I’m not very good at blogging.

I mean, I say that casually, almost in a cavalier sort of what. It isn’t something I’m deeply concerned about. KellyMRivard.com has fulfilled many needs in my life over the last few years: a digital sandbox, a creative space, a career search tool. But, I’ve always operated it under the caveat that it had to be fun. It is, and has always been, first and foremost a hobby. A safe haven. An online forum for me to use for decompression.

So, despite being a professional communicator who puts bread on the table by helping others make the most of their social media presences (including blogs), I don’t approach it with a whole lot of passionate. Continue reading

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A page from Brooke Clay’s book — I’m rural gone urban!

As I prepare for my 4th week in my full-time big kid job, and start my 4th week here in Kansas City, I realize I’m behind on chronicling this massive adventure. Two years ago, I never would have believed that … Continue reading

Nice Matters.

I like to think I’m a nice person.

Maybe that’s a loaded statement. I’m sure there are folks out there who disagree with me. If I’m full of it, please, call me out. This matters enough to me that I want to be told if I’m mistaken about my own niceness. I try to be nice, and over the past few years I feel I’ve grown as a person, especially in the area of niceness. And I’ve realized that niceness is an aspect of life that is sorely under-appreciated from the giving end and often incredibly deficit on the receiving end. Continue reading

And the winner is…

I know all of you have probably been sitting at your computers all day, anxiously awaiting the announcement of who won.  (I hope no one did that. And if you win, and I found out you DID, I will revoke your boots and give them to someone with a significantly less worrying boot addiction.) I apologize for the wait; I had expected to pre-write this post but graduation day was a blur and family obligations today have left me playing catch-up. So here we are!

I’ve been excited to announce this, and without further ado, the winner of a free pair of women’s Shyanne boots from Boot Barn is… Continue reading

These boots were made for… [Giveaway & More!]

Change is scary. Even if my college years haven’t been exactly “easy” they’ve been mine; and despite the fact that I’ve been in a rush to get out, the people and things that kept me sane through this chaotic part of my life have left a permanent mark on me. I am a better, happier, more mature person because of college. And it isn’t just that I’m graduating…it’s that I’m stepping into a new, scary chapter of my life.

I’m moving 500 miles away from home. Kansas City. While that’s less than 1/4 of the distance to California, there isn’t a set timeline. I don’t go there for a few weeks or months and come back. I’m moving there. I’m starting my big girl career. There will be no “intern” in my job title. This is huge. In some ways, it feels like it isn’t real yet. It feels too good to be true.

I’ve worked for years to get to this point. Now it’s here, and I’m nervous. But, there are coping mechanisms for these things. Continue reading

Finding Direction

I’ve heard it said, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I call bull on that. I love what I do, and what I plan to continue doing after graduation. I love the realm of community management with an emphasis on agriculture. But I work hard. I work hard to build relationships, to see connections, to find new and interesting ways to spark conversation. I love it. I love that exhausted feeling of fulfillment after a milestone is reached. I love that even when I feel worn down, I can find satisfaction in seeing the relationships that can truly be built. I may love what I do, but I still consider it work. With that said, I think it’s that realization that lays the foundation for the rest of this post.

I’ve realized I’m not a “settler.” I once thought I could take any situation and make the most of it. While I like to think I can still do that in some ways (see The Leap List), in other ways, I’ve realized that there really are times when striving for happiness is truly called for. Continue reading

A Thank You to My Mentors

I have been ridiculously lucky.

You see, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last four years with some amazing folks who help to shape me into the human being and professional I am today. Friends, family, teachers, the list goes on. Many of these members of my personal community have stepped forward and taken on another title, one that I hold in very high esteem in my neurotic little corner of the universe: mentor.

In the last four years, I’ve had six paid internships. Each of these opportunities has happened because of one person (or more) deciding that I was worth their time, guidance, and hard work. And many of these mentors’ roles in my life spread beyond the realm of career development. Continue reading

So, I may or may not be part Smurf.

I have this thing, it’s called a “Leap List.” To learn about its conception, see this post. To see a fully-updated and constantly in-progress version of the List, check it out here. The whole idea behind the Leap List is to take advantage of the time I have left in my current stage of life (in my case, college). Because, after college, I plan to move away and become a professional, there will be things that just won’t be an option anymore…like irresponsible college student things, and activities that I can only do in this geographical area.

The first thing I crossed off the List? Continue reading

10 Major Learning Experiences from Internships

I’m a chronic intern. I’ve been holding the title of intern pretty consistently since I was 17; if you do the math, that’s four years. And in those four years, I’ve had six, yes, SIX internships. They’ve all been fantastic experiences, in one way or another. I try to be honest about my motivation for finding these internships. The first priority is a good hands-on education. The second big drive behind the constant hunt for good internships is the fact that I am trying to survive college without going too far into debt. Student loans are big and scary, and I’m living from one seasonal job to another. That, in and of itself, is an interesting life experience. I’ve just been blessed enough to have spectacular educational opportunities while I work to survive the financial hardship known as “college.”

I’ve been trying to find words for this, for a long time. It’s hard to sum up the lessons you learn in an internship, let alone six internships. I think the valuable realization I’ve come to understand is that the companies that employ interns, generally understand your limitations. Every intern I’ve met starts a new internship with expectations of conquering the world. In reality, their employers know full well that the intern in question won’t be perfect.

Continue reading

Things I Will Never Admit About College

I dislike being in college. I don’t actually enjoy classroom learning situations; I’m a hands-on learner. I tend to enjoy most of my graphic design classes and have yet to take a writing class I disliked…but, still me in a lecture hall or classroom where all you do is take notes and listen, and you end up with a fairly irritable Kelly. Unfortunately, that’s what makes up the majority of modern-day educational systems. Because of this, I’ve developed an undying love of internships, conferences, and extra-curricular learning experiences. What better way to learn than to be truly involved IN something?

Anyways, college and I don’t always get along. I’ve been fairly frank about that. There are a lot of things I could say about college, but there are some I will never admit.

Continue reading