Playlist 1: SOUL SONGS

Here’s a peek into one of my personal playlists: Soul Songs. Every song on this playlist speaks to my soul; they’re soothing, passionate, and centered around love. If I’m taking a contemplative car ride, this is what I play.

  1. Butterfly – UMI
  2. Haiku – Nai Palm
  3. February 3rd – Jorja Smith
  4. Best Part (feat. H.E.R.) – Daniel Caesar
  5. Quite Like You – Andy Shauf
  6. Slipping – Eryn Allen Kane
  7. We Find Love – Daniel Caesar
  8. Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens
  9. Sweet Creature – Harry Styles
  10. Emotion – Destiny’s Child
  11. Sunrise – Norah Jones
  12. Song Cries and Amens – Grace
  13. Library Magic – The Head and the Heart
  14. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
  15. Streetcar – Daniel Caesar
  16. Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand – Leon Bridges
  17. Village – Cam

Listen on Spotify.

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Moodboard: Eartha Kitt

eartha

I don’t have to be wealthy and rich. My spirit is a valuable commodity.”

Eartha Kitt poses in character as Catwoman for the television show "Batman" in 1967.PHOTO: The one and only Eartha Kitt ~ She and that recognizable voice and what a character ~ lived a LONG LONG LIFE!!! Women In Shorts (Maybe) Cause Car CrashEartha Kitt as Catwoman — Batman, Season 3 (1967-68, ABC)

I’m not black and I’m not white and I’m not I’m not pink and I’m not green. Eartha Kitt has no color and that is how barriers are broken.

Eartha Kitt - 1959 Photographic Print by Isaac Sutton at Art.comEartha and daughter Kitt playingEartha Kitt - 1959 Photographic Print by William Lanier at AllPosters.com

Concertos of the G String by Baroque Malone

This past semester, I was in a class called Music Marketing. My professor, Dr. Barretta, taught us the ins-and-outs of the music industry and arranged for us to meet with ‘Rev. Moose‘, the Managing Partner/Co-Founder of Maurader Group, a music marketing firm based in NYC, over Skype. He explained his role within the company and how needs are constantly evolving with the rise of technology. We ended up doing some work for him and some of the bands he represented which ended up being really cool.

What I really liked about this class, though, was our major assignment/project – to re-brand an already existing artist. My group chose the grungy, ever-endearing Post Malone. The first half of our project was to better understand the typical Post Malone fan. First, we had to do a little research on his background and how he ended up a mega-star.

A Syracuse, NY native until he moved to Dallas, TX when he was 10 years old, Post Malone is a musical artist specializing in Hip-Hop, Contemporary R&B, and Rap Rock. He rose to fame on Soundcloud and was soon sought after following the release of White Iverson (2015). He released his first album Stoney in 2016. Now, he’s the 8th most-played artist on Spotify, on Soundcloud he has 63.7 million plays and utilizes cross-promotion by being active on social media platforms like Facebook (1.7M likes), Twitter (3.09M followers), Instagram (7.4M followers), and Snapchat.

His most important platform, by far, is Twitter. While Twitter is his most used form of social media, it’s also his most real. His unapologetic and uncensored tweets are millennial and Gen-Z crack. People in these categories eat up transparency in the media. More than ever before, fans know more about and are more invested in artists’ lives. He also engages quite a bit with his audience.

Here’s our full analysis of the typical Post Malone fan:

Post Malone: Fan Profile

The second half of our project was a bit trickier. When the time came, Dr. Barretta announced what musical genre we would re-brand our artists as. Post Malone would be a classical Baroque artist. Perfect.

Luckily, my group and I are creative geniuses and made it work. Thus, Baroque Malone was born.

Take a look at our presentation and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Post Malone: Rebrand

My favorite part and my own personal touch that completes the project:

Concertos on the G String by Baroque Malone

baroque

Now that’s a work of art.

How To Land an Internship

Full disclosure: What worked for me may not work for you. These are just some general tips.

  1. First of all, make a LinkedIn. Have a friend take a professional photo of you. Use correct grammar and punctuation because that really does matter, and don’t just one-click apply. If you want, use bullets under your work experience and be specific, but don’t write a novel. Then, make connections. Personally, I don’t really like to connect with recruiters unless they’re working for a specific company that I’m familiar with. They clog up my timeline. Don’t be afraid to connect with people you’ve worked with or for in the past. If you did a good job, they’ll gladly connect and might even write you a recommendation! Professors are great LinkedIn connections, too.
  2. Utilize LinkedIn when looking for a job. BUT – don’t just look for job openings. Look to network instead. For instance, in the search bar I can type in ‘St. Bonaventure University’. My connections obviously pop up, but so do other tabs. These tabs are categorized into locations, connections, and current companies. If you see that an alum from your school works at a company you can see yourself at – send them InMail. My school has the reputation for being extremely prideful and helpful when reached out to, so I’m lucky! Utilize alums. They want to see you succeed!
  3. Put your heart and soul into every cover letter you send out. Ultimately, the organization you send them to wants to see that there’s a good chance you’re going to stick around a while, so add why you’re applying. Do some research. Your personal and professional beliefs should mesh well with theirs, so finding something that you like about the job other than the salary should be easy. They need to know you’re putting stock in them as much as they’re putting stock in you.
  4. Go to networking events. This is one I’m terrible at. I end up going for the free food and talking to one person. It’s definitely a scary thing, but these people wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to talk. They’ve come to help with securing internships, general advice, or to speak on something in a specific field. Use them. Find common ground. Get their business card or LinkedIn. Bounce. Repeat.
  5. Prepare for your interview. Whether on the phone, through Skype, or in person, preparation is key. Write down common questions, do mock interviews, practice in the mirror or an empty room if you have to, but just be prepared. Research, research, research – know about the company! They want to know you’re invested, so they will ask. Have a prepared answer for, “Why do you want to work at … ?” Have questions for them prepared, too. Be professional and confident, yet relaxed and not boastful. Be yourself. Interviews are the hardest part of the process but you’ll get through them. Normally by the third or fourth interview, you’ve got your answers down for the basic stuff.
  6. Write a thank-you. If you want to go the extra mile, write an actual thank-you card with an actual pen. If you can’t in time, it’s acceptable to write an email. Keep it short, sweet, and memorable. Try to write something about the tips your interviewer gave you or a commonality you shared. Then, of course, thank them for their time.

Trust me when I say I know how nerve-wracking the interview process can be. I break out in hives on my chest and neck every time I’m nervous – so special attire (TURTLENECKS) is required. I also have the sweatiest hands on the face of the earth, so I try to stay as cool as possible and keep special deodorant on-hand for that first impression handshake. Most of the time it does not go well – but I keep a smile on my face and try to charm my way into my interviewer’s heart. Sometimes that works. But most of the time, being prepared works better. Applying for jobs is a job in itself. Just be smart about it and you’ll have one in no time. Just don’t give up. The more you apply, the better you’ll get at it!

 

My Study Abroad Experience: Chapter 1 – How Amy Poehler Saved Me

In 2016, I studied abroad. Truthfully, I was in a rush. In high-school, I missed out on the Spanish trip offered by Señora Chichester. The trip was a rarity in my small Northern-New York central school. (I graduated in a class of 44 students.) I was impatient to see the world – but my Mom assured me I would get the chance to see it once I got to college.

So there I was – at the first interest meeting to study abroad in Salamanca, Spain the Summer of 2016. I was a freshman.

The first meeting was in February. Information was handed out by none other than Dr. Alva Cellini, one of our instructors for the courses we were about to take while abroad and a vital character in this story. I can not say enough about Dr. Cellini. She has a certain zest for life that’s contagious and an earnest aim to educate with compassion and poise while puncturing (and oftentimes confusing) us with her sarcasm. Cellini is Italian and if you heard her speak, you’d know it. While we all grew to love and understand Dr. Cellini, I’ll have to admit, she was a bit of a hard-ass at first. She needed the passports, the deposits, and the enthusiasm – and she needed them NOW.

We were all assigned a Spanish city or region to give presentations on (I was assigned Toledo) and at the following meetings, each of us presented to the group. Each meeting the group grew, but really, I knew no one. I did recognize one girl, though. So, naturally, I approached her while shit-faced at a party one weekend. Molly still tells the story of how I came up to her and frantically asked her to be my roommate. “Yeah, that’s how we met,” she goes, Bambi eyes wide. I can hear her saying it.

Classes ended and I went home to prepare for the trip. I had two weeks to gather everything I needed and to mentally prepare.

We were responsible for finding our own flight – the end destination being Madrid, Spain where we would all meet up in the airport. I, OF COURSE, had the worst flying experience of my life.

I am not a nervous flyer by any means. I love to fly. In fact, if I have a window seat, I look out of the window the whole flight. I love flying. It wasn’t the actual flying that got me rattled.

I’ll start from the beginning. I was flying out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. My uncle and his girlfriend live in Montreal, so my Dad and I went up a day before my flight to spend time with them. We walked through beautiful Old Montreal and had a delicious meal at The Keg Steakhouse + Bar. Next thing you know, my uncle’s girlfriend is dragging us out for drinks and we get back to their apartment pretty late. My flight is at 10:00AM the next morning.

I wake up, have everything prepared, and we’re on our way to the airport. I say goodbye to my Dad. Almost cry. But I have to stay strong. Because… I’m hungover. And crying will make it worse.

My flight to JFK in New York wasn’t awful – but it really was not pleasant. I was still recovering and it was an uncomfortable hour in the air. Once I arrived at JFK, I got some food in my system and calmed down a little. I found my gate and patiently waited – and I found a friend! Another girl going on the trip was on the same flight. What a relief. We waited and chatted.

She boarded. I was waiting in line. I went up with my passport and ticket – and my ticket didn’t scan. Apparently, it said that I had canceled the flight. While this is happening, people are zooming by me to board the flight while I wait for someone to tell me something. I’m sweating from nervousness, my face is beat red, and I’m practically in tears. I wanted so badly to cry. The baggage assistant is reassuring me and he’s really the only one who seems to notice that I am about to freak out – or the only one who cares.

Finally, everyone is boarded. I explain my situation. I need to get on this flight. I need to. Fortunately, there’s one seat left. In the back middle of the giant 300-person plane – right next to a couple with a 6-month-old baby, and you guessed it! Right next to the bathroom. GRRrreaaat. I did cry a little.

Our flight from JFK to Madrid was 7 and a half hours long. After that ordeal, there was no way I could sleep. My adrenaline was through the roof and it was freezing. However scary, though, I just have to tell myself that I survived and I could take care of myself. God bless the people who got me on that plane. I can’t even imagine what kind of shape I’d be in if I had to fly the next day.

Luckily, I had a book with me. I bought it in the airport and it was by one of my favorite people on earth, Amy Poehler. Funny enough, there’s a section in “Yes Please” titled

Reasons We Cry on an Airplane:

  1. We are a little drunk.
  2. We are a little scared.
  3. We feel lonely, which is different than being alone.
  4. We are missing someone or have just left someone.
  5. We are headed toward our family and can’t stand our cousins.
  6. We feel like time is suspended and therefore we can feel real emotion without consequence.
  7. We look out the windows and see the sky and are reminded how amazing it is to get in a giant steel bird and not have to die on the trail like our forefathers.
  8. We have just watched a movie. ANY MOVIE. Recent movies I have cried to include 21 Jump Street, That’s My Boy, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Jackass 2.
  9. The pressure.
  10. The pressure! (different)

I love her and this made me laugh on one of the worst days of my young adult life! Really, stuff like this is funny to me now, but at the time it was traumatic. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. Laugh it off and keep going. Trust me, there will be a few more horrific incidents like this one in the next few chapters. For now, let this one sit with you – and maybe read Amy’s book while you’re at it.