This week is my first of two weeks off from my master’s program at Syracuse University. While I don’t have a blog post that’s due for a class, I figured that I’d maintain a habit of blogging every week as I’ll be doing the same starting fall semester for my advanced writing class.

Anyway, to pick up where I left off with my last blog post, I’m definitely pleased so far with my decision to pursue a master’s degree in public relations. Perhaps what I’ve been most thankful for is my ability to use my course projects for my portfolio to share with prospective employers. Now that the summer session is over I’m turning my attention to finding internship and job opportunities, preferably with nonprofit organizations.

tumblr_l4zu1eCcMv1qa9gi9o1_400It’s really no secret why I have a special interest in nonprofits. As you know, I’ve been telling the stories of organizations in Detroit for four years prior to enrolling at Syracuse. What hasn’t always been clear though were my ultimate career goals. However, as I’ve had time to prepare and embrace what I want from my program I’ve determined four career paths which I wish to pursue:

  1. Nonprofit PR for youth-serving organizations – The work that I’ve done with organizations in Detroit the past few years have been some of my greatest accomplishments as a professional. After I’d see an organization get published for their work in the Detroit News or Detroit Free Press I’d always say to myself, “Man, I can’t wait to make a career out of this!” After all, there are few things better than showcasing youth in a positive light.
  2. Community relations for professional sports teams – This one is kind of a new interest for me. My interest in this as a career choice became clearer as I’ve thought of ways to combine my love of community and sports. Specifically, I love the work that Sam Abrams does with the Detroit Tigers as he’s constantly informing local baseball coaches of ways to get their youth involved with the team’s programs.
  3. Running my own small communications firm – With the way the economy sometimes works, it’s no wonder why people are taking control of their own futures by working for themselves. Sure, the idea of finding and maintaining clients is scary as they are your primary source of income, but it’s also just as rewarding to be your own boss and have more control over your schedule.
  4. Teaching at the college/university level – I’m really intrigued by the idea of being able educate and train the next generation of communications professionals. With time, I think it’d be cool to develop a PR program from scratch and turn it into one of prestige. Pursuing this as a career path may require some additional years of school, but at least Ph.D.’s get paid for by the university, and not the other way around!

As the fall semester starts it’ll be interesting to see where my grad school experiences lead me. One thing I’m confident of though is that now that I have an idea where I want to go I can use my connections at Syracuse to create a plan for getting there.

Can I just be honest with you about something?  I really don’t care what your New Year’s Resolution is.  If I had to put money on it, I bet it’s something that’s centered around yourself.  I know the story: “I want to lose 10 pounds!”  Or, something more subjective as, “I’m going to be a better person!”  Every year on the last day of the year, it’s all you ever hear about. People don’t talk about “how” they’re going to change or lose those ten pounds.  Most of them just say it and don’t even think about a plan to achieve what they say they’ll do.  And then when the new year comes and goes, they find themselves subconsciously making the very same resolutions that they did the year before.  I like to think of this as the New Year’s Eve noise.  And it’s just as loud (or even sometimes louder) than the celebration at midnight.

Before you hype us up with your resolutions, just be happy you even made it to this point.

Don’t get me wrong.  My problem isn’t you making resolutions.  By all means, I could never be mad at someone who makes goals for themselves.  After all, you know the changes you need to make a hell of a lot better than I do.  But what is a problem is when you don’t even make an effort to do what you’ll say you’ll do.  Don’t hype up others with your nonsense about how you’ll be a changed person yet turn around and you’re going on a tirade on the Internet about how some chick stepped on your shoes at a New Year’s party.  Spare us: you live in a world where some people can’t even afford to spell “shoes”. Despite what you may think, the world will not care about that one centimeter scratch on your shoes that you paid your life’s savings for (you could probably afford to get them fixed if it’s THAT serious).

You think I’m still talking crazy, huh?  Well, since you insist on making New Year’s resolutions can I give you a suggestion?  In 2012 and beyond, I want you to be a man/woman of your word: do what you’ll say you do.  Face it, the world is full of people who are all talk and no action.  And that’s what makes me indifferent about people and their resolutions.  You hear about it all the time from the government (we will not raise taxes) to your children (Mommy, I promise I’ll keep my room clean if you get me a puppy).  How many relationships have you been in that were full of promises that weren’t kept?  Or, how many people did you lend money to, only to never get it back?

People who don’t keep their word have really became one of my biggest pet peeves this year; like this unpaid internship I worked in May.  I only was interested in it because of the marketing and PR experience I’d gain.  I didn’t have a job yet, so I was just looking for more practice .  And this seemed like a good place to start my freelance work.  After all, how could I go wrong working with a start-up productions company dedicated to serving non-profits in metro Detroit?  By working with people I barely knew who obviously over-hyped their “internship program.”  Sure, recording video for an event as inspiring as the Race for the Cure is fun (it was even cooler to interview the mayor of the city).  But after the event, what was next?  Apparently nothing.  I never did any of the marketing and PR I was supposedly brought in to do.  And I still don’t have that “lovely portfolio” I was told I’d get.  I guess all they wanted were some volunteer videographers; I just wanted some experience.  You see how this doesn’t match up?  But hey, this example is much more tame compared to some of my other disappointments this year (please don’t get me started).

And that’s why keeping your word is the best thing you could do for next year.  Start small by making promises to yourself.  I bet you’ll find it hard to keep over-promising the things you need to do.  When you start being honest with yourself, you’ll find it easier to be honest with other people.  If you believe in treating people the way you’d like to be treated, you’ll find yourself staying away from over-promising.  Do this long enough and it’ll become a habit that’s part of who you are.  You’ll also find that because people give words meaning, you’ll watch what you say a lot more closely.

Keeping your word is the best way to make your resolution stand out.  Anybody can make noise on New Year’s Eve, but if you really want someone to care about your noise, keep your word.

I couldn't tell you what these guys are chasing...But me? I'm chasing my dreams.

I remember this one time I was taking the Greyhound bus home for a weekend to make it to a Tigers’ game the next day.  On the way from Flint to Detroit, I was chilling out and listening to my mp3 when I noticed this boy who was trying to spit game to this chick.  I kind of watched him as he struck out swinging trying to get this girl’s phone number and other info (personally, I thought the guy was mentally off to begin with…).  She would keep telling him things like, “It’s nice to meet you and all, but I’m not really interested in trying to know you or get into a relationship right now.”  She saw me watching and we both chuckled and shook our heads (seriously, the guy was slow).  And my first thought was: “Man!  It sucks to be a woman!”

I’m sure we’ve all seen and/or been a part of cases like these.  Whether it’s that girl walking past you in the mall, or (for the ladies) that guy in the club, I’m sure you’ve found yourself pursing someone who you knew was probably way out of your league.  But this isn’t just limited to pursuing a soul mate (or a booty-call if that’s more of your thing).  We as people find ourselves pursing things like cars, houses, and all those new gadgets that become obsolete in six months.  These things are so far out of our reach, they come off like the English Premier League in soccer to our “Major” League Soccer in North America (for those who aren’t familiar with soccer leagues, think of the NFL compared to arena football, or MLB to Independent League baseball).  And ironically, they all have one thing in common: more often than not, these are temporary materialistic things that you can’t take with you when you pass away. Believe it or not, there is only one thing out there that you have that no one can take from you: your goals and dreams.

Let me tell you about something I’ve recently started (and part of my reason for starting this blog).  I recently established myself as a freelance publicist; except, I call it something different.  The name of my side gig is the same as my username – abrothanamedCed: The Marketing Communications Artist.  I see myself as more than a publicist who can write-up a good news release.  It’s why I expand my services to whatever is necessary to market my clients and partners to the best of what I’m capable.  Check out my website at http://www.abrothanamedCed.com.  How long do I plan to keep up with “abrothanamedCed”?  Until I establish myself as an official small marketing firm, or until I find that one company I decide I want to take over.

Logos, websites, business cards? It costs alot now. But it's the long-run that matters.

How does this relate to chasing my dreams?  Well, as you may be aware (or should be by now) I’m a recent college graduate.  And as some of you also know, the question you get asked the most is, “so, whatcha gon’ do now?”  My main goal after graduation was to be able to stay in the Detroit area.  Having matured and living here a while, I’ve grown to appreciate the city (believe me, as a kid I used to hope this place would burn to the ground).  So you can imagine that I haven’t been much of a fan of the criticism the city has taken lately.  It’s like this once proud city of more than a million citizens has become America’s punchline of now fewer than 800,000.  Call me crazy, but I’m one of those who thinks the city can bounce back one day.  And you know what’s even crazier?  I want to be a part of the turnaround.  Whereas others get their kicks-and-giggles living “La Vida Loca” in cities like the NYC and LA, I find that there’s something to be said about making it in the D.  I guess you can say I get my thrills from being the underdog.  After all, If I go down, I’d rather do it swinging!

That’s just my lengthy example!  The point is, your dreams and goals are the only things really worth chasing.  Men and women, money and cars, clothes, jewelry and gadgets, all of these things are only temporary.  Like I said in my first post, do what you love to do and these things will come along in the process.  At the end of the day, how would you feel if you couldn’t say that you didn’t spend at least a couple of days in your life pursuing your goals, dreams and passions?  But, whatever you do, don’t let me tell you what your dreams and goals are.  If your goal in life is to get “the hottest chick in the game wearing your chain” (Jay-Z quote), more power to you!  Just make sure it’s something really worth pursuing in the grand scheme of things.

Oh, and by the way: since I know I may not make money with abrothanamedCed right away, I accepted a full-time job with BNP Media!  Those student loans don’t payoff themselves you know.  Anyway, I start tomorrow, so wish me luck!