Love & Charity by Jasmine Tate

It’s #RealWorldWednesday and Valentine’s Day. In celebration of the two, here are four things I love about working for a nonprofit. United Way has been the world’s largest charity for the last few years, according to Forbes, and as an affiliate Inland Empire United Way has definitely provided firsthand knowledge and experience of how and why it grew to be such.


Volunteers work to complete the mural on the West Randall Elementary Playground, led by IEUW Americorps, Carly Corona. photo courtesy of IEUW

Volunteers work to complete the mural on the West Randall Elementary Playground, led by IEUW Americorps, Carly Corona. photo courtesy of IEUW

West Randall Elementary School recently experienced a complete transformation. On November 4, 2017 hundreds of volunteers sacrificed their Saturday for a biannual day of service which revitalized the campus with ten beautification projects. The Result: student behavior issues that decreased to 0% because the kids were grateful for the time and work of selfless volunteers.

Gail Maddox, member of the 211 Pathways Home Outreach Team, shares stories of those housed during the 211 celebration of the program's one year anniversary. photo courtesy of IEUW

Gail Maddox, member of the 211 Pathways Home Outreach Team, shares stories of those housed during the 211 celebration of the program's one year anniversary. photo courtesy of IEUW

Because of the 211 Pathways Home Team, more than 300 individuals and families experiencing homelessness in San Bernardino County now have a safe place to rest their heads at night.

Workshops, community college tours, and business leader presentations are components of the Promise Scholars and Launch Point Programs, which provided more than 10,000 students in low income neighborhoods with tools and resources to achieve training and success beyond high school last year.

These are a few examples of the work that happens through United Way. Of all the perks that come with employment in the nonprofit sector, nothing beats the tangible impact created for individuals, children, families and communities touched by its work.


United Way fights for every person in every community to break the cycle of poverty with a focus on health, education and financial stability. Our 211 Team is the epitome of passion and hard work; these traits among others keep them coming back to the phones changing lives one call at a time. (No one said it was easy.) Professionals are often passionate about the cause supported by their place of employment. 211 is a 24/7 hotline offering verified information, resources and referrals for people in need.


Pictured above are photos from events with some of our many valued partners throughout the year including UPS, Target, Inland Empire Health Plan, the Auto Club Speedway, Charming Charlie and members of the IEUW Team. Photos courtesy of IEUW

It’s an amazing feeling to be apart of something bigger than you, and when you join a nonprofit team, its one you experience often. No matter what the cause supporters are there to lend a hand, time and resources. United is more than a word in our name, its an active part of our mission, values and daily practices. Being a part of the United Way Network alone provides a wealth of experienced professionals and resources; add other nonprofits and our supporters and the access is overwhelming. Although we may request a donation of time or money, know that it is being used responsibly to help others. Nonprofits rely on the support of our communities to continue the important and meaningful work we do.


Both a necessary skill and benefit, flexibility is used often in conversations about my current position. Change is something that happens frequently in the world of nonprofits, and in life. Volunteers cancel; schedules are altered, and roles expand. Being able to adapt to the challenges and shifts that occur more often than not will help any nonprofit professional achieve success. Having the ability to alter my schedule and day to day responsibilities also keeps work interesting and allows for life to happen as it may.

These four words prompted by four letters on Valentine’s Day, describe some of things I love most about working for a nonprofit and specifically, United Way. #LiveUnited

What do you enjoy most about your work? Share below.



Jasmine C. Tate

Welcome Back by Jasmine Tate


When I realized I wasn’t fit for medicine I turned to journalism as a high school freshman. Then I discovered public relations senior year and knew life would be more interesting beyond interviews, editing and articles; I was sold.

In April of 2016 after years of thinking and months of planning, I finally launched my website and blog, “Welcome to the Real World.” I thought the blog would be a perfect resource to look back on my final days as a student and my transition into my professional career in public relations. It would be a tool to document and share my journey.

Every time I scheduled a post, I had excitement bursting from my pores. I would often call my sister and read passages to her, asking for feedback and seeking her praises. The job search process was longer and harder than I expected. As I wrote those words I could just hear my dad saying “welcome to the real world.”

Although I was disappointed with where I was in life, my blog was one thing I was proud to speak about when people asked me what was next. On November 7, I woke up in Rancho Cucamonga, California and began the first day of my career at Inland Empire United Way. As I became occupied with work and life, my blog suffered and “the real world” consumed me.  

Six months later, I found myself in a new role. Shortly after I moved into my apartment, and a lot of life continued to happen. The nonprofit world is extremely rewarding; it gives me great pride and joy to know that every day I’m working to make an impact in the lives of others. I’m grateful for my colleagues and my position as the Community Engagement Coordinator in the Development (fundraising) Department. The big “but” comes in when I realize that I love the world of communication, and I miss it. The blog never left, but I am back. I’m eager to continue the journey. Here we go again!

It’s a cliche, but also true that life doesn’t always go as planned.

“Welcome to the real world.”



Jasmine C. Tate


Redefining Friendship by Jasmine Tate

As I’ve grown older the definition of friendship has changed. I have generally been very careful with titles because of the responsibility and accountability that (should) come with them.

Some people have different categories of friendships such as work, church and school, but I’ve always thought that friends are people who are apart of your life in all aspects and fit multiple classes.

Throughout the years, I’ve always admired friendships that are now commonly classified as #SquadGoals. Those such as

·         Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda: Sex and the City

·         Joan, Maya, Lynn and Toni: Girlfriends

·         Rose, Dorothy and Blanche: Golden Girls

In the past, I built a wall around friendships and had strict guidelines for those who earned the title. In instances when coworkers invited me out for drinks or inquired of my personal life I would often make excuses or change the conversation. I would think to myself “we’re coworkers not friends and that’s not your business.” It wasn’t until I moved to Mississippi for grad school that I began to see friendship differently mostly because of the relationships I built with individuals who are now special friends.

One morning during my daily devotion I was reminded of the friend we have in Jesus and reasoned that if we can be friends with Christ there should be no other barriers to friendship.

I once thought friends are people who are a constant part of your journey whether big or small no matter where it leads. People who are more concerned with your success and happiness than how it compares to theirs. Individuals who are genuinely able to be themselves around you whether good or bad without fear of judgement: those you can laugh or cry with, listen or advise, celebrate or mourn, diet or binge, splurge or save, agree or disagree. I’ve learned those things don’t come with friendship package.

Moving to California and being so far away from home has given me opportunities to reflect on the relationships I cherish the most. Many defend friendships that aren’t nurtured as regularly as others. Often when sayings like “we always pick up where we left off” are referenced.  What I have realized is that there are levels of friendship that vary during different stages of life but no limits to who can be classified as a friend. Although I have amazing friendships, I know that I blocked others along the way.

Last week at work we celebrated Thanksgiving with a “Friendsgiving” potluck, which allowed me to show gratitude to God for the amazing friends of my past and present who have added to my journey.

I’ve recognized that relationships I once admired on TV were an active part of my life, and my true vision of #SquadGoals includes Trent, Brent, Jasmine (yes me) and Jaslyn. I have my parents to thank for that, because my siblings have always been the best friends I could ask for. They have been much more. Aside from them, I’m truly grateful for all other friendships I’ve developed over the years at every level, short-term and long-term from those who I speak with on a weekly basis to those who I interact with once or twice a year. Don’t block friendships or miss an opportunity because everyone isn’t at the highest level; cherish those who are. Good friends make great memories! 

What is your definition of friendship and what comes with it? Share below.


Jasmine C. Tate

Feeling Relief by Jasmine Tate

A lot has happened in the three weeks since my last post. My job search process ended and a new chapter of my life began as I moved across the country to Southern California. I accepted a position with the Inland Empire United Way and started my career on the west coast.

Aside from the procedural paperwork and staff introductions, I hit the ground running in my first week with meetings and preparations for an annual fundraising event.

While searching for openings I was focused more on the position than location, but now the meaningful services and resources provided for those in need have overpowered everything else.

Flexible work hours, casual Fridays and my office are some of my favorite perks, but the greatest relief of gaining employment is not having to spend another weekday seeking opportunities. I am proud to be a part of an organization that truly makes an impact in lives and communities.

The scene outside my front door changed from cows to mountains overnight, and I am loving the view. Stay tuned for updates on my journey and efforts to contribute to a world where we all #LiveUnited with pride.


Jasmine C. Tate 

Social Screening: Where to draw the line on social sharing by Jasmine Tate

I am a private person by nature. I enjoy having a personal life and keeping it personal. With the growth of social media popularity and platforms, privacy became seemingly less normal, and people became more comfortable sharing every detail of their lives.

There is a reason for passwords to bank accounts, curtains on voting booths, locks on doors and zippers on britches. Everything is not meant to be shared with everyone. Save some details and experiences for yourself and people who are a part of your personal life. “Social surfing” becomes exhausting when strolling down timelines and moods change within seconds based on the information consumed.

As I turned the page to Chapter 24 last week, I was grateful for the opportunity to relive memories and experiences that I was able to share with my social media family, friends and followers. I was also relieved that there were people and elements of my journey that I chose not to share with the world.

Although information shared is ultimately a matter of preference, it’s definitely smart to be an objective gatekeeper of your platforms and how others perceive you based on what you release. While it is sometimes hard not to share, I try to remember five rules before posting.  

1.       Share experiences and accomplishments versus feelings. Most people enjoy following your journey more than your drama.

2.       Call a close friend or family member and avoid social media when you’re emotional. Keep your anger and frustration away from social media.

3.       Protect your personal space like its personal information. If you wouldn’t allow a complete stranger into your home or bedroom, don’t give them a virtual tour.

4.       Make sure your social media presence is a reflection of who you are. What do your posts say about you?

5.     Keep your finances, controversial discussions, sexual preferences and relationship issues offline. People often misinterpret meanings and will remember judge you based on your posts long after you've moved on.  

It's more important now than ever to be responsible and accountable for your social media thumbprint and what you post. Once you publish posts can live on forever whether you like it or not. 

Where do you draw the line when it comes to sharing with your audience on social media? Share below.



Falling Again by Jasmine Tate


Excitement overwhelms me each October as we enter the last quarter of the year. Its celebration season, and I must admit I’m ready to let the fun begin. The most wonderful time of year follows my favorite season and then comes the start of a new year. Before we get to resolutions, let’s enjoy the final months of 2016.

Outside of my birthday and the opportunity to reconnect with my classmates, campuses and peers, below are five things I fall for each year.

1.       Family: Without them, holidays and celebrations are not complete. Those who travel from many miles and across state lines are an added bonus.

2.       Football: Although the season is in full swing, Homecoming takes the celebration to the next level. Fortunately, I’ll get to roar and soar this year. The Lions and Golden Eagles will host their opponents back to back during the last two weeks of the month.

3.       Fashion: I’ve never been a fan of Louisiana heat and humidity, but a proud supporter of the transition to fall trends complete with boots, scarves, hats and more.

4.       Fair: The best thing about the small town at the tip of the boot is the annual event that draws visitors near and far. The fair in Washington Parish is the world’s largest and a Franklinton tradition I have yet to miss.  

5.       Food: From crawfish and snowballs to gumbo and cocoa, nothing beats hearty meals and sweet recipes.  

What is your favorite season and why? Share below.





Tripping on Tips by Jasmine Tate

When seeking job opportunities outside of your current state of residence one of the biggest challenges is securing and participating in interviews. Although video and phone sessions are sometimes an option in the early stages of the selection process, most employers will eventually want to meet the potential newest addition to their team face-to-face. After a recent four-hour commute for a five-minute interview, I decided I would make more of my traveling opportunities moving forward.  

Last week I took a trip to Houston, TX and returned home with many memories, lessons and budding relationships. I extended my stops in the city beyond the locations of the interview building and post office and opted for a more rewarding experience. While exploring the city I discovered several interesting facts and bragging rights of the most philanthropic city in the country, which also houses America’s largest airport and rodeo.

After securing my spot in Super Bowl LI festivities, I’m excited to extend my Houston experience while visiting for training and the big event. Below are three simple tips to make the most of your future road trips.

1.       Research and visit popular attractions and dining options in the area.

2.       Schedule informational interviews with other businesses of interest in the city.

3.       Visit family and friends along the way.

What are your favorite things to do when traveling to new places? Share below.


Jasmine C. Tate

Expressing Gratitude by Jasmine Tate

Thank you notes are nothing new. Employers and professionals at all stages of their careers note the exercise as a best practice and one that often distinguishes peers and sets candidates apart from their competitors.

The late Betsy Plank, a pioneer in the public relations industry and the Godmother of the Public Relations Student Society of America, is commonly cited for her advice to upcoming PR pros to “leave a trail of thank you notes, certainly at the beginning, but throughout your career, too.”

Because technology is more convenient, an email is often used as a substitute for a written note of thanks but unfortunately does not build the same feeling of sincere gratitude.

After hearing and experiencing the excitement of receiving a hand-written thank you note by mail, it became a habit and practice that I enjoy. Here are five tips to overcome a perceived hassle of written thank you notes and use them as a consistent way to express gratitude more frequently.

1.      Keep a supply of thank you notes and stamps. Books and bulk are your friend; personalized stationary is a nice added touch.

2.      Address the envelope and apply the stamp prior to interviews.

3.      Write the note ASAP (immediately after an interview, thought or act of kindness).

4.      Drop the note in the same city of the recipient’s mailing address, if possible. This allows the note to be delivered more quickly.

5.      Include thank you notes on your to-do list.


When did you last receive a note of thanks in the mail, and how did it make you feel? Share below.



Jasmine C. Tate

Rocking the Interview by Jasmine Tate

When making the transition into “The Real World” there is one thing you can’t avoid. No matter how much education or experience you have the interview is an essential element of the selection process. Even when rising within the ranks of a company, interviews are often a matter of protocol.

Today I thought I’d share interview questions and statements commonly directed toward candidates to gauge their ability to succeed in specific roles and determine if they are a perfect fit.

The following are general questions I’ve been asked recently. Although I haven’t interviewed for positions outside of public relations and communications, these questions are applicable across all disciplines. Go ahead, answer.  

1.       Tell me about yourself and your experience to this point in your career.

2.       Why are you interested in this position?

3.       Why would you be a good fit for this position?

4.       What would make you an asset to the organization?

5.       How can this organization and position help you achieve your career goals?

6.       How would you overcome challenges of the job and roll with the punches?

7.       What are your salary expectations?

8.       Do you have any questions or comments?

Because I am a talker, general interview questions are easy for me to answer. When preparing for a new potential opportunity, I spend most of my time focusing on situational inquiries that may arise. Because I thrive in fast-paced, project-oriented, results-driven roles, I’m often asked questions that relate. Below are questions specific to public relations, events, and non-profit roles. Others were simply interesting and fun to answer.  

1.       What is your dream job?

2.       Tell me about your event planning experience and the most overwhelming event you’ve ever had to plan or participate in?

3.       How important is work-life balance to you?

4.       Are you comfortable working nights and/or weekends, when necessary?

5.       What draws you to working in community relations for a team versus a non-profit?

6.       What are you most passionate about?

7.       What causes and/or organizations are near and dear to your heart?

8.       What is your favorite program or initiative of this company and why?

9.       What would be your greatest challenges in this role and how would you overcome them?

10.   Describe a time when you had to adapt to a change midway through an event or campaign.

11.   What are your most and least favorite elements of public relations?

12.   What public relations skills have you mastered and which do you need to improve?

13.   If you could be a vehicle what would you be and why?

14.   What is the greatest risk you’ve ever taken and what were the results?

15.   What is your most significant achievement up to this point in your career and why?

If you get through all of these questions and you’re still in the hot seat, it is probably a good sign. The more direct your responses are the more questions you’ll get to answer. Consider this a practice interview. You can thank me later. What are some interesting or challenging questions you’ve been asked in an interview? Share below or continue the conversation on social media. Don’t forget #RealWorldWednesday! Talk to you soon.



Jasmine C. Tate

Balancing Busy-ness by Jasmine Tate

I graduated from the best high school in Louisiana, went to a college where I was more than a number and mastered in public relations at the university that takes its students #ToTheTop.

Each time I began a new chapter I walked away with experiences that I will never forget. Excitement comes every new academic year, semester, and graduation season, but what I was most grateful for were opportunities to gain experience, make friends and be actively involved in my campuses and communities outside of the classroom setting.

In addition to class projects, papers and late night study sessions, cheer practice, chapter meetings, conferences and part time jobs kept me busy. I look back on one semester in college when I worked three jobs, completed two internships, volunteered at North Oaks Health System and remained involved in numerous student organizations on top of an 18-hour course load.

With a lot of free time on my hands, now, I often think about the days when the pages of my planner and to-do lists were full. I wonder how I managed it all successfully. Then I look at my planner and realize that it saves me every time.

My grandmother once said “If you have a place for everything and everything in its place, your house will never be out of order.” I’ve never forgotten that piece of advice, and I try to apply it to my life as well. This is where a planner comes in handy.

No matter how expensive, spacious or pretty your planner is, it’s useless if you don’t use it appropriately. Read on to learn how I managed my planner as a tool to balance the hectic schedule I maintained and all responsibilities that came with it. Real World Recipe… Coming right up!


-          Planner

-          Pen

-          Content (syllabuses, schedules, etc.)


1.       Write all important dates and deadlines in the calendar section of your planner.

2.       Create weekly to-do lists.

3.       Refer to your planner three times daily, at minimum.

Optional Toppings:

-          The Traveling Stick: I write down major responsibilities on a sticky note and transfer it each week to make sure nothing gets overlooked. Examples: Personal, Internship, PRSSA

-          The Secret Code: Bic Pens are perfect for separating academic and professional from personal and social on your calendar. Examples: Deadlines in red; date nights in pink; football games, concerts, and girl nights in green; meetings and appointments in blue

-          The Flashlight: Highlighters are perfect for things that are left undone at the end of the day or week.

Additional Notes:

-          It helps me to have a specific day and time to prepare for the week ahead. During my last semester at USM, I planned my weeks on Sundays after church and evening yoga.

-          Detailed to do-lists are important to making progress on things that need to be done. Avoid vagueness. Plan steps to complete big projects versus writing the project on your list.

-          Spread your tasks out based on urgency to avoid cramming everything on one day.

-          Transfer incomplete tasks to the next week to avoid flipping back.

I’ve tried many recipes that I now follow regularly and have tossed others. Hopefully this one is one you can add to your collection and share with friends. I’d love to hear about your results. Please share!



Jasmine C. Tate  

Moving On by Jasmine Tate

Earlier during the summer after a long hiring process, I kept thinking “you have to finish your current chapter before starting a new one.” Although I had high hopes, there was no certainty of anything in my future. I wanted to hold on to what I had until I knew what was next.

I consistently reflect on the advice of highly successful individuals who always advise others to take risks, which is not easy for many, including myself. The “what ifs” run laps in my mind and sometimes keep me from seeing the bigger picture.

A voice in my head kept telling me to let go. So I thought let’s try and see what happens.  I resigned from my job at Kohl’s and then received an email I had been anticipating.

This week I spent “Real World Wednesday” climbing up and down three flights of stairs moving all of my belongings from the place I’ve called home for the last two years. Yesterday I passed the torch as the supervisor of the Intimates and Accessories Departments at Kohl’s and ended a five-year career in retail.

Toward the end of my high school years, I asked my dad if I could get a part-time job. His response: “You have your whole life to work. Enjoy not working while you can.”

At the time, I had no bills, no responsibilities, just wants. Fast forward five years later: I’m in the same position, but I have more knowledge, experience, and skills. During my time in Hattiesburg, I learned and grew mentally, spiritually and professionally. I got to know myself better. I learned what I want from my career and life - and why.

In high school when asking my dad if I could get a job I wanted to work so I could buy clothes, shoes, accessories and handbags. Today, I apply for positions with a strong desire to make an impact in the lives of others and maintain a long, successful career. The advice my father gave me five years ago is still true today.

The email I received didn’t contain the information or offer I hoped for. However because I have my whole life to work, I’ve decided to ignore the advice of people who say “get a job and move on with your life.” Instead, I’ll keep seeking opportunities to enter a position that I enjoy.

Fortunately for me, there is no rush to find work to repay student loans. Although I have a good bit of what I call “Daddy Debt” my father still welcomed me back home. I have moved seven times within the last five years. My goal is to move one within the next five. I have accepted my reality and am not willing enter a place where I see many of my classmates and friends: dreading Monday-Friday, counting the seconds to 5 p.m. and using the bathroom and social media breaks as an escape from work. I’m moving on... just on my own terms.

Sometimes you do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do and everything does not always go as planned.

“Welcome to the real world!”


Jasmine C. Tate

Meeting Bay by Jasmine Tate

I'm extremely grateful for Bill and his invitation to join the community. Bill is the founder and CCO of the IW Group, Inc. and started the National Millennial Community. 

I'm extremely grateful for Bill and his invitation to join the community. Bill is the founder and CCO of the IW Group, Inc. and started the National Millennial Community. 

A small selection of the National Millennial Community at Spitfire offices. 

A small selection of the National Millennial Community at Spitfire offices. 

Chelsea Eytel, D'Anthony Jackson and I stopped for a photo while touring the Golden State Warriors' Headquarters and representing The University of Southern Mississippi.

Chelsea Eytel, D'Anthony Jackson and I stopped for a photo while touring the Golden State Warriors' Headquarters and representing The University of Southern Mississippi.

Thanks to the Warriors' organization for providing memorabilia from the 2015 Championship Title. 

Thanks to the Warriors' organization for providing memorabilia from the 2015 Championship Title. 

Although we had a pretty busy schedule, we took a short break by the bridge.  

Although we had a pretty busy schedule, we took a short break by the bridge.  

The eBay campus was the last stop on our tours of the Bay.

The eBay campus was the last stop on our tours of the Bay.

From the Golden Gate Bridge to the home of the Golden State Warriors, last week’s visits in the San Francisco Bay Area exceeded my expectations and renewed my excitement about the start of my career. Networking earned me an exceptional opportunity to become a member of the National Millennial Community, a group of individuals united with a common goal to join and change the conversation about our generation.

Members of the community have unique connections to companies and individuals that might not otherwise be accessible. While in San Francisco, my colleagues and I participated in meetings with several executives from businesses including the Verizon Innovation Center, Shift Communications, Wells Fargo, Spitfire, the Golden State Warriors, eBay and Google, Inc.

Serving as consultants on many stops, we gained exposure to diverse perspectives and a platform to share our personal positions. Although I knew I would enjoy the trip before I boarded my flight, during each visit I felt as if the tours were planned and organized specifically around my career interests including executives in my dream job (community relations’ director) and industry (professional sports).

“This business does take you places,” said Eric Bresler, Executive Director of the Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center. “Our industry keeps you young, keeps you moving and keeps you motivated.”

But only two percent of applicants are hired according to Jennifer Cabalquinto, Golden State Warriors’ Chief Financial Officer, which means “you have to have applicable skills.” Good news followed as she assured us that there are several doors into the building of your career.

Inspiration continued as we engaged with a young professionals’ panel of Google employees who offered motivation and realistic expectations.

Of course, you have to “put in the work to get there.”

          - Brendan Chan, Program Manager | Customer Experience and Strategic Programs

“You should follow your dreams, but do it responsibly.”

          - Tiffany Siu, Product Marketing Manager | Google Analytics 360 Suite

 “Bad experiences lead to great learning and happiness is the guiding principal” [of a fulfilled life and successful career.]

          - Mona Weng, Global Business Development Manager | Waze

“You learn a lot more when you’re learning together.”

          - Alice, Web Solutions Engineer

Remember you have 30-50 years to start and maintain a prosperous career. Forget about work-life balance. It doesn’t matter if you’re working at 5 a.m. or 10 p.m. if you love what you do. After all, work is part of life. 

Have you met Bay? If not, now is a great time to travel as airline prices decrease. Be sure to catch Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon Production; it’s a very entertaining show.


Jasmine C. Tate 

Mastering Effective Communication by Jasmine Tate

Many public relations professionals, myself included, live their lives by lists. Nothing beats the satisfaction of another red check mark in my planner. Our first “Real World Read” combines personal experiences, motivational success stories and a simple list of do’s and don’ts to connect the dots of effective communication.

David Grossman uses powerful storytelling and practices he’s seen in action for notable clients worldwide in his latest book “No Cape Needed.”

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

His tips come to life with vivid imagery and examples while using his own advice in the text. Although it will be a great addition to your collection, it’s not one that should sit on a shelf after a first read. It is a resource to help you master the power of effective communication on a daily basis.

No Cape Needed is available online at and on Amazon.

What are your latest reads? Share below.



Jasmine C. Tate 

Embracing Change by Jasmine Tate

After my quarterly evaluation, I was able to analyze the audience and reach of my blog posts and strategize a plan to build my readership and keep my current supporters coming back.

I’m excited to introduce, “Real World Wednesdays,” a timeline that will embrace the blog’s audience and allow you access to new content on weekdays at noon.  Grab lunch and come on over to the website to review fresh posts each week.

Look out for “Real World Recipes,” Real World Reads” and more advice, news and information from “The Real Me.”

Please subscribe and share any feedback or suggestions for future content below.

There is much more to come… Stay tuned!


Jasmine C. Tate

Preparing for a New Academic Year by Jasmine Tate

My best friend, Jasmine, and I during freshman orientation June 15, 2011 at Southeastern Louisiana University. 

My best friend, Jasmine, and I during freshman orientation June 15, 2011 at Southeastern Louisiana University. 

Summer has almost come to an end; soon will come the days when yellow buses return to the roadways, weekends are filled with football and social media is flooded with #FirstDaySelfies, student complaints and countdowns to midterms, finals, and (of course) graduation.

Five years ago I moved to Hammond, LA to start my journey through college. Today, I reminisce on my days as a student, two short months and a couple degrees later. Here is my advice to students at all stages of their academic careers.

1.       Get involved. I recommend joining a minimum of four organizations including social/service, academic/ honors, religious and career-related. Take your membership a step further by being more than a name on the roster. Accept leadership roles; attend meetings. Make new friends. 

2.       Take advantage of available resources. Utilize access to free gym memberships, tutors, athletic events, counseling services, prints, etc. They won’t always be free and are offered to help you transition and succeed.

3.       Manage your time wisely. It can be hard to balance school, social life, and part-time jobs, but it is possible and necessary. Find a system that works best for you and use it.

4.       Plan ahead. Whether you’re graduating in four months or four years map out your road to success and the steps it will take to achieve your goals.  

5.       Be prepared to work hard and make sacrifices. You will not be able to buy every cute new pair of shoes or attend every dinner party. Remember you’re in college to earn a degree.

6.       Learn how and when to say no. It’s OK; there are thousands of students who can say yes when you want or need to take a pass.

7.       Make memories. Meet your president; attend a football game. Contribute service hours in The Big Event. Build or continue a legacy and develop stories that you can share later in life.

8.       Enjoy the moments. They will pass fast. Don’t let stress steal the spotlight of your college experience. FYI: I haven’t met an employer who has asked to see my transcript, but I’m asked about my experiences with every new job opportunity. They are all more interested in how I started a Chapter of PRSSA, interviewed our most notable Southeastern Alumna, Robin Roberts, and the hectic week I attended a conference in Washington, DC, fulfilled duties as a Homecoming Maid and still made it home in time for the Washington Parish Free Fair.

Your time in college may not be the best years of your life, but it is time you will never be able to get back. Carpe Diem!


Jasmine C. Tate


Moving Forward by Jasmine Tate

Last week I discussed ten tips for “Facing Rejection” and preparing for interviews. When writing the post, I had no idea I would have to take my own advice this week. I experienced the largest sting of rejection I’ve faced since the start of my job search to launch my career. After an extensive selection process, I learned that the position wasn’t “a perfect fit for me at the time.” 

I felt confident that the position was mine. In fact, I had already written a blog announcing my new role and the end of an emotional journey into a new chapter of my life and an industry of my dreams. I was waiting for an official offer and confirmation. Unfortunately, it didn’t come, and the search continues.

Five things I learned from the process.

1.      Don’t place excessive time and energy into a company or position until you receive an official offer. Because I was extremely excited, I researched every employee of the team, component of the programs and responsibilities and even potential projects, among other things.

2.      Never assume the position is yours, no matter how qualified and confident you are that you nailed your interview(s).

3.      Keep your options open. Continue seeking opportunities and taking interviews until you land a position. Don't let opportunities pass you by waiting for one company. 

4.      Move on. Don’t dwell on the position, analyze every word of your final response or the advantages your competition had over you.

5.      Don’t burn bridges. Keep your composure and always remain courteous. You never know what the future holds and when you may need or work with the interviewers.

I trust God’s plan for my life and believe that his will is better than any roadmap I can develop. Advice from two influential men continued to echo in my head as I overcame the shock and disappointment… while blasting inspirational music, baking brownies and preparing oreo balls. :)

In the midst of the cloud of frustration know that “You’re going to make a great employee for the first organization smart enough to hire you,” and remember, “You’re going to do great things. Just be patient.”

 How have you persevered through difficult processes in your life? Share below.



Jasmine C. Tate

Facing Rejection by Jasmine Tate

Rejection is never fun, but you can always learn something from it. I have had eight interviews for five positions within the last two months, and I feel like I’m becoming an expert. Keep reading to learn ten practices I now make sure to incorporate into the selection process. Some may have cost me previous roles; others have led me to offers for positions that weren’t right for me.


 1.      Be prepared.

Do your research. Know as much as you can about the position and responsibilities. Seek future challenges you may face, if selected, and be aware of tasks you will be able to complete with ease. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Know what is on your résumé, and be able to speak about steps you took to achieve success as opposed to positions you have held. Plan ahead and arrive fully prepared at least five minutes before the scheduled meeting. 

2.      Smile and be confident.

A smile exudes confidence, and employers want someone who can provide this quality in their work and representation of the company or organization. Don’t be arrogant.

3.      Communicate beyond words.

Your body language and handshake say a lot about you and your attitude toward the company and position. Always give a firm handshake, and watch your posture; speak positively with your hands and facial expressions. Don't forget to listen; it's a major component of communicating that people often forget. Active listening will also help when you reach number eight. 

4.      Showcase your personality.

Don’t be so focused on impressing your interviewers that you forget to be yourself.

5.      Bring physical copies of your résumé and portfolio.

Don’t walk into your interview without a portfolio complete with strong work samples that showcase the experience you’ve gained and what you can contribute to the company and team. It also helps to provide access to a digital portfolio. Have several copies of your résumé in case it hasn’t been printed; keep in mind that there may be more than one interviewer.

6.      Be comfortable incorporating your passions into conversations.

Make sure your interviewers can see your passions through your explanations. Almost all interviews I’ve had start with “Tell me a little about yourself.” This is when your elevator speech comes in handy. You don’t have to say “My passion is _____.” Talk about enjoyable activities, experiences and how you’ve fulfilled your passions through previous positions. 

7.      Always ask questions.  

Not asking questions will likely kill your chances at advancing to the next round of interviews or securing the position. I try to prepare five questions at a minimum. You don’t have to ask all questions that you prepare, but having more to choose from will save you if some of your questions are answered before you’re given the opportunity to inquire about the company or role.

8.      Follow up.

Send hand-written and email thank you notes. It’s never too soon to send a thank you note. I try to send an email within 30 minutes after the interview ends and mail a thank you note immediately after. This lets the employer know that you appreciate their time and consideration. If there has been a significant amount of time without any connection, reach out to the employers. Do not follow up without having something to talk about other than the job status; reference a topic discussed in the interview and add to it. It also helps to keep up with the organization and know what's happening. This shows that you are genuinely interested in the company rather than joining the employment circle. It can also allow employers see you as a member of the company. 

9.      Don’t take rejection personally.

The decision for the position is not about you. It is ultimately about the role and the best person to fill it. Employers often have a lot of applicants and factors to consider when choosing a new candidate to join their team. In some cases, the decision is made before you are contacted.

10.  Be optimistic.

Never doubt your ability to excel, instead, realize that the position was not meant for you at the time or there’s a better company or position still waiting for you. Maybe it hasn’t opened yet. Be patient.


The best thing about having the opportunity to interview for a position is knowing that you are qualified. The worst part is the possibility that the position may not be meant for you and better for someone else. Although many professionals advise against taking interviews for practice, when you have the opportunity to interview and don't land the job, use it as practice for the next one. 

What are some tips and tricks you use to get through interviews or some of the most interesting questions you’ve been asked? Share below.




Jasmine C. Tate


Inspiring Future Entrepreneurs by Jasmine Tate

While “Retaining Inspiration” last week, I discovered notes from the first guest blog post I wrote for the University of Alabama’s PRSSA Chapter.

The blog was a recap of one of my favorite sessions of the PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference targeting aspiring entrepreneurs. In the session Rick Looser, president and chief operating officer of the Cirlot Agency in Jackson, MS, provided Seven Tips on Entrepreneurship as a Young Professional. Check out the blog and some "Real World" exclusive quotes below. 

 "It’s not enough to love flowers… You’ve got to hate weeds."
 "Money doesn’t make you anything but more of who you are."
 "Become memorable to the people that matter."
 "Be an excessive note writer; nothing replaces a personal note."
 "Don’t let the urgent overtake the important."

Following the session, I met Looser and had the opportunity to visit Cirlot for a PRSSA Agency Tour.

Left: Looser and I at the PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference in Tuscaloosa, AL. Right: Deonica Davis, Cirlot Graphic Designer,  D'Anthony Jackson, PRSSA Member, Lauren Neighbors, Cirlot Public Relations Strategist, and I gather in the lobby prior to a USM PRSSA Tour. 

Left: Looser and I at the PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference in Tuscaloosa, AL. Right: Deonica Davis, Cirlot Graphic Designer,  D'Anthony Jackson, PRSSA Member, Lauren Neighbors, Cirlot Public Relations Strategist, and I gather in the lobby prior to a USM PRSSA Tour. 

Are you pursuing entrepreneurship? What is the best advice you've received? Share below. 


Jasmine C. Tate  

Retaining Inspiration by Jasmine Tate

Public relations and communications organizations provide many resources to help their members achieve success. While networking and building relationships with new and seasoned professionals are my favorite elements of membership, there is a priceless value for the inspiration provided from being surrounded by others who have a passion for the industry you love and a genuine desire to impact it and the world.

As I organized documents from the Public Relations Student Society of America and Public Relations Association of Mississippi events this year, I became motivated again by the words of several speakers.

Here are eight golden nuggets to embrace this week. Enjoy!  

“A true professional  doesn’t do what they do to make money; they make money because they do what they do.”

-          Jon Williams, Professional Speaker   

“Find something that you’re passionate about and have the passion to do it.”

-          Rick Looser, Chief Operating Officer | Cirlot Agency

“Work hard, pray hard, and when the door opens, walk through it.”

-         Dr. John E. Forde, Professor and Head of the Department of Communication | Mississippi State University

“Career is very important, but its only one piece of who you are; do something to invest in yourself every day.”

-          Paula Kerger, President and Chief Executive Officer | PBS

“Everything we do is more impactful if we do it together.”

-          Megan Burkes, Associate Director for Public Relations and Donor Programs | The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation

“Apply understanding before you start talking.”

-          Bruce Andrews, Deputy Secretary of Commerce | US Department of Commerce

“The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure they have enough.”

-          Louis C.K.

-          Referenced by Jacqueline Lee, Editor | Dime Entertainment

“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

-          Walt Disney

-          Referenced by Marshall Ramsey, Editorial Cartoonist | The Clarion-Ledger

What are some of your favorite scriptures, quotes or advice you live by? Share below.


Jasmine C. Tate 

Quarterly Review by Jasmine Tate

Each week I get more excited as I review analytics of my blog and discover new and returning visitors. “Welcome to the Real World” is near the end of the infamous “probationary period,” and I am beyond grateful for the support I have received thus far.

In celebration of its upcoming three-month anniversary, I would like to reflect on some of my favorite posts and request feedback for the future of the blog.

It all began on Thursday, April 14 and continued with weekly content. After launching, I began to reflect on my academic career throughout the last five years.

I’ve shared the professionals who have motivated me and helped me achieve success. I’ve shared tips for “Narrowing Focus,” reasons to pursue graduate studies and the emotional roller coaster of earning a master’s degree and the job search process. I’ve shared my journey, personal insights and quality advice gained along the way.

The Wait,” “A Trip Down Memory Lane,” and “The Secret to Success… Revealed” reached record numbers of viewers and engagement.

This blog has provided motivation to remain connected with the public relations industry and emerging trends. It has also given me an outlet to express my thoughts and share advice and inspiration with others.

My favorite post of them all is “The Secret to Success… Revealed” because I discovered a revelation in the process.

Please take a few moments to complete the brief questionnaire below. I look forward to your comments. 

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Jasmine C. Tate