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Clip-clop. Clip-clop. Clip-clop.

In a 13-floor building where women represent 63 percent of the employees, the sound of both high and low heels echo throughout the building. It is the very first thing I noticed on day one of my internship. The sound of women's shoes is especially prominent in the mornings, when everyone moves from the parking garage to the Mary Kay Building to their offices.

Now, I know heels are not a novelty item in American society. Yes, I have worn heels in places besides the halls of the Mary Kay Building. But when I wear heels at school or to other events, all I think about is when I can take them off. If you've ever visited the Waynesburg University campus, you would agree that heels and hills do not work well together.

At Mary Kay, however, the sound of heeled shoes represents hundreds of women making a difference in the workplace. It represents a company of people celebrating 50 years of progress and success. It represents women being bold in the workplace and being leaders. The sound of clip-clopping heels reminds me of the founder Mary Kay Ash, a woman with a great vision and heart for helping others.

Mary Kay is an organization that values people and values women. The Mary Kay Foundation helps in the fight against domestic violence and strives to see the elimination of cancer from our society. The company was founded on the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Even in the office, I see men always holding the elevator doors open for ladies. It is a simple gesture, but it makes me appreciate the culture within the Mary Kay Building even more.

Hearing my shoes clip-clop in the hallways with the other ladies in the Mary Kay Building reminds me every morning that I can make a difference as a female in the workplace, that I can be a leader. It reminds me that one woman, Mary Kay, took a huge step of faith and leadership 50 years ago and has since influenced and impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of women.

Including me.

I unfortunately did not have the honor of meeting or talking to her, but I like to imagine Mary Kay took that first step wearing a pair of heels... Maybe even pink heels.


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Compared to my past two summers working with The Pittsburgh Project, this summer's job is A LOT of sitting, a lot more than I am accustomed to. Thankfully, one positive angle to the office life is having the motivation to get some exercise.

This past weekend was one such weekend when my cousin Taylor and I were feeling ambitious enough to go to LA Fitness. Now, if you know me, “athletic” is not in the top 10 adjectives that describe me. I just try not to embarrass myself too terribly when I participate in athletic activities. At the gym, I ran on the treadmill and biked a few miles, which is considered a good workout for me.

Then, I thought it'd be a good idea to venture to the intimidating section of the gym, where there are only machines with 100-pound weights with nondescript pulleys and levers. It's that section of the gym where everyone has six-pack abs and knows what they are doing...except for me.

Thankfully, I found one machine that seemed less complex than the others, the triceps machine. After a few reps and feeling like I was on my way to having chiseled arms like Jullian Michaels, I wiped the equipment off with the disinfectant wipes the facility provided.

That's when I heard a booming voice say, “Excuse me. Excuse me. Yeah you. Can you please come here for a minute, Miss?”

I peek to the other side of the triceps machine to see a big African American man. He was obviously one of the trainers at the fitness center, bearing the LA Fitness logo on his shirt.

My initial thoughts were, “Oh no. He's probably going to ask me what I was doing using that triceps machine and then tell me everything I was doing wrong.”

To my surprise, he just said, “Thanks for wiping the handles off on the work out machine. We really appreciate it.”

After a sigh of relief, I explained to him that my school's fitness center stressed the importance of sanitizing the machines after using them, and that was why I did it. We shook hands and introduced ourselves. His name is Dexter, if I remember correctly.

I'm not sure if I'll ever see Mr. Dexter again, but he taught me something valuable. This week, I learned that the greatest lessons are not always learned during an internship in the office (or even during school in the classroom for that matter).

The smallest things can make a great impact on people. A simple “thank you.” Holding the door open for someone. Giving someone a compliment. Maybe it's wiping off the work out equipment.

Don't be afraid to do the small things because the small things do matter, even if you may not see it.

 

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In orientation seminar for first-year high school students, my high school principal Mr. Krol had a mantra that he made my entire class repeat again and again. There we were, in the auditorium slumped down in our seats repeating, “First impressions count! First impressions count!”

Assuming the thoughts of my other classmates sitting around me, I thought the phrase was quite silly to say over and over and over again, especially when we knew already that first impressions were important. After all, high school kids know everything, right?

Thinking back on Mr. Krol's words now as a senior in college, I see a lot more value in them.

Walking into my first day interning with Mary Kay Inc. in Dallas, Texas, I wanted to make a stellar first impression on my supervisor and my peers. I wanted to make sure I was attentive and proactive, personable but not overdoing it. Above all else, though, I wanted to show my supervisor that I was able to learn and adapt quickly and complete tasks above expectation.

Within the first two days of my internship, I could see that my daily tasks leaned toward a technical knowledge of web design, rather than aesthetic, which required me to learn a lot more than I'd initially thought. Mary Kay IT employees are in the finishing stages of launching a new web site application in Kazakhstan in mid-June which require a lot of tests to ensure all web elements function the way they are intended. I am on the team of people who run those tests and report if each test passed or failed.

Because my tasks are heavily technical, my first week involved a lot of learning. I had to familiarize myself with new terms and acronyms, learn how use new computer programs I've never seen before and learn how to pace my 40-hour work week. Before starting, I had thought I would mostly apply to my internship tasks what I had already learned in school, but I now know that I need to simultaneously learn and apply what I've learned.

At the end of my first week interning with Mary Kay, I learned that great first impressions can include a willingness to learn something new. Stepping out of my comfort zone was scary, and I felt a little helpless at times asking so questions each day. Thankfully, with perseverance and a lot of help from my supervisor and co-workers, I finished my first week feeling accomplished in what I had learned.

As far as great first impressions go, I can only assume I made a good first impression on my supervisor and peers at work. After all, they kept me around for a second week, and the third week is looking promising as well…

Kimber Blair, senior Interactive Design and Public Relations major.

Above photo features my cubicle at Global eBusiness at Mary Kay Inc.


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Junior public relations major Kyle Oland is taking his Waynesburg University education to the big leagues, literally. This summer, Oland will work with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park as a media relations intern.

 

Throughout his internship, Oland will compile media and press kits, write for MLB.com and the Pirates website and interview players and coaches.

 

“The opportunities I have been offered in my classes have helped me develop professionally,” Oland said. “My classes at Waynesburg gave me the skills to stand out as a young professional.”

 

As a freshman, Oland took advantage of Waynesburg's opportunities to grow academically and professionally by writing for The Yellow Jacket, the campus newspaper, as a freshman, where he now serves as Sports Editor and joining the campus public relations Chapter. It was this commitment and dedication to professional development that made him stand out from among the 133 other students who applied for the internship with the Pirates.

 

In addition to his active participation within the Department of Communication at the University, Oland also serves as a student assistant within the Waynesburg Sports Information Office; an experience he knows will aid him as he works with the MLB this summer. He continues to build his resume through networking– a strategy he calls invaluable.

 

“Networking is so important,” Oland said. “It's critical to keep in contact with everyone you meet, because they may be able help you in your career and offer opportunities for you to grow professionally and build your resume.”

 

During his time with the Pirates, Oland hopes to gain more experience in sports journalism and public relations, while also continuing to network within the field. During his internship, Oland says he will emulate the professionalism he has learned from his professors at Waynesburg.

 

“I feel that through my involvement within the Department of Communication at Waynesburg, and my outside experiences, I am setting myself up to stand out in life,” said Oland.


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The Waynesburg University men's and women's track & field teams put together two historic days at the 2013 Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championships, which were held Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, at Washington & Jefferson's Cameron Stadium. The Yellow Jacket women won the first PAC team title in program history, while the men posted their highest finish in the team's existence by claiming second place.

 

The Jacket women featured six individual champions, including senior Carly Schubert, who not only won the shot put, but was also named 2013 PAC Field MVP after adding a silver medal in the discus. Sophomore Amanda Hobe (triple jump), senior Rhea Huwe (100 meters and long jump), senior Megan Fortna (3,000-meter steeplechase) and junior Megan Sowers (javelin) also won individual titles. Veteran head coach Jason Falvo also got in on the individual honors by earning his second career PAC Women's Coach of the Year award.

 

The Waynesburg men were led by sophomore Byrum Louco, who earned All-PAC laurels in four different events, including victories in the 400-meter hurdles and the 4x400-meter relay. For his efforts, Louco was named PAC Men's Track MVP and PAC Men's Track & Field MVP. Senior Tony Lamosek placed Waynesburg in the field events by winning the discus.

 

Both Waynesburg track teams continue their postseason at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships, which run from May 15-18 at Springfield (Mass.) College.

 

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