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Right before Thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to land a position at CMD. CMD is headquartered in Portland, Ore. (where I work) with offices in San Francisco, Seattle and New York. While there are 150 people here in the Portland office, my team is made up of 10 people. I work in the earned Media Department (public relations and social media) as an account coordinator. Some of the brands we support include: JELD-WEN, Intel, McCormick & Schmick’s, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, NW Natural, and Timber Products. We are an integrated marketing agency offering PR, advertising and film & video, just to name a few.

The first few weeks my head was spinning. I still wake up each day grateful to have such a dream job. This is exactly what I went to school for and always hoped for. I’m honored to work with and for some of the top social media and PR minds in the country.

Here’s a little taste of what I do: I monitor social media channels, help grow SM communities, research and put together SM monitoring reports, contribute to the CMD blog, write press releases for the CMD newsroom and for clients, distribute press releases, build and update media lists and pitch media.

With my three month anniversary coming up, I’ve learned SO much and look forward to continuing to grow here at CMD and in the profession.

Here are just a few nuggets of what I’ve learned so far:

SEO is way more important than I thought. Who cares if you write the most amazing content for your client. If it isn’t easily found in search engines, all your effort will be for nothing. Learning how to use SEO tools will increase the ROI for your clients and the work you produce.

The best writers are the best editors. The best advice I received in college was “never fall in love with your first draft.” Look it over just one more time. Print it out and read it again. Your reputation and the agency’s reputation are on the line.

Color-coded lists will actually save your life. With a variety of projects landing on my desk throughout the day, learning how to work efficiently and prioritize tasks is important to productivity (and sanity.)

PR Agency life doesn’t have to be “a dog eat dog world.” I work with the nicest people. Seriously. Their kindness, generosity, patience and general willingness to answer my endless slew of what I would consider “stupid questions,” continues to amaze me. There’s just a “I don’t need to destroy you in order to be successful” attitude that is frankly, very refreshing.

There’s a reason God gave you two ears and only one mouth. I’m getting used to asking a lot of questions. I think the trick is asking the right questions.

Be patient with yourself. As my boss said to me on my first week, “Don’t try to take on everything at once.” Clearly she is an intuitive woman. This is me, classic. I have been learning so many new methods, formats and tools that it really does pay to patient with yourself. In time, you’ll learn. In the meantime, ask lots of questions and allow time for mistakes. There’s no getting around it, you’ll make them.

If I hear my co-workers laughing, there’s a 90% chance it has to do with a cat photo or video. Being allergic to cats, I don’t share this same love and affection for the animal, but I do find their random giggles pretty entertaining.

Please consider exhibit A:

Don’t get used to cat pictures on this blog. I assure you this is a once in a lifetime occurrence. If you are a cat lover, enjoy it while it lasts.

I started researching agencies and companies last Christmas Break. I did informational interviews and spent countless hours researching online. I can honestly say that I couldn’t have dreamed up an agency or a job this wonderful. It is a perfect fit.

If you are looking for a job in PR, stay tuned. I’m a strong believer in networking and working hard to make the right connections. A post on how to be a successful “friendworker,” will in fact be coming soon.

Are you a young professional? What are some things you’ve been learning? Any seasoned pros out there who’d be willing to impart their wisdom?