Name: Craig Colloway
University: Texas Christian University 2012
Major: Strategic Communication and Business
Company: Starr Conspiracy
Did you do any extracurriculars in college?
I had somewhat of an unorthodox college experience. I was there at TCU for 3 years and I actually played music in a band. We took off and toured for a few years and I came back and finished school. That being said a lot of my time outside of studying was devoted to my musical career.
Tell me about The Starr Conspiracy.
The Starr Conspiracy is more of a marketing company as opposed to a strictly HR company. We do specialize with companies that deal with human capital management and HR but what led me to the Starr conspiracy was their affiliation with marketing, branding and advertising as opposed to the fact they specialize in HR.
How did you get this internship?
I was very lucky. While I was in school I had an appointment to meet a professor and he was running late. While I was waiting, a different professor who I have taken a couple classes with, office was just across the hall. We just started talking about my plans after graduation and I just started asking if he knew companies that were hiring and he led me to the Starr Conspiracy. I had an interview set up and the rest is history. Pure happenstance and luck that I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
What is a typical day like?
To be honest I have yet to have a typical day. When I started I was more helping with the business and account side and I had some interesting writing and content generation roles. From there I just switched sides from accounts to creative. Laurie kind of adopted me as her social media intern and I have been social since, which basically entails helping out with our social media accounts and different client social media endeavors. Mostly blogging, where I will get a couple ideas for a blog or Laurie will have a couple ideas and I will just research it.
Most of the ideas come from Laurie, and I have had a few ideas as well. A lot of it started with Laurie who had the idea of Craig the intern talks about HR. A kind of newbie perspective, to the untrained eye, what all these complicated parts of the HR industry are and explaining it in a one on one perspective.
In Laurie’s blog post, she said she did not want an intern in the beginning, but now she seems to have endless praises for you. What did you do to make that happen?
One of the questions you sent me was “What was my proudest moment?” This blog post was it. I had stumbled upon the blog actually; I didn’t know she was writing it. As far as her taking me under her wing that was kind of something that happened by accident. I am actually not sure why she decided to call me, but she basically asked me if I was getting as involved as I would like to be. As far as an internship goes I don’t think you should turn down the opportunity to do anything or work with somebody, so I told her I am interested in writing and social media and asked what can you help me do? After, she had me start writing these blogs and our relationship continued to adapt. I had no idea she was not wanting an intern in the beginning of the relationship.
You never felt you had to prove yourself to Laurie?
Absolutely not, she has always been very nice since day one. In my own attempt to be hard working and diligent, she understood that I wasn’t there to make anyone’s life harder and I was there to help with anything I could.
What kind of HR trends have you picked up on that could help students out?
Having a completely 100% filled out LinkedIn, having an account on Monster.com and Careerbuilder, constantly networking with different people, all of those things end up helping. Since I have been working here, I have had a number of different opportunities meeting with different companies, who have all found me through LinkedIn, Monster.com and Careerbuilder. Before I had all these accounts fully filled out that wasn’t happening for me. There are a lot of recruiters and staffers out there who are actively seeking for people, which is something you don’t necessarily realize when the job market is like this. When you are actually making yourself available, then chances are you will find somebody who is looking for something you can actually do.
How would you make yourself available?
Making sure you have a social presence. Making sure you always have a resume ready to give to somebody. One thing one of my friends advised me to do early on was to have my own business cards, which at the time I thought was kind of silly because I wasn’t employed, but having a piece of paper that somebody can hold on to and reference has been really helpful to me. At the end of the day, I think it’s people that help people. With more people that know you’re looking for an internship, you will definitely increase your chances of landing something.
What’s next for Craig?
I don’t have it written on paper per say. For now it will be continuing my internship at Starr Conspiracy. Ultimately, I want to end up working full time at a marketing or advertising agency, that’s what I am passionate about. In advertising you can really tie together business as well as creativity. I always think there will be a need for advertising, and it’s a fun, work hard play hard atmosphere. Eventually I do want to get my MBA, but at this point getting experience is more valuable than going back to school.