Monthly Archives: September 2017

Diving into Google

By Kathryn Hennon

When the popular comedy film “The Internship” debuted in 2013, audiences caught a glimpse of what it could be like to work as an intern at Google. University of South Carolina student Lacey Brown did not have to watch the movie for she worked at Google this past summer.

With a major in public relations, Brown had intended to use her future degree and break into the hospitality industry, but her career path quickly shifted when she found herself at the doorstep of the tech industry. One year ago, she got the opportunity to participate in an immersion student program with Google. She found it difficult to turn down an all-expense-paid trip to San Francisco, so she decided to give it a shot.

During the one week program, Brown interacted with students from all across the country, experienced the Google company culture firsthand, and became aware of the different outlets in the tech industry. Although still not sure the industry was for her, Brown applied for Google’s highly competitive summer internship program and was surprised and delighted when she was offered a sales position.

Coming from the suburbs of Atlanta, moving across the country seemed a bit daunting to Brown at first, but the push out of her comfort zone was one of the many components to an internship with Google. “I constantly felt challenged whether it was navigating a new city or a sales project, but overall I think that helped me to enjoy the experience fully,” says Brown who commends Google for constantly keeping her busy and interested in her work. As a sales intern, her primary focus was to sell online advertisement placements. Brown was able to tap into her public relations studies and apply her knowledge to a new field.

The hard work at Google paid off. Sometimes Brown believed staying at work was more enjoyable than going anywhere else. Brown was able to experience the plush treatment Google gives its employees while at work. Google’s campus offers options for employees to satisfy their every craving without ever leaving. Not only did they provide desserts, sushi, sandwiches, and gourmet salads, but they also had a purpose for all of the food placements. “When I went to get a drink on campus, they would place water in the middle of the fridge and soda at the bottom, so my eyes would see the healthier option first and then usually choose it,” Brown says. Additionally, she had access to a health club and gym and even received a complimentary on-site massage on the last day of her internship.

As her December graduation date approaches, Brown switches her focus to a full-time job search, and this time she is keeping her options open. While still applying in hospitality, Brown is also applying in the tech industry.

 

Hennon is a public relations senior

 

Degree Uncertainty Overloads Student

By Larissa Johnson

The average college student in the United States changes majors about three times, but University of South Carolina student Alexis Taylor is ahead of the curve.

“I started out public relations, and then I changed to political science, and then I changed to physical education, and then I changed to early childhood education, and then I changed back to public relations,” Taylor said, finishing with a laugh as she tallied up the four changes on her right hand.

Now starting her senior year, Taylor had to overload to 21 credits the past two semesters — and will do the same for her final semester — just to be able to graduate on time. A typical course load is just 15 to 18 credits.

“It kind of sucks, but it’ll be worth it,” she said.

With her demanding class load, it’s been difficult for Taylor to make time for involvement on campus. She has found time, though, to pick up a job at the university working for the College of Arts and Sciences. They’re willing to work with her busy schedule, but it’s not at all surprising that Taylor has a difficult time coming up with what she does in her free time. She doesn’t have any.

But being busy isn’t something new for Taylor. She grew up with a single mother working full time and three siblings, including a sister who’s nine years younger than her.

“My mom worked all the time, so it was always one of us watching her, usually just me or my older sister,” Taylor said.

Taking care of a younger sibling had a big impact on Taylor’s sister, who graduated from USC with a degree in early childhood education and just started teaching kindergarten. The school is only a 10-minute drive from the family house, where both she and Taylor still live.

“She loves kids,” Taylor said. “She’s known for forever that that’s what she wants to do.”

Taylor doesn’t share the same certainty in her own career path. While she ended back up in the same academic program she started in and enjoys the courses, she doesn’t have a specific job picked out after graduation.

“I have no idea what I want to do,” Taylor said. “I really don’t know.”

This uncertainty doesn’t seem to concern her as she lists out possibilities: travel, graduate school, getting a job in Los Angeles. The last option appeals to her because her best friend just moved to the city. She said she won’t mind, though, if she ends up staying in Columbia close to her family.

But wherever she finds herself after crossing the stage in May, Taylor is likely to maintain her laid-back approach to life and stick with what she knows: lots of hard work. She’s not really one for experimentation.

“I did dye my hair pink in high school,” she said. “It started turning orange after two weeks. After that, I was like, ‘Never again.’”

Johnson is a multimedia journalism senior

Student Realizes Her True Passions

By Lacey Brown

The room was buzzing with nervous small talk. Katherine Hennon had a warm and welcoming smile so I knew that she would be willing to open up.

Hennon was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Although she loves St. Louis, when it came time to make college decisions Hennon realized that she had outgrown her hometown. She fell head over heels for South Carolina’s charm and knew that Columbia was the new home she was looking for.

Her parents always encouraged her to find her passion and pursue any career but they definitely made it known that she needed to have some kind of career after school. Her dad works in the steel industry while her mom is a former stay-at-home parent turned real estate agent. They both have steady jobs which is another catalyst for Hennon’s can do spirit.

“I think that if I wasn’t driven and determined on my own, my parents would have been way more hands on with my decisions.” Hennon said. You could see in her eyes that she was ready to take on any challenge that came her way.

When she began college at USC she had lofty aspirations. “I was a double major in English and political science, “ she says. Hennon had plans to go to law school and use her degree to enter the battleground that is Washington, D.C. However, she did a complete 180 flip when she decided to become a public relations major instead.

“I think that working the Masters Tournament in Augusta really changed my perspective,” Hennon said. She was offered the opportunity to work at the prestigious sporting event where she learned her true passions.

“I would really like to do communications for those big tournaments like the PGA championship or the Wells Fargo championship.” She said that golf itself is more of a lifestyle than just a sport. Hennon really enjoys the fact that her future career could be as fast paced and hands on as she wants.

She has had a few different internships and jobs. After working with a public relations agency, she knew a traditional work environment was not for her. She wants to be able to enjoy her job even if it challenges her or makes her work a little harder. She reminded me that wanting a great work environment and a challenge is the perfect mix for the first job out of college.

As a senior in college, Hennon is looking forward to what the future may bring. She said “College is a lot of fun but [she’s] ready for the next step.” The anxiety of finding a job and graduation has only a minimal effect on Hennon. After 4 years of being young and having fun, she feels prepared to flip to a new chapter in her life.

Brown is a senior public relations major

Inspiring from the Sidelines

By Grace McKenna

Daniel McGinley slouches slightly in his chair, his posture not masking his height. His royal blue University of Kansas t-shirt and New England Patriots cap reveal his interests first glance. Originally from Hoboken, New Jersey, the senior public relations major transferred to the University of South Carolina in his sophomore year after beginning college at Rutgers University.

McGinley says the change came from a desire to meet new people and to be engulfed in his greatest passion: sports. McGinley spent his childhood and teenage years playing basketball and football, hobbies that turned into a lifelong desire to work in the sports world.

“It’s in my blood,” McGinley said. “I just have a knack for it.”

In high school, McGinley played football for a year but then turned solely to basketball. In his senior year, his team made it all the way to the state championship. A handful of fellow seniors ruled the court, keeping the score close and tensions high. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter McGinley fouled out, a devastating blow in the last game he would play for the team. He watched his teammates lock down the championship game 78-77 from the bench, feeling horrible that he couldn’t help control their fate. Still though, the thrill of victory and the knowledge that a season of hard work paid off made the championship worth the agony of spectating.

For a young man so in love with basketball, one would think a state championship would be the greatest possible life accomplishment. But McGinley says he is actually proudest of his concert choir’s performance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. McGinley started concert choir in high school, following his sister and brother who both sang during their time in school. McGinley lights up with joy when he begins to talk about singing with the group.

“I was in the concert choir, that’s the highest level of choir we had,” he said, his smile spreading across his face.

In his career, McGinley aims to focus on basketball as he did in high school. His dream is to work his way up with a single team, starting out as a video coordinator and eventually making the leap to coaching staff. He imagines working for Villanova, a desire inspired by his brother who got his start there and now works for the NBA. McGinley says his brother first got him involved in sports and greatly influenced his career goals.

“He paved the way in believing it could actually happen,” McGinley said.

McGinley’s grandfather also served in guiding his career path. As a high school basketball coach, his grandfather produced 8 championships and earned a profound amount of respect from his players. That respect, for his grandfather and for the game, stuck with McGinley. Even today, his favorite teams and coaches all share a similar integrity and dedication. Above all else, McGinley respects when an athlete has a good head on his or her shoulders and acts with grace. Ultimately, he wants to leave behind a legacy like his grandfather’s based on positivity and inspiration.

“I want to help other people get where they need to,” he said. “I want to help my players and have an impact on their lives.”

McKenna is a junior broadcast journalism major

Driven by the Game

By Anna Frazier

University of South Carolina senior Calvin Mitchener may fit the stereotype of the typical all-American college boy, but his aspirations are far from ordinary. When he is not in the classroom, you can bet Mitchener is either watching sports, playing sports, or hanging out with friends.

Mitchener’s father wasn’t much of a sports fan. However, this did not deter Mitchener from engaging in various sports at a young age. “I have always had a passion for basketball. I played in many leagues throughout high school and I coached youth basketball as well,” Mitchener said. His high school basketball team even went on to win the championship his junior year. Sports shaped a good part of Mitchener’s teenage years; helping him find himself, make lasting friendships and learn some valuable lessons.

At USC Mitchener is pursuing a major in print and minor in sports management. However, sports entertainment draws his interest more than anything. “It wasn’t until I took a sports management class at USC that I realized the possibility of pursuing a career in sports,” Mitchener said.

The past few years Mitchener has focused on sports marketing and management.  He accepted a marketing internship with his favorite basketball team, the Charlotte Hornets, where he gained sales experience in cold calls and ticket sales. “My internship with the Hornets really drew me into the idea of working in the sports entertainment industry.” Upon graduating this upcoming spring, Mitchener plans to pursue a career in sports with a focus on merchandising and sales. He would love to work with a major-league basketball or football team someday, but is open to what comes his way.

Mitchener has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina for his whole life. The Southern culture, weather, and way of life are what helped shape his decision to stay close to home and attend USC. After graduating he would love to stay and work somewhere in the Southeast, but he is open to moving elsewhere.

Mitchener says his greatest feat in both sports and his life came on Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Here, Mitchener’s home team, the Carolina Panthers faced the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXVIII to compete for the National Football League (NFL) championship in 2003. While his team may have lost, this experience deepened Mitchener’s love for sports.

Mitchener believes in sincerity, loyalty, and honesty. He is open-minded, driven, and sociable. He lives his life by the “Golden Rule”. “I try to always treat others the way I’d want to be treated,” he said.

Frazier is a public relations senior