Excitement Or Stress? I Am Not Too Sure

It is the weekend before the trip and I am not entirely sure how to begin preparing myself. I think that my first lesson as one of the leaders of this trip is that I have to be ok with the unknown. Unfortunately, that is my biggest fear. My mental babble quickly begins to stir. Thoughts such as not being prepared enough, skilled enough, and courageous enough came in waves.

As we start getting ready for the trip, my worry increases by my workload and interviews I have scheduled in hopes of a promotion within the company that I work for. I feel like I am leaving a lot behind unfinished and unsettled. 

As I allow these negative thoughts to come in, I start seeking coping mechanisms. Everyone person I shared with about the experience is so excited for me, and I am trying super hard to be. I met with mentors; I did yoga daily, I meditated daily, I read books daily, and went on many long walks to try to relax. However, during my meeting with Dr. Scott, she gave me a book that could quite possibly help with this. She told me about positive affirmations and how reading them daily could be helpful. I do not think she knew that I was feeling this way, but it is incredible how much this small tip is helping me. 

I feel now, so excited to take on a journey with a group who equally has no idea what we are all about to face. All we know is that this is the experience of a lifetime. I also know that these incredible students are all so bright and diligent. Every day I am more impressed by their capabilities as well as my own. I can’t wait to see what this week holds for us all!

The Miami Super Bowl LIV – Getting Ready for an Experience of a Lifetime

In just a few days, a group of 20 Emerson students and I will be participating in an enriching experience assisting the Miami Super Bowl LIV Host Committee. My role on this trip is as the Senior Manager during the planning, preparation and execution of the trip. Thus far, I have been managing the internal communications within the group regarding travel, training and scheduling logistics, amongst acting as the event manager throughout the course of the weeklong trip. Essentially I am the “go-to” person for any of the students for any of their issues or challenges in addition to gaining valuable insights into the professional practices of industry leaders in social media, event and sports PR. 

            I am excited to be working alongside some of Emerson College’s most motivated and passionate students from the School of Communication. From a Public Relations standpoint, I expect that our learnings will come from primarily event coordination with some aspects of writing and dealing with the press. This experience, I think, is critical for the PR degree candidates at Emerson. The overall task and challenge expected of us as students is to put our textbook and lecture skills into practice, which I believe sets us apart from that of other students seeking employment in the field of PR. 

            I feel honored to work alongside these students and Dr. Maria Scott who holds exceptional work experiences and skills that I hope we can each learn from and carry with us through this journey. I expect long and hard-working nights ahead but cannot wait to see the energy that our Emerson students will give to make this a lasting memory. 

The First of Many Shifts

Today was my first long day of work that had some surprises sprinkled throughout. The six of us met up for breakfast in uniform at 8:30 in the morning. That is not my usual wake up time, but coming off of a much needed nights rest, I had no issue getting up and ready for the day. We had a nice continental breakfast together and had some time to bond. After breakfast, we planned to leave around 10:00am to be early for our shift that starts at noon. With heavy traffic, getting to the convention center could take us up to 90 minutes. Like most things, the plans went slightly astray because we did not leave the hotel until almost 11:00am but we got lucky and were able to comfortably make it on time to our shift. 

 

I worked my first shift of the trip in the Social Media Command Center today.  It was an insultful experience of how to truly work with social media. The general idea of working at the Command Center is to screen social media posts for logistical questions about the events this week and responding to them with premade answers. The system we were using has almost 400 different responses to handle most issues. In retrospect, I think today I have seen the most social media posts in a single day than any other day of my life. I am working at the Social Media Command Center a few more times this week so I might have a refined perspective about social media after being so immersed with it. 

 

The Joys of Traveling

The night before an early flight I am always paranoid that I am going to sleep through my alarms. A 7:45 a.m. flight means leaving the apartment at 5:30 a.m. Leaving my apartment at 5:30 a.m. means setting my alarm for 4:30 a.m., even though I will not get out of bed until 5 a.m. This system, although a little crazy, works for me. My roommate, however– probably hates it. On travel days, I need everything to go to plan, otherwise I get stressed.

Boston Logan Airport recently changed their rideshare drop off system. Before, Ubers and Lyfts could drop passengers off at the curb. Now, they drop passengers off in a designated spot in the central parking lot. My Uber driver, however, dropped our Uber off in the parking garage, different from the central parking lot. Although a minor detour, the organized planner in me started to stress. 

After a few minutes of walking and searching for security, I was pleased to see the security line consisted of only a handful of people. A short security line always eases my travel day stress and anxiety. However, TSA decided they wanted to check my bag. Cue the stress. I was certain I accidentally packed something over the 3 oz. limit. Turns out TSA just wanted to inspect the sandwich I packed. 

Once through security, I beelined it for a Hudson News store to buy the XXX acai-blueberry-pomegranate Vitamin Water. I’m not sure exactly when it started, but I’d say for the past four years, I have purchased the XXX Vitamin Water for every flight. Maybe it’s the superstition in me, but my plane has never crashed when buying the XXX Vitamin Water so I will continue to buy it. After that, I made it to my gate and I was on my way to Miami. 

 

A Loss for Words

By: Calvin Jacey

This was one of the most exciting days of my time at Emerson College. I flew into Miami late last night, so I was unable to experience the city. When I woke up this morning, I immediately stepped out onto the balcony of my hotel room with a grin that spread from ear to ear. It was sunny and 70 degrees which is my ideal of perfect weather. I knew that today was a special day. 

On our way to the Super Bowl Media Center, I was in awe of Miami’s beautiful landscape. The combination of the ocean, the 60-story buildings and the palm trees was absolutely breathtaking. I go to school in the city, but Miami’s vibe and culture was nothing like Boston. Miami is a cultural melting pot, and it is so cool to see people from different cultures coming together. 

Once I arrived at the media center, I was astonished by the size and beauty of the building. It was so much larger than I anticipated. Dr. Scott gave me a tour of the entire building, and that is when I gained more insight about the center. The media members arrive tomorrow, so the center was empty today. I am looking forward to the next week of work when the media center is in full swing.

Travel Day Jitters

By: Bethelly Jean-Louis

Today was a long day for those who flew in today. I’d like to think it was a successful day too. My day started at 4:35 a.m. as I woke up to a notification that the Uber I had scheduled the night before was cancelled. Naturally, I felt myself go into panic mode, but I stopped myself before I could spiral. The solution was simple. This small victory set the tone for my day. 

I’m usually nervous when I fly. The whole process, from security to baggage claim, can be troubling for me. I was very proud of us as a larger group for sticking together. Today was smooth sailing, although I did end up sacrificing some lotion and curly hair mousse during my security screening. That was my fault, I learned my lesson. Overall, I think great leadership and sense of camaraderie is what made the task of traveling as a larger group seem like a breeze.We navigated airports like pros, coordinated beautifully and most importantly we were on top of it when communicating with one another.

 

Thank You to the Nice Woman with the Pearl Glasses

The great thing about waking up at 4:45 in the morning is the cotton candy skies overlooking the Boston skyline across the harbor. It’s just one of the many perks about living in East Boston; others include having Santarpio’s pizza just down the street and escaping the hustle of the city. In this instance, I love nothing more than living in the outskirts because the airport is only a ten-minute drive away, meaning I can add on that extra half hour of sleep. Still, I am not any less tired than anybody else as we line up to board to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Soon after the plane takes off, I turn my computer on and reopen the two sentence document that I avoided all week. This fellowship application is due Monday and I want to get it done before the real work begins. However, that cup of black tea from Dunkin’ Donuts is powerless as the main cabin lights turn off and passengers shut their windows to get some shut eye. I feel my body relax and my eyelids droop down while my head rolls to rest on my shoulder. The document remains open on my computer with paragraphs of the letter ‘s’ typing away.

I wake up with a jolt as the plane touches down, lurching me forward and my hands stop my head from hitting the seat in front of me. I sit back and rub the sleep out of my eyes, attempting to reorient myself with my surroundings. I remember working at the beginning of the flight and I sit up as I remember my computer. My hands slap my thighs as I look down at my empty lap and move my hands between the seat, my legs and my back. I look in my bag to see if the light blue of my computer case stands out against the grey canvas of the backpack, but I only see my flowered planner. Frantically, I stand up to see if it fell under a seat, but that wasn’t the case either.

Soon enough, just long enough for a little bit of panic to set in, I feel a tap on my shoulder from the person across the aisle to me. The sweet old lady with the pearled necklace glasses smiled and pointed at the pocket of the seat in front of me. I tugged it open and my computer lay resting between a magazine and the menu.

“I didn’t want you to break your computer when you slept, so I put it away for you,” she said.

“Thank you,” I said, smiling at her and putting my computer in my bag.

So basically the lesson I learned from travelling today is listen to your body because an application can always wait. If you do fall asleep, hopefully someone is there to catch what you drop and keep it safe, not steal it.

First Day on the Job

By Quinton Copeland

My first day as a volunteer at the Miami Super Bowl Media Center started with a hotel room workout that I need to get used to this week. After exhausting my physical energy, I showered and joined my fellow volunteers for a ‘continental breakfast,’ which consisted of small bowls of cornflakes and jam on toast. After filling up on as many carbs as I could muster, we piled into a van and set off for the convention center. Upon arrival, Dr. Scott escorted my friend Calvin and I to the credentialing room to check us in and make sure we had access to all the important places we work this week. For the first day, we worked in the social media command center, dismissing tweets about random NFL-related nonsense. I had to keep my eyes peeled for tweets of substance asking questions that required answers. Sadly, I didn’t come across a single one of those types of tweets. Despite that, I still got a lot of valuable experience in one of the areas I will work in for the next couple of days. I had fun today, but the real fun comes when the crowd comes and we start doing all of our assigned jobs when tweets of substance start rolling in, giving us something to really do. I’m ready for it.

Conversation Starter to Avoid ‘That’ Question

 By: Morgan Mitchell  

My five-hour plane ride couldn’t have flown by faster. Before I knew it, I had landed in Salt Lake City International Airport. While waiting for the jetway and plane to connect, excitement swarmed me. Emotional to see my family, thrilled for the holidays, and excitement for the Super Bowl. Running through the terminals down to baggage claim, my family greeted me. The whole drive home, I didn’t stop talking about my opportunity to work at the Super Bowl. In the next couple of days, I would check airline prices, but when I finally booked my ticket to Miami, I came to the realization that I was going, and my excitement was validated. 

Seeing extended family is the best and worst part of holidays; for me, family parties are always entertaining, to say the least. While sitting and talking to a cousin that I haven’t spoken to since last year, the Super Bowl was my go-to conversation starter to avoid the dreadful question of, “Do you have a boyfriend?”. My excitement for the Super Bowl couldn’t compete with my mother’s enthusiasm that I would be working there. She would see me from across the room, and she’d blurt out the following statement “Morgan is going to the Super Bowl” that was my cue to leave the kids table to explain to my aunts and uncles all about what I would be doing at the event. Describing the event over and over again, didn’t extinguish my feelings; instead, it enhanced my excitement. 

 

Meg is Off to Miami (and is Finally Escaping the Northeast)

By Meagan Lee

I’m thinking of changing my name to Miami Lee because ever since I told my friends and family I would be going to the Super Bowl in Miami, that’s all they want to hear about. This is by far the coolest thing I’ve ever got to be a part of, so naturally I love telling people about it, but it seems that it’s becoming my only personality trait. 

Over the holidays I got to see lots of family and friends and they all somehow heard from someone else that I was going on this trip. These conversations were followed by a lot of questions, some of my favorites being “Are you going to be on TV?” and “Can you get me tickets to the game?”. Everyone seemed very disappointed when my answers to both of those questions were “no”, but they are excited for me nonetheless. 

I myself am extremely excited, as this is the first time I’ll be going somewhere that is farther south than Virginia. I am definitely not a well-traveled person, and I’ve never been on a plane before, so this trip is really opening up a whole new door for me. Everyone is so shocked when I tell them I’m 20 years old and have never traveled more than 8-hours outside of my small town in upstate New York. It’s a new year, and what better way to kick it off than doing something I’ve never done before while also gaining valuable career and life experiences. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I’m ready to learn what it’s like to work at one of the biggest sporting events in the world.