No 'Faults' in my Blogging Adventure

By Sarai Cruz Interviewing Nat Wolff, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort at “The Fault In Our Stars” fan event in Miami. Photo: Gustavo Caballero / Stringer

This summer was a summer of hard work but also fun. In June 2013, I joined a friend in creating a blog about the book and movie, “The Fault in Our Stars.” We had a huge passion for the story, along with brewing excitement and nervousness about our favorite book being turned into a movie. Not all book adaption films do justice to the original material. We decided that the best way to deal with the excitement was to follow every single step of the process.

Needless to say, we were successful with more than 1 million views, 100,000 followers on Twitter and 50,000 followers on Tumblr. Filming started August 26, 2013, coincidentally the first day of class. I remember being in class and on Twitter and ready to retweet any tweets or news from set (sorry, professor!).

With this blog I was able to apply skills I learned in my public relations classes. In my head I could hear Ann Christiano, professor of PR strategy and public interest communications, going over engaging with our audience and understanding what they need and want. I also learned a lot of new things that you can only get from actually doing. I learned to use social media as more than a personal tool of socializing, but also as a way to inform and communicate with others who care about the content you put out. I did a lot, and I mean a lot, of writing. I collaborated with a graphic designer in making original graphics for the website. I was interviewed by Yahoo! Movies and the Los Angeles Times to discuss the blog and the passion behind this amazing story.

I attend the red carpet world premiere of "The Fault in Our Stars" in New York City. Photo: Sarai Cruz

This blog was a lot of sweat, a lot of tears, a lot of late nights, but it was a joy. We were fortunate to work with 20th Century Fox and attend events as press. In Miami, I got the chance to talk to John Green, Ansel Elgort, Shailene Woodley and bond with Nat Wolff over the Floridian heat. I was also able to travel to New York for the world red carpet premiere and talk to cast and crew.

It was a once in a lifetime experience, personally and professionally. I look back and I am amazed at what I and the team, who were so passionate about a story, accomplished on our own. I am and will forever be proud of this project. I don’t know what is next for me, but one thing is for sure, I can only go up from here.

First Speaker Series of Fall 2014: Fred Cook


Fred Cook speaks at UF PRSSAJoin UF PRSSA at our first Speaker Series meeting of the year, featuring Fred Cook, at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, in Turlington L005.

Fred Cook is the CEO of Golin, an award-winning public relations agency with 50 offices around the globe.

Before joining the corporate ranks at the age of 36, he talked his way into a job as a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker, peddled fake Italian leather goods to unsuspecting tourists, ran a rock-and-roll record company, substitute-taught in Los Angeles’s worst schools and winged it as a novice tour guide.

In his book, Improvise -- Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO, Mr. Cook shares the wisdom he’s accumulated through his unconventional life experiences.

Mr. Cook was recently named one of the 50 most influential people in public relations by PRWeek and has worked with top business leaders such as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Feel free to invite your friends and join the Facebook event.

All majors are welcome, and food will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

How I survived an unpaid internship           

By Sarai Cruz It is officially summer-internship-searching time and in the communications field, unpaid internships are the norm. They are easier to find compared to paid internships, but don’t let the lack of monetary compensation deter you from learning all that you can from a really great internship. Last summer, I was the intern for The Riviere Agency, a New York and Miami based fashion and beauty integrated marketing agency. The internship was unpaid, but I don’t regret it.




Image source: http://beauty4abargain.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/experiencing-miamis-swim-week-as-an-intern/

Yes, it was hard to work without getting paid but I survived those eight weeks. First, I saved money beforehand. I knew that finding a summer job while doing an internship was going to be really hard, so thankfully I had saved enough money during the school year to cover expenses. Secondly, I picked an internship in a location that wouldn’t create excessive cost. My internship took place in my hometown of Miami, which meant I didn’t need to worry about housing and transportation.

Most importantly, I understood that monetary compensation isn’t everything. For example, I was able to work during Mercedes Benz Swim Week, which meant lots of swag bags and free samples. Plus, experience and knowledge are more valuable than money. I am so thankful my boss made sure I was able to absorb as much as I could, from writing a media alert to producing a television segment. She understood that I was more than someone she could ask to go to Starbucks and grab her latte.

So as you send in your applications and resumes for those summer internships, remember to do your research and don’t let the paid or unpaid label deter you from it. As the debate whether employers should offer unpaid internship to college students heats up, keep these tips in mind.