grad. I have an extensive resume and work history that separates me from other college students / recent grads.

Take a look at few of the task I’ve completed:

•Traveled on business to L.A. (four times) , Las Vegas (five times), Miami and Chicago (two times).
• L.A., Calif., four times for an intentional convention, iPOP, a five day convention that required me to work the entire time. The convention required me to manage a group of people (30-40) the entire process from departing Tampa to arriving in L.A. and while at the convention. The position also required me to do a great deal of networking and relationship building.

• Las Vegas, Nev., four times for the above international convention, iPOP.
• Las Vegas, Nev., one time for the major buyers convention,  Magic Market, Pool and ENK. This trip was far different then any other as it was my first time exposure to a buyers conventions and all of the logistics. I had to network and build relationships while at the convention, negotiate with vendors on the best price point of sale and learn how to say no to a vendor when I really wanted to shout yes! I also had to manage the boutique while at the convention to make certain the employees handled the operations correctly.
• Miami, Fla., for the Coast Show, same responsibilities as listed above
• Chicago, Ill., one time for the buyers convention, Chicago Market, same responsibilities as listed in the fifth trip Las Vegas, Nev.
• Chicago, Ill, one time for a major company interview. Process required a meet and greet and extensive interview.

•Terminate an employee. Yes, I had to terminate an employee. This was not done immediately but after many coaching sessions with the employee. The employee was not the right fit for the organization, was not passionate about the roles and responsibilities and was a risk to the organization as the employee did not operate the point of sales system correctly. It was not fun terminating the employee as I had a working relationship with the employee.

•Created events from the beginning to ending stages! The main mission of one of the events was to create awareness among the target public. The event was a fashion show of which I coordinated from fitting the models with the proper outfits to working with the venue. In fact, one of the models did not show up to the fashion shoot of which the images were supposed to be used for promotional collateral. Guess who had to fill the spot, me!
•I have coordinated several other fashion shows and events. All of which required a real ‘all hands on deck’ participation.

•Spoke at company rallies to motivate and inform peers of the Ella Moss brand. I even created a game for partnering departments employees to increase sales of the brand. Within the first month, I had the #2 increase in the company.

Photo of the promotional collateral for the fashion show.

Photo of the promotional collateral for the fashion show.

The original image used in promotional collateral.

The list could go on and on but what I really want the reader to understand is that I am much more than just a college student / recent grad! I can build relationships with peers, I can negotiate, I can train peers, I can lead and above all I can complete all of the tasks while displaying a professional manner at all times.

Until Next Time,

J.J.

Liebster Award Nomination

I am delight to say that I have been nominated for the Liebster Award. Thank you, Christine. The Liebster Award nomination is special…  it is a special way to ‘shout-out’ to your fellow bloggers =) Mandi at All My Happy Endings provided us with the origins of the word Liebster. “Liebster is a German word that means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

As Christine explained…. its all about getting to know each other!

Here are the rules:

  1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer 11 questions from your nominator.
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs with under 200 followers and ask them 11 questions.

The 11 random facts of Jennifer L. Johnson: 

  1. Born and raised Florida gal.
  2. I am a Godiva member which is code for I am a chocolate connoisseur. 
  3. I love wearing colorful outfits. In the words of Kate Spade, “Live Colorfully”.
  4. Ever since attending my first merchandising convention, ENK, I’ve had a special passion for fashion.
  5. My office is decorated with a Giraffe inspired theme…. and lots of color!
  6. I have met several athletes while working at Brick House Tavern + Tap.
  7. The best way to get over a fear is to face it! I was once fearful of karaoke… that was until summer 2011.
  8. I have personal traditions such as: attending a concert once a year or going on vacation once a year. I believe that it is good for the soul!
  9. I can vibe with all kinds of music but my favorite would have to be hip-hop and country. …Drake & Strait.
  10. I do NOT like scary movies…. no thank you!
  11. I once won a game of poker with a royal flush.

Questions from the Nominator: 

  1. Why did you start blogging?  For the main purpose of creating a hub for employers to learn more about me. 
  2. Describe yourself in two words. Conversation Savvy
  3. What’s your all time favorite tv show? Friends… hands down.
  4. What’s one quirky thing about yourself? Punctuality ! On time is early!
  5. What’s your biggest inspiration? 
  6. Name three places you’d like to travel to? Paris, London, Ireland
  7. Have you ever sky dived? Would you?  I am sorry, but I do not favor sky diving. I am not one to take such risks.
  8. What’s your favorite quality about yourself? Organized to the max!
  9. What’s your favorite social media tool/network? Twitter!
  10. If you won a million dollar’s, what would you do with it.  Donate &  invest!
  11. What’s your all time favorite meal? Chocolate biscuits. Hmm… so delicious!


Who I nominate… 

The questions for nominations:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What is your favorite dish?
  3. How would you describe your personal style?
  4. What is your favorite season?
  5. What is your hobby?
  6. Are you a risk taker?
  7. Where is your favorite place to escape too?
  8. What is your favorite book?
  9. What was your favorite age?
  10. What is one of your goals?
  11. What does your name mean?

Have fun ! 

Jenn!

Survival of the Fittest – Job Hunt Edition.

I have come to the conclusion that the job hunt is survival of the fittest. You can chuckle or sigh at the comment but it is TRUE! Here is the deal…. I am a senior who is about to graduate this summer and I have applied for countless number of jobs. The job hunt began in February and the IDEAL plan was to have a position nailed down by April. Now, I have been blessed with a couple of interviews that has given me the interview experience. I don’t just want a job with an employer who doesn’t even know my nickname. I want a job with an employer who cares about ME and my work performance. A job with an employer who cares about the positive employee relations and their rich history.

So… below are the reasons why I think the job hunt is survival of the fittest.

• There are a ton of Do’s and Do Not’s for resume content…. talk about contradicting! 
• It is based off of individual preference… cannot please every single person and match their every want.
• I once had someone tell me that they did not like my personal branding efforts and that the only person who should have a graphic on their resume is an artist.
• …They teach us in school to always brand yourself! They say, “If you can’t brand yourself then why would a company trust you with branding responsibilities?”

EVERYONE is checking InDeed, CareerBuilder, Simply Hired… job boards. Seriously, the list could go on FOREVER!
• It is great that so many job board Websites are available to job seekers… but guess what? EVERY COLLEGE SENIOR IS LOOKING AT THE SAME BOARD! So this results in the company getting FLOODED with resumes!

Clean up your social media… no red solo cups!
•If you could not tell already… I am not one to bar hop, party hop or to take six shots of tequila. The “Clean up your social media,” thing wasn’t that big of an issue for me. However, I expect that the person who is interviewing me, for a major company, has THEIR social media cleaned up. The employer is evaluating me just as much as I am evaluating them.

• Company: “We are only interviewing on Friday.”
Me: Ok, it is Wednesday and I am scheduled to work a double on Friday. ” I am scheduled to work a double shift on Friday… could we schedule it either early in the morning on Friday, any time before 10:20 a.m., or another time early next week?”
• Company: “We being interviewing at 11 a.m….Do you get a break on Friday? We are located in Tampa and the interviews don’t last long, it will only take an hour.”
• Me: “I am scheduled to work two shifts in one day at a fast paced and high volume restaurant. It is difficult to leave for a period of time.”
• Company: ” Ok, you can call back next week and see where we are with the hiring.”
• Me: ????????????????

Do NOT wear…
•This is goes along with the resume in the sense that it is the employers opinion on either they like or dislike your presentation.
• They say, “Do not wear bright colors, do not wear too many accessories and do not wear strong perfume.”
• But, my style is mixed between Kate Spade and Milly! It is all about color and personality! This one I had a tough time with because I like to dress similar to my personality…. and I do not want to cover that up.
• Best advice I got on this subject, “Just dress conservative and once you get the job THEN you can dress with your personality”.  & “Just be yourself!”
• ….but I still added a tiny bit of color! ; – )

Overall, the entire process of being on the job hunt has been a roller coaster. Do not get me wrong, it has been an exciting process. I enjoy applying to different jobs and putting together the materials. I even snail mail employers my branding packages . Of course, I send a personal thank you letter to each person who considers me for a position. I must day that I am fortune enough to be employed at this moment and have a job. However, it is not the dream job for me but it is more than what some people have.

Must never give up!

Cheers!

J.J.

Spring Break 2013

It is my last spring break as an undergraduate student. Most college seniors spend their time at the beach or at the pool with a few afternoon cocktails. However, I am spending my spring break studying for the Communications Law exam, helping out a couple of friends with their personal branding efforts, applying for jobs and learning Spanish. Have no fear, I am not looking for a pity party. I would not change the way I am spending my last spring break as an undergraduate student! I am a strong believer investing in my future career.

Check out the photos below 🙂

Communications Law Exam Study guide for the Communications Law exam. The blue highlights information that is placed on a flash card. The exam is set for the first Monday after spring break. As you can see it is 95 percent filled out!

Erin Personal Branding

My friend Erin is a hair stylist looking for a position at a hair salon. She needed help with personal branding and I wanted an excuse to explore with Adobe Indesign and Illustrator. This flower represents her well because of her free spirit personality. She is very flexible and goes with the flow. The sort of traits that is important in the cosmetology industry.

Tiffany Personal Branding

My friend Tiffany is looking for a clerical position in the health care industry. She needed help with personal branding and I wanted an excuse to explore with Adobe Indesign and Illustrator! This flower represents Tiffany well as she is an ambitious individual who is not afraid to take a challenge. Currently, she is studying Radiology and has an impressive 3.7 grade point average.

Tiffany Personal Branding 2Almost done with the personal branding for Tiffany!

Applying to jobsGraduation is quickly approaching and I am on the quest to land the perfect job! Applying online to various job postings is what everyone tends to do…. However, I am hoping to stand out by sending my personal branding package to employers via snail mail!

SpanishThe last class needed to graduate from the University of South Florida is Spanish 2. Interesting huh? So I have a couple of different options to speed up the process.

1. Take the exempt test. However, I have to test past Spanish 2 or I could jinx myself in retaking Spanish 1 and then taking Spanish 2 which would push back the date even further.

2. Take the Spanish 2 class over the summer semester and be done! (My goal is summer A but the summer schedule is not posted yet. Worst case scenario is Summer B or C)

Either way I need to learn Spanish! I am halfway done with the 5 CD program! I must say that it is working!

photo….Ah yes. My choice of music makes for smooth sailing! Cannot go wrong with John Lennon!!!

Until next time,

Jenn L.