Vanessa Martinez

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Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Dustin Dodd

Photo By Vanessa Martinez
Photo By Vanessa Martinez

“Other than giving me communication and writing skills, I don’t feel like I was that prepared for marketing and advertising as a whole. But that is also because I don’t feel like UNCC’s Marketing and Advertising department is as strong as other departments.  Take the Finance department as an example; the school puts all of their efforts toward the finance department, whom by the way are making pawns to ship off to Bank of America or Wells Fargo.

I have learned way more at internships than I ever have in school. I’ve interned at Alter Imaging, which is a small agency. There I learned Google analytics, SEO’s, and ad-words. It exposed me to a world of digital marketing and digital advertising analytics.

After that I did a little work for a startup, and after that I took an internship at Addison Whitney –a brand strategy firm. I learned about brand architecture, brand nomenclature and of course brand strategy. It was tons of research and reporting. Now I am at Tattoo Projects. I wanted something creative and so far it’s been real.”

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Maddie Fox

Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Photo by Vanessa Martinez

“You can never doubt yourself.  There’s a part of you that knows if something is not right, if you are unhappy and if you put that to the side for too long it will eventually come to the surface.  My last relationship taught me a lot of things. My ex and I grew to be very different people. I was still growing and he was done growing. He was completely content with a basic lifestyle, and that’s okay, but there are people who have more drive and are reaching for something different, something other than just survival. I think I always knew I wanted more. He was okay with everything being the way things were and I wasn’t. Every time I tried to encourage him, I was nagging, and you can only hope that your partner will grow with you, not apart from you. I am very okay with who I am now, and I used to think I was not happy for all these different reasons. I was unhappy because I had to commute to Charlotte everyday, or I was unhappy because I was still in school and finally I realized I wasn’t happy because I was not being myself. So now I feel like I am finally beginning again. Even though I lost a good friend, I gained myself back, and I am really excited to have me again.”

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Joseph Page

Photo by Joseph Page
Photo by Vanessa Martinez

“A college degree is like a ticket into a club of people who tried hard enough. Corporate America recognizes that it is sufficient, and in a way it displays that you’re smart enough. In my opinion, I think school is only part of the equation. You can get a piece of paper that says that somebody else thinks you’re smart, but does it really mean that much? What means more, from what I can tell, is showing initiative in everything you do. What is going to get you far in your career? To advance, you need to have a mindset that asks, “What does the five-year-from-now version of me want to be doing at this very moment?” and then live through that.”

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Tracy Copeland

Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Photo by Vanessa Martinez

“Hopefully by the time I am 30, I will have my life figured out. Though I don’t think anyone can ever really have his or her life figured out. Every year we are constantly changing and growing. When I hit 24, I realized I had outgrown a lot of people, and this was really hard for me to accept because I had this picture in my head that I was going to be best friends with these people, or I am going to spend the rest of my life with this individual. Some people are not used to change, and sometimes when I act a certain way people ask me, ‘Why are you acting this way? You never used to be this way,’ and it brings me back to this quote that says, ‘Watch out for the used-to people,’ because they are the people who are used to a secluded lifestyle, they are stuck in their way of thinking and they intentionally prevent themselves from growing. The best advice I can give to people is: enjoy your life; you should never be apologetic for who you want to be and who you truly have been all along.”

Welcome to Duck Donuts

Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Photo by Vanessa Martinez

My good friend has been raving about Duck Donuts for a while now since she visited the Greenville, N.C. location. I am not a huge fan of donuts, but now that they have opened a new shop here in Charlotte, I decided to give it a try. After getting a little lost and annoyed trying to find the shop in Dilworth, both of our headaches drifted away as we walked in to the delicious aroma of fried goodness.

Duck Donuts serve their donuts fresh to-order. Each donut begins coming hot off the line and gets coated in your choice of:

  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Glazed
  • Vanilla Icing
  • Chocolate Icing
  • Lemon Icing
  • Peanut Butter Icing
  • Maple Icing
  • Strawberry Icing

Once they get coated you can add toppings to the donuts, which include:

  • Shredded Coconut
  • Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Rainbow Sprinkles
  • Chopped Peanuts
  • Bacon

I ordered half-dozen donuts to bring back to my roommates. They included: Maple icing with bacon sprinkles, vanilla icing with rainbow sprinkles, lemon, strawberry, chocolate and plain vanilla for myself. They were absolutely worth it. Even after a few hours, once we warmed them back up per box directions, they tasted just as good as when they slipped off the line.

Again, I am not a huge donut fan, but I definitely recommend Duck Donuts and I would come back and order again!
With several locations including: Raleigh, Greenville, Cary and Charlotte,  N.C. everyone should stop by Duck Donuts. Plus you are helping small businesses grow and that is a considerably awesome thing to do!

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Stephanie

“I do not know anything more painful than witnessing the man I loved love someone else. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it would’ve marked 5 years of being together. As a result, I’ve erased him off everything, though sometimes he can slip through the cracks… I’ll see pictures of him and sometimes he messages me to see how I’m doing, but I cannot gather the strength to speak to him like we are not together. I feel too young to complain about this heartbreak, but it did really cloud my way of viewing love. I’m learning to be okay with being alone, and after everything I’ve become distant, and rather terrified with the idea of building a new relationship, and starting completely anew with someone else. I just picture myself finishing school, moving back to Brooklyn, and if the universe plans it, maybe love will reintroduce itself into my life. I don’t get to decide when it arrives, but I’m sure it’ll catch me by surprise.”

*Last name hidden for anonymity

Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Photo by Vanessa Martinez

My two-cents on finding, accepting and leaving a Job

Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Photo by Vanessa Martinez

Jobs. They pay the bills, they put food on the table and they make fun excursions possible. Some people love their jobs and others cannot stand them. Yet, it’s our decision to decide to apply to these jobs, so what is with the unhappy, tragic stories we hear all the time about others and their workplaces? What can we all be doing better when we look for a job and what can we expect when we interview for them?

Here are some tips and some real life advice:

First, where are you looking?

Certain websites like indeed.com, Monster.com and even Jobs.com are what I consider to sometimes be dead ends. When you apply for positions on these websites, you are less likely to hear back from busy employers who tend to post job listings and forget about them. I cannot tell you how many times I have applied for a job with the hopes of hearing back, I never got anything in return because someone has already been hired and the employer forgot to take down the listing. Sometimes they also never sign back into their account to check for applicants. It is annoying and not helpful for someone who has bills to pay.

Instead, if you are looking for a job at the mall, instead of walking around the mall and asking for applications–which is not to say walking around the old fashioned way is not a way to get a job, because it certainly is—fill out the application online. Many times you waste time asking for applications when they turn around and send you on their website to fill out an online application. You can easily, in the comfort of your own coach or bed, go to the mall’s website and look for Retailer Job Postings. These make it super easy to apply and can narrow your search. As far as any job goes, going to their website and looking for the ‘careers’ tab is another fast and efficient way to find out if a company is hiring.

Once you find a job that interests you, research the crap out of it.

With technology as rapid and resourceful as it is, researching has no end. Find out where it is located and understand their mission. Is this something you stand for? If you are someone who has no religious beliefs do you still want to apply to be a communication intern for a new and upcoming church? Probably not. Understand the basis of the job and decide if you can actually handle the job description. They are not there to skim over, think of them as a checklist of qualifications that you may embody. Employers nine times out of ten will ask if you know any background information about them. This would be your perfect chance to shine.

They give you the job, now what?

Just because you were in dire need of a job two months ago does not mean you make yourself so flexible that you have no you time. When I took a job two years ago, I gave them my total availability, which was a huge mistake. For the last two years, instead of my work schedule working around my school schedule, I was squeezing classes in around my work schedule. Not easy and not fun to say the least. Make sure you have at the least one day a week to work on school assignments, or just to decompress. You will thank yourself later.

A professor I had last semester said to the class one day, “If you prioritize your job at crapplebees before your school work, you have got a problem.” Those words have never rang so true. You are in college, doing well is very important. Some people can juggle school and work at the same time and still turn out and do well. Good for them. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. If you are feeling a heavy workload and if your boss is making your job more important than your schoolwork, they have a problem, not you.

When should you leave your crapplebees job?

If you are experiencing drama, tension or stress at your job, you should make sure you take the proper precautions before you drop the mic and peace out.

Lining up a couple of interviews, or even waiting until you have got a new job is the smart and the best ‘adult’ strategy. Leaving your job because you are angry, or annoyed is not a good enough excuse. Being independent and an adult go hand in hand, so make sure you have all of your priorities in check before throwing in the towel.

‘Adulting’ or being self-sufficient is what we all should aim for. We all want to work at a fun and flexible job. It takes a special person to sit at a computer all day and book appointments, and it takes a special person to tend to customers and keep a friendly smile on all day. It may take a while to find that perfect job, but we can all be realistic and take the right precautions before we get there.

Humans of UNC Charlotte

Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Photo by Vanessa Martinez

“Being a full-time student is an interesting title to have -to me it means you are devoting a large portion of your life to study and to finish school on time. For the first time in six years I will be without a job. This will be the first time in my life I will get to focus on what is best for me. It is a decision I will never regret, but I am sure going to miss my work family.”

Humans of UNC Charlotte: Paula Cuesta

Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Paula Cuesta. Photo by Vanessa Martinez

“I thought I’d be rich by now, like multi-millionaire rich. Every day that goes by I feel a little bit more discouraged. When I was fourteen I thought I would be rich in my twenties, now it’s maybe I will be rich in my thirties. You know, it’s not even about being rich, but more about having the luxury of not letting money dictate your life. Someone asked me the other day “Why are you twenty-one and a sophomore? You should be a senior.” Well, I have been working full-time to afford school part-time. It’s like taking two steps forward and one step back. In a perfect world I would be part of a band— touring the globe and not having a worry in my mind about money. I like to think that someday it might actually happen.”

Paula Cuesta. Photo by Vanessa Martinez
Paula Cuesta. Photo by Vanessa Martinez

App Review: Poshmark

dressThe phrase “broke college student” is no joke. We all know that life can be rough as it is but being a full-time or part-time student is a large financial leap that we all take and should be proud of. If you are like me, you are always trying to find ways to make some extra cash. I have found that selling my clothes is a great way to do just that. Going to consignment stores is always an option, but before you go selling or buying clothes at a consignment shop, take a look at this app called Poshmark.

Think virtual boutiques. Thousands, upon thousands of them. Poshmark is a way for people to connect with one another and recycle clothing and other items by selling them through a quick, fun and easy platform. Why not get rid of that sweater that you have worn once or twice and buy a new pair of shoes? Poshmark can be downloaded for free on the App Store for iPhones, and the Google Play Store for Android devices.

Here are a few steps to the Poshmark process:

Picture:

Everyone wants to know the condition of the item you are selling. Putting yourself in the buyer’s perspective is a must when posting pictures. Think about the flaws you would look out for in someone else’s closet. It is also important to make use of your creativity. You are more likely to have people gravitate towards your closet if you put some extra work in showcasing your items.

List:

Listing your items is easy. Selecting the size, brand, and price takes only a few seconds. Poshmark allows the user to post pictures of whatever they may want to sell–accessories, wallets, handbags and jewelry– and post it to their followers. Followers can range from other Poshmark users, to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr followers.

Once you have listed your item, a buyer will have the opportunity to make an offer, comment with any questions, like the listing and make a purchase.

Posh Parties:                                                                                                                    

Poshmark allows for sellers to post their listings on virtual parties. These allow listings to be seen by anyone, follower or not. Parties are labeled for specific items. For example, “Best in Sweaters, Jackets, and More.”

Buying/Selling:

Poshmark supplies the seller with a prepaid, printable USPS postage that makes it easy to print, package and send. Thus, there is a 4.99 delivery fee for using Poshmark.

When purchasing through the app, Poshmark keeps the payment safe until the package has been received and accepted. It really is just that simple.

Poshmark is an easy, fun, and quick way to turn around your closet, or make extra cash. It is a great alternative to other options around town.