Monday, April 27, 2009

So you think you can be my intern?

Well c'mon, you knew I was going to do this at some point? Read on ... we just released this today to the press. We need an intern ... a la American Idol style .... Let the games begin ....

Creativity and impact earns points at first-ever MAVERICK Idol competition

(Toronto, ON - April 28, 2009) – Ripping a page out of the American Idol handbook, MAVERICK Public Relations Inc. today announced the launch of an innovative interview competition for the company’s annual summer PR internship position. The lucky winner of the first MAVERICK Idol will be granted an eight-week paid internship at the award-winning PR firm during the summer of 2009.

The inaugural MAVERICK Idol will be held Wednesday May 20th, 2009. Qualifying contestants are asked to arrive in person at 39 Madison Avenue to officially register. Registration opens at 10 a.m. (Visit the Maverick Facebook site
for full details or contest rules, or send an email inquiry to

Each participant will have exactly two minutes to demonstrate to judges why they would make the perfect MAVERICK intern. The two-minute freestyle opportunity is all about creativity and impact. If participants pass the first audition, finalists will be asked back to the final round later that afternoon and have an additional five minutes to strut their stuff in front of the judges by answering a series of pointed questions. Total audition time: seven fast-paced minutes.

“Candidates can read, sing, dance, bring in their mother or father, use sock puppets – we don’t care, as long as they give the judges a reason to advance them to the question stage of the competition,” said Julie Rusciolelli, President, MAVERICK. “We see this as an innovative way to interview as many intern candidates as possible in a short period of time, while providing budding PR practitioners with an opportunity to stand out from the crowd by strutting their creative side,” adds Rusciolelli.

Ms. Rusciolelli estimates she receives about 10 resumes and inquiries a week from recent PR grads and students seeking advice on how to get into the business or further their careers. With internships in short supply due to the economic downturn, she says this competition is an excellent way to give everyone an even playing field in their quest to join the boutique PR firm.

Candidates will compete in front of judges only, not in front of other contestants. Cynical American Idol judge
Simon Cowell will not be in attendance, but MAVERICK’s senior leadership team will forgo coffee that day to ensure they are as grumpy as possible when judging MAVERICK Idol contestants.

Competition Eligibility
MAVERICK hopes to attract the industry’s best and brightest by outreaching to potential contestants using Twitter and Facebook. Regular updates will be posted on the popular social media platforms, which will also serve as a means for online discussion around the contest. The competition is open to any resident of Canada who has graduated from a recognized PR program in either 2007 or 2008. PR students who will graduate by June 1, 2009, are also eligible.

Catch the latest MAVERICK Idol news on Twitter by following
@Scotty Mac.

MAVERICK Public Relations is an award-winning full-service agency based in Toronto. The agency, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, boasts a roster of blue-chip clients and as well as many of Canada’s top up and coming brands. The agency has four distinct practice areas, including consumer marketing, advanced technology, corporate and professional services, and health and wellness. For more information about the company please visit:


Christine Smith said...

This is so very, very, you, Julie. Thanks for keeping it fresh.

Melissa C said...

Unfortunately, I don't qualify for "Intern Idol". Any advice on how one can gain some PR experience in the current job market?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Trying to generate such hoopla for a low-paid, below entry-level internship at a smallish agency. Get off your high horse Julie

Anonymous said...

To whomever is thinking about applying for this self-promoting gimmick, please make better use of your brain, education and talents than trying to please a bunch of stuck up, self-glorifying mediocre PR professionals in 2 minutes.

Remember, the reward is an *internship* at a low, low paying wage rate and in an industry that isn't that hard to crack (it ain't a medical internship folks) p.s. have fun getting Julie's coffee!

Julie Rusciolelli said...

Dear Anonymous bloggers ... thank you soooo much for commenting -- for a minute there i thought no one was reading my blog! You are soooo sweet. I would have responded earlier but my interns were giving me a "mani and pedi" this afternoon and one of them got my herbal tea all wrong! As for my high horse ... well maybe I should come down ... but the last time I climbed down from my horse I sprained my ankle, needless to say, I think I will stay atop the horse a little while longer ...
But hey, thanks for your comments and so glad I provided a blanket of anonymity to give you a voice on the blogosphere, Lord knows, you don't want to use your real name, that would defeat the whole transparency thing! Love ya, just keepin'it real ...

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Rumour has it that the number of people who actually applied for Julie's laughable intern ego-fest could be counted on one hand.

Top notch!

Julie Rusciolelli said...

Wow, Anonymous ... you are really jealous of me aren't you? that is so cool... i've never had a blog stalker ... Now why don't you like me? Because I tip more in a year than you make? I laugh all the way to work because I love my job and you don't? Because I make this all look so easy and fun? Because I have love in my life in the form of an incredible family. The fact that I still look pretty hot for a gal in her forties ... I know what it is .... you can't stand the fact that my clients love our firm, my staff love their culture and jobs, and the fact that Maverick is an incredible place to work in ... grow up my friend. Love life, embrace your flaws .. call me, I will talk you down from the ledge .. let's be friends. Namaste ....

Martin Gross said...

No one was talking about money, Julie but way to change the topic. "I tip more in a year than you make." That's admirable. Is that what you told your staff before you cut their bonuses? I guess they still have Maverick 'culture.'

Julie Rusciolelli said...

Martin, is humour and sarcasm lost on you too? Oh dear, the world needs to lighten up and that was the entire purpose of our
little Idol Contest. No harm was done and we got a tonne of press on a great little idea that found homes for not just one intern, but two.
When a putz like anonymous takes a personal cheap shot at me and my firm (which in uncalled for), I do not have to validate him or her with a serious response because I know it is professional jealousy driving those comments. I don't need to espouse the good deeds our agency is involved with each year ... from hundreds of pro bono hours for charities, to mentoring and training young PR practitioners or creating an amazing learning environment and culture for students. I put a lot of money each year against sponsorships with our PR associations and
I'm always there to help teachers and students in this city when they call me. But no one seems to give me any credit for that?
I also take issue with your bonus remark.
As far as I know, we are a leading agency that pays out bonuses each and every year (including this year) to ALL levels of employees. Go ask my competitors if they do the same?
As for my tipping comment, it was a joke, I rarely eat out and when I do, someone else pays for me!
Maverick is doing its own thing, we are creative leaders, having a great time and enjoying this incredible journey.

Female said...

This whole back and forth was really interesting to read. As to "anonymous", how cowardly to hide behind anonymity on a blog where someone has put not only their name but business in the spotlight? Likely sitting in the dark somewhere, wringing your hands and twirling your pointy mustache... cackling like the evil internet genuis you think you are.

As a recent graduate I can call pure BS on your comment PR opportunities are "easy to find". Personally, when I didn't find one right after graduation I made one happen, and now am on my third interview with a great agency. But it has been hard, and many agencies pay you NOTHING. Zip. Zero. Zilch. I thought that PR Idol was really interesting and planned to attend, but wasn't able to in the end. But it's a great reflection of the agency, and people who aren't keen on it should obviously look elsewhere.

Keep doing your thing and trying to bring down people who are happier than you. But wow, what a waste of time and energy on your part that could better be spent, I don't know, hugging puppies and kittens...