20150519_120803Hello, my name is Jessica McAfee and I am one of the newest interns for Pushing the Envelope (PTE) and I could not be more excited and ready to take on this amazing opportunity. I grew up on the east coast of Florida in a town called Jupiter. With my mom being a teacher at my high school and my dad being a well-known police officer in the area, I can easily say that people were always watching me growing up. In high school I was involved in the yearbook staff and was the section editor for my class during my junior year and co-editor-in-chief my senior year.

I am currently a rising junior at Florida Gulf Coast University and I am majoring in hospitality management with a minor in advertising. I chose hospitality management because I originally wanted to become a cruise director however, the older I got the less I wanted to work nine months out of the year on a boat. I have already had two amazing opportunities at two resorts in the Southwest Florida area: South Seas Island Resort and Naples Grande Beach Resort. Those were both great experiences for me and they helped me figure out what I really want to do with my career.

Last semester I met with my advisor and I told her that my dream career was to work in hospitality, but to also have a job where I can put my yearbook skills to work. She recommended advertising and I thought that was the perfect idea. At Naples Grande Beach Resort, I was able to sit with the marketing coordinator for a day and shadow her. After that experience, I knew that marketing and advertising was where I wanted my career to go.

In addition to my internship, work and school, I am also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma honor society and was recently appointed a seat on the 2015 leadership board. When I am not at school or at work, I enjoy spending my time with friends, reading, going to the beach, traveling, and going back to Jupiter to see my family and my two dogs who are the loves of my life!

I am so lucky to be able to have this opportunity and to have a hands-on experience in a public relations firm. My goals here are to get a general overview of the marketing world and to get a better understanding about social media marketing and public relations. I am so eager to learn everything and get a first hand experience of what it’s like to work at a PR firm.

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Photo By Brian TietzRole models come in all shapes and sizes, teachers, celebrities, older friends and the list goes on.  My role model just so happens to be my mom.  It may be cliché to call my mom the strongest and most hard-working person that I know, but those words ring true when I think of her.  Throughout my life, my parents have both collectively taught me so many life lessons that I carry with me every single day.  As I reflect on my childhood and the years leading into adulthood I want to share just a handful of things that my mom has passed down to me.

The highlight of my elementary school years was going to lunch and opening my lunchbox to find a note from my mom saying, “I love you” or “I hope you are having a good day”.  Looking back now I couldn’t tell you how many encouraging messages I have received from my mom throughout my life. I just know that there was one accompanying almost every significant occasion no matter big or small.  They would vary from wishing me good luck on the first day of a new semester, the day of a big presentation or step-by-step directions on how to cook without burning my house down. I often find myself practicing the same patterns when I’m the encourager for my friends. I see the potential that the people I love possess and want nothing more then for them to succeed in their endeavors.  My mom has shown me what it means to be a complete support system for those you care about and I am truly grateful for that.


Children all share a sense of invincibility to do anything they set their minds to.  For example, when I decided last minute to run for a student government position my mom supported me by staying up late to help me create campaign posters even though she had work in the morning.  As we grow older the ability to try new things and step out of our comfort zone often gets harder to do.  My mom has always encouraged my sister and I to push ourselves to the limits and to never let a silly fear hold us back from trying something new. Even when it was to apply to a college that would require us to move away from home, she insisted that we follow our dreams to get the most out of the experience.  I frequently notice that I always strive to try new things and I believe I also gained that from my mom.

I am so lucky to call such an incredible person my mom. In honor of mother’s day, thank you for everything that you do for me no matter the distance or time or day. I love you!

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Written by Natalie Bollt:
20150519_120839I have recently been given the amazing opportunity to become one of the newest members of the Pushing The Envelope team and I couldn’t be more excited! My name is Natalie Bollt and I am a part of the 2015 Summer Internship Program here at PTE.

I am a rising senior at the University of Miami pursuing a bachelors degree in advertising with a minor in both marketing and psychology. Originally born in Hollywood, Fla., I have been living in Naples for the past 15 years. Growing up in South Florida, I couldn’t imagine being more than a 15-minute drive away from the beach and spending as much time there as I possibly can. At school, my biggest involvement is with the national organization called Camp Kesem. With chapters all over the country, Camp Kesem provides a free, week long camp during the summer months for children whose parents have cancer. I currently serve as the volunteer coordinator on the executive board and am in charge of interviewing, selecting, training and managing our awesome group of counselors.

When I first began my college career, I was undecided in regard to what I wanted to pursue as far as a career. While looking into the degree programs UM offered, I was drawn to advertising and loved it right away. As part of the advertising program, I was required to take several marketing courses and I quickly discovered I had a passion for that field as well.

While advertising and marketing providing countless career options, I am still unsure of where exactly I see myself after graduation. Because of the many different communication services Pushing The Envelope provides, I knew right away this was the best fit for me to discover what I want to do. One of my biggest goals during this internship is to learn as much about myself as possible. Learning my strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes will help point me in the right direction. I am also looking forward to gaining insight into this industry and gaining experience outside of a classroom setting.

I can’t wait to begin my journey and learn as much as I possibly can in the next few months. I am looking forward to working with and learning from the Pushing The Envelope team!

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Diana & me 001I feel extremely lucky to have been blessed with the parents I have and in the spirit of Mother’s day, I want to share specifically about my mother. I will start by saying that my mom is an amazing woman of faith whom, along with my dad, laid a strong foundation for my brother and I in a Christian home. Because of this foundation, certain values, morals and attitudes are instilled in us that have helped us flourish and stay positive through life’s ups and downs. My mom has planted seeds in me in many ways and when I think of my mother’s role in my life the first two words that come to mind are Guidance and Encouragement.


Throughout my childhood and into my young adult years, my mom taught me the value of compassion, understanding, forgiveness and unconditional love. She certainly practices what she preaches and I have seen the difference that having these values has made in my own life. She also taught me that life is about so much more than having money, fancy jobs, fashionable clothes, big homes and nice cars. Life is about loving others, working hard and giving.

My mother gives of her time as an active member in my hometown; mentoring the youth, leading her church’s bell choir, chaperoning mission trips and singing in her church choir among many other things. She has also begun a women’s young adult Bible study at our home that I call in for every week. She inspires and motivates through her faith and it shows every day.

Through the characteristics I’ve acquired from her – loyalty, respect, and integrity – I hold high standards of professionalism and manners in the workplace. She has passed along a high level of maturity that my coworkers and supervisors in past and present jobs have noticed and respected.


My mother is the one person who I know will lift me up when it seems like the weight of the world is pushing me down. She tells me I’m smart, beautiful and that I have a lot to offer. She is the first person I call when I’ve had a rough day and am looking for comfort and encouragement.

I probably drove her nuts when I was in college, calling home after every tough exam saying, “I failed. It was horrible. I failed, I failed, I failed.” But, she would always say, “You didn’t fail. I don’t want to hear it again.” She was sick of those calls because she was always right, but she answered the phone every time and listened attentively. To this day, she continues to answer calls when I’m stressed about work and worried that a project won’t turn out great. She assures me it isn’t the end of the world and that all I can do is my best and everything else will fall into place.

My recent move from Michigan to Florida was definitely not easy for me, but Mom was there for me every step of the way. From job applications to settling into my apartment, staying with me during my first week, helping me find an apartment and running errands for me while I was at work. What a blessing to have her there and willing to help during that time in my life! Through the transitions and hardships she has only been a phone call away and knows just what to say to make things better.

And that’s just scratching the surface. Words simply cannot describe the impact my mom has made on my life, and I could write a novel.

Mom – You are simply the best and I love you for everything you are. Happy Mother’s Day!

Photo By Brian TietzAs I’m writing this blog on Mother’s Day it’s difficult to not only reflect on my own mom, but on all mothers that I know. Each one of these amazing women has made sacrifices for their children, feels guilt when they aren’t able to be as active or involved as they would like to be, has to juggle multiple priorities and responsibilities, loves unconditionally, wants to provide the best opportunities for their children, and the list goes on. I feel very grateful to know these women and to be able to learn from them.

My own mom was a working mother. She worked long hours, overtime and even went back to school for her master’s degree. My mother is one of the most driven people I know. She invests her time, energy and expertise 100 percent into her career and into any activity she’s involved in. By watching her, I learned the value of being fully invested in the work that you’re putting out and doing the best job you can.

me and mom

Because of my mother’s inspiring example of doing her very best, I was able to have a multitude of opportunities growing up. Art classes, horse-back riding lessons, ballet tuition, two study abroad trips to London, sorority membership, adventures in France, Italy, Mallorca, etc.… All of these experiences have made me

who I am today and none of them would have been possible without the hard work of my mother (and my father as well). As I’m now in my fifth year of being a productive member of the workforce, the experiences I’ve gained help to shape my creativity, attitude and perspective. All of these factors provide value to the work I produce and to the people that I interact with.

I’m so grateful that my mother is who she is and that she’s my confidante, my sounding board, my travel partner and my ally. Love you Mom!

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