The Wonders of Work Experience

18 Oct


The PRINZ Student Ambassador Programme allows students studying relevant qualifications to become involved and engaged in the communication and public relations industry. The programme gives students a head-start in the industry, encouraging them to participate in the PRINZ community. This blog post is written by Kendra Stone, PRINZ Student Ambassador at Massey University Auckland.

When I was 14 years old, I was already planning my future.  Mum had me see a career advisor- who had you take personality tests and produced a three-page report on whether you’d be a lawyer with three kids or a teacher with one.  I’d go in there all prepared with “Hi, I’m Kendra, and I want to be a journalist”, but in all honesty, I didn’t have much of an idea of what a journalist was. I thought that they were the pretty ladies who got to be all dressed up on TV, and men who wore really fancy suits, or perhaps the not-so-lucky ones who got battered about by the weather on live television.

“Honey, you’d make a great journalist as you’re always talking and asking so many questions,” Mum would say or “maybe you’d actually make a pretty good detective because you’re so nosy.”  I definitely considered both of these roles for a while, but funnily enough, my three-page report spat out a spiel on how I’d be a great psychologist.  Now in my mind, I imagined a psychologist to be someone lonely, sitting in a stark-white room dealing with everyone’s problems but their own.

Naturally, I was at a loss.  When we got home from the appointment, Mum filed the report in the ‘special documents’ cabinet, giving me a reassuring look of ‘we don’t have to worry about this for a while’.  When I reached year 11 in high school, I had this urge to get out there into the real world (as if school for 6 hours a day wasn’t enough for this blossoming journo/detective/psychologist).

Rocking up to The Radio Network with nothing but trembling, sweaty hands, I introduced myself.  Within a few weeks, I was driving the Black Thunder down Marine Parade, throwing bottles of iced tea at beach-dwellers and helping run the ‘Miss Mount Maunganui’ event.  Once I added that to my CV, I was excited to think about all of the other opportunities I could have if I simply put myself out there and asked!

When I finished school, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I did know it’d be something to do with communications.  I always knew I’d be good at it, because the most common note on my school reports was ‘Kendra needs to learn when to stop talking’.  Enrolling at Massey University in Auckland was the most exciting thing ever!  This little fish was about to move out of little old Tauranga and into the great big ocean of life!  This was three years ago now, and man has it been a super fun ride!

In my first year of university, I contacted South Pacific Pictures, asking if I could come in and see how things went down there.  I was allowed to come in for a few days, helping file media documents on lots of different TV shows from Shortland Street, to Outrageous Fortune, and The Almighty Johnsons.  I worked right next to Fern Sutherland, an actress from the show, and not going to lie I was pretty star-struck! There was also an office dog who liked to sit on my feet, and I definitely think all offices need some kind of animal to ease the stress.

My second year of university was even bigger for me as I contacted the NZ Herald and went in for a one-day stint to have a go at writing a column for the SPCA.  It was all very overwhelming, but extremely exciting at the same time.  Sitting next to reporters who’d had 20-so years in the industry was really cool, but I knew this kind of job wasn’t for me.  In realising that, I emailed over 10 different PR agencies around Auckland, asking them if they’d consider allowing me to come in for unpaid work experience.  After receiving many emails of “Thank you for giving this a go, but unfortunately we haven’t got the space to take anyone on”, I received one from BEAT PR, saying they’d be happy to take me on as an intern every week on a Friday.  This was my first experience with a PR agency-packing media kits, analysing media coverage and trying to navigate my way around Media Portal and Isentia.

The previous year, I had worked at a social media conference for a company called the ‘Online Academy’.  There, I networked with a lot of really motivated people, two of whom owned a company called ‘Starlight Media House’.   Just a few weeks after leaving BEAT PR, I heard from the managers there asked if I’d like to join their team as a Social Media Manager.  My time there was so valuable, as I learnt how to really understand the target audiences I was working with.  I worked with clients like Multiple Sclerosis Auckland, a plastic surgery company, a sanitary product company, and an interior design company.  This role taught me how to analyse my audiences in relation to what kind of content they engaged with the most, and I had so much fun learning about how these different companies operated.

When that came to an end over 12 months later, I applied for an internship position at Castleford Media.  I started this role in August of 2014, and while it was meant to last for only four weeks, I just finished there in August. The best way to describe my experience here? imagine that you’ve stepped onto the set of the film ‘The Internship’ (the one with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan).  The office was situated on the 16th floor of a Victoria Street West high rise, with huge open windows looking out to the sky tower, the viaduct, and people screaming as they were thrown around in the bungee ride.  I sat at Rookie Island (which is pretty self-explanatory), and I was surrounded by the travel and lifestyle, property, marketing, and graphic design islands.  As nervous as I was on my first day, I could not have felt more welcome.  Everyone there was like a family to me, and my role as an editorial intern was a perfect balance of experience, learning, meeting new people, and plenty of laughs! We even had stretch time at 3pm, flannel Fridays and group outings to the dumpling truck at lunchtime.  I learnt so much at Castleford Media, from using programmes like Curator and Scribe, to editing articles and coming up with content plans for the writers.

As all good things come to an end, so did this.  I left Castleford to devote myself more to my Communications group at University, organising tours to MediaWorks and NZME.   I was lucky enough to be appointed as the PRINZ Student Ambassador for Massey a role in which I’ve met some awesome people and been to some of PRINZ great networking events.

Now that I’m in my final weeks of my degree, I can look back at my work experience opportunities as a film reel, drawing on roles and scenes which stood out to me the most. If my career advisor could have predicted that I’d be lucky enough to have all of these amazing experiences, I probably would have asked him how that could be possible.  Now, I know that anything is possible if you put yourself out there, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, and always be willing to learn from others.  The last few years have been an absolute rollercoaster, but if someone asked me to ride it again, I’d be in the front seat ready to go.

Image credit: @Istock

What’s Wrong with The Millennials?

12 Oct

Written by Carl Davidson, Head of Insight at Research First Ltd

The Millennials (aka Generation Y) – you must have seen them. They’re that cohort of your colleagues born between the mid 1980s and the year 2000. They’re the ones who are self-obsessed, disengaged, and the reason the world is going to hell in a handcart.

References to ‘Millennials’ are everywhere.

A quick search on Google found over 200 million hits, and Amazon has at least 7,000 books on the subject. Time magazine attempted to summarise all this writing by noting that this generation are “lazy, entitled, narcissists, who still live with their parents” but who, apparently, “will save us all”.

Which would be nice, except none of it is true.

Not only are your Millennial colleagues not like this, but the notion that we can cluster people into cohorts based on their age is simply nonsense.

The generations’ idea has a long history but it really started gaining momentum with what is known as the ‘Strauss-Howe’ generational theory. This is based on a model that William Strauss and Neil Howe set out in their book Generations, and it is where the notion of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials really took hold.

It’s a beautifully elegant scheme.

Al Gore called Generations ’the most stimulating book on American history’ he’d ever read. He even sent a copy to each member of Congress. But, as any decent social scientist will tell you, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And here things start to fall apart quickly.

When scrutinised, the ‘evidence’ for generational differences reveals itself to be a bundle of non-falsifiable truisms which explain everything and predict nothing. Sure, the stories they tell about Millennials are often upbeat, fun to read, and eminently quotable, but that doesn’t mean they’re right. What they are is all pastry and no pie. After all, the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not data.

However, there is no real need to debate the evidence for once. This is because it is pretty simple to demonstrate that the notion of ‘generations’ is ridiculous on the face of it. The idea that tens of millions of people across the world will share values or ways of communicating (or even an aptitude for technology) just because they were born in the same 20 year period is laughably absurd. If you simply stop and think about what is being claimed about Millennials (or any of the other Generations), then it becomes obvious that those claims are as implausible as they are contrived.

Try it another way: Why do we accept that we can divide our colleagues at work (to take just one example) into three or four distinct groups based on the year they are born in but reject as ridiculous the notion that we can divide them into twelve groups based on the month they are born in? In other words, why is there a serious discussion about Millennial employees but not about Sagittarian interns?

Social scientists are clear that – when groups get big enough – the differences within the groups will be greater than the differences between the groups. This is precisely what the serious research about attitudes and attributes by birthdate show us. The story is one of continuity, showing that members of subsequent generations are much more alike than they are different.

But if the case against ‘Millennials’ is so strong, why is it so popular? (recall those 200 million hits and 7,000 books mentioned earlier). The answer is because there are whole industries who benefit from that belief. As a result, the notions of generations are often uncritically promoted in the media and slickly marketed. Think about all the times you have seen some offering, for a fee, to help improve how you communicate with, engage with, or sell to, the Millennial generation.

That’s what the notion of generations really is, an idea to persuade you to buy something. It’s a marketing success story but it remains terrible social science. Instead of focusing on when we were born, social scientists talk about differences by referencing our gender, our ethnicity, how affluent we are, where we were born, who we socialised with, and the whole rich tapestry of human experience. Social scientists wish the world was as simple as the notion of generations promises but it stubbornly isn’t.

In one regard, my argument here is that the notion of generations is an elaborate con and that social science provides a powerful riposte to being conned. But the argument also hides a criticism of many of the ideas that we uncritically use to explain the social world. How many of those ideas fall into the same trap as the notion of ‘generations’? More to the point, how often do you stop to think about the ideas you use to make sense of the social world?

Research First is PRINZ’s research partner, and specialises in impact measurement, behaviour change, and evidence-based insights.

Image credit: iStock

What makes your heart sing?

7 Oct


The PRINZ Student Ambassador Programme allows students studying relevant qualifications to become involved and engaged in the communication and public relations industry. The programme gives students a head-start in the industry, encouraging them to participate in the PRINZ community. This blog post is written by Anna Strong, PRINZ Student Ambassador at WINTEC (Waikato Institute of Technology).

“What makes your heart sing?” was the question posed by the late and great Steve Jobs co-founder of Apple. I came across the quote in a book I’m currently engrossed in, ‘The Storyteller’s Secret’ by Carmine Gallo – I thoroughly recommend it. This question was in the first chapter and it immediately stopped me in my tracks, because I wondered –what is my response?

Currently I am in the final stages of my degree. The end is in sight and I’m struggling to contain the temptation to prematurely celebrate. Soon the job hunt will begin, and I find I’m continually asking myself where I want to go, what I want to do, and what do I want my future to be? If I can figure out what makes my heart sing now, will it help shape where I’ll head after this year? While a response didn’t come straight away, that question resonated with me. So I had to read on.

Firstly, I wondered where does one begin to find the heart’s song?  Steve Jobs found it, so it can’t be impossible. Quickly the answer became quite clear and it’s only one word. Passion.

Your story begins with your passion. We simply cannot inspire unless we are inspired ourselves. And while we can easily recognise passions in others, we can struggle to unmask our own personal ones. That is why Steve Jobs asked himself that same question, and his response led him to creating a tool to that will enable other’s to pursue their desires. Equipping others with tools to succeed was his heart’s song.

Your passions are expressed in the ideas that make your heart beat. In those activities that get you out of bed before your alarm goes off. It is the first thing you think about when you wake up and is the last thing on your mind as the lights go out. Passion is the driving force, or the rhythmic beat, of our heart’s song. Once unlocked, pursuing your passions is not an easy feat. At times it takes gumption – a word that isn’t heard too often in today’s society.

I thought a lot about passion in regards to the PR industry. In many pitches I’ve given this year we searched for the beat that ran through our client’s organisation, their lyrics, and tried to think of out-of-the-box outcomes to share the music.

Some of these big ideas take gumption to pursue and bring into fruition. It might mean going against the crowd, or speaking up about an idea that you believe has real potential to benefit your client. It took Steve Jobs’ gumption and passion to believe that Apple could change the world. And it will take those same qualities in our own lives to make a difference, or to play the right chord, to keep with the musical analogies.

Maybe right now it’s finding the gumption to really ask yourself the question – What makes your heart sing?

Picture credit: iStock

The Multitasking Myth

14 Sep

Written by Carl Davidson, Director of Strategy and Insight, Research First

Busy business people working hard on his desk in office with a lot of paper work, Business conceptual on hard working.

Can women multitask better than men? Before you read any further, stop for a moment and consider that question: What do you really think?
It probably won’t surprise you that this is a question social scientists have given plenty of attention. Nor may it surprise you that their answers point both ways.
The argument against is perhaps the most interesting. This tells us that women are not better at multitasking than men because no-one really multitasks. The research evidence here is very clear, we can only ever give our full attention to one task at once.

When we think we’re multitasking, what we are really doing is rapidly shifting our attention from one task to another. This shuffling of tasks often makes us think that we are simultaneously attending to them but that is just an illusion. When we shuffle between tasks our performance on all of them decreases, and the likelihood of making mistakes goes up. This is why driving and talking on your phone (with or without a hands-free kit) is a bad idea.

What this shows is that we have our metaphors about attention all wrong. It’s common to hear attention referred to as a kind of internet ‘bandwidth’ but in reality attention is much more like a phone line. If you want to take an incoming call, you first have to put the current caller on hold. Attention is both finite and sequential.

The reason why some people think women are able to multitask successfully is that there is some evidence that women can switch between tasks faster than men. This comes from a series of experiments that showed mixing up a number of tasks slowed down men’s performance more than women’s. Some people believe this demonstrates that women are better at what is known as ‘thin slicing’ than men. That is, the ability to make very quick decisions drawn from small amounts of information.

So the view from the social scientists seems to be that while women can’t really multitask better than men, they are better at the tricks our brains play to provide the illusion that we can.
Yet if we shift our attention from psychology to sociology, the social science here gets even more interesting. Sociologists are less interested in what the experiments tell us about men and women and multitasking and more interested in what those things say about the world we live in. This perspective raises important questions like ‘why have we made a fetish of multitasking?’ and ‘why do we care if women or men are better at it?’

The first of those is about the general appeal of multitasking and the answer seems obvious. In a world where there are increasingly blurred lines between work and home, and where technology provides the ability to combine tasks in new ways, multitasking seems a virtuous way to be more productive. In this view, multitasking is seen as a way to respond to an increasingly time-poor world.

At the same time, we now know that our brains crave novelty. They have evolved to seek it out, and they reward us when we find it. Novelty is correlated with the activation of the dopamine system in the brain. This provides a powerful reward mechanism for doing the things evolution has wired us all to do. So while the multitasking myth explains why you shouldn’t mix driving and talking on your phone, your brain’s craving for novelty explains why you want to.

The marriage of technology and the reconfiguring of work explains why we have made multitasking a virtue. But it also explains why it’s convenient to believe that women can do it better than men. Over the last 50 years or so we have seen a radical change in the working lives of women. Their participation in paid work has increased significantly, and with it a ‘double burden’ of juggling work and home-life. Women who were raised to believe they could do anything, found themselves in a world where they were asked to do everything. In this world, is it any surprise that we came to believe that women are natural multitaskers and much better at it than men?

As any social scientist will tell you, social norms are cultural products. What we see as ‘common sense’ reveals a great deal about the world we live in. In this regard, our belief in multitasking tells us much more about who we are than we might like to admit. But is this ability to get behind those taken-for-granted assumptions that makes the social sciences so valuable to all of us. Because, as George Orwell noted, to see what’s in front of our noses needs a constant struggle.

Research First is PRINZ’s research partner, and specialises in impact measurement, behaviour change, and evidence-based insights.

Stakeholder Engagement and Community Relations

6 Sep

Written by Bruce Fraser, FPRINZ, Fraser Consultants


PR professionals do loads of different stuff in their organisations and for their clients but one of the most important is to act as the eyes and ears. We scan media channels, listen to what’s being said, talk with frontline staff and undertake research so that we can better understand the needs of our customers, suppliers, neighbours, communities, agencies and others we interact with.

Armed with that information and proudly wearing our PR hats, we then represent those views within our organisations to help inform good decision making. We advocate for those stakeholders and provide sound intelligence for the decision makers to consider all aspects of an issue before planning future actions.

Our job then is to support organisational goals with great PR planning and implementation to develop strong relationships with those various groups who affect our businesses or are affected by our businesses. The profession of Public Relations revolves around building sound relationships with those sectors that matter to us through mutual understanding and excellent communications.

PRINZ has a Stakeholder Engagement and Community Relations course planned for Tauranga on 27 September that will look in more depth at how we can be better at identifying and engaging with groups and planning ways for our organisations to be great corporate citizens. If you are interested in attending, register here.

Image credit: Istock

Virtually connected: A personal experience of an international PR team

5 Sep

Catherine Mules - AUT PRINZ Ambassador

AUT’s Postgraduate PRINZ Student Ambassador Catherine Mules (third from right) in Abu Dhabi for the commencement of her university project, GlobCom2016

The PRINZ Student Ambassador Programme allows students studying relevant qualifications to become involved and engaged in the communication and public relations industry. The programme gives students a head-start in the industry, encouraging them to participate in the PRINZ community. This blog post is written by Catherine Mules, PRINZ Student Ambassador at Auckland University of Technology.

Here’s something we can all agree on: virtual teamwork to achieve business objectives is no longer exceptional – it is a crucial skill. I had some moments of insight into this during a university project earlier this year where I collaborated virtually to develop and pitch a global public relations campaign. The aim of this project was to plan a campaign to spread awareness about the plight of dugongs – an endangered marine mammal. The challenge was to develop the campaign virtually. I am sharing my reflections particularly with regards to the communication breakdowns experienced by our virtual team.

Many PR Professionals will be familiar with Tuckman’s stages of group development, forming, storming, norming and performing. Although Tuckman’s stages were developed in relation to face-to-face teams they are still applicable when it comes to virtual teams.

One of the key elements of the virtual team experience was leadership and allocation of roles and responsibilities. We were randomly allocated into our international teams and each one was huge with 36 members per team. Individual roles were assigned within one week via self-nomination and group voting. Unfortunately, decisions were based on little knowledge about each other because we did not have immediate access to each other’s resumes. It turned out our elected team leader had limited capabilities, experience or track record in leading, despite her initial confidence. It wasn’t long before elements of storming began to emerge.

Effective leadership requires proactive management of any conflict. Almost immediately there were complaints and mutterings behind our leader’s back, particularly about lack of task structure, inequalities of contribution and poor project direction. It was clear that her lack of leadership skills was doing little to reduce the risk of slacking. This was especially obvious in the online environment where those individuals who felt excluded from the group just disappeared off the radar.

The experience showed me that the core elements of good leadership and group interaction are the same in a virtual environment as in the face-to-face world. I had hesitated to put my name forward for a leadership role because I assumed that others had more expertise than me. I accepted the leader’s request to step-in and assist her as deputy leader a few weeks into the project. Together we developed a clear project timeline and established regular formal and informal meetings. I learnt that a primary responsibility of a good leader is to first lead yourself. As the project progressed I received positive feedback from my teammates complimenting my proactive and inclusive leadership style.

Virtual technology gave me a better ability to step back and be objective about the project because of the separation from the immediacy of my teammates, however, it challenged my ability to be responsive to their emotional needs and concerns. I found it difficult online to tune into the subtleties of the emotional needs of others as my teammates weren’t there in the office beside me or within walking distance down the corridor; I couldn’t lean over with a quick question and couldn’t watch to see how they responded to a suggestion I had made. When we eventually came together in person to present our PR proposal most of our team had the ‘task’ and ‘relationship’ cohesion we had initially struggled with online.

In this project I also found it difficult to bond informally which is needed for a cohesive team. To help overcome this we sought to increase personal and social interaction by integrating social and audio-visual media (Facebook and Google Hangouts) into the virtual team experience. We developed mutually agreed norms to provide shared rules and a timeline that we could call on to improve interaction. One useful norm was for all team members to RSVP to meetings and let team members know at least two days in advance if a task deadline could not be met. Another norm we agreed on was that we needed to treat each other with courtesy and respect. On the whole this norm was followed once we had agreed to it.

Our team was culturally diverse with team members from Germany, Malaysia, America, Sweden, South Africa and many other countries. Many of our communication problems seemed to arise as a result of cultural differences, particularly the difference between individualistic and collectivist communication patterns. For example, our Arab teammates were accustomed to a highly contextually orientated culture where it is what one doesn’t say that counts most and indirectness is favoured. This is in contrast to others in the team such as myself who are accustomed to explicit verbal messages. An issue arose between the German leader and our Arab teammates because the German leader felt the Arab team members “did not deliver on what they promised” whereas the Arab team members confided in me that they found her abrupt and blunt and closed to beliefs that were different to her own.

It turned out the personal differences and clashes in cultural perspectives we had experienced initially were constructive to the development of our project.  Once we had developed structure and norms the variety of communication patterns gave us an awareness of what was needed to perform responsively and effectively appeal to an international audience.

At a more functional level, different time-zones caused difficulties in scheduling meetings and working efficiently. Some team members had limited internet access, others were less flexible in their availability. Ongoing requirements for meetings in the early hours of the morning and lack of input from other team members often left me exhausted.  Although notifications and availability status can be turned on and off on most virtual technologies, scheduled times of guaranteed responsiveness is still important. In the reality of an international virtual team, this was hard to come by.

The choice of virtual technologies will vary depending on the goals of the project. Check out recommendations from others online and don’t be afraid to experiment.  The online technology we used was Slack – one that is popular for its versatile capabilities.

For those of you yet to experience the virtual team dynamic, my advice is much the same as in any team: don’t be afraid to put your hand up, be enthusiastic, be open to change, and always consider how your unique abilities can best help the team. I learnt that positivity pays – knowing how to marshal your positive side despite external negativity or setbacks will help you keep your eyes on the goal and stay focused. Planning and identifying the right person for the job is still essential, even when time isn’t on your side.

Thanks to AUT for generously funding GlobCom, to my course leader Averill Gordon, and to the wonderful Team 7. The final stage in Tuckman’s stages of team process is performance – and we got there in the end!

Pushing a domino.

29 Aug


The PRINZ Student Ambassador Programme allows students studying relevant qualifications to become involved and engaged in the communication and public relations industry. The programme gives students a head-start in the industry, encouraging them to participate in the PRINZ community. This blog post is written by Phubeth Udomsilp, PRINZ Student Ambassador at Unitec Institute of Technology.

It was September 2015. I remember arriving at the Glengarry Victoria Park Wine Room for a PRINZ student event. Arriving early, I joined my friends from Unitec outside the premises. As a second year student, it was refreshing to see my peers looking nice and tidy for the event. The vibe felt different from University, but you could feel the excitement in the air. The room was ready for the event. I noticed that most students were standing in their own groups, with familiar university peers. However, there was a group of young professional women standing next to the stage – I decided to leave my own Unitec group and introduce myself. The ladies happened to be discussing whether students would come and introduce themselves or not, and were the young professionals on the panel. I also remember an enthusiastic communicator, Louisa Jones announcing herself as a last-minute substitute MC in Brad Pogson’s absence. After a brief introduction and discussion, the ladies excused themselves to start the panel. Insights from Young Professionals – A PRINZ Student event was about to begin.

The panellists shared their experiences and advice on being a student, getting internships, and the world of work. The young professionals discussed their experiences in the workplace. Discussions included their experiences around being nervous, working hard, and finding confidence. The panellists also shared stories about how they found jobs through connecting with industry people early in their careers. The speakers also shared advice on not being scared to ask for help and encouraged us to get out there and meet people. The panel event ended with a Q+A session.

After the panel event students and lectures got to meet some of the speakers and ask more questions. I got to re-meet some of the professionals and ask them about their work. I remember the experience being a bit tricky, as crowds of students gathered around the speakers to talk. I wanted to speak to Louisa, but she was busy talking to other students.

I am looking forward to this year’s Insights from Young Professionals. The panellists for the night are:

  • Rebecca Lee
  • Lydia Tebbutt
  • Susana Suisuiki (Sana)
  • Alex Harman
  • Keith Cowden-Brown
  • Rachel Mayall
  • Tessa Williams
  • Eugene Afanassiev.

I already know a couple of the panellists from previous networking events, such as Rebecca Lee. I am excited to hear her stories and advice, as her driven and friendly personality shone through when we first met. She also gave great advice!

Then there’s Tessa Williams. She works for the Public Relations agency, Porter Novelli, where I am currently interning.

Tessa is a hard worker with a fearless approach to new challenges. She has provided me with help and guidance during my time at Porter Novelli, and is an aspiring role model to work with.

I landed my internship after meeting Louisa Jones, the MC from last year’s Insight from Young Professionals event. Due to missing her after last year’s panel discussion, I arranged a catch up after the event to talk about University and work. I now work under Louisa, where she has been mentoring me and guiding me through agency life.

To all PR and media students I do recommend attending this year’s Insight from Young Professionals event. I suggest pursuing the connections you make, and making the most of the advice from the panel. Go beyond the horizon, be different, and make real connections with the people you meet. Just like how I met Louisa, and pushed a domino.

Picture credit: iStock

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