college

You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

I was recently approached about doing a piece about what the most marketable and and valuable skill one can have when diving headfirst into the real world, or as I like to call it, lack of adult supervision.

And y’know, I had to think about that one. Because there are a lot of those skills you can buy to get better at and there are some that you either have or you don’t. Everyone’s different. But there was one that stood out that absolutely everyone can do and was one of the best pieces of advice I read about.

Back in 2011 when I was applying to do my first internship at Walt Disney World for the Disney College Program, I scoured the internet looking for tips for the phone interview, questions that would help me prepare, anything I could get my hands on that would secure my position working for the most magical place on earth. There was one tip that stood out and what I tell everyone applying to Disney.

Smile.

It seems so simple and so easy, right? But you’d be surprised how often I see people going into job interviews, whether they’re in person or even on the phone, who look so bored with life. Even over the phone, a smile translates. It lightens your voice and makes you sound pleasant. When I interviewed for a recent job, I asked what my liklihood of getting hired was. The manager looked at me and told me he had made his decision when he first met me, when I first went in to ask about applying. He says my smile and personality lit up the room. And all I did was keep a smile on my face.

Working at Disney definitely helped, I’ll tell you that. Working there, no matter how many rude guests you come across, it’s hard to be without a smile for more than a few minutes in such a magical place. But you can create that wonderful atmosphere by smiling. It really is contagious!

You may not have all the necessary skills they ask for or be the person they’re looking for, but a company will always want someone personable who is willing to go the extra mile over those who might be qualified but look like they’d rather be somewhere else.

So always remember to smile, to let your personality shine through. Everything else will fall into place.

If you’d like to get some extra experience along the way, Webucator is offering continual self-paced free Microsoft training courses at this link. I highly encourage everyone to take a look. Microsoft is kind of a big deal nowadays and it never hurts to have extra skills to put on a resume! Also be sure to check out Webucator on Twitter: @webucator

Good luck everyone in job hunting! And have a magical day!

katiesig

Going Back to Disney

It’s official. I’m going back to Disney in January!

I accepted the position a few days ago. While Jon spends his last semester in Puerto Rico, I’ll be working in the most magical place on earth in Attractions, which I’m super excited about. I’m a bit apprehensive. Last time I went with my ex and a few other friends, plus I met my bestest friend ever, Megan. This time I’m going alone and it unnerves me a bit. But I have to keep my head up because I’ve missed Disney so much and it could open doors for a possible career. When I’m down there I’m going to ask about how to get my foot in the door for Disney Hyperion. You know, the same company that publishes Percy Jackson? Yeah, them.

In the meantime, I’ve come down with a nasty case of bronchitis. And it sucks. Thanks to the addition of asthma, I’m having a hard time breathing and it’s making me constantly dizzy and woozy. So all I’m good for right now is to sit down, watch FaceOff, write some, and maybe read a bit later. Basically, I’m a couch potato. A sexy couch potato!

katiesig

What to do with an English Degree?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself for about a month now as the absolute panic of graduation sets in. I’m done with college in December and the idea of having to find a real, full-time job is terrifying. And with an English degree, what the hell do I do?

Surprisingly, there are more options than I thought. Copywriting, editing, technical writing, publicity, etc. I mean sure, I want to continue writing and the pipe dream is to become a best selling author, but let’s be real here. That’s probably never going to happen. So what do I do instead?

Well, lately I’ve been looking for jobs working with books, namely working in libraries or publishing houses. It’d be really nice and I love books anyways. Win-win! So that’s what I’m working on right now. Fingers crossed.

Other than that, classes. Lots and lots of time spent in this university, in the same building, on the same plush chairs in the lounge area waiting the average three hours between classes. Yeah, this semester is turning out to be a real thriller. </sarcasm>

I recently signed up for fiverr.com at the advice of a lovely redditor knowing that I’m strapped for cash. There I can actually sell my services as a creative writer and get paid, you guessed it, a fiver ($5 for you uncultured swine). If you’d like to request a story (you know you all do), you can find my profile here. Have fun.

If anyone out there just happening to read this works for some sort of book-related industry and totally wants to offer me a job, just leave a comment. A little optimism never hurt, right?

katiesig

We Ride Together

I’ve been back for a little over a week now. So much has happened this summer. So much.

The summer went relatively well. I ran the canteen which was amazingly fun and I loved it. It gave me a chance to have moments of peace and time to grade reports and just be calm, which was very much appreciated. I loved staff this year and grew really close with my teaching partner, Meggie. For the first time in quite a while, I actually made a close friend in real life and not on the internet.

I’ve gone through some tough times, too. Nothing I care to share with the public, but I’ve lost a close friend and have been hitting hard times personally. Luckily, music (folk metal, namely Turisas) have been getting me through it as well as a newfound belief.

I have turned heathen. Thanks to my friend David, I am now an Asatruar, a follower of the Norse religion. It’s new and sometimes scary and weird, but I’ve never felt more at ease and sure of my path. Every day I learn more and more and I’m slowly meeting people around the area who share the same beliefs and can help me in my journey. I love it.

School starts up in just a few days. It will be my last semester and I’m utterly nervous and excited at the same time. Here’s to hoping it goes well and I graduate in December.

Hailsa!

katiesig

Leaving for Camp

In less than four days, Jon and I will make the two and a half hour trek to the Appalachians, outside a small town called Vesuvius, VA where we will spend the next two and a half months working at the most wonderful place.

Nature Camp was a second home to me for six years before I started college and could no longer go back. Last summer I was lucky enough to land a job working as a counselor there and had a blast, learning so much about nature, myself, and how to work with kids. I’m really glad that Jon will have the same opportunity.

I won’t put here what I’ll be teaching this summer, but I will say that I’m very excited for my role. And for once, I’m packed early and have severly limited my clothes. So there’s also that.

I might be able to make an update after I get to camp, but it probably won’t be for a while. Besides, this summer will be spent not only working, but working on my story/novel, preparing for my final semester in college, and generally enjoying my summer. Social media will take a back seat for me.

If anyone wants to really get a hold of me, emails will be the best.

katiesig

It’s Official

I’ll be back at the University of Mary Washington next semester! I was officially accepted back around the middle of March and as of today all of my classes are secured. My schedule is as follows:

  • Every day at 11am until 12pm, I’ll have Intensive Intermediate Spanish.
  • Mondays at 5pm until 5:50pm will be Practicum Journalism.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30pm until 4:45pm will be Fantasy Writing.
  • Tuesdays at 6pm until 8:45pm will be Rise of Vernacular Culture.

And that’s it. Four classes with lots of time in between. I’m excited because I get to take a class with a professor who I absolutely loved and who had been my advisor before I left. She’s a hoot. And I’m really thrilled to be taking Fantasy Writing, something that I adore. And I realize that if I were an underclassman, I would’ve never gotten that class. Only because I’m a 5th (going on 6th) year senior with tons of credits did I get one of the earliest sign-up dates. So I get everything I want! Oh, to be an upperclassman.

But now the problem will be finding a job once I’m back. I rehashed my Care.com account and once I’m back in the states, I’ll renew the background check and see about getting a regular babysitting job that will pay well and can work around my school schedule and still let me have weekends to visit dad.

But I’m really pleased to be finally going back home. I’ve missed seasons and my bed and my family and my cat. The list is extensive, honestly. Puerto Rico has been lovely, but so many problems really put a damper on the experience. I’m tired of the corruption and the sheer laziness of most of the people here. It’s ridiculous.

Also, seriously, Wegman’s. I’ve missed it.

P.S. Ooh! And to add, I’ve been eating right and exercising daily and so far, lost 5lbs in one week! 😀

katiesig

Troubles in a Tropical Paradise

No no, Jon and I are still perfectly happy. I’m talking about the troubles I’m having with Puerto Rico, especially UPRM. So about a week ago I met with my academic advisor, one of my professors who is absolutely amazing and somehow deals with all my shit. We sat down with an updated transcript to evaluate how many credits I have and how many more I need. We did the math wrong. It turns out that the University isn’t accepting nearly 40 credits that I transfered in with. I had 60 and they’re only accepting 21. 21! That’s ridiculous! So on top of the two additional semesters I was looking at originally, add another semester or two on top of that. And to imagine, I’m already a 5th year senior! This is getting awful.

So I’ve been exploring my option of transfering back to the University of Mary Washington, my home college. I’ve been in talks with people there who are working to make sure that the credits I have here will transfer to equivalents there, meaning I’ll probably only have a semester, two at most, until I graduate. And that’s all I really want is to graduate. I want to be done with school so bad.

Yes, that means that Jon and I would be separated for a semester. And it blows, it really does. I don’t want to leave him after I’ve gotten so used to having him around 24/7. But at this point I don’t really have a choice. Luckily Skype is a thing and I hope that he’ll work at camp with me and if not, he’ll come up to VA for another Christmas break. It’s going to be a tough road ahead, but we’ll manage.

Oh, and in the meantime, Valentine’s Day. I got him a little pink unicorn (he loves pink unicorns) and he got me one of those Funko Pop! Belle figurines and Belle perfume. And tomorrow we’re going to one of the bioluminescent bays on the island for the actual celebration of Valentine’s Day. Super excited! I’ll report later on the magical adventure.

katiesig