Friday, April 28, 2006


This is my last blog. I have definitely had a great semester. I hope everyone else has too. I am so glad that I got this internship. It was really cool. There might have been some small drama, but hey I was the talk on a couple forums for a few hours. It has also made me think about going in to radio, something that I said a little while ago that I didn't really see myself doing. I am glad thought that the semester is over because I really do need a break. I am almost done with school for a few weeks. I want to maybe do another internship where I can see a different kind of PR. I don't know exactly what I want to do, so I want to try a bunch of different things. I am also excited that there is hope for me to actually get a job in my field when I graduate. I know so many people that got out of school and aren't doing anything close to what they want to be doing. That won't be me. I have also discovered that I am not so bad at designing web pages promoting entertainers. I did a page for a friend that I work with. It isn't something that I would make a career out of, but it is something I could definitely do on the side for extra money. Well good luck to everyone on their finals and congrats to those graduating!

Last one!

Since this is my last blog I want to comment on how different my internships were! My first internship was a very good introduction internship! I learned the basic skills to succeed in managing an office and some helpful tips in obtaining a career in public relations! My second internship at CMA was amazing. I felt like I was actually employed there in their communications department! I guess I am writing this to stress the importance of doing as many internships as possible! Now I have almost a year experience and some great things to put on my resume! I encourage everyone to get out there and get experience! Also, I have been a member of PRSSA...everyone should look into that too...its a great networking opportunity!! Well, its been a great semester, but I am out! Good Luck everyone!

Almost done, but not quite!!!

Well, guys the semester is wrapping up, but that doesnt mean my internship is over!! The CMA Music fest is one of the biggest things the Country Music Association does each year! The music fest is Jun 8-11 and I am going to be helping them out until then. I have learned so much this semester and I am really sad that it is over!! This will probably be my last internship because I have already done two! Next semester is my last semester and I am kinda scared about graduating! I hope to keep in contact with CMA and hopefully some day get a job there or somewhere similar. I was really impressed with the company and the employees!! This makes me realize how important it is to keep in contact with people. It also to know people in this business, but I am working on it! I hope everyone had as good of a semester as I did! I am going to write one more because I think I need one!

second to last

I am going to have to write two of these today because my internet decided it didn't want to work. I wish I could stay at my internship through the summer. That would be so great. I know that there will be even more to do and I will acutally have time instead of squeezing the time into my busy schedule. I know in the summer they also have more fun things outside like at Nashville Shores and other random outdoors places around town. It has also been cool how the radio station has been supporting our sports teams. Right now the Predators are in the playoffs and the station had a watching party at O'Charleys. That is just fun. I am glad that I made some of the contacts that I did, I just wish I had gotten to know everyone better. It was cool to learn that a lot of the people at the station have other things that they do on the side. You know, unrelated to radio. Some times it is hard to get away from something like a radio station, but they seem to. And they don't seem to let what other people, like fanatics, get to them. It is just a good atmosphere to be in. And even though I was at the station, I was listening to it before and after I got in and out of my car. I just never got tired of it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


And here we are, the end of the semester. For me, the end of the line. I am graduating in a little over a week from now. I have mixed feelings about that. I am kind of happy, a little proud, and very scared. I do not really think that I have received a very good education at MTSU. I know that sounds really mean, but I am being honest. I know you might read that I am just another slacker who is not willing to put the time and effort into getting a good education, but that is not the case. I feel like I was never allowed to nurture my creativity and express myself. It seemed like my professors were always telling me how THEY wanted it done, not how I wanted to do it. How can you find your own style if someone is always imposing their restrictions on you? I don't know. It has been fun, for sure, but I think I would have been better at a different school, or at least in a different department. One of my roommates is in the art dept. as a graphic design major, a and even though he isn't even a junior yet he can already do things that NO media design major can do. That isn't a dig at us MD majors either, I am just trying to point out that they have a much more rigorous set of classes that really push you to become better at design. I feel like I spent 85% of my time doing reporting and editing here 10% core and a measly 5% learning how to design. It just seems out of whack. When I look at some of the work undergrads are doing at other colleges, and even in other departments at our college, it makes me wonder if I didn't make a grave mistake choosing media design as a major.

That being said, regardless of how I feel about the education I got, I have made some unforgettable memories here. I have met friends and even a few professors who I will always remember. If that is the essence of the college experience, then I guess I had a pretty good college experience.

Almost Done

My time at Word is almost over and I'm pretty sad to leave. Anna, of Myrrh Records, spent some time with me today putting some mailings together for the release of Jaci V, Nicole Mullins and Rachel Lampa's new greatest hits albums. I'm pretty sure I won't miss stuffing envelopes or making hundreds of copies but I am stoked to have had a hand in all this for a while. Rich invited me to a Word showcase on Tuesday that will wrap up my internship. He promised me that I would finally get to meet the other intern who works for him on the opposite days. I kid him all the time about how I don't think she even exists.

Right now I'm spending some time emailing my friends about the new "Pocket Full of Rocks," a new Myrrh label group, album. I encourage anybody who has time to visit and vote for their next radio single. My personal favorite is "Worth Everything." The website will let you listen to the top four choices.

Anyways, Rich promised me that he would let me write up a press release today so that I could get some real experience under my belt. I'm going to get to that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

End of the semester

Well guys...the end of this semester is upon us. You know what that means--papers, projects, and all sorts finals. For my last couple of weeks at the News an dPublic Affairs Office, I've done quite a bit. I have written a few more stories. One of them is in the April 24 edition of The Record. I am so proud of myself and all the work that I have accomplished. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to do it, but I did. Hopefully I've gained enough skill to move on to something a little bigger. I still plan to work for the same office next semester, but I would like to do something different over the summer. Any suggestions?
Anyway, the story that is printed now is about the relationship between physical fitness and academics. I interviewed Brandi Eveland, a graduate student at MTSU. She did research on this subject with children in elementary school. Her findings were a little surprising. The only way to find those out is to read my article. I can't give everything away.
My next story turned out pretty well also. It also has a little to do with fitness, but it's more about how to get in shape and stay in shape. For those of you who may not know, there is a program designed for that in Murfreesboro. That is all I will say on that. I don't want to spoil it for anyone.
Well I think my time is up and I have really enjoyed working in the News and Public Affairs Office. I hope I'll be able to do it again next semester. If not, I'll just have to find a new internship/practicum. I hope everyone has a good summer!

Best Wishes

I hope this is not too late! I know today is the last day of class!
First of all, I am very sad that this interning position is drawing to a close. However, I am excited about getting to work this Summer!
Yesterday was a pretty relaxing day at The Media Collective. One of our publicists was in New York City with MercyMe, and so it was great to see how her trip went! I basically just did a lot of mailings. And I am also pitching John Tesh to 2 Las Vegas newspapers because he is doing a show there at the end of May. I was also doing follow-up calls and emails to other newspapers who we had previously pitched too. Somer were very responsive, others would not give us an answer either way!!! No offense, but newspapers seem to be the worst:0) It was a great day though; I got a lot accomplished!
Best wishes in the future everybody!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

One last thing

I almost forgot that I wanted to talk about a typical day that I have had at my internship, but for some reason never got around to. I say typical, but the truth is once I got used to covering a specific committee I wouldn't be following it anymore.

So, I will tell you about last week. I received a call on Monday night asking if I could come in later, and stay later on Tuesday. That worked for me since I all I have on Tuesdays is going to the capitol and any homework I might need to do for class, so I went in and I checked out the state gov't subcommittee, the industrial impact subcommittee and the state and local government committee. I didn't sit through all of the state and local government committee, since my editor told me that wasn't necessary. I did check all the bills they were going over to see what would need to be covered from the committee.

On Thursday I went to cover the Broadband Task Force's first meeting. I must say that it was interesting to see. Everyone agreed to bring in information from their perspective fields for the next meeting, they hear from a couple people about the usage of broadband, and then they set their next meeting.

This was different than my normal Thursday in which I have been covering the house session, and when there were budget hearings after the session I would cover those as well.

Last day on the Hill

Tuesday was my last day on Capitol Hill. It was difficult for me to believe I was leaving. I wrote about the Cover Tennessee legislation. The amendment that puts cover tenn, access tenn, cover kids and project diabetes was a 43 page document. I heard the first draft was over 50 pages. I now know all about the way the programs will be set up and managed. Of course after graduation I'm moving to Savannah, Ga so the information on Tenn plans probably won't be so useful.

I have enjoyed everyday I worked for the Nashville Bureau, and I have learned a lot this semester. I've learned the type of atmosphere I work best in. I have learned to go to meeting and write the story right then. During the time I worked at Sidelines I only wrote two deadline stories. Most of the time I had a few days, so having to write immediately after something twice a week was extremely valuable experience. I am learning to look at my stories as I write them to make sure they need very little editing after the first draft.

It has helped me with my listening skills in meeting sessions, and that has improved my ability to know what questions need to be asked so I get the answers I am looking for in a short amount of time. Legislators are constantly moving, and sometimes it is difficult to get a few minutes with them, so this has been helpful since I was able to go into an office and get out in just a few minutes with the information I needed to write.

My editor has been great. He has let me know the things that I need to do that are specific for the Nashville Bureau, and things I may want to make notes of for myself even though things would be different at a newspaper.

My editor was also able to work it out for another publication to run a story I wrote. This is because the Nashville Bureau is a subscription online news letter. There are daily (Tuesday-Friday) reports, and a weekly from the dailies, but there are no bylines in it. There are also variations of the end of week newsletter for subscribers who have specific interests on the Hill. Last week I wrote a story for a subscriber that wanted to know about a specific task force (a group that will look into a specific issue and make suggestions for the best way the state can address that issue) that was meeting.

I have also been able to make some contacts that will be helpful since graduation is so soon, and I need to find a job.

The whole reading a long amendment thing may not be the most exciting reading, but I have learned from it to. I have learned the jargon of the Hill, and how read legislation and write about it in a way that allows me to put it in a more reader friendly way.

I am excited about graduation, but I was sad to leave today. The semester began a little rocky for me, but after all is said and done I have grown through the experiance.

As a side note good luck to everyone who is graduating this semester. For everyone else have a good summer.

The Last Blog EVER

Haha, sorry about the title, but it is true. So here I am at the end of the road. Well, not entirely, but it is the end of my schooling here at Middle Tennessee State and it seems like only yesterday that I stepped onto campus and into my cramped space in Corlew hall. *flashback* Ooops sorry...I had a moment there. Over these past few years I have learned quite a bit, and not just from all the classes I've taken. I have learned that you must put yourself out there-mind, body, and soul. You never know what is going to happen or who you are going to meet on the way. And never, EVER judge a book from its cover. You have no idea what someone or something may teach you. I've learned these things from getting involved on campus and being a part of numerous organizations and clubs and it has taught me so much. Joining the Student Programming board was one of the best things I have done here at MTSU. I not only learned about what it really takes to put on a successful event, but I also learned about myself. I've learned to be patient and always keep an open mind. Never burn bridges, you'll never know when you'll run into someone again. Being part of Student Programming also made me break away from my shell very quickly. Yes, I was shy..but, weren't we all intimidated by a 20,000 plus campus population at one point? no? okay, it's just me. I just want to tell all of my fellow interns and students that it is okay to have bad days, just don't let them get in the way of the good ones. Good luck to everyone in whatever you do!

Stepping Down

Well here I am. Soon to be the ex-council chairperson of Student Programming. It's gonna be hard not going up to the office every other day. After three years of service and dedication to this organization I feel like it's my second family. I will miss my boss and secretary Joyce very much so and although some of the committee chair faces have changed over the years, I'll still have fond memories of each and every one of them.
So last minute tasks are upon me. I have another event proposal to attend, duties to hand down to the next council chairperson, and I HAVE to clean out my drawer! Right now I have been helping Jenn, the new head, transition into my position. I know that I am leaving this organization in good hands. Handing over my duties will be tough but I know that she is going to do a top notch job. I've already explained to her that I will be here over the summer and if at any moment she feels overwhelmed, she needs to give me a call. I think I just told her that so I can still feel connected to student programming. Hah! It's not that I am worried at all about how things will run when I am gone, it's just going to feel so different not to be a part of the process of programming the events on campus and always feeling "in the know" with everything around me. It's going to be tough but this is all part of stepping down.

Collage Magazine (final post)

I have had a great semester working at Collage. I learned a lot, and had fun too. Collage provided me with a easy place to do my internship, because it was great to be able to go work a few hours before I left school on some days. I had a great working environment at Collage, and had many great people to work with. I met a lot of great people that I will also being working with again on the Fall 2006 issue of Collage. I would like to say a special thanks to Marsha Powers, the Collage advisor, and Jessi Torres, the editor for this issue, both these ladies made my internship a great experience and you couldn't find any better people to work with. I highly suggest a practicum at Collage, if you know anyone looking for a place in the future.
Collage was honored at the Honors College award program recently. Everyone on staff got nice certificates and a very generous gift. I was surprised with a Collage service award for all my help I did this semester along with the designer and editor. We got very nice personalized plaques to hang on the wall and very nices tokens of appreciation. It really was a surprise and honor for me.
I am also happy to say that I will be returning to work at Collage for the Fall 2006 issue as Assistant Editor. I am really excited and look forward to producing another great magazine.
The Spring 2006 issue of Collage is out, and I encourage everyone to pick one up. It looks really great, and I know it is one of the best yet, pick one up and you will see for yourself. We passed many copies out all over campus in every building, but you can also pick one up in the Honors College, room 224.

~Good Luck to everyone in your future careers!!!!!!!!!!!!~

~melissa spoonamore~

The semester at Magellan - in reflection

I've had an extremely good semester. This has definitely been one of the busier if not the busiest semester I've had in all eight I've been in college, but its also been really fun. I've learned a lot and made a lot of great connections with people in the industry and on campus that will definitely be beneficial.

By working at Magellan Press, which is considered an "unconventional" work place by those who occupy the office with me, I've learned that if you find the right people who work together well and have an interest in what's going on, anything can be accomplished and without someone constantly watching over your shoulder. I've definitely enjoyed the very free atmosphere created by many creative people who are ambitious and working toward the same goal. Everyone in the office manages time well and ranks priorities in a similar way.

Another important lesson I've learned is that working on a book, even if you're using the same skills as if you were working on a newspaper or magazine article, goes a lot slower. The pacing of the process is still fast because deadlines must be met, but the end product takes much longer to get to, so goal setting is important. Even though we're launching a Web site to go with the book, the end product still takes longer to get to in the beginning stages. Once the site is actually launched (hopefully this Sept.) the pace will pick up with making changes and updating and seeing results.

Attention to accuracy is something I've also had more time to think about and apply myself to since there is more time to write for a book or the start up Web site. I usually pay attention to detail and make sure my stories are acurate, naturally, but mistakes that might pass through five editors at a newspaper won't make it into the book and I have more time to make sure little mistakes don't get by me before they go to my editor - Pat or Rachel.

I love working with the Internet - the "new medium." It's challenging, changing and there is no real structure or format that's already been laid out before us. In a sense, we are creating the structure as we go - anyone who works with the medium that is.

The last little thing that I can think of that I learned, is that I underpunctuate. Instead of going crazy with commas, I usually don't put enough - That's what Pat says. So, I'm working on that. Ultimately, I'm lucky to have gotten an opportunity with Magellan Press despite the down time there was with data entry and it will be a good internship for future journalists who aren't quite crazy about writing for a newspaper. (Don't be a picky eater though =o). And, I'm very lucky to be able to continue my work with the restaurant guide over the summer at 40 hours a week. See some of you around campus maybe. One more semester to go!

Suggestions for Sidelines...

So my practicum has officially ended and now it's time for my final review of how things went. [This is the part where I get on my soapbox. I'll get down in a few minutes.] My last article was printed on Monday, which was our last edition for this semester and I was disappointed that my editor changed so much of the article after he told me that it was awesome and wasn't going to change that much. I was told to write it from more of a profile perspective and make it more feature like; FYI:profiles are a type of feature writing!! So I was shocked to see that he had taken out the majority of the good stuff that I had written, and left my poor story with nothing but bare boned facts about the Hiatt lecture last week. This was the first time since I had been working for Sidelines that I was upset to see my story in print. It wasn't my work. It was basically what my editor wanted the student body to see, and I hated that because my original story was so much more colorful and full of flavor than the one that got printed atop the inside of the front page above all the advertisements. It made me ever more upset to see that my story was on the page with all the ads, because once a student sees an add they will turn the page and not even take a glance at the lone article that is on the page. So basically I can count on the idea that no one read my article.

So my title for this entry is suggestions for Sidelines in which I will provide my opinion on what the paper could do to attract more readers and the type of content that they might print. A lot of students have told me that they miss the old Sidelines and the types of flavorful stories that were printed when Flash was around. Even though we know the story behind why Flash was buried, I can still see their point. I will admit some of the stories that got put up on the board I stared at and thought "why in the world are we writing about that? No one will read that at all! It's a waste of broadsheet space where other writers' work could go. So suggestion number one: BRING BACK THE FLAVA TO STORIES! My next suggestion would be for the editors; if you promise a writer that you will not change things, do them a huge favor--MAKE GOOD ON YOUR PROMISE OR THEY WILL FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL! It's just bad personal skills and office etiquette if you make a promise that you can't keep; it just makes you look bad to your staff and that's not a good way to make your writers want to come back and keep writing. So suggestion number two: KEEP YOUR PROMISES! My final suggestion is for the higher up staff such as the editors of the different sections; if you want to keep you writers around then keep the politics out of the newsroom. We are there to write and gain experience and not deal with the drama of your lives. We have enough on us in the form of deadlines, interviews, writing stories correctly with the right style and can't handle the drama. So suggestion number three: KEEP THE NEWSROOM DRAMA FREE (if possible!).

So there you have it ladies and gentleman my suggestions for Sidelines. I'm sure I could offer a few more, but they aren't coming to me right now. So this is me signing off from the newsroom and putting the cap on my pen and putting my interview notebook away for now. It's been fun, but now it's time to say goodbye. Thanks for the good and bad times and hopefully we can work together again someday.

EMI CMG: Drawing to a Close

My internship days are numbered--my last day at the office will be this Friday. Then, I'm finishing up my hours Monday at the Best Cellars Dinner in Nashville, where I'll be setting up for the $800/plate event. It benefits the T.J. Martell Foundation, an organization that supports leukemia, cancer, and AIDS research through the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. It pairs country music's "best sellers" with some of Nashville's "best cellars"/wine collectors. Our CEO is actively involved, so our department is helping with planning efforts. While I won't get to stay for the dinner, I'm looking forward to seeing the extravagant decorations because the theme is "Dinner in the Garden."
What a full four months it has been! I've already written the blurb I'll include on my resume about the experience: "various duties included selecting, packaging, and shipping charitable donations, assisting at EMI CMG corporate events, sorting departmental mail, and table linen inventory."
In the daily grind of activities, it's easy to take opportunity for granted and forget long-lost dreams. Ever since high school, I've had my eye on the music business, wondering what really went on in Brentwood--that constant city in tiny print on the back of my cassettes and CDs. During my college days before the internship, I toured EMI CMG twice with Christian Music Society, and always walked away wanting to be there. While many of my tasks were basic at best, I will be forever thankful for my four-month stint in the recording industry--if for nothing else, then just for quenching my music business thirst. Even though I'm not actively pursuing a job in the industry at this time, I will always be wondering what's going on in the music business. My goals are to work in a communications-related field in any industry, plan plenty of events, and keep music a vital part of my life by possibly teaching piano or directing a children's choir. As for now, I'm ready to start planning my May '07 wedding! So good luck to all, and enjoy your Blue Raider days!

crazy day as an AA

today i was pretty much the AA for the VP. Since her regular administrative assistant is on vacation, i was confirming appointments and making out her schedule.

how one woman is so busy and on so many boards is mind boggling. She constantly goes goes goes. Just when you think she has a second for you to relay her messages,"oh, do i have a 4 o'clock?" then, she's off!

I also helped put together the media kit for another drifting event in LA for Thursday. Since it's national tire safety week, we put together a kit with tire gauges, brochures on inflation, and other safety information. They always find ways to put business cards in there, too. (you gotta cover all the bases, people)

I'm in tomorrow as well after my exam in the morning. The other intern is a grad student urgently trying to finish her thesis, so i said I would work for her. SHEESH! this is crunch time for me both here and at school. When will it slow down?

Finishing Up

Last week marked the final student staff meeting for the Office of News and Public Affairs. It was very nice. Gina and Tom arranged fed us, provided bottled water for the feast and gave each of us a little goody bag so we'll never forget the semester we spent working on The Record. They personalized the bags for graduating seniors with alumni pins and a few other nice things.

I can honestly say I feel very comfortable and professional in all of my dealings with the "boss" type people at the Office of News and Public Affairs. The experience has really given me important insite into how inter-office work can be smooth and productive.

I feel as though I've accomplished a lot and added a good number of by lines to my name this semester, and developed a great reference for the future.

I had to miss one meeting this semester, because I accepted a temporary job as the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency's Public Information Officer. It was a great experience but something I wish I hadn't tried to do my last month of college ever, while working 30+ hours a week of retail, and carrying out my practicum. Oh well, resume fodder it is!

The staff has been so helpful and friendly, and the weekly staff meetings have been a breeze. The only strange thing is that I never got reimbursed for my travel expenses to Nashville to cover a story early in the semester, although I submitted all the proper forms. No one's really sure what's up, but it's in the hands of the MTSU Business Office, and who knows what really. goes on there?

I'll be writing a little for The Record and the Alumni Record over the summer. I figure the more writing experience I get the better at this point, and each time something is printed I submit better, error free articles that print with minimal corrections and I feel like I'm getting somewhere finally

So, lookout world. I'm almost there.
MT Interns Sp 06

Email Interviews

Hi everyone,

As I complete my practicum for the Office of News and Public Affairs at MTSU I realize I have relied heavily on emails to complete the majority of my information gathering process.

It's never been as evident as it is right now, while I'm trying to put together an article about Wendy, our first regents online degree program graduate to complete ALL of her courses online.

Unfortunatly, Wendy has also been one of the only subjects of an article who has failed to respond to my queries in a timely manner. She seems very nice but hasn't answered specific questions about her degree or her experience OR gotten the office a recent head shot (since she seems too busy to come have photographic services take one).

This problem reminds me that face-to-face good old hunt 'em down tactics are possibly the best. Wendy lives in Chattanooga and I wish there had been time in the past week to go see her but it's been impossible.

These problems also make me worry about my future career plans. I have been telling myself "I can write anywhere" for the past two years, and am kind of used to considering myself free to travel and be anywhere I want to while I persue a career in journalism.

Maybe I've been wrong. The best coverage is first hand, the best anecdotal evidence is actually experienced so the reader can get a personal touch from the writer. So, no. I can't go hide on an island and expect to write journalistic pieces that will appear in nationally important publications. Thank you, practicum, for furthering my sense of career reality as I enter the big bad world.

Valerie Nutt

lessons learned

As my time as an intern in the New Student and Family Programs comes to an end, I have began to reflect on the lessons I have learned this semester.
Firstly, I have learned out to prioritize. Especially with taking 18 hours of school - I have had to learn how to make every free minute of my time count. I may not like waking up at 6 a.m. everyday, but it's necessary so that I can get more hours in and get more work done.
I have learned how to avoid confrontation - in more ways than one. I have learned that some people can really get on my nerves, but sometimes I need to keep my mouth shut - even if it bothers the heck out of me.
I have also learned that your supervisor can be your best friend. When you are having a really stressful week, talk to your supervisor and let them know what's going on! They are, most of the time, very helpful in helping you get done what you need to get done.
And lastly, I learned that it's okay to make mistakes - everyone does! Use that time as an opportunity to learn something new! So, even though I won't be an intern anymore, I'll still be learning plenty of things this summer!

another blog for bridgestone

Hello again....
I realized I was short a couple blogs, so here goes another...

Today I am at the office, BUSY! Because the VP's AA is out (listen to me.. the interpretation is the vice president's administrative assistant), I am crazy busy answering phone calls left and right! It's hard to answer other calls coming in when you're trying to take a message for someone!

Today is also the governor's visit to our Warren County Tire Plant. Bridgestone is getting some award from the TDEC (TN Dept of Economic Conservation) that I'm not sure what it is...but I'm answering a lot of phone calls. This office is so busy, you'd think we'd have time to plan for today, but everyone is scrambling around at the last minute, picking up logo shirts from the drycleaners, figuring out transportation, getting out camers, etc.

Last, but not least, this week is also National Tire Safety week. This is a HUGE deal for the company. We're even offering a $100 rebate on a whole set of new tires! which, by the way, I must mention that I took full advantage of my first discount from the company on Saturday. I saved like almost $300! There are so many neat perks to working here, I'm gonna miss it when I'm not here anymore!
remember to check your tire pressure!

Ending soon.....

Apparently, the semester will be ending soon and my job as an intern at Bridgestone/Firestone will be finished.

However, there's still much to do! Last week, I went to the Donelson Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at Opryland's golf course clubhouse. My boss was giving a speech on Bridgestone's Trust Fund and some of the companies/organizations it donates to.

He literally told me five minutes before his presentation that he needed me to do the powerpoint while he was up there talking. So his speech was completely unrehearsed and he totally winged it. Of course, it went off without a hitch! (he used to be a news anchor on channel 5 so he knows how to bs)

After his speech, there was like a like of 15 people standing and waiting to talk to him. Probably most of it was to ask him how to get on the trust fund's donation list, but I thought it was pretty cool. Call me an intern, but I think giving speeches, traveling and dealing with important things of that matter is exciting!

more to come,

Monday, April 24, 2006

Scene #8

In the April13 issue of the Scene, the current paper’s political writer John Spragens stepped up to the plate with a brief article about a tasteless attempt at “exercising” free speech. But what Spragens might have considered akin to taking a few swings in a batting cage soon turned into a full-on episode of “Hardball.”
The Characters:
John Spragens – Nashville Scene staff writer who will soon (May) leave to go work for the campaign of Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper
Bill Hobbs – supporter of “Republican gubernatorial lamb-for-slaughter Jim Bryson” (Spragens’ words), moderator of a Bryson supporters’ blog group and ex-employee of Belmont University’s public relations department
Mike Kopp – “democratic politico” who found a crude drawing that Hobbs had once posted on his blog and then reposted it on his own (interestingly, Spragens did not publish the address of Hobbs’ blog)

It started in late February. Maddened by the uproar begun by Dutch political cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a suicide bomber, Hobbs challenged his own readers to “exercise your right to free expression by drawing pictures of Islam’s ‘Prophet Mohammed’ before the West gives in to Islamist intimidation and fear of Islamist violence and makes it illegal to do so,” according to Spragens’ article. Hobbs fired the starting pistol with his own illustration of a bearded stickman holding a giant cartoon-like cannonball-shaped bomb – the kind made by Acme. The caption below the drawing reads: “Mohammed blows.”
The drawing apparently created little initial controversy until Kopp unearthed it and reposted it on his blog site. The Scene article quoted Kopp as saying: “I have no quarrel with a person’s right to free speech, but as a Christian, I believe this kind of expression goes against all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.” Kopp then raised a question over Bryson and Belmont’s affiliation with Hobbs.
Hobbs defended himself on Kopp’s page.
“I posted that cartoon, and invited others to draw their own cartoons as a way of protesting both American media cowardice and Islamist attempts to suppress free speech via threats of bombs and bullets and burning and beheading,” said Hobbs, according to the Scene article.
Along came Spragens who picked up on the bipartisan tiff and, following Kopp’s lead, took Hobbs to task.
“Hobbs has the right to free speech, and Kopp has the right to hold him accountable for that speech. (For that matter, so do Belmont, Bryson and the Nashville Scene),” said Spragens.
And if you’re keeping track at home, that’s twice the article, whether directly or indirectly, questioned Hobbs’ continued associations with Bryson, his political ally, and Belmont, his employer.
Spragens then tried to analogize Hobbs’ drawing with that of “a stick figure rendering of Jesus sipping lemonade on the front porch while whipping an anguished bunch of black servants. ‘Jesus Slays,’ the caption would read.”
And with that the stage was set for Nashville’s bloggers to erupt into an inane, weeklong battle of words. As always, when politics and religion openly intermingle things happen; people call each other names, point fingers, insult each other’s mamas and choice of hairstyles, and sometimes people even lose their jobs.
Jump forward to the April 20 issue of the Scene. The headline of Liz Garrigan’s editorial read: “How many bloggers actually have jobs? We don’t know, except to say one fewer now than before.”
The editor reported on Hobbs’ job loss before laying into the Nashville “blogosphere” for its logorrheic and damn near pointless debate that did nothing more than tarnish characters, take one’s job and get a lot of “sheep” worked up into an aimless frenzy. But that doesn’t make it any less fun to watch such a debacle unfold from the sidelines.

Final post

Now that my internship is over, I thought I'd use my last post to reflect on the experience and some of the things I learned.

Overall, I thought the experience was wonderful. I would highly recommend United Way to anyone who is interested in working in a nonprofit PR environment as an intern. The people in the office are terrific; they are so easy to get along with and are extremely willing to help you out in any way possible. The office is small, so there are a lot of opportunities to get in there and assist on or even be responsible for your own projects. I am walking away from the experience with lessons I think will be very applicable in a career setting. I've also added significantly to my portfolio, which I think will benefit me greatly in job interviews.

I went into the internship wanting to experience the nonprofit environment, because it was an area of PR that interested me. I want to have a better feel for if that was the area of PR that I wanted to go into after college. I learned that while I do enjoy that type of work, there are also areas that I didn't care for so much, like fundraising. I feel like I have a better grasp on what aspects of the job I would enjoy doing on a daily basis, and those that I would like to avoid in a career. This knowledge is helping greatly with the job search.

At the beginning, I thought 225 hours would be forever. In reality, the flew by, and I was actually sad when I left the office for the finally time. I hope that everyone has enjoyed there experience as much as I have. For everyone graduating in May (only 12 more days...can you believe it?) I want to wish you all the best of luck with finding a job and beginning careers. Good luck with finals too.

last week

Last week was the end of my internship. I have to say it was one of the more eventful weeks I've had in a while. It was full of tying up loose ends and last minute projects people around the office wanted me to do before I left. Overall though, it was much more enjoyable than the bulk mailing the week before.

For one of the project, I was able to apply a very important lesson I learned when taking PR Publications. Layout design is VERY important and is something that should be taken care of at the beginning of the project, not the end. There is nothing more frustrating than having a completed project only to realize that the layout from one page to the next doesn't match up. Thankfully with this project, all that was required was to change a couple of things in the print layout section. I will definately try to remember to be more careful next time.

Another interesting part to my week (at least I think so anyway), were the allocation meetings I was allowed to attend. I'm not sure how many people have a complete understanding of how United Way operates, but I'll include a very abbreviated summary. Basically, United Way raises funds during the year. The funds raised are then distributed among varies non-profit agencies throughout the county. The agencies have to apply to become a United Way partner, and they have to go through the allocation process to determine how much if any funding they will receive. The interest part about the process is that everything is decided by a panel of volunteers, who are ordinary citizens. (After re-reading that description, it definately doesn't sound as interesting as the process is. There are a lot of little details, but I learned a lot. I would recommend experiencing the process for anyone that has time in the future.)

Now it's time to hit the books and prepare for finals...where has the semester gone?

Attention to Detail

Since the semester is rapidly coming to an end (where did all the time go?) and I've only got a couple more blogs to write, I paid special attention to detail at the office today. As far as writing goes - since I should cover that before I go on to the details I noticed - I finished all the descriptions for Oklahoma City restaurants today. The day flew by and for some reason everything just clicked. Pat told me what I needed to do to improve the blurbs last week (add more food items, because I paid more attention to creating atmosphere), so today, I wrote the last seven and started revising all the others. I should be done with those on Wed. and will start a new city.

Does anyone know what San Francisco style fish is by the way? There's a Chinese restaurant that won the Chinese category (obviously) that specializes in preparing fish that way and I looked everywhere online and couldn't come up with it. Neither could my bosses, Rachel or Pat. I guess we could make a phone call, even though we've been trying to write the descriptions without doing that. Calls might make the blurbs better.

Anyways, the building I work in is on a pretty steep hill and there are three levels of parking. I always park on the second level and walk up some concrete stairs. I take the elevator to the suite Magellan Press is in. I set my lunch in the breakroom fridge, grab an orange juice and start the day. Before I get to the entrance of the building, there's a gold fish pond that makes the walk way smell like toilet water. It's clean water, but smells funny nonetheless. I can't help but run past it most days, haha.

My desk was also moved this past week. When I started, I got a big desk in the middle of the office. I still have my own phone, desk light, computer, speakers (which were hard to get)and folders for paperwork. But new, small, rolling desks were bought and put in the entranceway to the office because we hired a web coder guy and he got the big desk. That's fine with me because I realize I'm only an intern and I must do my time. I actually like the smaller desk better. I'm now between other writers whereas before, I was pretty isolated behind a big partition in the office. There's more of a news room feel where I am now, and the writers can collaborate easier on sources and methods. The foot traffic by the new desks was distracting at first, but I got used to it quickly and see no problems with it.

Anyways, we're still in good shape concerning the deadline and the book release party is approaching! How exciting! I love working with creative people.

last week

Well I guess this is my last week at the station. They were at the Southern Women's Show all weekend. It is kinda hard to do stuff like that for me on the weekends because that is when I work at my other job. I hate that I can't be more available to do fun things like that. I also heard on the radio that one of the DJ's said something about a particular artist. Nothing good or bad, just some news that she had heard. She had a very similar situation to mine. Several of this artists fans sent in mean emails and asked her if she talked to the particular artist. Again people amaze me. There is a difference between being a fan and a fanatic. Some people are just intense. It is so hard to say anything these days without someone taking offense, even if you never intended on it coming across that way. I also think people look for things to offend them. Anyway, I could totally understand how the DJ felt because she wasn't trying to start anything. This is such a delicate business to be in, but I think it makes the job that much more interesting. Keeps everyone on their toes. At least it will eventually all blow over and the fans will let it go. Hopefully. I haven't checked on my situation anymore.

Final Blog

My internship has come to an end and we are nearing the end of the semester, so this will be my final blog. Now that my internship is over and I'm not dealing with anything anymore it is a lot easier for me to see now how much I really did learn. At the time, I would get frustrated and think it was pointless, but now I see that even those frustrating moments are moments to learn from. I'm sure throughout my career I am going to deal with people and situations that I may not agree with and become aggravated. You have to be able to work with this. One major point that I have learned that was very important during the last few months was good communication. During things on the internet could get pretty confusing. I had to make sure I communicated with everyone else exactly what I was doing and ask any questions if I didn't understand something. My last assignment was a feature article on one of FONI's sponsors. I completed that and it should be getting published pretty soon. I have never had anything published before so I think thats pretty exciting. Well I hope everyone enjoyed their internships and learned a lot. I wish everyone the best of luck with their futures.

Street Team

It has been a few days since I checked in, but believe me when I say I have been busy. In order to promote the Predators playoffs and get more support in the community, I was put in charge of organizing a street team to go out and get middle Tennessee businesses to put playoff posters and banners in their stores. Being in a fraternity that is always in need of fund raising I worked out a deal with the Predators to pay 1000 dollars to the chapter for 100 man hours of street team work. I then took this to my chapter and got a good response. When I got the number of people I had commented to doing this, I printed out maps of the Nashville area and assigned different people times and areas they needed to cover. By the end of last week everything was completed. Although I will not take 100 percent responiblity, I can say the last 3000 tickets to this weekend's two games were sold out and the street team I assembled did have something to do with this.

Scene #7

I reached to open the car door before I noticed two human-sized one hundred dollar bills walking out of the front door of the Scene building. I hesitated for a moment and then quickly answered an imaginary cell phone call. This bought me enough time to absorb the image of giant money. My brain plays tricks on me sometimes, especially in the morning, but this seemed particularly strange. Nevertheless, the sight evoked a sense of Déjà vu. I was sure I’d seen something involving the bills recently. Soon the money was in a van and leaving. I decided it was safe to go in.
“Get in there, and get some doughnuts,” said Dean Hinton as he held open the front door. Hinton’s characteristically hurried style of speech imposed a sense of urgency on the words. It seemed imperative. I had to get some donuts immediately. But the way his index finger pointed through the doorway made me feel seven years old and moments away from a scolding.
“Alright then.” I didn’t mention the walking money. He followed me in.
Inside, Brian the receptionist was showing off what looked like a greeting card to a coworker. “Oh, did you get your picture taken with the money?” Hinton asked excitedly. “Yeah, check it out.” Yep, there he was in the picture sitting behind the front desk with two oversized Ben Franklins looming behind him as if he was about to be the victim of an extremely ironic mugging.
I continued on into the office where everyone buzzed with sugar and lard highs as they toyed with inflatable baseball bats left behind by the money. A few minutes later another staffer wandered in wearing a look of bewilderment.
“What’s with the bats?”
“Yeah, so do you remember above the ‘Fabricator’ section this week there was a little blurb about the First Tennessee money mascots?” asked one staffer hugging a bat.
“Yeah, well, there was. So they showed up this morning took pictures with people and handed out bats. They said they were showing their appreciation for us writing about them, but we really had nothing nice to say at all.”
She was right. The blurb referred to a “guerrilla marketing team” made up of “poor souls” dressed in “giant foam rubber money” suits looking “ridiculous.” The power of words and images causes strange things to happen sometimes, though. And sometimes it’s fun … or at least interesting

MT Interns Sp 06

MT Interns Sp 06

Finally, me and my supervisor are on one accord and I have a story published weekly. Where as before, if there was content that he did not like, he just would not publish it. We have talked and come to find out, I am too dramatic! Perfect for the magazines and too much for a collge website. I thought of it as a complement and now I save my opinion and dramatising for possible magazine submissions and my own personal articles. It is a piece of cake to write facts and not include my opinion, he should of said so sooner. _ Love to write

Intern No More

Hey Everybody,
Well, my time as a journalist for the fine publication of Sidelines is drawing to a close. I turned my last story in on Tuesday, and it made the front page of the entertainment section. It's so rewarding to see your work on the front page, no matter what publication it is. It definitely improved my writing skills, and I learned a little bit more about the newspaper world while working for Sidelines. I don't think I will miss working for them or receiving some of the boring assignments, but I will miss seeing my work published. As graduation looms closer and closer, it seems almost surreal that I will be finished with school. If someone asks me one more time what I'm going to do after graduation, I think I will scream. The answer to that question is to live, just like I've been doing. I have a job that pays my bills and that I enjoy, I read and write in my spare time, and I'm happy. People seem to freak out when I tell them I'm not eager to jump into the corporate world after graduation. I refuse to settle for a job that I don't actually enjoy. Money is not the issue for me. How ironic is it that I will probably have to work another internship this summer, even though I will have my degree. It just doesn't mean what it used to anymore. Luckily, I enjoy learning, and I have enjoyed my time at MTSU. Perhaps graduate school is in my future, who knows.

One month and counting...

Well most of you are actually finishing up your internships, mine will actually really get into gear a month from tomorrow. That's the first session of CUSTOMS for scholarship students. As much as I hate to say it, it'll kind of be our "practice run" before the freshmen really start to pour in.
Things in the office have been really busy - everyone is starting to finish up practice tours and flipcharts and we are starting to see who is going to be the good SOA's. We've been working on assigning people to countries and starting to figure out who is going to be leading students this summer. We have also been working on planning our all day training (yikes) on May 5th. It's just a day when we can go over everything that we have learned throughout this semester, and we can also see who is really ready for CUSTOMS.
I'm really excited about the actual sessions in the summer - I'll get a chance to see how training has prepared them for the freshmen. I'm really enjoying working in the New Student and Family Programs office - I'm really going to be sad at the end of the summer when it'll all be over! Right now, I'll just keep answering the phone because the phone calls have been pouring in! Most of the time, it's anxious parents who want to get on the ball right now, but occassionally you will have those nice people who just make your day!

One month and counting...

Well most of you are actually finishing up your internships, mine will actually really get into gear a month from tomorrow. That's the first session of CUSTOMS for scholarship students. As much as I hate to say it, it'll kind of be our "practice run" before the freshmen really start to pour in.
Things in the office have been really busy - everyone is starting to finish up practice tours and flipcharts and we are starting to see who is going to be the good SOA's. We've been working on assigning people to countries and starting to figure out who is going to be leading students this summer. We have also been working on planning our all day training (yikes) on May 5th. It's just a day when we can go over everything that we have learned throughout this semester, and we can also see who is really ready for CUSTOMS.
I'm really excited about the actual sessions in the summer - I'll get a chance to see how training has prepared them for the freshmen. I'm really enjoying working in the New Student and Family Programs office - I'm really going to be sad at the end of the summer when it'll all be over! Right now, I'll just keep answering the phone because the phone calls have been pouring in! Most of the time, it's anxious parents who want to get on the ball right now, but occassionally you will have those nice people who just make your day!

One month and counting...

Well most of you are actually finishing up your internships, mine will actually really get into gear a month from tomorrow. That's the first session of CUSTOMS for scholarship students. As much as I hate to say it, it'll kind of be our "practice run" before the freshmen really start to pour in.
Things in the office have been really busy - everyone is starting to finish up practice tours and flipcharts and we are starting to see who is going to be the good SOA's. We've been working on assigning people to countries and starting to figure out who is going to be leading students this summer. We have also been working on planning our all day training (yikes) on May 5th. It's just a day when we can go over everything that we have learned throughout this semester, and we can also see who is really ready for CUSTOMS.
I'm really excited about the actual sessions in the summer - I'll get a chance to see how training has prepared them for the freshmen. I'm really enjoying working in the New Student and Family Programs office - I'm really going to be sad at the end of the summer when it'll all be over! Right now, I'll just keep answering the phone!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Last Blog

This is going to be my last blog for the semester. I am going to finish with thirteen blogs. Most of my blogs were about working for Sidelines because for my class had to post my blogs basic on that issue.

I really enjoy posting my blogs and talking about the experience with working for Sidelines. I wonder if other people read my blogs and agreed with what I have written.

However, I might make another blog come tomorrow just in case some of my other blogs did not make the count.

Also, come tomorrow the last meeting for Sidelines will take place and one of my classes will finish for the semester. After that class I will have one done and five more to finish.

I am also going to be doing some looking for other interships for the summer. Most of the interships are long distance so I have to call from a cell phone which I don't have.

However, hopefully this summer I will get a cell phone and be ability to get a summer intership working for a real newspaper.

Goodbye and Good Luck!

Hello all. I am here to post for the last time this semester. I am leaving my internship this week. I feel as if it went by so fast. I hope that I was able to help them like they wanted. I did a lot of good PR training work. Over all, I created a media kit, arranged advertising meetings, organize two public appearances at car shows, and watched sales go up. They are even going to start selling new items and want my help in promoting those! I hope that I will be able to use my knowledge and new experience to get a job. As graduation creeps closer and closer I am so scared I will not be able to find a job. I am going for an interview for another internship this week, and I am almost deparate to get it. I need to have a more formal internship. With Nextgear, I was the only public relations that they had. Anything I did was an improvement for them. I want to be guided so that I will truly know if I am doing things right. It would be nice to have a secure place to work for, with a real public relations person so that I can shadow them and be guided instead of doing everthing on my own. I am very thankful for the internship with Nextgear and they were all wonderful to me. hope to continue to help them whenever possible so that I can continue to gain experience and build my portfolio. I also hope that my internship with them will help me land this other internship. I hope that any help I get will put me closer to getting a job post graduation. That is my biggest fear. I love doing this stuff so much, if I end up having to do something completely outside of journalism, I will be devastated. I hope everyone else has a great summer. I also wish you all the best of luck! Thanks for supllying your blogs, they supplied inspiration when things got rough!
Stacy Carr

My week

So, last week I covered the state government subcommittee, and the state and local committee along with the industrial impact subcommittee on Tuesday. All very interesting. On Thursday I covered the Broadband Task Force's first meeting of a company that subscribes to the news letter, and asked my editor to have it covered.

This Tuesday will be my last day on the hill. I have learned more about the way state government works than I think I could have any other way.

EMI CMG: Sunburn City

This week, I received my inaugural sunburn of the season! It was for a good cause, though. On Wednesday, our company had a strategic planning meeting. The CEO of the company shared his vision for the upcoming fiscal year with our nearly 200 employees. He actually made two presentations since our Founder's Room isn't big enough to comfortably hold everyone at the same time. After the first group listened to the CEO, they went back to their desks while the final group of employees heard the "vision." They were all looking forward to one thing, though--a catered lunch!
Corporate communications planned a stunning outdoor lunch in celebration of the strategic planning meeting. I arrived at work early (9 a.m.) to help set up a portion of our parking lot. The scorching sun was not kind, either, and there was little shade. Still, our fresh color palette kept things cool. We used caribbean blue, key lime green, and cheery yellow tablecloths. A few days earlier, I rolled 200 sets of plastic utensils in an assortment of blue, green, and paisley-printed napkins. Our menu theme was "comfort foods." We had BBQ brisket, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, rolls, veggies, and diverse desserts.
It truly felt like July or August, and I could feel the sun soaking into my pale skin. I guess I didn't realize I would be outside in the heat of the day for nearly four hours. As I loaded up my plate, I headed to an empty table to chow down, hoping I didn't stick out too much as the lonely intern. Since there was such a crowd, I could not spot any familiar faces to sit with. A man walked up to the table and introduced himself as Eddie. I was happy to have a friend. When I asked him what he did at EMI, he told me he was the vice president of publishing--basically, one of the top executives at our company! Wow--before too long, a few other executives graced our table. They soon started dishing about all things music industry, and I once again became the observer, but I sure felt like one lucky intern to be sitting with all those executives!

This is the end

Well, the end of the semester is rapidly approaching, and my time at Collage is coming to an end as well. Our official wrap party is Thursday, with all of the current staff as well as the new Fall 2006 staff, which was selected last week. I was glad to find out that my assistant lit editor will be taking over my position, and my fellow intern Melissa will be the assistant editor of Collage. Congrats!

Our magazine is now available all over campus. Last week we took copies to the different buildings on campus, but if you haven't seen a copy, you can definitely pick one up at the Honors building. Or you can look at our Web site (, but I just checked it out and there's not much on it yet except for staff and submission information and some misspellings (apparently one of my minors is "Englilsh"). Still, it's a little more up-to-date than it has been all semester, and at least my name is spelled right.

I have really enjoyed working on a magazine this semester, or, should I say, a journal of creative expression. I think the experience I gained will be very helpful, even if it is an on-campus publication. And I really enjoyed the people I worked with, and I was very surprised to get a gift card to Tar-jay as a token of appreciation.

I have to say I like magazine production better than newspaper, just because publishing once a semester is so much less stressful than publishing twice a week. However, it is a more selective process with what goes into the magazine, and the editing and re-editing and re-re-editing....yeah. But I really enjoy the environment--it's not as crazy and hectic as a newsroom.

That being said, I really hope I get to be features editor for Sidelines this summer, because I think the experience would really help me prepare for finding a job in the real world. At the same time, I'm really nervous, because I have so much planned for this summer and I just found out I have to take a summer class or two (stupid elusive 65 hours of liberal arts requirement). And I think I wrote last time about getting an internship at Tennessee Wildlife...well, I now have an interview with a newspaper in Franklin, the Williamson Herald. I e-mailed them two months ago, and they called me on Monday wanting me to come in for an interview this weekend. I'm extremely busy with work and school, but I made time to go in tomorrow (directly after a computer final exam, oh joy), because even though I like magazine production, I really don't know how much interning at Tennessee Wildlife is going to help further my career. The girl who interned two summers ago wrote one article, and they still haven't published it. That's not very hopeful for someone who wishes her clip file had a little something more than Sidelines and Midlander! So I really hope this Franklin paper works out, for an internship or a job, although I don't know what I'll tell Tennessee Wildlife. I wonder if I can handle both, since the wildlife magazine is scheduled to be only one day a week. I guess I'll think more about it tomorrow...

And that is the end of this really long blog, and of my practicum with Collage. Hope everyone has a wonderful summer...I can't wait.

A Fond Farewell...

As I sit I'm reminded of a line from a Frank Sinatra song; "And now, the end is near/ And so I face the final curtain." Working for Sidelines has not only been an awesome learning experiences, but also a real eye opener. Over the past 3 montsh I have been able to cover some amazing stories and interview some incredible people about what they do and why they are so passionate doing it. I have drank way to many cups of coffee and had my frustrated moments, but those moments are hidden in the shadow when I see my name in print and my article, my baby published for everyone to see what I have to say. Even through the politics and editor shake ups in the newsroom I kept a straight face and kept my cool. When I made the switch from features to news about halfway through the semester I found that I was getting my moneys worth then. I learned so much from Tom, the news editor. He would actually sit down and show me what I was doing wrong and helped me finish those articles that had a few problems with them in terms of structure. He always told me "all the informations' there, it's just in the wrong order." Tom alway called me to make sure my story was coming along and that I didn't need any help on it with sources or idea for sources. He always called me if he had a question about the story after I had already turned it in. He never changed anything drastically unless he cleared it with me first, which made me feel respected by him because he was willing to ask to change it instead of just changing it. I always thought that was so awesome. Tom always gave me exciting stories instead of the boring ideas that were tossed around during staff meetings on Monday nights. For my last story I was supposed to interview NPR "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross, but bless her heart she got sick and couldn't make it. So instead Tom sent me to cover the John Hiatt lecture that same week. I was instructed to do a pre and a post story on the event. So when it came time to write the pre-story I wrote as much as I could based on the press release and what little information I could get from RIM professors and EMC professors and students, but the story was still lacking in quotes for Hiatt himself on his thoughts about what he was going to speak about. So I was sent on a goose-chase to find him. I called his road manager, who directed me to his press manager, who never called me back; and so I called Tom in a panic and bless his heart he came into the office on his only day off to help me finish this story. When we were done and he had made his edits he said "You're awesome and I'm proud of you." That made me feel good!! He encouaged me to do better at my craft and to keep working on the things that I'm still not really versed in or don't understand. So I went to the Hiatt lecture and took 4 pages of front and back notes on the thing, and went back home to write the story, but I found myself with a case of writer's block; "how on earth do I write this thing?" I called Tom at like 11:30 and told him my dilemma and he said first to look through my notes and find the interesting and unusual stuff and t hen try to put a more features twist on it to make readers feel like they were right there beside you. I knew how to write features I did those types of stories for a month and a half, so that wasn't the hard part. The hard part was synthesizing all that information and to have to pick and choose what I want my readers to know. As I sat there thinking this reminded me of today's media and how they pick and choose what we the viewers are to see or read that day. I wanted to publish it all, but word limits and space restrainsts weren't going to allow that. So I picked out what I liked and wrote about it and Tom called me the next day saying that "it was the best piece you've written all year." He said that he would have to change a few things, but other than that it was finished and so was I. It's been an interesting and stressful semester in terms of being able to write and learn different things about my work and what I should expect when I graduate and look for a job and start doing actual writing.

I learned so much about not only my craft and writing, but also about me in terms of how dedicated I am to what I want to do. I am proud to be able to call myself a journalist and be able to tell other people's stories truthfully and to the best of my ability. I want to be an honest reporter and not put words into my interviewees and tell those stories that deserve to be told and covered. Every one has a story, but not all of them are covered, and they should be. I've learned a lot in the past 3 months about editing and writing styles. I've brushed up on a fews things in terms of writing style and AP style and academic style. But the best thing that I learned is that nothing can beat the feeling of seeing your name and story in print for all to see. That is perhaps the best feeling of all.

It's been a long hard road this semester trying to do this, but it's reinforced even more that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life and best of all as Sinatra once sang "I did it my way."
See you around the newsroom!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Run of the Office

The office is empty and will be for another week. My last days of my internship will be all alone.
Don't worry the team made sure I had plenty to do! Over the next three days I'm going to work on sending out an email blast and researching the steps on how awareness invokes action.
Recently, I read a book called The Tipping Point. The idea behind the book is the progression of social phenomenon and their relationships to marketing efforts. I'm very bad at extremely short summaries- It was very easy, interesting reading.
According to the author, there are three rules to the Tipping Factor: law of the few, stickiness factor, power of context. Through my research on progression of the aids awareness campaign, I hope to uncover the use/manner of the tipping factor rules.
I have so much left to do and so little time. It is not in my nature to leave behind unfinished business.

Graphics Fun

I know I have talked about this before, but I hated GRAF 3950. I didn't think that I learned anything. Now, in this internship, I have put what I learned in that class to use. I cannot believe how much information I retained! It is such a great skill to have, I am the only person in my office to have Adobe InDesign, so everyone brings me things to do. This is great because I have built up my portfolio in the places that were the weakest. So, if anyone is struggling with design classes, its ok, everyone does and you learn more than you think!

Post Tax Season

I am so thrilled for being able to work in pr/marketing at an accounting firm during tax season. Everything in the past few months has been happening so fast, and a lot has been done. We had the annual tax bash on Friday the 14th. It was a nice change from the stressful atmosphere in the office! I was having a discussion with a classmate the other day about non-profits vs. pr firms vs. corporations. We were both trying to figure out what would be best to work for. I have come to find out that I really like working for a company. You get to know it and want what is best for it. It is still different everyday, but you are focusing on one main goal!

Recap on Sidelines

Looking back on all the things that I did for Sidelines I realize that I have a great deal of stories to fill up in my profile. Its a great deal of hard work when writing these stories.

I did SBC tournament articles that most of the time came out in Feb and I needed some help with writing those stories because I was the only person beside someone else writing on the girls basketball team.

Here are some stories that I needed a great deal of help on because they were not my beat, Men's SBC 30th anniversary team, Overview of the SBC tournament, How the tournament helps MT and the city.

Also, my editor was gone on Feb-18 so if I had any questions which I did I had to call the co editor or figure it out on my own.

Plus the stories that were running for that week were stories that I wrote. I had a great deal of hard work during Feb but I got past it. It was a struggle but I learned a great deal of information.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Good News!

Hi Everybody!
My good news, is that I got a job offer from The Media Collective for the Summer! I am SO very thankful and excited! Even though it is just for the Summer, I am excited because this amazing experience doesn't have to end so soon!
Anyways, it has been a good, but pretty uneventful week at The Media Collective. There have been tons of mail as usual, and I also spent 3 hours at Kinko's today doing clippings. I guess the most involved thing that I have done this week has been contacting media outlets in specific cities for John Tesh's Tour! I have basically just been calling, faxing and emailing journalists, and asking them for calendar listings and features! Hopefully, people will become more responsive!
Everyone have a great last full week of class! Talk to you soon!

Last meeting

Next Monday will be the last meeting for Sidelines. I will not be able to make the last meeting because I have class. My class does not end until 5:40p.m. and the meeting starts at 5:00p.m.

But I will show up at the end of the meeting. Sometimes the meetings are longer then 30 minutes. I am going to miss working for Sidelines. Although I am thinking about coming back for the summer it will be the last time that I will be at Sidelines for a school semester.

The things that I learned working for Sidelines are things that will help me in a real life issue working for a newspaper. I really like the way that we had real true hands on experience with working like a journalist.

Now, I have to get a real job and do those things that I learned from working with Sidelines to working for a real true newspaper. However, the last meeting for Sidelines will be coming up very soon and I will not be there.

PR job opportunity

My computer isn't working today so I've taken over my boss's office for a while. I'm just plugging away updates to our VIP contact list. It's really grey outside so I'm struggling to keep my eyes open. Tuesday was fun because later that afternoon the band, Jackson Waters, came in during a marketing meeting and all the plans changed. Another intern and I went and picked up some grubb for everybody and then we just sat around with the band, discussing their beginnings, what their about, and how they enjoyed GMA week. It was awesome. That is what I love about this internship. Rich tries to involve me in about every aspect of the label and it really helps me understand his job even better. I'm sad that this experience is almost over. I am looking forward to graduating though, and it looks like my job at Simplicity Gourmet is developing into a great PR job. I'm actually going to Chicago next weekend for some meetings to get started on planning some promotional literature that I have been assigned to create. Things are looking up.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Today, I only stopped by the office for about an hour and a half because as I've posted before, my wonderfully understanding boss was being really supportive when it came to this huge scholarship contest article I was working on. So, I went to pick up extra work to take home since I wouldn't be in the office long and Pat went over what'd I'd written so far about Oklahoma City with me.

He liked the descriptions I had even though there was more of that than the food the restaurants actually offer. So, he told me to list more food and then we'd go over the stuff again next week. Since local foodies have already picked these restaurants out we don't have to focus too much on...something. I'm not quite sure what or why now that I think about it. I'll have to ask. That only took ten minutes though. For most of an hour, Pat generously went over my scholarship article with me. It was the obesity topic thing.

He gave me all kinds of suggestions about attributions and sidebar info. He said I was good at setting up quotes and the whole transition thing. It was amazing how fast he was able to go through ten pages twice. He asked questions that I didn't think of to answer, but luckily I had the answers when prompted.

He didn't have to take time out of his busy schedule to help me out, so I'm very grateful that he did. If I win though, he did say he would take credit =o). However, I, myself, worked really hard on that thing. It was probably one of the hardest articles I've ever had to write, simply because it was about obesity and that's a sensitive topic.

I've never been a hard news kinda girl - I've always worked really hard on feature stuff that's not too touchy. I mean, I can write news, I just don't like too. But this was a feature and I probably made this topic harder than it should have been though. Anyways, the point is, my boss Rachel was such a big help too. I just talked with her about my worries and she sympathized. She gave me her point of view on the topic and brain stormed with me about ways to find sources to talk about their weight. These are some of the most genuinly caring people I've ever met, and it just makes me want to work even harder for them.

Scene #6

I don’t get giddy, but around midnight on Tuesday, March 28, I came real close to it. My first Nashville Scene article was about to be born, and Wednesday morning I would cradle that fresh, inky pulp in my hands, coo at it and tell it I loved it. I’ve been published before, in Sidelines and a poem in the long defunct local Blast magazine, but I’ve never been more eager to see my name in a byline. It certainly isn’t a great accomplishment, and it isn’t my greatest work. But I’ll take it.
The slight swelling in my head, however, was quickly deflated when I was reminded of who I was and what I had been charged to do. An issue involving reoccurring fashion fads was in the works, so it was my job to drive around town gathering articles of clothing that were once stylish, then not and now have regained some lost glory – aviator sunglasses, members only jackets, canvas sneakers, leggings, floral-print jackets, Afro wig, a black-fisted Afro pik, a corduroy suit and gauchos. I’d never heard of gauchos.

Most of the items were gathered with ease, but the sales staffs at Banana Republic and Arden B. stared me down like I was a hooker crashing their feminist rally. The Afro and pik proved the toughest to secure. It involved two trips to north Nashville, because I just wanted to borrow the items and Kim, the owner and only one who could approve the action, wasn’t there. On the second trip, I met Kim herself. She’s a nice lady, but her Korean is much better than her English. Same goes for the clerk at the register.

She talked in unfixable English for a minute or two while I nodded and smiled.
“Yes, frogs are silly,” I replied before I realized there was no way she was really talking about frogs. Stumped, I quickly said “thanks” and hurried out the door. On the way back to the office, the editor called.
“So how much did they want for the wig and stuff?”
“How much? Uh, I don’t think we covered that topic,” I replied.
“You don’t think?” she asked.
“No, there was a bit of a language barrier,” I said.
“So what you’re telling me, James, is you just stole an Afro from some Koreans?”
“Yeah, that’s quite possible.”

Scene #5 Masthead Shuffle

“So everyone went out for lunch, huh?” asked P.J. Tobia, as he walked into an unusually quiet office. As the newest addition to the Scene’s masthead, Tobia’s name now follows William Dean Hinton’s and John Spragens under the title of “staff writer.”

“Yeah, I think they all went out with Jonathan,” said Claire Suddath, the other one of us to stick around. “You know it’s his last day.”

I first heard rumblings of a shake-up at 2120 8th Ave. S. a while ago when a friend passed on information from a confidential source; he would later out his hairstylist as the informant. And just a few days ago a classmate mentioned a deal in which the Scene was involved, but neither one could really go into much detail – as it turns out, it looks like the Scene has a new publisher who wants to clean house a little. I should’ve suspected something when the senior editor’s title changed to something twice as long and half as clear – not to mention the tight lips and tension-filled office.

In an e-mail sent out late that afternoon, the managing editor reminisced on the last 15 years at the Scene that made him the professional he is today. The goodbye missive was short, sweet and lacking the sappiness or vile one might expect from such a final-hour opportunity. And despite a blatant refusal to capitalize, the note contained only one grammatical error.

Jonathan was the first of the editors to give me real work at the Scene – the kind that actually let me string words together. He assigned me to write a few critics’ picks as well as some more tedious, glamourless work involving award submissions for past articles. He was quirky. But mostly he was patient, nice and hardworking.

And now, two weeks later, I sit in his stripped-down office tickling the laptop he propped up on his desk so he wouldn’t have to slouch. All that’s left in his office are some dinosaur toys, one power ranger figure, a stack of reference books, a vinyl record melted into a bowl and a retro desk lamp, which probably came from Urban Outfitters. I’m only in here because the computer is available, but I still feel dirty.

There’s been one more adjustment to the masthead recently. I noticed it late, but apparently for a few weeks now, I have officially been the Scene’s “editorial intern.” Yep. I stand vigilant, ready to aid you with all your intern needs.

Coming to an end!

I really can't believe how fast this semester has flown by! I really have nothing new to add that I haven't mentioned before but it has been keeping me very busy. Between school and my internship, I have no idea where all the time has gone. Working on the website for the television show and staying on top of the St. Jude fundraiser has been very interesting and I hope to continue working on these projects when I'm done. (They have become my babies!)

This week has been the craziest week in all my college histroy. I've had two papers due, four presentations, and not to mention all my internship obligations all in one week and I'm ready to pull my hear out! I keep telling myself it is almost over and it will be all worth it when I have that diploma but until then, LOTS AND LOTS of caffeine! It is quite said though that college is coming to an end and I'm entering into the "real world." I'm a little nervous but I'm ready to take on the challenge!



Over the last few weeks, I've been gathering information to use in the development of the Market Place Newsletter. Today I began the dreaded job of calling the Regional Directors to set up phone interview times. RD's are very busy and travel constantly between clinics, so they are extremely hard to reach. If you are lucky enough to catch one they don't have time to talk. That's why I have to schedule phone interview times. However, I'm only going to be in the office three more days.

The survey consists of eight questions. The questions range from what do want to ask the marketing department to what are some of your struggles within your clinics. From the survey results the first edition of The Market Place will be developed, so the survey has to be completed by as many RD's as possible. Out of 147 RD's we expect to talk to 20, maybe.

Surveys are very useful marketing tools! Why won't people agree to complete them. Even if the survey is sent out via e-mail people won't fill them out. Regardless the spin put on them.

So Sad

Well guys, it's almost done. It's sad to see everyone's last day postings on here. Although this is not my last day at the radio station, this is my last blog. It's been such a crazy semester and these next couple weeks are going to be even crazier! Just trying to figure out what to wear at graduation is stressing me out at this point.

I'm going to have to say that this internship was the MOST fun I've ever had. I got to meet so many cool people, go to cool events.....NOT TO MENTION THE PREDATORS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!! I'm really going to miss everyone around here. One of our program directors said today that there was a poll going around to see if I would graduate or just purposely fail something so that I'd have to do another internship......he said his money was on my graduating....which I greatly appreciate. I understand radio way more than I ever would have. I understand corporate world (unfortunately) way more than I ever would have, and I understand hard work. It's been really important to me to leave these people with a good impression of who I am and my work ethic and I have to say, I don't think I've let them down. There have been times that I just didn't feel like doing something for someone, but doing it and doing a good job at it has and will get me a long way in this business. Wish me luck with my dreams and I hope all of you do well for yourselves.....Until then!

Last Day

Well, I just turned in my internship evaluation. It was like a test! I feel pretty confident that I was able to be honest. I did mention that there have been some things that were in the description of the internship that I never saw light of and would have liked to do. On a better note, I got a Thank You card from my supervisor with 4 Carmike Cinema passes which is pretty sweet. I feel like I have learned a lot at Provident and the most important thing being that I don't want to work in the marketing department of a record label. So long and good luck to all of you.

Leslie J.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

April 13 issue

In the April 13 issue in Sidelines there was a delay. Due to a catastrophic error with the Sidelines server, there was no issue. The stories that were supposed to run were pushed back to Monday's edition.

There were baseball and softball, previews that were omitted since the games were already taken place, so those stories were just recaps combined into one large story for baseball and one for softball.

As for me the issue did not affect me because I was not writing a story for that edition. I am really busy with all of course because its the end of the semester. A great deal of professor give you a lot of work at the end of the school term.

However, I will be back for the summer and I still plan to write for Sidelines. I will enjoy all the things that comes with being a sportswriter. Although I like to working for Sidelines I still hope to get a real job at a real newspaper this summer.

Moreover, the issue dealing with the catastrophic error for Sidelines was not a really big deal for me because at this time begging to focus on my school courses.

almost done

I can't believe how fast this sememster has gone. It seems like yesterday I showed up at the radio station with no clue as to what I was going to be doing. Not much has changed. I still don't know what I will be doing from day to day. It changes that much. Everything is fast paced and I love it! It seems like it would be stressful, but really I work best under pressure. The Southern Women's Show is coming up the weekend. That is probably where I will be this weekend. That is okay with me, I actually like going out and meeting people. I really want to go on some remotes, maybe at the clubs on the weekend. I just think it would be a whole lot of fun. I guess it would get old if you did it every weekend, but that is how it goes with anything. It still amazes me how influential people on the radio can be. A DJ says hey I am at where ever come see me and people actually do. That is just so cool to me. Anyway I am down to the last few weeks at the radio station and I am sad to leave. I really liked working there and all the cool stuff that went along with it. I am hoping that even though I can't intern there anymore, I will still be able to hang out or volunteer when they need some help. That would be cool to keep my foot in the door.

Almost there!

Not a whole lot has changed since I last posted. My duties are still the same. My company has decided to add a new product to its list, so I have been trying to come up with new marketing ideas for that. I have also been doing some surveys to see if people are interested and to see what they might want. It is all interesting, but I am glad it is almost over. I do not belong anywhere near the car world, but I have learned a lot. I also learned that I would be able to work in a field that I know nothing about if I had to. I understand the product well and I am able to explain them and talk about them without a problem. The meetings with the owners can get very boring though. They tend to ramble off into their own world and talk about their cars. This is the time when I get lost. I am surprised that I understand a lot of what they are talking about, but that does not mean I care! They are all good people though. They have other full time jobs outside of this business, so it can be difficult for them to stay on track sometimes. Other than that, I guess everything is going pretty good. I am counting down the last days of this internship and I am currently seeking out options for another internship in the summer. I have an interview next Thursday at 10, so I hope that goes well! I hope to have a little more professional advising through another internship. My company now is kind of lost and I am not working under anyone with a communications degree, so that can make it difficult. I hope eveyone else is doing well!

Final days

With the entire marketing staff leaving I'm going to be in my own in the office. Even though the marketing department is next to a the certification department the two never intermingle. Never!
I don't know if that is normal, but that is the way it works at my internship. Occasionally, I cut through Certification on my way to the Oasis and they all stare at me, like I just crossed the forbidden line.
You may think I'm exaggerating if this doesn't happen at your internship, but I'm really not. I've never even spoken to the lady in the next cube. I know her name because she calls clinics all day... Her name is Julie.
I'm looking forward to my final days at DaVita. I may even dare to meet my cubicle neighbor. I'm just wondering if this is normal.

GMA Week

Well, I got my first taste of GMA week. Rich, my boss, allowed me to come hang out in the Word Suite at the Rennaissance Hotel on that Tuesday so that I could really experience everything for myself. I met a lot of interesting people including Nic Ganzales, the lead singer of Salvador. Actually, I got to escort him to a couple of his interviews. His interview with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was a great experience because they asked some really specific questions about Nic's faith and allowed him to really lay it all out there for his fans. He's a very genuine guy. Rich took some time out to walk around the hotel with me and introduce me to other big names in the industry. I came to realize that Rich's job in preperation for the week was scheduling, but the week of GMAs he spent most his time building and maintaining relationships. In other words, to survive in the music industry you have to be good at "schmoozing." I enjoyed the experience but come 4pm I was ready to go home. My feet hurt.

GMA Week

Well, I got my first taste of GMA week. Rich, my boss, allowed me to come hang out in the Word Suite at the Rennaissance Hotel on that Tuesday so that I could really experience everything for myself. I met a lot of interesting people including Nic Ganzales, the lead singer of Salvador. Actually, I got to escort him to a couple of his interviews. His interview with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was a great experience because they asked some really specific questions about Nic's faith and allowed him to really lay it all out there for his fans. He's a very genuine guy. Rich took some time out to walk around the hotel with me and introduce me to other big names in the industry. I came to realize that Rich's job in preperation for the week was scheduling, but the week of GMAs he spent most his time building and maintaining relationships. In other words, to survive in the music industry you have to be good at "schmoozing." I enjoyed the experience but come 4pm I was ready to go home. My feet hurt.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Name Badges = High Stress

The whole marketing team leaves on Friday for a conference called Nation Wide. To help the team prepare for the trip we (the interns) made name badges. Sounds simple. Wrong. Before we could stick the name onto the badge we had to wait until the placement decision was made. I didn't realize that planning for name placement was such a controlled decision. Then we were able to assemble the badge(match the meal card to the name). 2,400 badges!
The team leaves on Friday for Dallas to finish prepping for the meeting on Wednesday. There are so many things that need to be done. Maps are still being corrected, last minute orders haven't arrived, items still need to be printed... A conference of this size takes a great deal to put together, obviously. However, there are more projects than time at this point. The marketing team here is amazing.
The stress level in the office is high, however, so is the confidence level. It is great to be involved in a team that works so well together. I hope to work in such a great environment again.

Press Conference!!

Well, the end of this semester has not been the easiest for me. Not becuase of work, but personal issues, but I have overcome them and back on track. I absolutely love the people at CMA! They make me feel like I am part of the family and like I actually work here! I am sure I mentioned this last time in my blog, but it is so true! The other day I was able to attend a press conference for "Keep the Music Playing" it was an announcement that all the charity donations made by the artist would be put towards music education in the Nashville schools. Before the artist was able to choose which charity they wanted to donate to, but this year it will all go to music education. It was so much fun and very interesting. Being right there with the press and meaningful people was very exciting. Today we got out e-mails for the CMA volunteers and the shifts, so that will be starting up soon! I am going to be really sad when this semester is over because I absolutely love my internship! If anybody wants to volunteer for the CMA festival its the last chance...e-mail Ryan Noreikas at It is gonna be tons of fun!!

the action is winding down

so the semester is drawing to a close and i am finally beginning to lower the stress level. i have really enjoyed my internship and i look forward to meeting all kinds of new people starting my weekend reporting job, but sometimes you need to take a few days to just relax and breathe. i will be very happy to get to the end of this semester and put it behind me. this has been probably the most stress i have been under in a pretty long time. i'm sure that a lot of you guys know the feeling.

even through all of the running around and forgetting where i should be on occasion, i have learned so much this semester that it isn't even bothering me. everyone at the democrat has been so nice and helpful. they really want to see you succeed and enjoy yourself. it has been a great internship and i hope it turns out to be an even better job.

Last Day at Mix 92.9

Saturday was my last day at my internship. I am so excited that its finally over, even though I had so much fun doing it. Saturday was one of our bigger events called EggstravaganZoo. This was a really fun event held at the Nashville Zoo. Mix 92.9 cosponsored this event with Krispe Kreme dougnuts and Burt's Bees which is a natural skin care line. We had to be at the station at 7am to begin to set up for the event. Our purpose at the event was to hand out free applesauce to all the kids and little paper bunny ears with the Mix 92.9 logo. We also had bags that kids could put their Easter eggs in. The first egg race started at 10:30am and there were about 4 more races throughout the day, scheduled by age ranges. We also had 10 golden eggs hidden thoughout the zoo. If you found one of the golden eggs, you received a special prize pack with zoo tickets, dvds, a t-shirt and some other goodies. This was the first event I've worked where we haven't given away any Mix 92.9 prizes. This was also obviously a very big event because we had all 3 of our Morning Show there. There was probably a couple of thousand people there, which was great exposure for us. This was the first event that our new Promotions assistant did all by herself, so we were all under alot of stress to make sure that everthing ran smoothly. All in all, I feel like this was a great event to end on. I've really learned alot during my intership especially about the "real" workplace. I feel like I know alot more about how to handle people and even how to deal with conflicts between coworkers. It was great to see how a promotions team is operated.