Things That Make Me Uncomfortable

It's only day three of the Blog Every Day in May challenge, and it's already getting tough. Today's topic was things that make us uncomfortable. Steph, my roomie, has a list of things that make her cringe, but I had a hard time coming up with any. I think my ability to handle uncomfortable situations like a champ is due to my incredibly awesome, but super awkward family.

It all started in middle school when my mom and dad picked me up from the "hottest guy" in school's house, and my dad showed up wearing a leopard cowboy hat (same one he's wearing below)! Back in those days I ran from anything that made me the least bit different, so I was mortified. I will forever be grateful for that day though because he taught me that life's a whole lot more fun when you're not worried about being anyone but yourself.
I love my parents, and even the awkward uncomfortable situations they put me through!
True story, when I was in high school my dad would answer the door in his boxers when dates would come pick me up! So you can imagine there aren't many situations that make me uncomfortable. My little brother is just as unafraid to be himself, and he makes most situations a little more fun.
The thing I've learned is that most people are a lot less concerned with what you're doing than you think, so why choose to be anything but yourself. Next time you're in an uncomfortable situation, the best thing to do is just smile and go with it!
xoxo BRI

How To Make The Most Of Your Internship

Time for day two of the Blog Every Day in May Challenge. Today's prompt was to share something we're good at, or know a lot about.

Now, I won't pretend to know something about everything, but I do know a thing or two about a few topics. One of those is what I believe to be the key to landing a job after graduation, internships.

After five different internships throughout my college career, I consider myself a semi-professional in this space. Unfortunately, most of my expertise came from making a few mistakes along the way and learning the hard way.

Internships are a great way to gain hands on experience in your desired field, and make connections that can help you throughout your career. Here are a few pointers for how to make the most of your internship opportunity.
Where it all started, as an intern for NASCAR in the summer of '06
Show up for your internship - not just physically, but mentally. Most internships these days aren't paid, some don't even give you school credit, so you need to use all the great experience you're getting as motivation to show up. Don't just show up, but be there on time, dress the part, be ready to work, and take a good attitude with you!
My first experience with corporate events & hospitality. Instead of appreciating the fact that this involved a trip to Sonoma, Calif., I complained about having to tie balloons. Lesson learned the hard way.
Appreciate the perks & don't complain about the "boring" work - While I was interning I got a lot of cool perks, but I also got stuck doing jobs that I absolutely hated. The good wouldn't be there without the bad, and my career has benefited the most from some of these boring tasks. Take it all as a learning experience, and know that most people have to do some jobs they don't like, in order to get to that dream job.
As a brand ambassador for SPEED. Not an internship, but an opportunity that allowed me to network, and gain great event and hospitality experience. Think outside the box when looking for opportunities.
Network, Network, Network - If you don't remember anything else, remember this. If your internship is in the field you want to work, then you're more than likely going to be running into these individuals for the rest of your career. Send an email or "thank you" note to everyone you meet, it's a foolproof way to ensure that they remember you. If someone has your "dream job", ask them for a few minutes of their time, find out how they got there, and if they have any advice to offer. People love to talk about what they do, so they're never going to turn you down. Your most valuable resource during your internship is the people that you're surrounded by.
As an intern at Richard Petty Motorsports.
I'm thankful I kept in touch with this group after my internship ended because they've helped me more than once since I graduated.
Don't burn bridges - This goes back to the point above. During a job interview after college my prospective employer called a friend of his who worked at one of the companies I had listed on my resume. I hadn't listed this person as a reference, but when you work in a small industry it's very likely that someone you worked for knows someone you're interviewing with.

Getting good grades and earning a degree is important, but I'm a firm believer in the value of hands-on experience. Take advantage of these opportunities while you're in college, use the tips I've provided, and you'll be sure to stand out when the time comes to look for that real job.
xoxo BRI

Blog Every Day in May Challenge

It's no secret that I've had a bit of writers block lately. So, in an attempt to find my voice again, I've decided to join Jenni this month for her Blog Every Day in May challenge. Today's challenge? Write the story of your life in 250 words or less...
I was born in Houston, TX, spent my younger years in Mexico City, but did my “growing up” in the Carolina’s. I’ve always been a bit unique, although I haven’t always been willing to accept it. I’m that square peg who tries to fit into the round hole. I’m not your typical Texan, yes it’s a great state, but I don’t think all things are better or bigger in Texas. I should know, I’m a mere 5 foot 2.
 
My high school and middle school years were hard. I think I made my life a bit more difficult during these years with that whole “square peg round hole” deal, instead of embracing who I was. I was singled out a lot, but I think this experience gave me the huge heart that I have today.
 
If I had a life motto it would be “compassion”. Every single one of us was created the same, and thus deserve the same amount of respect. You never know what someone is going through, and you never know how much a little compassion and understanding can mean to someone else.
 
2012 was probably the hardest year of my life, but I survived. If I was asked to give someone who is struggling advice, it would be to know that there are always options (something my dad taught me). You can always build the life you imagine. All it takes is a little courage, a whole lot of faith, and you’ll land on your feet.
xoxo BRI
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