Monday, May 23, 2011

Still Alive!

Well, I have one full week under my belt. I'm a true working woman! I did not realize how I have already learned until I went home this weekend when for my brother's graduation.
Me and Hunter at Graduation

I hurried out of the office Friday just in time to wait in traffic on my way to Knoxville. I eventually made it, however, and my family was welcoming with dozens of questions about my first week. I was able to easily explain how my various projects were linked to the different brands, and how so many people could work together from opposite parts of the company—and even outside agencies!

Already accumulating on tasks to my to-do list, I was surprised by how excited I was to sit down Saturday night and work! But, I was, and I'm not afraid to admit it...I think I KNOW really like what I do! So what if I'm a huge nerd—I am a dog-gone happy one!
Both my work laptop and personal one were needed!
I am happy about more than just my job though; it is the whole experience of living in Atlanta. Last week I got to run a few times through the Buckhead area. I loved everything from the beautiful homes, to the dad throwing a softball with his daughter, to the groups of eight-year-old boys playing wiffle ball!

I love all of the fun places and parties Atlanta offers, too. Colleen and I were given a pair of tickets to a charity night with amazing food, unlimited Sweetwater beer and fabulous music. We had a great time, and took full advantage of all the free food and beverage!
Sweetwater Brewery sponsored the event...I wasn't complaining
I love the proximity I am to Target, Publix, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Lenox, Phipps Plaza...should I go on? Probably not—I can see my dad's face now as he things of me shopping :-)

Mostly, though, I love having a schedule and not having to worry about anyone but myself. I know that these are precious years where I can come home from work, go for a run, cook myself an artichoke omelet on an English muffin with goat cheese and have a glass of wine while reading myself to sleep with a great novel. I plan to take full advantage of every second of it.
Green eggs and wine! That's what you get with artichokes, yum yum though!

I am already looking forward to tomorrow! My dinner, my run, my quick trip to the mall for the skirt that I put on hold and cannot stop thinking about (sorry mom!), my work—even waking up at 6 a.m. to go do ground work PR at 7:30 a.m. Hand-to-hand combat...they've got us on the front line already!

P.S. Tomorrow is Choose You Day. Sprite Zero is teaming up with the American Cancer Society to tell women "put yourself first"—go for a walk, eat a healthy meal and schedule that long overdue doctor's appointment.

I may or may not be promoting that tomorrow. Regardless, I believe in the cause.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A day of FIRSTS and THIRDS

Let's start with the FIRSTS:

• It was the first time I could have out-run my car. Thanks to a wreck on I75 this morning I was definitely moving slower than a 10 minute mile.

• It was the first time I went into a Bed, Bath & Beyond and came out with Zyrtec and popcorn. 

• It was the first time a young businessman smiled as I walked by thinking I, too, was a young business woman! Oh HEYY!

I'm to to interject a THIRD here: It was the third day that I made a fool of myself as I tried to figure out which side to scan my badge and walk through the gate on. TOTALLY disproving the previous man's thought that I was a mature working woman. Cool.

• It was the first time an attractive man pulled up next to me, smiled, then proceeded to watch another attractive man cross the street, not even noticing there was a car next to him—let alone me!

Carly + hot Atlanta men = FAIL. 

Onto the THIRDS: 

•For a third day in a row, I have woken up 2 hours before needing to be at work 7 miles away. Quite unusual for me because it only takes me 45 minutes to shower, dress and eat. I guess 2 hours is the norm, however, when it take 50 minutes to drive 7 miles and you are still trying to impress people by being early.

• For a third day in a row, I have consumed more beverages—carbonated and otherwise—in a 24 hour period than I normally do in a full week. Along with that, I have also excused myself for more bathroom breaks than the average kindergartner excited about potty training.

• Third day in a row I have had to turn on my seat heaters on the way to work mid-MAY. Lame.

• For a third day in a row, I successfully found a new route the WRONG way home. Today, was a first though: I got on the interstate heading the wrong direction during 5pm traffic. So fun, really—sitting 20 minutes going south instead of north towards your home. Really desirable afternoon!

• And finally: for a third day in a row I have gotten to go work at the COOLEST company in the world! I guess that about evens the rest out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And Day 2, despite the fact it is posted on the same day :-)

After our thrilling corporate orientation this morning (NOT), I was excited to get back in the office. I had prepared some material for Gorki on a PR plan he had me look over and had a meeting with Susan set up for the afternoon. We fixed a to-go plate on our way in and trekked on up to the office.

Scott gave us a quick update on his schedule for the day and offered Colleen and I each an opportunity to tag along. So, at 3:00 p.m. I ascended to the 20th—and highest—floor of our building. I was surprised, then unsurprised by the change in appearance. While the floor was by no means too prestigious, it definitely had a “big man upstairs” atmosphere.

The man who initially greeted us showed his disapproval of Scott’s tardiness, and we quickly entered a large conference room. I was introduced to the Chief of Marketing Operations (CMO) and the woman who represents LeBron James for Coca-Cola.

The CMO was going to be interviewed for a story on companies who represent big-name athletes—thus the LeBron James situation. As expected, the crew threw around potential speaking points, relationship highlights and a time-line of the partnership with LeBron.

I absolutely would love that job! Who doesn't want to manage the entertainment?!?!

Walking away from the interview, Scott took a few minutes to fill me in on what I had learned:
• Call the reporter just before walking into the interview to ensure they are available at the discussed time and number.
• Know the time frame of the interview and potential questions that will be asked
• Debrief the interviewee ahead of time to make sure they are prepared

And a few personal lessons unrelated (or related, as everything in this business seems to be):
• Make friends and build relationships at every level. People move all the time, and you never know who’s assistant may one day run the company
• Be necessary. Make your advice relevant and you presence needed. That way, when the above do move up the ladder, you are the one they cannot leave behind.

Moving on, I also was introduced to the Houston team in charge of MinuteMaid. We had a conference call about the new product. They are in the beginning stages of launching the brand, and trying to make it newsworthy.

Gorki was busy working on presentation material for Scott and did not have a chance to look over the revised plan I worked on. Totally fine, in fact I hate feeling like I am annoying by checking in all the time. This is why having a computer or phone would be quite convenient!

—break out in song—
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow… you’re only a day a-wayyyyy!

And so I begin... first day went fabulous! I got my ID badge, a parking pass and even my own cubicle! Colleen and Daniel got great views from their new desks, but mine is closest to the team, so I consider it a fair trade...I'll be working too much to enjoy the view anyways ;-)

I am already being assigned to projects, and had two meetings with different projects this afternoon. I truly feel that I am in the right place, doing the right things here!

Scott is already beginning to tease me for being so inquisitive... I can't help it! I like knowing all the details of what is expected of me, and what I can expect of others! He jokes that I am going to be the one keeping him in line this summer; really, it is not my fault he is so ADD...

After my first day, I sat down to begin looking over my notes from the day. Words seem to be scrawled all over the pages in front of me; no order, no particular direction, no single page color or size even seem to be consistent. Organized chaos. I pride myself on it.

I have tried to keep a running list of people I meet and people Scott mentions with particular importance—so basically everyone.

The sweet woman at the front entrance is Carolyn. I told her I was here for Scott Williamson and received the response: “You are going to be having a fun summer.” Scott later shared that she greeted him with the same words 20 years earlier. Talk about a company of sustainability!

P.S. green is going to stand for Scott's words of wisdom.

Another woman I meet is quite stylish and was wearing a pink leather jacket! She further intrigued me after I saw her office; it is covered in African photos and memorabilia. I hope to have some time this summer to just talk with her. I feel we would get along well and have much in common.

So what is it that makes all of the people around me great workers? Scott had that answer: Being smart + having good energy + working hard.

Ok, back to business. Friday we may get to sit in on a pitch Jackson Spalding is giving for a new can design. I hope we are able to follow through in observing because it could very well be similar to what I need to know for future agency positions and especially campaigns next year (hint, hint).

Side note (literally on the side of my page): unbranded PSAs work best.

More random thoughts:
I am meeting with my new stylish, Africa-visiting friend tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to discuss MinuteMaid's new product. So thrilled to work with her and drive right into a couple great initiatives!

We were also introduced to the “Glass-O” team in New York. After an hour of wonder what the “Glass-O” building must look like in order to receive such a unique name, I was kindly informed that that was the proper pronunciation of Coca-Cola’s brand GlacĂ©au. Embarrassing.

One woman has the amazing job of working with VitaminWater and Smart Water. While VitaminWater has its problems with law suits due to its ‘enhancing’ elements, Jennifer Aniston makes up for it with her sexy Smart Water campaign pictures that received sweet coverage all over top entertainment sites and shows.

One of the more important lessons learned today is one I can take to any job in life: OCM. Ownership Cost Management. You think it’s a term any student should learn in a basic business or administration class, right?! I don't remember it at least... hope I didn't just miss that lesson ;-)

A few pics to help illustrate my first day:

My cubicle for the summer:
 An Icee from the lunch room:
 My nameplate outside the cube:
The team is so great welcoming me: 
 First think I see walking in the building:
My first day reward to myself—Cami Cake's cupcakes: nom nom nom nom