Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Professional Posse: Greta Edgar

Why hello first Professional Posse post of 2017! Oh how I've missed you.

Let's dive right in, because we seriously need to talk for a hot second about the fabulous Greta Edgar. I've known Greta since my elementary school bus riding days, when she was one of my sister's cool older friends. Fast forward 12 years, and she's still one of my sister's cool older friends... but I'm lucky enough to call her one of mine too. This girl is so sweet and stylish, and her instagram is like some hazy dreamland of coffee, confetti and rosé -- for real, go look.

Greta's public relations professional life is the reason I see her as much as I do. I'm always in for a laugh filled dinner whenever she makes a work trip from Pittsburgh to NYC. (Incidentally, Greta is also the first PA girl to join the Professional Posse! #represent) I couldn't wait to read more about her work life for this post and, of course, her interview answers are amazing. I loved reading more about PPG as a company, and the advice section, in particular, contains some serious gems for ladies hunting for their first professional gig.

I was also seriously excited to read Greta's style section answers, because I've never met a girl who is always so perfectly put together. Although, it's best not to tell her that, because the response will be a disbelieving "are you kiddingggg me???" accompanied by an eye roll.

Name: Greta Edgar
Field / Industry: Public Relations/Communications
Title: External Communications Specialist
Company: PPG
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Current City: Pittsburgh, PA
Alma Mater: Saint Vincent College

The Job

Describe your role?

First, to give you some background on PPG, we are a global leader in paint and coatings. We coat the planes you fly in, the cars you drive, the phone you Snapchat with, and the walls of your home. I work in the architectural coatings division, which includes the paint brands PPG Paints, Glidden paint, Olympic paint and even Liquid Nails sealant.

It’s my job to protect, maintain and enhance PPG and our brands’ reputations through media relations efforts. This means that I’m working directly with members of the media to ensure our products, news and subject matter experts are included in editorial (unpaid) content. For example, if you see a Glidden paint color mention in HGTV magazine, our team worked directly with their editorial staff to place that mention.

What was the application and interview process like?

The job that I initially applied for and had at PPG was actually a Communications Intern position. I applied for the job after seeing the listing on and then connected with the recruiter on LinkedIn (an SVC alum!) A week or so later I got a call to come in for an interview with the senior communications manager and the communications specialist on her team (now my boss). That following Tuesday, I got a call saying that I got the internship! I was a full-time intern for a year, then moved to a full-time contractor role, then was hired in March 2016. I think this is a testament to getting your foot into the door. You never know where an internship can take you, so don’t be defeated if that’s where you start.

What tactics did you use for finding your job?

I applied for jobs that I knew would be a good fit and that I could picture myself at. I didn’t apply for jobs just to apply or to add another check mark next to my list of applications. Also, I tried to find recruiters for companies I was interested in on LinkedIn. I knew if they saw my request, they would be more likely to view my resume on my profile, rather than picking it out of a pile of other hundreds of applicants.

Why public relations?

I find PR both fascinating and fast-paced. It’s really rewarding when you earn a media hit and can say, “I did that – and it cost us nothing but my time!” The interesting thing about PR is that you have to make your content newsworthy. With advertising, you’re paying for a placement, but with PR you have to be sure it’s attention-grabbing enough to be picked up.

What’s a typical day look like?

There is certainly no typical day, and almost everyone in PR will tell you that. I am usually working on media requests, Q&As, writing press releases, tracking down images, sending out PR packages, pitching editors and working with our PR agency partners.

What do you love about your job?

I love that I get to do something different each and every day. My role is the farthest thing from predictable, and that’s exciting to me. Our little team is great too, which makes the work fun!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Let's Talk Two Years...

Today marks the two year anniversary of Whale & Wishbone, and oh how a year can fly by. It seems like yesterday I had a big mess of confetti in Astoria, and now I have a giant "two" balloon in East Williamsburg.... clearly everything and nothing has changed.

It's probably no surprise that I'm going to do a little looking back and a little looking forward in this post, all accompanied with an awkward bedroom balloon photo shoot -- including a few gifs (you're welcome). 

Let's start with the past, shall we? 

Looking Back:

2016 was a blur of a year, but here are a few of my favorite Whale & Wishbone posts and moments:

1. The Introduction of the Professional Posse Series

This has honestly been one of my favorite additions to the blog since its creation. I absolutely love sharing with you the professional stories of some brilliant, talented and inspiring young ladies (looking at you Shay, Elizabeth, Clare, and Shay). I love that Whale & Wishbone is a place where serious advice on early careers lives harmoniously next to not-so-serious advice on how to "pack the perfect beach bag." This series was born out of an idea from my sister Alexandra, and I will forever be grateful for it. 

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the Professional Posse will be back in action in 2017. I already have a crazy smart and stylish lady lined up for the first post of the year! -- be on the lookout for it this week.

2. Natalie and Stephen's Summer Bucket List

What can I even say about this series except the whole thing was ridiculous. Stephen made my summer unbelievably fun -- there was a Pinknic, Coney Island, Milkshakes, and a "questionable at best" rooftop pool. I'm currently trying to get Stephen to do another series with me this year. TBD exactly what that will look like, but God only knows the ideas Stephen will come up with.

[Side Note: If you haven't read Stephen's blog yet, you should abandon this post right now and do it.... then maybe leave him a nice comment harassing him to blog more.] 

3. A Few Other Favorites: 

It's currently three in the morning as I write this because "looking back" has caused me to get seriously sucked in to some old 2016 posts. It's crazy how you forget so much of what happened in the past year. I love having Whale & Wishbone as a kind of visual journal. Here are a few of my favorite posts from last year which also happen to be some of my favorite memories.

Snow Days and Crown Braids: a post-blizzard photo shoot with Caroline in Central Park (incidentally, Caroline also shot the photos for this post)

Snaps from Easter Weekend: a collection of photos from the holiday weekend in New York with my family

Viva La Brunch: Livin' that NYC brunch dream with one of my faves

Color Me Happy: a gorgeous weekend trip to Albany full of flowers and rainbow fires

Seas the Day: An annual trip to one of my favorite towns in the world

Don't Rock the Boat, Baby: a sunny day on the Central Park lake with my best friend

Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas in the Burgh

It takes roughly 6 hours to get from New York City to Pittsburgh... 8 if we're talking about the Megabus (my most common form of transportation home). The trip is long and exhausting and by the end, I'm basically Chance, Sassy and Shadow

Despite the long journey, I love being home, and I especially love it during the holidays. This particular visit, although short, was wonderful. The scarcity of my trips to Pittsburgh make me really appreciate every minute I get to spend at home with my family. It also causes me to go a little shutter happy with my camera, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.

My family spent most of Christmas Eve in the city. Our first stop was the gorgeous Ace Hotel for brunch. 

The Ace is in a restored YMCA building. Double doors hide a three story gymnasium with original floors to prove it. The architecture of the hotel is incredible and the decor is bursting with the culture and history of Pittsburgh.

The Ace also serves up a truly stellar brunch. The menu includes the biggest pancake I have ever seen... which is obviously super important to mention. 

You'll find a old fashioned photobooth in the aforementioned gymnasium, perfect for family selfies.