Student-Run Agencies Offer Experience Beyond Classroom

I’m a recent graduate of Elon University in North Carolina, with a major in Communication Design. While I was attending Elon I had the chance to be involved in a unique part of our School of Communications education, Live Oak Communications. Live Oak is Elon’s on-campus, student run communications agency. A couple important things to note: we are different than an ad club and we work with actual clients.

A quick breakdown of how Live Oak works:

  • Live Oak is divided into two parts, the accounts and creative. On the account teams, students are divided up into groups and are assigned to work with a local or regional client. The creative team is not assigned to specific clients, but instead works through team members volunteering for projects.
  • Clients and projects are based on a semester-by-semester basis, after which students have the option of leaving, staying, switching between account or creative, or being promoted. During my two years at Live Oak, I was a Creative Content Producer, Graphics Production Manager, and then the Creative Director my senior year.

So now that I’m a college graduate in the “real world,” how much did college and my time at Live Oak actually prepare me? This blog post looks back at my experience at Live Oak and how it equipped me to be a summer intern at DaviesMoore, a marketing and advertising agency located in downtown Boise. And, should we integrate more of these types of organizations into colleges to provide hands-on experience?

Continue reading Student-Run Agencies Offer Experience Beyond Classroom


So I Graduated From College, Now What?


On May 21st this year, I graduated from Elon University. Which means that it’s four years since I originally created this blog as a way to update family and friends on my life across the country.

It’s still setting in that I’ve graduated. What do you mean I’m not just going back in the fall? What do you mean that my academic career is over? What do you mean the structure that I have been so used to for so long is now going to be completely different and will never be the same again?

As you can see I’m handling it extremely well.

For those of you who don’t know, I am really excited though to be interning at a local Boise agency, DaviesMoore, for the summer. While I’ve enjoyed hanging out around the house, I’m reluctantly antsy. I’m getting restless and itching to just do something and to have a structure again. I loved my academic schedule. I’m an avid list-maker and these two weeks I’ve been at home have felt weird when I wake up and the whole day is ahead of me. Maybe I strive off of stress, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but I do miss that feeling of purpose. So with that, I hope to kickstart working on more projects once my internship starts this Monday. Theoretically it doesn’t quite make sense to start more projects once I start working, but as it turns out that’s just how I function.

So what next then for my blog? This often forgotten blog that is the home of travel photography, literature analysis, and sometimes a life update (which of course, this entry is).

Now that I’m done with college, there’s not as much need for more personal updates. Knowing me, I’ll still post them so that I can make myself self-reflect, but I’m more interested in transferring more of my passions into my blog. This will mean that you can hopefully look forward to:

  • Book reviews (less analysis, more conversation)
  • Makeup and product reviews, swatches, etc.
  • Photography, and not just travel photography but sharing my work
  • Art and my process (digital and traditional)
  • And hopefully a variety of other things!

This isn’t a promise by any means, but by making this blog post I am making my first step back into being an online creator and having a place where I can look back and see my goals. I will also be spending the summer (and well life I guess) as a freelancer as well, and I will hopefully be able to share any type of work that I’m able to on here as well!

So here’s to a new beginning. I am now an alumni. I am nervous, anxious, and restless. So maybe I’m right where I need to be to kickstart myself into living life after school. I now have the rest of my life to pursue my passions.

Until next time,

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Baby Succulents // The Beginnings of a Pretend Green Thumb

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Since we can’t have pets in my apartment for my senior year, I decided I’d start with a much smaller (and cheaper) living thing. My new babies sit on my window sill and are surrounded by shells I collected from Folly Beach, South Carolina, as well as an inspirational rock (present from my mother) and a glass bottle holding sand from a Buddhist mandala. Here’s to a good start for my senior year of college!

A Magical 21st Birthday // The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I’m not really sure what a traditional birthday celebration is when it comes to turning 21, other than just somehow including alcohol. But I knew for me I had my eyes set on going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal in Orlando, Florida. For my nineteenth birthday I had asked for a birthday cake inspired by Harry’s in the first movie (think lots of pink frosting and misspelled green lettering) and so this seemed like a natural upgrade.

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So for my week off from my summer program (and there’s a belated blog post I need to work on)  and flew down to Florida to meet my parents. In between visiting grandparents, we slid in a trip over to Universal and began the day. Biggest tip I can give – if you go on your birthday make sure to tell them. Not only do you get a pretty sweet pin (the guy did have me write it myself since he figured I had better handwriting), but while we were walking around every single employee wish me happy birthday when they passed me. It also resulted in me getting selected in the wand selection demonstration at Ollivander’s! After all, the wand does choose the wizard.

In case you’re wondering, I now am a proud owner of a vine wand with phoenix feather core.

Continue reading A Magical 21st Birthday // The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Longtime No Write // A Much Delayed Update

There’s something about coffee shops that just makes writing a blog post seem like the right thing to do.

It’s also been forever since I posted on here (an actual blog post that is), and it’s probably about time that I did some updates on here for family and friends. Here’s a quick elevator speech of what my life has been like since I last did a personal update:

I went to Europe for three weeks! I got to spend January in England, Germany, and the Czech Republic and I’m so happy that I did. I learned a lot and got to see some beautiful places, as well as learn a lot about the history of communication and different cities in Europe. I also cried in some churches because let’s face it, gothic cathedrals are gorgeous. I got to spend semester as the Junior Creative Director at Live Oak Communications, and it helped confirm my absolute love of graphic design. I’m still not sure where I’ll be or what I’ll do after I graduate next year but I’ll be damned if I’m not designing in some sort of fashion. I’m helping out on a short film that one of my best friend’s wrote and I’m the Director of Visual Design and Marketing. Make sure to check out our Facebook page and our website! It’s been exciting and crazy and overwhelming, but so amazing at the same time. We’re currently in post-production.

Those are the big parts about this semester in a nutshell! With that highlight reel out of the way, I’m really excited to talk abut my summer plans.

For the first time, I will not be going home for the summer. It’s both terrifying and exciting. Instead of returning to Boise, I will instead spend this summer in Atlanta, GA and I will be a participant of The Creative Circus’ Summer at the Circus Program. The Creative Circus is a portfolio school and I don’t think there are words to describe how excited I am. I get to devote this entire summer to learning about my craft and just creating. Yes I guess I’m technically going to school this summer and will have classes, but I really can’t think of a better way to spend my time. Of course this means I’ll be living on my own (shout out to the internship apartments that were available) and for anyone who knows me, successfully feeding myself is going to be an adventure. But learning about independence and creating at the same time? I’d say it’s going to be amazing summer.

And then I’ll be a senior in college. Yikes. I’m actively choosing to ignore that part, though I am really excited about my classes that I’ll be taking and new experiences that I’ll get to have (those will be in a future post though).

As usual, this semester has had a lot of growth. But now I’m going to be focusing on pushing myself and maximizing my abilities. Not playing a sport anymore has left me with a lot of unused competitiveness, and I think I’ve found some outlets in my creative work. Here’s to never letting go of passion and drive.

Until next time (which hopefully won’t be this delayed),


Two Weeks Down

This blog started out as personal posts, something to keep family and friends up to date on my life in college. So here’s my attempt to break up the photos and the essays and bring it back on in to that.

I’ve just finished the second week of my junior year of college. Scary right? It was four years ago that I was looking into schools, trying to decide if I was going to make it out on the East Coast or not. I had people tell me that I wouldn’t make it, that I would find myself transferring to Boise State (or any other Idaho school for that matter) by second semester freshman year. Well fast forward to now and I’m looking into an internship in North Carolina for summer 2015  and who knows, maybe I’ll move to Charlotte. But who knows! I would love to travel the United States and explore more before I even come up with an idea of where I want to live, there are too many possibilities. But for now I think I’ll stick with being in denial about being half way done with college and continue to live in a bubble of being sort of an adult but still not fully an “adult” in all aspects.

Things are also shaking up this year and I’m certainly filling my time up! I’ve now become a part of Elon’s Live Oak Communications Agency, where I have the official title of “Creative Content Producer.” Words can’t even begin to describe the excitement I have about being able to finally delve into what I want to do and begin to create professional work. It’s essentially a full internship on campus, though instead of payment I get school credit. As anyone in the creative field knows, it’s all about your portfolio at the end of the day and I’m excited to be able to continue to update my website with what I’m able to create for local clients and expand my talents.

For classes, I’m taking four pretty different classes actually.

  • COM 495 Great Ideas (Capstone for Comm Students): Students examine great ideas that shape media and communications such as free expression, the global reach of communications, technological convergence, disruptive innovation, media entrepreneurship, the diversity of audiences, and media effects. Students write an original research paper or substantive analytical paper that examines a specific issue
  • ISC 111 Data Science and Visualization: The Internet is full of rich data sources that anyone can use to answer questions and solve problems. How can we process this data to uncover interesting patterns? This course teaches students how to access online data, write programs to analyze the data and use visualization tools to describe the patterns we find in a compelling way.
  • GST 303 Culture of Rock: This course, as the title indicates, examines the “culture of rock.” Specifically, it is concerned with the evolution of rock music and subcultures centered upon that music. In particular, the course examines the music and nascent youth culture of the 1950s, the counterculture of the 1960s, the reggae and punk subcultures of the 1970s, and beyond.
  • COM 365 Editing the Moving Image: Students learn the concepts and techniques of digital video editing for broadcast and cinema. The course examines the historical and theoretical evolution of editing, and students complete projects that require mastery of video editing techniques.

All in all I’m absolutely loving my classes. I do get minor headaches in my Data Science class but I’m also already using some of those skills that I’ve learned in that class and applying them to possible research for my Capstone class. I will also be writing two massive papers this semester, one that’s 16-20 pages and one that’ll be 20-25 pages. How much of a nerd does it make me if I’m actually really excited about doing the research?

I’ll continue to try to do more updates but for now, signing off on this belated personal update. I hope family and friends are doing great as we move into the later part of 2014!

And big news! I finally reached over FIVE THOUSAND views on my blog! I considered doing a special post about it and maybe I will later but we’ll see. There’s a pile of research anthologies calling my name so I think this is where I’ll be ending this. Goodbye for now!



My First Website

As someone who is constantly on the internet, I have my fair share of social media accounts (essentially I’m on all of them).

I then created a blog just two years ago and broadened my use of the internet. And today I published my online portfolio/my very first website –

And let me tell you, it’s been an adventure.

Since this year is the beginning of a focus on my future, I knew it was time to create an online portfolio. Once I made the decision to do this, I decided on using the site builder Weebly as my platform. And then began the ultimate task of finding everything that I thought would play an important role in showcasing what I was capable of creating. Silently praising myself for all of the file organizing I’ve done, I dug through my computer and external hard drives and compiled it all together. I sifted through emails to find articles that I had emailed to professors. I had to sit and think about what would be the best examples that I could present and suddenly things either seemed not good enough but I still pushed through. Stumbling blocks came in the form of missing files (“Mom didn’t I email you a copy of my advertisement??”) and non-jpg files that I couldn’t open on my laptop (“Maybe this is why I should update my InDesign”) and currently there are pieces missing from the site. But don’t worry, I’m putting on my thinking cap once I get back to North Carolina and getting these last files together.

I also realized that while I have taken numerous (read: hundreds) of selfies, I in fact did not have a professional photo of myself. Or any type of image to use as a background. So just the other day my mom and I found ourselves making our way to the foothills to get something presentably professional, but also with a hint of me in it.

Even up until a minute before I hit publish, I’ve also been spending large amounts of time agonizing over links and making sure they are properly connected, which is for sure something I’ve never thought about.

What felt like the most adult thing I’ve ever done, I decided to pay not only for the upgraded account with Weebly (I most definitely needed the video feature), but also for a domain name through GoDaddy. As my family looked at it, this is an investment. I will now be sending this website out for future internships and possibly jobs and it’s important for it to look as professional as possible.

I’m sure I’ll still find issues with it and I’ll be adding files for a while, but it feels nice to have been able to finally hit PUBLISH and get the site live. This is probably the hardest I’ve worked on something and I’m honestly exhausted. But here’s to accomplishing probably the most grown up thing I’ve ever done. For now I’ll sit back and enjoy it, as the work is never done (I actually have to go update my resume right now but I’m not jumping on it).

I’ll need to start packing today, I’m returning to North Carolina on Friday and finally back to college. I’ll be beginning my junior year which is unbelievable! But that’s another blog post.

Struggling with Post-Europe Depression

It’s now been three full days since we returned from our two-week long trip to Italy. And while at the time I was excited to come home, now that I’m here I’ve fallen into my usual post-Europe depression.

I’ve been lucky enough to go to Europe a handful of times the past two years (and it will continue into a month-long trip in January), and I’ve loved every trip. The hard part is coming home and readjusting to everyday life again.

I took a grand total of 2600 photos in the two weeks, a number that has yet to surprise anyone that knows me at all. And it’s the process of going through them that has made me the most down. I get bogged down with “wow remember how beautiful these flowers were?” and “that was the best pasta dish of the whole trip” and “I had forgotten how surreal the Tuscany area was.” Soon I find myself just going through the photos rather than actually weeding through them. Soon it all just seems like a wonderful dream.

I kept a journal the entire trip (I’m actually still an entry or two behind so I’m still wrapping it up) in order to help myself remember the details. The different couples we met and ate with. The strangers that we connected with and separated, never learning their name but knowing their story. It’s filled with plane ticket stubs and museum passes, business cards and brochures. A recounting of the wine tasting we went to and stories about our Italian driver who plays in a cover band for Green Day. The little things that didn’t make the camera but will always remain an essential element to our Italian fairytale.

When you spend two weeks without a car, relying on only trains and buses, it’s rough to come back to the grid system of suburbia. Sitting in traffic in a car weighs you down even more than it used to. Walking everywhere, restaurants, museums, grocery stores, etc., seems so easy and active and then you find yourself sitting at home debating that fifteen minute drive to Target to pick up two things. Having simple meals (I’m ruined for American Italian food now) and stopping for a gelato to eat on the square seemed like the perfect relationship with food, and combined with the walking led to a personal five pound weight loss. Going from feeling content there to feeling stuffed here seems like chaos as my stomach mourns for fresh pasta and bread.

It was truly a different world over there. I’m so honored that my parents included me on their 25th anniversary trip because it was truly the trip of a lifetime. From hiking the Italian coast line in Cinque Terra to watching the sunset over the river in Florence, it was one of the best Europe trips I’ve been on. But now I’ve come home to work and prepping for my junior year of college and I find myself dreaming of escaping back to Italy. And I know that in time the feelings will fade and talking about it will be with excitement and not longing. But for now Italy will be on my mind as I continue the narrowing down process of the photos I took, and get ready to share them with family and friends.

Ciao Italia, until next time.

Personal Update : I am my own phoenix

It feels like a lifetime since I actually posted something other than just photographs or essays on here (most likely because it has been), and I figured it was time for an update.

I’m on the final countdown to the end of my sophomore year, which is crazy to think about. Wasn’t I just posting about my freshman year finishing? It’s absolutely terrifying how quickly college is going by and I find myself scrambling to figure out if I’m truly a responsible adult or just a child pretending to know what’s going on.

My classes have been amazing this semester. I’m only taking three: Cinema Aesthetics, Digital Art, and Corporate Publishing (a graphic design class). The best part about this semester hasn’t just been that I’m only taking three classes, but that these classes represent everything I want to do when I’m out of college. They’ve all connected with each other in different ways and I’ve been able to take skills from each one to the next. Thanks to these classes, I’m finally building up confidence that I’m not actually crazy and that I really could make a career out of my passions.

I recently had a conversation with one of my best friends about how scary the future is. What if I’m actually bad at what I choose to do? What if it actually doesn’t make me happy? What do I do then?

We live in a world where we are expected to have our life figured out when we graduate, and that’s a very scary realization, especially when you’re looking outside the norm of a typical nine to five type of job. What if what I love isn’t enough?

Amongst the anxiety of the future looming overhead, I’ve managed to have a great 2014 so far. I’ve made a lot of new friends and had many new experiences, all helping me grow and celebrate the life I’ve been blessed enough to have. I’ve been able to push myself in my interests and see what I’m able to create, proving myself to my peers, professors, and even myself.

But the biggest news of 2014 falls under the golf part of my life. The other week we were competing down in Jacksonville, FL. Surrounded by friends and family, we found ourselves in 3rd place after the first and second day. We were in a similar spot last year, and I’m sure close friends and families remember the tear-jerk/disaster of an ending. And of course, our final day brought winds up to 35mph. All morning we would catch ourselves changing “if we win” to “when we win.” It was all I could do to keep my nerves in check as I went up to the first tee, the memory of my quadruple-bogey all too clear from the previous year. Yet somehow I found myself on the course that day, calmer than I have ever been. Wind gusts brought me back to high school tournaments in Twin Falls and Pocatello, where you hit and pray and let the wind do its thing. There wasn’t a green I felt I couldn’t read and I found myself dropping putt after putt, burning edge after edge. Walking from the tee box on one whole, bag swung over my shoulder and the wind pushing into my face with the hot sun burning down, I felt the realization. We could do this. I only saw my coach twice that day (both times I drained a 12+ foot birdie putt), and I chose to not ask how my team was doing. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t add up my own score as much as I normally do. Four birdies later, I was even going into the last hole. And in true Kathryn fashion, I bogeyed it with a three putt. Heaven forbid I make this sport easy on myself.

I received nervous thumbs up and smiles from my teammates as I walked to the scorer’s tent. Somehow after everything, it looked like we might have pushed our way to the top. But it wasn’t until I heard the screams that we knew we had done it. I ran up the hill from the scoring table to my teammates and our families. My teammate Emily had been in the group behind me, and after watching me three-putt, my coach had turned to her and said, “Just put it in.” Like a good athlete, she listened to her coach and put it in from the fairway for an eagle.

From then on it was like the smiles couldn’t be erased. All of the wins in high school, the heartbreak from Florida last year, none of it could have prepared me for what it felt like to win a college tournament. Once we were all in and the deal was sealed, we couldn’t stop screaming, laughing, almost crying with joy. Even now I get goosebumps just thinking about it. To top it off they had an amazing burrito buffet in the clubhouse so it’s hard to get any better than that. We spent at least an hour taking photos afterwards, even running onto the 18th green to take a team photo.

It had been four years since the Elon women’s golf team had won a tournament.

With that now behind us, the trophy brought home, and the team championship flag hanging in my room, we move onto the rest of the season. The next three weekends are going to be filled with tournaments as we make that final stretch. Just two more tournaments and then we’ll be on our way to conference. And sadly, once these next three weekends are done, we’ll only have four weeks left of school and I’ll be an upperclassman.

2014 has taken on a life of its own, far surpassing 2013, a year I will gladly leave behind. So here’s to pushing through the struggles and finishing strong. If last year was a personal death, then this year is the rise from the ashes. I am my own phoenix.