Working in the “Real World”
Hi Friends and Family!
Like I wrote in a previous post, I’ve been working in the “real world” since January as a marketing coordinator for a flower distribution company in Miami. I previously thought that I entered the “real world” on May 1st, 1992, but apparently the first 21 years of my life were just a test run for what I’m doing now. However, I must argue that lifeguarding and nannying were a bit more stressful than my current job due to the whole, “responsible for other lives” thing.
Anyway, have you ever been to an interview and experienced this…
You: “What is a normal day for x position?”
Employer: “Oh, every day is different. I would say that there isn’t a normal day for x position.”
I’m sorry, but unless you are an E.R. doctor or something, there’s going to be some pattern, monotony, daily tasks, etc. associated with your job. Even E.R. doctors have some patterns in their day, I’m sure.
What do I do day-to-day at my job? When I arrive at the office between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. (yes, I’m lucky to have a flexible schedule) I usually check emails and the company’s social media outlets. As marketing coordinator, I am in charge of all social media, so I make sure everything is up-to-date, I respond to any posts, etc. On a weekly basis, I am in charge of creating a video for our YouTube page. This involves preparing material for the video, coordinating with other employees who “star” in the videos, scheduling a time to film, setting up the lighting and camera, filming, editing, and posting to YouTube. On a monthly basis, I create and send out the company newsletter to all employees and customers. For the newsletter, I have to write all copy, sometimes take photos, interview people, etc.
I also have a few ongoing projects that I work on. For instance, I designed a car magnet that we now send out to customers. This was one of the first projects I did when I joined the company and I am very proud of it. I also create the Variety Guide to send to customers. Variety Guides are basically fancy booklets that show all the varieties of flowers that our company carries. This allows customers to be up-to-date on varieties and it makes ordering a lot easier. Other projects include designing banners, posters, advertisements (I created a cool GIF ad for a website), sending promotional material to customers/potential customers, and helping the salespeople prepare for floral shows.
I’ve also become quite the flower photographer in the past seven months. In order to create all of our promotional material (like those Variety Guides), we must take high-quality pictures of all our flower varieties. This requires a lot of “flower photo shoots”. It’s not that bad; I think flower models are more well-behaved than human models. People frequently come to me with other random marketing requests throughout the week, but these are just some examples of what I normally do.
I like my job because it’s cool using what I learned in college in a “real world” scenario. I love designing on Adobe and I use everything I learned in CPR202 (my graphic design class) on a daily basis. I like knowing that my college education is being put to good use. What I don’t necessarily like is my title. I majored in Public Relations and I always shied away from marketing, but this job is so much more than marketing and I think the title doesn’t do it justice. But I guess that’s my advice… don’t let the job title scare you away because you take from the job what you put into it. The description of the job on your resume and your portfolio of work is more important than the title.
Since working in the floral industry for almost seven months, I know more about flowers than I ever thought I’d know. For instance, did you know that all flowers are kept at ~35 degrees Fahrenheit during travel and storage in order to lengthen life expectancy and slow down growth? That means it’s cold here. Did you know that there are thousands of varieties of roses? Like, thousands. We also sell kale. Yeah, that green, lettuce-looking vegetable is apparently very common in bouquet arrangements and floral wholesalers pay good money for it. I won’t bore you with too many flower industry details, but it’s way more complicated than I ever expected.
As much as I miss college, the “real world” isn’t that bad. At first, it was weird going to the same place every day because in college my class schedule changed depending on the day of the week, but I got used to it. It’s also nice getting a paycheck every two weeks, and not having homework is the best! I don’t think I’ll ever go back to school for a Masters or anything, but if I do, does that mean I have to leave the “real world”?