I’m about 90% sure that I’m supposed to write something related to video production, but I’m 100% sure that’s not going to happen. It’s roughly 3:30 in the morning the day this post is due and I can’t sleep, so I want to write about something I know far too much about: Pokémon. My goals are trifold:

  1. To put aside any lingering doubts that I’m absolutely the Weird Kid in the back. Trust me, I am.
  2. To demonstrate (hopefully) that Pokémon isn’t just a game for children, and that it actually has a ton of depth to it.
  3. To entertain you, because, let’s face it, that’s all I’ve ever cared about doing, entertaining you! 
  4. BONUS 4th and 5th goal: To make it weird between us and probably lament over an ex-girlfriend or two.

Okay, I’m going to set an arbitrary number of steps for bangin’ Pokémon team assemblage. Let’s say there are 5 steps. That sound good to everyone? Good? Great. Let’s begin.

Mood setting is important, so if you’re feeling it, I recommend letting this YouTube playlist play in the background. This guy named Braxton Burks re-orchestrated all of the original Game Boy music from the first (American) games in the series, Pokémon Red and Blue. It’s gorgeous. Listen for yourself:

The first time I heard this, I cried alone in my car. It was then that I realized not just how lonely I was, but that I’d probably be lonely forever. #yolo

Segues are hard.

Step I

Memorize the entire Pokédex. It’s not that hard. There are only 720 confirmed pocket monsters at this point. You should be able to catch up in no time unless you’re some kind of common dolt. Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with the standard tier systems of competitive battling, including the widely accepted Smogon tiering of Uber, Overused, Borderline, Under Used, Rarely Used, Never Used and Little Cup. Yes, I knew all of those off hand, and yes, I’m incredibly single. It’s also important to read up on Nintendo’s Official VGC rules and regulations, as those battles are usually double battles with teams of 4 Pokémon.

I supposeI should clarify some basics about team-building before going any further. In the world of Pokémon, you are what’s known as a Trainer. You scour the lands, combing the long grass, caves, and oceans for Pokémon. You catch them in Pokéballs, and you can carry 6 at a time. Each Pokémon has a type (frequently two) like Fire, Water, Flying, Dark, or Psychic, and there’s a Rock, Paper, Scissors type of mechanic in place. For example, Fire beats Grass, Grass beats Water, and Water beats Fire. Most of them make sense, but with 19 types, it’s hard to keep track sometimes. Every Pokémon is capable of learning 4 type-based moves such as Flamethrower, Solar Beam or Surf. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years now, and I still need to consult type matchup charts from time to time. So good luck, layperson.

Step II

Learn as much as you an about the hidden mathematical stats Nintendo programs into the games, unbeknownst to most eight-year-olds but beknownst to all Brents in the vicinity of Myriad Media. The two most important ones are Individual Values and Effort Values.

I should first mention Base Stats.

Base Stats are a Pokémon species’ 6 default traits across the board. These never change, they can only be added to by the following two values. For example, Pikachu will ALWAYS have the following Base Stat spread:

  • HP: 35
  • Attack: 55
  • Defense: 40
  • Sp. Attack: 50
  • Sp. Defense: 50
  • Speed: 90

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Awww, Pikachu seems pretty strong.” You couldn’t be further from the truth, Bartelby. Considering Alakazam has a base Sp. Attack of 175, Pikachu is pretty damn pathetic.

On to the good stuff! Yay minutia!

Individual Values are like a Pokémon’s fingerprints. They separate the weak from the strong, the Barneys from the Godzillas, the Lena Dunhams from the Ronda Rouseys. When a Pokémon is hatched, encountered, or given, the game assigns it Individual Values on a scale of 0-31 for each of a Pokémon’s 6 stats. Here’s where Pokémon starts to get a little dark: Trainers worldwide obsess over getting “perfect Pokémon,” a monster with 31 IVs across all 6 stats. Basically, Nintendo made small-scale eugenics fun for ten-year-olds across the globe. How are eugenics involved, you ask? Stick around. We’ll get there eventually. Takeaway: A Pokémon with low IVs in all of its stats will be weaker in the long run than one with higher IVs.

Effort Values are a bit easier to follow, but in a truer sense, are not. Remember how I mentioned each Pokémon has 6 stats? Well, each stat can be given an extra 0-255 Effort Values. For every 4 Effort Values, your monster gains 1 extra stat point in the given field. Here’s the catch: You can apply a MAXIMUM of 510 EVs to a specific Pokemon, so you really have to calculate exactly where you want to dump EVs, taking into account the type of Pokemon you want to raise.

Got all that? Great.

Step III

Never ever tell your girlfriend/boyfriend that you know anything about any of this. In college, I spent a lot of time fixating over this one girl who, eventually, broke my heart and gave me some serious trust issues that I should probably work through at some point. Honestly, she never wore matching socks so she was basically a monster anyway. Anyway, I’m sure that the day I told her how serious I was about Pokémon, she never looked at me the same way again. You live and you learn, I guess (except clearly not, because here I am telling anyone who’s still reading [it can’t be many of you] about this).

Well, let’s see this dumpster fire through to the end.

Step IV

Pick your 6 favorite Pokémon. Use them. Don’t let anyone tell you any different unless you have a team of 6 Caterpies, ‘cause that’s just straight-up crazy town banana pants. It doesn’t hurt to pull from Smogon’s Over Used bracket, because those ‘mons are the ones with strong stats and excellent move set potential. That bracket tends to change around with each subsequent game release, so the metagame is in constant flux. If you’re aiming to compete, you have to stay up to date on every strategy, potential threat, and counter if you want to climb any ladders. Kind of like…

VIDEO PRODUCTION. Look, everyone! I made it work! I combined the two things!

Damn Brent, you’re really crushing it.

Thanks, Brent, I appreciate that.

Anyway, pick your favorite 6 and friggin’ use ‘em. Right now, I’m vibing on Espeon, Tyranitar, Greninja, Azumarill, Sylveon, and Pumpkaboo. This will likely change by the time I’ve finished this post. 

Brent don’t forget to include pictures here. If you don’t put pictures here people will think you’re taking stupid pills.

Step V

Is anybody out there? Does anybody care? My last piece of advice is to find a strategy that works for your chosen team. Learn every ‘mon’s strengths and weaknesses and guide them in battle with a deft hand. Your team takes hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, but it’s worth it when you pull off a sweet last-minute Earthquake when your HP is down to 3, and you’re confused and paralyzed. If you trust your team, they’ll trust you back. Golly gee whilickers, doesn’t that sound awfully like…

VIDEO PRODUCTION?! Hot damn, twice in one post. Get. At. Me.

At this point I’ve exhausted myself, but trust me when I say these steps are only the tip of the iceberg. Pokémon is truly a titanic game, one that you can easily sink hours and hours into. I can’t tell you how many full days I’ve wasted/enjoyed playing this game, but I can tell you that I haven’t had a steady girlfriend in a long time and the tiny screens on my 3DS are definitely ruining my already terrible vision.

But hey, I’m a big believer in doing what makes you happy, whatever that may be. I’m an only child, and growing up with over-protective parents is tough. But ever since my dad handed me that teal Game Boy Color with Pokémon Red all those years ago, I’ve had something to cheer me up at the end of those less-than-stellar days. For that reason, I’ll be a fan for life.

70% sure this isn’t me.

Day 47: They Still Don’t Know I’m an Intern

August 7th, 2015 by Tyler Hayes

Just kidding, everyone knows I’m an intern. The marketing intern, more specifically. But there’s something to say about the notable lack of intern-ness present in anything these guys have put me up to so far. I have yet to refill a printer, manage someone’s calendar, or bring anyone coffee that I didn’t already feel like bringing coffee to (although I may have been taken advantage of as a morale booster after losing a few games of ping pong). And after nearly two months, I’ve accrued only one nickname, courtesy of Mr. Feichter. Which begs the question… what exactly have I been doing over in that corner desk, with the sticker-clad Nalgene bottle and miniature book collection? Just what is a marketing intern?

Let’s start with the second question.

Being a graphic design student, I joined the Myriad team as the marketing intern to gain some experience with marketing and branding strategies. In other words, when a creative company needs to make friends in professional and social avenues, there are smart and less smart ways to go about it. I’m interested in the smart ones.

The most fundamental principle of graphic design is knowing your audience and, by extension, being able to communicate effectively to it. At Myriad, we’re interested in communicating as much about our work as we are about ourselves as people. We believe branding goes much deeper than colors and letters. #MyriadOrange should stand for the team’s personality, values, and goals both as a creative agency and as individuals. For me, interning here has been hardcore practice in applying the same design principles I’ve been studying for years to a professional environment and strategizing the best ways to communicate abstract ideas to the rest of our community.

When I first joined the Myriad team this summer, I was tasked with what seemed to be a delightfully open-ended set of responsibilities. After cutting my teeth on some behind-the-scenes research on potential clients, markets, and opportunities for growth, I would be taking creative liberty on some of Myriad’s own social media and marketing directives, and would have the opportunity to collaborate with our production intern, Kristen, on a big-time project that was still shrouded in mystery… *deep breath.* Kristen and I are now well underway on developing our brainchild and, to say the least, it’s been an opportunity to learn just how many things can go right (or wrong) with any project in a professional production environment. For those who are curious, there are many, many things.

So far, I’ve worked to dissect and define the meaning behind the Myriad brand, while developing new social media campaigns to represent the good folks here at 410 S Salisbury. I’ve gotten my hands dirty and my brain sore creating a case study for a flagship project completed earlier this year, and spent long hours researching new directions and opportunities for the team to explore. And, of course, I’ve had some (mostly) healthy fun and made some good friends while doing it.

Between aggressive ping-pong matches, camping out in the sunny reading nook, empanada runs, delicious home-brews, CreativeMornings, scooter dodging, bi-weekly creative lunches (affectionately known as almuerzo creativos), and, of course, Friday afternoon’s “Draper Hour,” I’ve gotten to know Myriad as a place where hard work thrives next to camaraderie.

Here’s hoping my final few days don’t race by too quickly.

How to Write a Bangin’ Blog Post

July 29th, 2015 by Kristen Rivera

 

Step 1: Completely forgo a lede.

Who needs ‘em? You can probably guess what this post is about based on the title. Actually…

Step 1 (Revised): Write your title first.

This helps your entire blog post stay focused on the catchy, ambiguous alliteration that you just made up. If you get stuck, Google “words that start with the letter ___.” You are one click away from the creative genius of:

My Magical Myriad Marks

Don’t worry if it sounds unnatural. This is not the place for sense-making.

Step 2:  Always introduce yourself to the audience in writing.

It’s not at all hokey and will help the reader feel really comfortable and excited.

Hi! My name is Kristen Rivera and I am the production intern at Myriad Media this summer! My job consists of working as a production assistant on a variety of shoots, assisting around the office any way I can, and refilling some bomb-ass sandbags.

See? You’re so good at this! Let’s proceed.

Step 3: Pick a few key items and be sure they don’t relate to each other at all.

You want to keep the reader guessing how your brain works throughout the piece. This is pretty self-explanatory, but for the amateurs:

My first full week at Myriad, I was a PA for a two-day shoot with a 30-person crew. The experience was incredible, and it was interesting to see how the day fluctuated between “movemovemove” and “pop a squat, it’s gonna be a while” over the course of 10 hours.

It is both very difficult and very easy to enjoy your first Almeurzo Creativo when you realize you’ve eaten someone else’s Jimmy Johns that was ordered specifically for them. Especially when the stolen sandwich is very delicious. (So sorry!)

I don’t know if it’s a requirement to work at Myriad or something, but literally everyone at Myriad’s hair is fresh to death. How do they do it? How?

Step 4: Write a closing statement so powerful, so profound, so borderline tear-jerking, that your reader is left thinking, “What was this post even about?”

It’s rare that you come across an office culture so full of life and laughter and love that you long to be a part of it. Just by looking at Myriad’s website, you’ll see a family. A tight-knit group that works strongly on their own because they have the support and help of those around them. And by being in their office, face-to-face with some of the most creative and passionate people I’ve ever met, you can feel the familial bond. It is unparalleled, and I thank the team now for every opportunity I get to be a part of that. Thank you, and I look forward to stepping up my hair game for the chance to stick around a little longer.

Step 5: Share your post with Malia on Google Docs.

Time Management

July 22nd, 2015 by Chris

 

Time— despite the lyrics—is never on our side.

How many things would you like to get done that you don’t, simply because you don’t have enough hours in the day? Each day, there are things that I need to review, read, respond to, clean, fix, talk about, research, plan for, pay for, save for, or just do. I usually have a priority list of 5 to 10 items that have to get done that day—things that I actually know about and have planned for. Then, there are 5 to 10 more things that pop up throughout the day that have to get done, too. On top of that, there are 5 or 10 more things that are pressing, and really need some action in the next day or two. Finally, there’s that ever-growing list of things that need to get done, but have no real deadline. That’s the list that really gets to me.

That list never seems to go away. It’s filled with lots of things that I enjoy doing, but even more things that I probably don’t. If you know me, you know that I’m the king of procrastination. Consequently, the things that I don’t want to do are the ones that get the least attention, of course.

Only when those items cause me so much stress that they start to boil over into other people’s stress will I act on them. I know that’s not healthy for me or for my relationships, but it’s pretty much my M.O.

I recently started using a new list-making tool. There are tons of these programs, and they all work similarly. The best way for you to know if one will work for you is to try a bunch, and see which one sticks. The goal, according to David Allen’s Getting Things Done, is to get the thought out of your mind so that you don’t have to remember it and can focus on other, high-priority things. Allen says the stress from trying to remember everything is what really builds up and causes problems. The list is there to help you sort, manage, and follow-up, but it’s mainly there to remember everything for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Wunderlist

I read Allen’s book. It has definitely helped, but it’s no magic pill. It takes practice and diligence to write everything down. At first, I was doing really well. The tool I’m using is an app, and it works on my phone and my computer, and they stay in sync. OK, OK, I’ll tell you what it is. It’s Wunderlist. You can find it for free on the App Store. But don’t blame me if you start using it and find some fault in it. Anyway, I like it pretty well, but it doesn’t make me write stuff down. That’s the hardest part.

Eventually, I got to a point where I was writing lots of stuff, even obvious stuff, and would think to myself, “I don’t need to write everything in here, just the big picture items.” Especially since it takes so long to think about and write the tasks and subtasks out, I could have probably finished the task if I had just done it instead of writing it down.

But the bigger question is knowing when to stop accomplishing tasks.

Everything can be considered a task, I suppose. It’s fun just to be in the moment, with no plan, no objective, just seeing, hearing, and feeling whatever comes naturally. I try to do that on vacation. I try to do that when I’m having family time, totally focused on my kids, just watching and listening to them.

During those times, it’s super hard not to let that list pop into your mind and weigh you down. It can be stressful to know you have so many things to get done. But it can be just as stressful later—and disappointing, too—to realize you haven’t taken advantage of some free time to not do anything.  We are a becoming a culture of very stressed-out, very tired multi-taskers.

So I’m going to put that on my to-do list:  “Just be.”  Well… maybe later.

 

We get a lot of strangers who walk past our office and stare into our window because of all the old cameras and stuff.

window

 

Sometimes they even come in and talk to us about how they used to have one of them when they were younger. Sometimes, people even donate stuff to our window. In case you don’t live around here, enjoy this close-up look at all the stuff we have in the window.

 

Have you ever used any of this stuff before?

 

Give Sound Some Love

June 22nd, 2015 by Daniel

For a while, I have been intrigued by the idea of using natural and/or foley sound to build a musical score. Working on the Defiant Whisky piece, I spent many hours attempting this. For the bar scene, I sampled things like glasses clanking, chairs sliding and other actions appearing in the scene. I had this one virtual instrument I built called “musical chairs,” where I sampled the squeaking sound of a wooden chair being moved across a wooden floor, then mapped that sample across a midi keyboard so it could be used to play a melody. I did the same with the truck scene, using tires squealing, engines rattling and horns honking. The result was pretty cool, but a little too weird for the video.

I’ve tried this for a couple of other scores as well, but nothing’s really stuck yet. In other words, I’m still in the try-fail-repeat phase. But I thought I’d share some of what I was using for inspiration.

This guy Diego Stocco is doing some amazing stuff with sound. Here’s a tune he made using a bonsai tree.

And here’s one he made using sounds recorded at a dry cleaner.

Audio is a huge part of what we do in video production. It’s half the medium, actually. Yet it usually doesn’t get the love it needs. Let’s change that!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

It’s week three of Myriad’s Summer Internship Program. Things are going great. I’d like to introduce you to Tyler Hayes, our 2015 Marketing Intern. We hope you enjoy learning more about Tyler and his love for churros, chess, and epic frying pan flipping…All quite admirable in my book.

What made you apply for this internship? The first time I checked out Myriad’s website I was completely infatuated. Reading their story, checking out their team, and learning the company’s code made me feel like I was learning about a group of interesting and real people, as opposed to an otherwise faceless agency. I felt like Myriad embodied everything I thought was important about small businesses–essentially, placing human values and characteristics above business. Besides, their awesome video work speaks for itself. When I saw that they were hosting summer internships, my summer plans were immediately reprioritized.

  • What are you hoping to get out of this internship? Honestly, I’m most excited about the opportunity to learn from and become part of such an awesome creative family. The first time I stepped into Myriad’s creative space (the word ‘office’ doesn’t feel the slightest bit appropriate here) I was enthralled with how inviting and stimulating the area was, but I was most impressed just by the generally good vibes. Myriad constructs a wonderfully open-ended framework for their interns to take advantage of, and there’s really no part of the workflow here that I wouldn’t want to learn more about. To be a bit more specific, though, I’m very excited to learn more about effective marketing and branding strategies–especially from a creative group that is already so interesting and relatable.
  • What is your major and why? I’m currently studying graphic design at the NC State College of Design. I actually transferred to graphic design from a concentration in engineering–mainly because I thought my inclination to create or design things would be better suited to an environment without equations. I believe graphic design is, at its core, about thinking critically and solving problems, even when those problems fall outside of web, print, or app design, and ultimately I’d like to use my design experience for innovating solutions to problems in any field of work.
  • Who are some of your heroes or influencers? One of my biggest creative inspirations is illustrator Pat Perry, for so elegantly and eerily exploring human-ness in his work. I’ve followed him ever since his work hit the internet, and he may have single-handedly demonstrated to me the power of reflecting human stories and feelings in drawings. Geoffrey Agrons, a radiologist and truly pioneering landscape photographer who took the time to mentor me while I was still in my picture-making infancy. He was and continues to be the biggest influence behind my exploration into landscape photography. Outside of that, I am generally inspired by anyone who can successfully communicate feelings or ideas, in any medium.
  • What is your personal motto or mantra? I can’t say that there are any words I really live by. I’m always inclined to get pretty philosophical when it comes to questions like this, but I’ll say that I do try to look at every experience as a learning experience. I don’t believe that anything is truly a waste of time, rather, at the least, “wasted time” is just insight into what you shouldn’t be doing. I’m not sure if that makes me out to be some kind of optimist… which I’m probably not. I also think the best way to do something successfully is to first be truly passionate about it, so it’s important to learn what really resonates with you. That’s something I’m always working on.
  • What are some of your hobbies or interests? Photography is a huge thing for me–it was really the first interest to drive me towards visual art or design. In some ways I consider it synonymous with my interpretation of design. I also love reading. One of my favorite subjects of study is philosophy, which I discovered in books. I just finished Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut a few days ago which is one of my new favorite novels. It’s not a philosophy book… but it might be. Chess is another one. I play it compulsively on my phone. If I’m using my phone at an awkward or inappropriate time, I’m probably in check.
  • What inspires you? People. Definitely people. The human capacity for emotion, interaction, expression, dialogue, and self-awareness, to name a few, is the most dynamic and endlessly captivating thing to ever exist. I really love figuring out and empathizing with people, as a means of effective design but also as a result of a low-key fascination with psychology. And when I feel really compelled to create something, it’s usually an effort to better understand the subject.
  • What is your favorite food in the whole world? Churros. Fresh strawberries. Brioche french toast with maple syrup. Not at the same time.
  • Tell us the story about your most embarrassing moment. I spent the start of the very first day of kindergarten painfully trying to remove a poorly tossed wad of chewing gum from the laces of my new Nikes. In front of the entire class. For fifteen minutes. I have recurring visions of pink, gooey tendrils indifferently suffocating my dignity.
  • What is your least marketable talent or hobby (something random/weird/cool about you that not many people know?) I’m pretty good at flipping food in frying pans. I’m pretty prideful of it, really. Though I still don’t know if it’s worth the trial and error it took to get here.
  • What is your favorite film? Waking Life by Richard Linklater. It breaks down human experiences by comparing the idea of ‘waking life’ to being asleep, and challenges virtually every perception one may have about the world, the self, or other people. It’s also shot in rotoscope, which is super cool.
  • What is your favorite book? The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. It’s a good example of how romanticized ideas actually work out in real life. It’s a horrible example of how to cope with mental illness.
  • What is your guilty pleasure? Breakfast at any time of the day. And sudoku, but specifically in the morning. Also plants, but I have only one plant.
  • Anything else you want the Myriad gang to know about you? Sometimes, when I’m really concentrated on whatever I’m working on, people think I look super pissed off. I promise I’m not pissed off, probably.

10419058_10203797779959896_962739790905580188_nWe began our summer internship program last week, and I must say, Myriad has a dream team on board. I’d like to introduce you to Kristen Rivera, our Summer Production Intern who is a student at Meredith College. Here are some fun facts about Kristen to help you get to know her a little more. I am eager to learn the story about the ring on her right hand…

What made you apply for this internship? I applied for this internship last spring and wasn’t selected, but instead of getting discouraged, I sought out to get as much experience as possible and reapply the following summer. After browsing Myriad’s website, I could tell this was a really cool company with really cool people. The team’s philosophy on helping others and building relationships showed me that being an intern here would be an incredibly rewarding experience- I’m so glad I tried again.

  • What are you hoping to get out of this internship? I look forward to learning about the technical aspects of production and working on set, and I am excited about seeing what it takes to be a producer on both large and small-scale projects. I also look forward to hearing the backgrounds of the employees here and learning what led them to Myriad.
  • What is your major and why? I am a Mass Communication major with minors in Professional Writing & Presentation Media and Photography. I chose this combo to get a wide range of knowledge about media and some experience with production. I get to hang out with Communication students, English students, and Art students. There’s never a dull moment and always someone new to learn from.
  • Who are some of your heroes or influencers? My parents are my role models and have taught me everything I know about treating others well and paying it forward when you’ve achieved something. One of my biggest influences career-wise is Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite TV show of all time, and Whedon’s ability to address contemporary social issues in the context of vampires and ’90s hairstyles is incredible.
  • What is your personal motto or mantra? “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.” I think at first this sounds a little cutthroat, which is definitely not my style, but it goes to show that how you treat people and the work you put forth personally and professionally will be what others remember you for. I believe it applies well to Myriad’s “show, don’t tell” philosophy, and is a constant reminder to strive for improvement.
  • What are some of your hobbies or interests? Outside of classes and video work, I am really involved on Meredith’s campus. I serve as Chief Student Adviser, Vice President of our campus’ LGBT support and advocacy organization, and Cornhuskin’ Co-Chair for my class. Cornhuskin’ is Meredith’s equivalent of homecoming, and it involves skits, dancing, pig noses, thousands of cans, corn shuckin’, and 30-foot props. I am always looking for an excuse to talk about it, so please feel free to ask me about this weird tradition.
  • What inspires you? I am inspired by people who are so passionate about what they’re doing that when they tell you about it, it just about seems like the most exciting thing in the world. People who carry that positive energy and are always looking to learn more about the world are the people I try to surround myself with.
  • What is your favorite food in the whole world? There’s this Puerto Rican dish called Pastelon that’s essentially Caribbean lasagna. It’s layers of sweet plantains baked between layers of beef and red sauce and it will seriously rock your world.
  • Tell us the story about your most embarrassing moment. I block most embarrassing stories out of my head like mini-traumas, but if one comes rushing back to me you have my word that I’ll tell you in detail how it went down.
  • What is your least marketable talent or hobby (something random/weird/cool about you that not many people know?) I studied Mandarin Chinese for seven years (marketable) but haven’t practiced and only remember how to say “you’re my best friend” and “today’s weather is good/bad” (not marketable).
  • What is your favorite film? My favorite movie is (500) Days of Summer. I like the out-of-order storytelling and the fact that the ending isn’t particularly happy. I especially like the animated sketches throughout the film and the actions that sync with the music. These little touches are what make the movie fun to watch over and over (and over and over) again.
  • What is your favorite book? Right now I’m reading Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown and it’s hilarious and helpful. I’ll keep you posted on how the adulting is going.
  • What is your guilty pleasure? I am embarrassed to say I do, in fact, keep up with the Kardashians. Kourtney is my favorite character (person?) on the show.
  • Anything else you want the Myriad gang to know about you? If you ever need a conversation starter, ask me about one of the following: Cornhuskin’, living in Puerto Rico, or the ring on my right hand. You can’t go wrong.

 

Tomorrow, our summer internship program begins. I have two amazing students on board, and I can’t wait! I love directing this program and have learned a lot about talent recruitment and development along the way. If you are interested in creating an internship program at your company, here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Create an equal playing field.

Develop a list of interview questions that you ask each candidate. Study your questions and become familiar with what you are asking. This will make your interview as natural and comfortable as possible. Plus, something an interviewee says in response to question 1 might lead to what you want to ask in question 15. Go with it, but make sure you have the questions in front of you in case you do jump around a bit.

While all candidates are unique and you will need to ask questions about their previous experience and skills, make sure interns have an equal opportunity to compete for the position by answering a set of the same questions.

It’s easy to get caught up in conversation, but do take notes during and after the interview. When you’re interviewing lots of people, it’s easy to forget things a candidate said a week ago. Don’t rely on your memory or your gut. Jot things down on a separate piece of paper during the interview (but don’t write on their resume, it will freak them out!) Also give yourself time after the interview to write your thoughts. For this reason, don’t schedule interviews too close together. You want time to reflect after each one. Create a mini file for each person you interview and hold on to it.

Intern candidates are also interviewing you.

Every interaction you have with potential interns is a direct reflection of your company. Email correspondence, phone calls, interviews, etc. — they all need to reflect your business values. Treat applicants the same way you would treat your clients and co-workers. Even if a candidate is not the right fit this year, students progress rapidly. They might come back the next year with an application that will blow your socks off. If a candidate has a negative experience with you, you can forget about them applying again.

Word of mouth recommendations are also important. If an internship candidate has a good experience (even if they didn’t get an offer), they are more likely to share your program with a professor, friend, or classmate.

Make it easy to say no.

As your program develops, you will get more applicants. Making decisions about who to interview is tough when you have to choose among so many talented students. So, when you are thinking about what credentials to look for, make the first step of the application a place to weed out people who do not meet basic requirements.

At Myriad, attention to detail is very important. We work under tight deadlines with executive-level clients. Our production team tries not to make mistakes! For our internship application, I create specific instructions. I want to know who pays attention to details and who does not. If students don’t follow the instructions, they don’t move forward. This tip might sound a little harsh, but finding ways to automate decisions will let you spend the time you need deliberating down the road.

Finally, you need to let everyone know the status of their application once the position has been filled. Students who spent time applying to your company deserve time from you to tell them the results. It is the right thing to do, even if it is not a fun call or email to make.

Provide value.

If you want your interns to care about you, you better care about them. Why do business if you can’t create mutual wins? If your interns are directly helping your business, make sure you are providing educational opportunities and assisting in their career development, too. At the beginning of the internship, sit down with each of your interns and find out what they are hoping to get from the program. What are they interested in learning more about? What are they passionate about? What are their strengths? If you get to know your interns and create business opportunities around their interests, you will see a higher level of success.

Recruitment strategies:

Now that Myriad’s internship program is fully developed, I have started to explore recruitment strategies. These are some things that have led to a higher number of applicants for our program over the years:

  1. Develop relationships with professors and career development offices. Once our internship application is live, I send it to professors and college career centers. Many send weekly emails to students with summer internship opportunities. These mentors want to help students succeed, but they are also protective and want to make sure their students have a positive experience with your agency. So, make sure you provide detailed information about all of the benefits of your program. They can also give you great advice about how to develop a stronger program. Ask them for help or ways to improve what you are doing.
  2. Visit university classrooms. Once you develop relationships with professors and development offices, find opportunities to present your program to classes. Visit 3-4 classes during your visit to get the most out of your trip. I typically visit video and communications departments. You can also reach out to other university clubs whose students are interested in pursuing your line of work (advertising clubs, student film societies, etc).
  3. Utilize social media. Promote to groups who can help spread the word, like local meet-ups or community groups. Develop tweets and always include a link to your application that you can share with them.
  4. Enlist the help of your co-workers. Once our application is posted, I ask my co-workers to spread the word to their networks. Some of them are quite active on social media, so it’s easy for them. For co-workers who are not as social savvy, I create a list of tweets and Facebook posts for them to copy and paste. Make it easy and thank them often!
  5. Post to university job boards. I get the most responses from this outlet. It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it. Contact university career development departments if you can’t find the job board. They will always help you out.

If you have any questions or ideas, shoot me an email. Best of luck in your search for the perfect intern!

I’m gonna say it — this season of Game of Thrones has been weak.

Though important storylines are developing, the episodes have felt light. Luckily, Sunday’s episode totally redeemed itself! Aside from the typical gratuitous sex and sexual assault themes, “The Gift” was packed with critical plot developments, top-notch acting, and cinematography that told the story as well as the writing. My favorite shots are below. (Minimal spoilers! Story-lines kept general.)

 Daenerys in Bed

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Daenerys in bed with her side piece.

Although Dany is in talks with a potential husband, here she is in bed with her side piece, Dario. He thinks his charm and beautiful arms will make him king, but the cinematographer knows better. By emphasizing the empty space in the bed, you recognize that he will never be her husband. He’s half out of frame, representing his lack of importance. He may dominate in the bedroom, but she won’t marry him. She needs a husband with higher status.

 

The High Sparrow’s True Intentions

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The High Sparrow, played by Jonathan Pryce.

Here we have the High Sparrow in an empty hall. Now this guy is shady. Neither the audience nor characters know whether he’s willing to bend his religious beliefs to help the kingdom. This includes Lady Olenna Tyrell, who tries to bribe him after a witty exchange. (Shout out to a damn beautiful scene between these two actors! I’d pay good money to see the two of them act out the entire GOT series.) Ultimately, the High Sparrow does not take the bait, and this extreme wide shot shows his true intentions: He is not going to bend. He is merely a pawn of the gods, a man of little importance in this shot, and in the grand scheme of life.

 

Tommen Stands Up for Himself

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Will Tommen finally stand up for himself?

After an unfortunate series of events, Tommen is PISSED. In this shot, you recognize how divided he has become from his mother. They are on opposite sides of the table, separated mentally and physically. What is truly separating them? Take notice of the phallic lamp; dude is growing up and ready to make decisions with his lower half.

 

 

Cersei Understands Her Fate

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One of my favorite moments came from Cersei realizing what was happening to her. Choosing to stay on her face for the big reveal allowed the audience to see the exact moment it all clicked. By not cutting away, the tension builds and we’re left on the edge of our seats.

 

What was your favorite shot of the episode? And are y’all finally ready for engaging episodes to wrap up the season?!