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Summer Reflection Series: Alex Corsi

September 19, 2014

By: Alex Corsi @acorsi17

How to Figure Out Your Career Goal by Sitting on a Beach 

beachFor the past two summers, I’ve worked on the beach as a lifeguard. My duties include saving lives, handing out Band-Aids, sitting in my chair and knitting (but only on cloudy days when there is no one at the beach). This summer was so fun, and I worked with my four closest friends and established great relationships with the other guards on staff. Surprisingly, I learned a lot about myself and my professional strengths and weaknesses from my place on top of the lifeguard stand:

  1. I love to socialize, especially professionally. I’m a people-pleaser, something I’ve always known about myself – and I love to talk. But lifeguarding has shown me that interacting with people – from friendly people wondering about the tide chart to not-so-friendly-people who make us explain in detail why inflatables have to be Coast Guard-certified – is something that comes naturally to me. I’m going to work with all types of clients in a public relations career, and I’m going to have to deal with infinite different types of people, so being able to talk to everyone and anyone is a good thing.
  2. Jobs that look easy aren’t always as easy as they seem. Whenever I complain about something that happened at work, my non-lifeguard friends tell me to shut it because I have the easiest job ever. While at times it’s nice to sit back in my Tommy Bahama chair and tan when there’s no one at the beach, there is one bad day for every good day. One day, there is no one at all on the beach and I don’t do so much as spray a jellyfish sting with vinegar. But the next day the beach is packed with people on every square-inch of sand and first aids happening every five minutes.
  3. I thrive off of helping people. My proudest moment was this past summer when I helped a woman who was having a diabetic emergency and needed medical attention ASAP. I called 9-1-1 and guided the paramedics through the situation. I loved every minute of it. I felt so happy that I was able to help the woman and her family, and she ended up being just fine. Lifeguarding has taught me that I feel so much more complete when I brighten someone’s day, even if it is just giving a smile and saying, “Welcome to Anchor Beach!” in my cheeriest voice. Choosing a career that requires me to help people will make me the happiest.

This semester, I hope to “find my place” in the public relations world. I am taking on the role of assistant account executive of the Prescribe Change account here at ImPRessions, and I’m very excited to be putting into action the PR plan I helped write last semester as an associate. I want to help guide our account toward success, and I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of fresh, interesting faces this year. Whether it’s in public relations or lifeguarding, I know there will always be a place for me, and I’m so happy I have the opportunity to find it.

 

Summer Reflection Series: Jess Carnprobst

September 18, 2014

By: Jess Carnprobst @jess_carnprobst

IMG_5616

This summer, I spent my time in Pittsburgh interning at WordWrite Communications, a boutique public relations agency. Coming into the internship, I knew I would become certified in inbound marketing through HubSpot and I figured I would gain writing, event planning and social media experience as well as further insight into agency life. What I didn’t expect was a summer so amazing that I actually teared up as I left the office for the last time.

My entire summer was so great that I don’t even know where to begin. Most importantly, I found a family within the WordWrite team. I worked with six people and one fellow intern, so with an office that small I got to know everyone on a personal level. We celebrated birthdays together, had team bonding events and kept each other updated with our personal lives. I began and ended each day with a smile because I thoroughly enjoyed every moment with the WordWrite team.

I also gained so much more experience than I thought I would. Throughout the summer, I shot and edited videos, gained design experience, assisted in redesigning a website while adding new and interactive information, learned basic coding, started social media accounts from scratch, worked in HubSpot every day, connected with HubSpot professionals and met one HubSpot Professor (she was so inspirational!). I also had the opportunity to work directly with everyone in the office including the President and CEO of the agency. I gained so much experience that I wasn’t expecting, along with the experience I knew I would be getting. All of this experience helped to show me just how integrated our field has become.

Walking away from my internship, I’ve learned so much and feel better versed than I did in May. I have a better understanding of where I’d like to go after graduation and what I hope to be doing. WordWrite has taught me so much, both professionally and personally, and I wouldn’t trade my summer for anything.

Summer Reflection Series: Megan Newton

September 17, 2014

By: Megan Newton @_megannewton

Just Keep Swimming: Lessons learned as an aquarium PR intern

doryIt was a surprising summer full of unexpected opportunities. It all began in late April when I accepted an internship with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. I know what you’re thinking: why on earth would you want to work for fish? I thought the same thing at first. I struggled to find an internship in Cleveland, and pretty much just took the aquarium internship because I was tired of searching. At the time, I had no idea of the unexpected under the sea adventure I was about to embark on.

I learned a lot throughout my time on the aquarium. The most prominent of many lessons being that PR isn’t always all the glamour and glitz it’s worked up to be. It probably hit me as I walked around downtown Cleveland during mid-July in a (wait for it) shark costume. It wasn’t your typical intern duty, but I think that’s what made my internship experience even that more special – because honestly, who else can say they’ve done that?

I hope to carry the same outlook about unexpected opportunities that I gained this summer back to my everyday life here at Ohio University. My goals from here on out are:

  1. To be a good mentor
  2. To apply the skills I gained at my internships
  3. To make an impact on the organizations that have made me who I am

If I walked away with one thing from my summer at the aquarium, it’s that you shouldn’t judge or take advantage of an opportunity before you actually experience it. Everyone who knows me, knows that my dream job is to work as a music publicist – so clearly I wasn’t so sure how writing about fish all summer would get me there. However, it turns out the old marketing coordinator at the aquarium now does just that in my dream city: Nashville, Tennessee. I’m now convinced you can find connections to your dream job anywhere, if you take every right opportunity that’s handed to you.

 

And always, just keep swimming.

Summer Reflection Series: Amanda Moline

September 16, 2014

By: Amanda Moline @mandamoline

This past summer I spent my days as a marketing and social media intern at E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co. in Columbus, Ohio. I also spent most of my free time waitressing at a local Mexican restaurant in order to save up a little extra money. I was not only able to get some hands-on experience within my field, but also learn a little bit about myself. Here are three takeaways from my summer experiences:

  1. Don’t be afraid to suggest new ideas. At my internship I had full reign to go outside of the box in terms of opportunities for client outreach – such as email blasts, blog posts and social media. When I began the internship I was very timid, although I realized that the whole E.E. Ward team supported me in experimenting with the company’s normal design platform..
  2. Treat everyone with respect. I figured everyone learned this in grade school, however my experience as a waitress this summer showed me how many people seem to forget this golden rule.
  3. Be someone your coworkers and supervisors can rely on. Being on time, being honest, and following through on your promises will help you gain the trust of those around you and give you more opportunities down the road.

With these life lessons and experiences from the summer in mind, here are my three goals for this semester:

  1. Pay close attention to details. I want to not only make sure I don’t miss any necessary material for any of my classes, but I want to make sure all of my work for my student organizations is as flawless as possible in order to prepare for future career assignments and workloads.
  2. Absorb everything. Having had some time after my first year of college to reflect, I realized how many wonderful opportunities we have here at Ohio University. That being said, I want to attend many different events, listen to speakers and take in as much from these opportunities as I possibly can in order to grow as a person and in public relations.
  3. Never turn anything down for fear of not being knowledgeable enough. Though I certainly don’t know everything about my field, everyone has to start from somewhere. I plan to dive in first and face new challenges as they come.

I was able to grow within my field and as a person through my summer experiences, and I plan to apply these lessons as I continue on with my sophomore year here at Ohio University.

Summer Reflection Series: Erin Golden

September 15, 2014

By: Erin Golden @erinngolden

erinngoldenThis summer, I had the pleasure of interning at MediaSource in Columbus, Ohio. I was one of two Media Relations interns that received credit for a 10-week internship – and I truly believe that an internship experience is a must-do for anyone wanting to work in this fast-paced field.

When you complete an internship, the usual thought process then leads to: what exactly did I learn? So here are a few things I learned about the world of media relations.

  1. I don’t want to work solely in media relations. I think this part is extremely necessary coming out of any internship. Figuring out what you don’t love is just as important as determining what you do. Even though I wouldn’t mind working a bit in the media relations department, having a role that only consists of contacting/working with the media isn’t exactly where I see myself. I left MediaSource with the utmost respect for my co-workers – their job is hard!
  2. Building relationships is crucial. As I quickly found out, a client/agency relationship isn’t just based on results – it’s based on trust. My co-workers would assign each other calls and follow-ups with specific reporter or outlet just because they had previously pitched them many successful stories. Trust is essential, whether it be with an agency’s client or the media.
  3. Asking for help or an explanation really is good advice. Everyone has probably read blogs about starting an internship that all say “ask questions!” They are right. I never felt stupid or incompetent asking questions, and I know I learned so much more by asking for projects to do.

As the semester begins and most of us transition from internship back to schoolwork, I’ve made a few goals for myself:

  1. Be a good mentor to an underclassman. I know that most of what I’ve learned by being in PRSSA and ImPRessions has actually come from watching the upperclassmen and asking them their advice. I even ask advice from my fellow seniors all the time. The good thing about Scripps is that everyone around is smart and hardworking. I’d love to help someone else with their goals this year.
  2. Create a good foundation for the Fluff Bakery account. As the AE for Fluff this year, I’m excited to be given the opportunity to start a new client’s relationship with ImPRessions.
  3. Improve my resume – again and again. As all of us seniors started freaking out about jobs. I think it’s important to remember that as students, we are constantly gaining experience. Therefore I need to keep my resume updated. When spring rolls around, who knows who might be reading it!

Instagram: Pro-Private vs. Pro-Public

September 5, 2014

By: Kelsey Miller @Kelsey_65

instagramIt’s the debate of the century: should I keep my Instagram private? This question may be tossed around for generations to come, but I am a true believer in keeping it public, no matter your career profession. My only exception to this belief is if you are under the age of eighteen, simply because you are a minor and probably aren’t pursuing a career.

Go Public

Although Instagram is the main focus, ALL social media accounts should be kept public (unless you’re inappropriate on those accounts). Many pro-public people believe in the power of feeling as though they can be free and uncensored to say and post anything they like without any consequences because they approve who can and cannot see their posts on Insta. Trust me, I see where these people are coming from, but I always find myself thinking that the generation before us was able to survive without showing everyone and their sister (whom they would approve) to look at pictures that would otherwise be embarrassing to show a potential employer.

Our industry in particular is very social. As future PR professionals, we must sell our image and knowledge as to how we want to be presented. If you want to be hired as a representative for a specific agency or brand, you;re a full-time worker in the way that you are portrayed online. No one wants to be judged, but the harsh reality is that we live in a judgmental society.

Pro-private Instagrammers feel that because Instagram isn’t considered a blog or micro-blog such as Facebook or Twitter, it slips under the radar and can remain private without scrutiny. This may be true with some employers, but most people should count on PR and ad agencies to be social media savvy enough to think to do their research on all social media outlets they have. When an employer sees that all of your outlets are private, they will automatically assume you have something to hide. If you have kept all of your outlets public except your Instagram, they will be just as suspicious. The sheer morbid curiosity of what a private Instagram account holds makes most employers pretty apprehensive. Those employers have been through college, but they don’t have public proof of it online…

If you are embarrassed of the pictures on your Instagram account, then you probably shouldn’t have posted them in the first place. If you aren’t embarrassed about what you have posted but feel that a potential employer may not approve, then that job wasn’t meant for you anyway. You want an employer that likes you for your personality and your work. There will be employers that have no problems with pictures that other employers may cringe at the sight of. Although if they are interviewing you for a job or internship and are a good fit for their company, it is also up to you to do a little interviewing for yourself to see if that company or agency is a good match for you as well.

Don’t sweat about the social media accounts, whether you are pro-public or pro-private. I know that there have been pro-privates that get the job over pro-publics. Do yourself a favor though, pro-privaters,, and think about going public even if it is only for a week. Does that make you feel embarrassed? If it does, then maybe you should rethink what you post. If you aren’t embarrassed in the least, then what is there to hide? The ultimate decision Is yours.

Fall Internships are Coming! Did you Apply?

August 20, 2014

By: Austin Ambrose @tex_ambrose7

TypingFinding an internship is a big stress that many college students face in their academic career. The importance of having experience in the field a student is studying has risen. Many majors have made completing an internship prior to graduation a requirement.

Deciding when to start looking for an internship can be confusing. Students may think that there is a designated window in which internships are applied for. The simple answer of when to start looking: anytime.

Internship applications can be found year round, depending on when a student wants to participate in an internship. There are chances to complete an internship during a semester (spring or fall), the summer and even during winter breaks. There are always internship applications available, so it is never too early to start looking.

After a student decides when s/he wants to do an internship, the next step is to start looking and see what’s out there. Earlier is almost always better. As soon as a student is set on a time, go to resources that can help find internships available during that time frame. Good resources are academic department buildings, career and leadership services, and even professors of the university.

The typical period for when students try for internships is during their summer breaks. A good time to begin looking into these internships is in the middle of September. The most competitive internships have early deadlines for applications, some being in the middle of October.

According to internships.com, the bulk of internship applications are filled out between the end of February and beginning of April, and it is recommended that most of the application is ready before heading off for spring breaks. This will ensure that you are giving yourself time to complete all components of the application process.

If you want to find an internship at a specific company or organization, it is best to look at their websites to look for deadlines. These are also great places to identify what types of internships are offered through this organization or company.

Finding an internship is no easy task. The best thing that you can do as a student is to plan ahead, and be active in your searches. Starting to look as soon as possible will increase the number of internships a student will find, and can even raise the chance of receiving the internship wanted.

Resume Education Debate: Experience first, Education last

August 19, 2014

By: Angela Keane @angela_keane

I never thought ‘where to place education on your resume’ would be a questionable matter. I think it is safe to say that we all thought our education should go at the top of our resumes, but now people are saying it should go at the bottom. As students we feel the need to put our education at the top because we are currently in school and think that is the first thing a company should see. But honestly, it all depends on your experience.

At first I wasn’t sure where to put my education. I didn’t really have much experience on my resume so I decided to put it at the top. Now that I have an internship under my belt, I think my experience from that internship is top priority. So with that being said, if you have experience within your field/major your education should go to the bottom of your resume. Employers want to see the experience from your past internships over where you go to school. Yes, education is important but your work experience is going to determine how qualified you are compared to other candidates.

You may ask, “What if I don’t have much experience outside of school?” Your education should definitely be at the top of your resume. Since you don’t have the experience yet, it is your strongest asset.

Now some of you might be feeling that your college is a great selling point, so it should go to the top. Well not necessarily – the fact that you go to a top school doesn’t really trump your experience. Employers are still going to see your school but it isn’t the most important of your qualifications, so it doesn’t make sense to lead with it. Good experience will always trump education, just because you go to one place doesn’t mean you’ll get the job or internship over someone else – especially if they have more experience than you.

Putting your education at the top will not destroy your chances of landing an internship, and for those of you who don’t have experience, it can really help. If you are interested in making your resume as strong as possible, put your work experience at the top with three to four bullets and your education at the bottom.

Prom Dresses: An Extended Metaphor

August 18, 2014

By: Elaine Carey @snakesona_laine

First and foremost, a dress (cover letter) is a formal article of clothing (document) that serves as an important introduction between you and your prospective boyfriend (employer).

prom

Your prom dress is an opportunity to reveal your individuality! You’re unique. Showing off your great personality will help set you apart from the other applicants – errr, girls at the prom. Ok, ok. Here are some tips for writing a great cover letter.

Use an actual human name. Dear Sir or Madam? C’mon. Do your research and take the time to personalize. If you absolutely can’t find a specific name, at least include something like, “To the creative director at (company name)” If you’ve met this person before and are unsure how to address them, remember that it is better to be too formal than too informal.

Make them want to get to know you (but don’t show too much skin). This is the personality part. While effectively including serious, thoughtful reasons as to why you’d like to work for them, what you can contribute to the company, etc., let the real you shine through in the letter’s tone and voice. It is possible to be professional and fun at the same time, just find a good balance. Also, don’t just SAY that you’re crazy about web design, update your blog and tweet about the latest CSS developments. Be active in communities and forums.

NO ERRORS. No spelling or grammatical errors. No errors of any kind. That is all.

Remember: Short and sweet (No, not your dress length). Don’t ramble. Say what you need to say and be done. 

Let them know how to contact you. Needless to say, don’t forget to close with relevant contact info.

Admittedly, picking a perfect prom dress is pretty tough. While you definitely want to look classy, there’s room for some spunk. It’s up to you to gauge how formal/informal is appropriate, but stay true to you. Let your personality shine through and you’ll impress the whole school!

Here’s a great article with some additional advice.

Here’s an article with hilarious prom dresses.

Fall semester is just around the corner, are you ready?

August 15, 2014

By: Jess Carnprobst @jess_carnprobst

048_ohiouYesterday it hit me – I only have a week left before I go back to school. What?? How did summer go by so fast? I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way, and may even be going back sooner than I am. Of course, we’re all excited to go back to the beautiful home we call Athens, but there’s still a lot left to do before the summer ends. Here are some of my tips to help make that to do list seem less daunting.

1. Rethink everything you wanted to do when summer began

Did you make a list at the beginning of the summer? If so, then go through and check off everything you’ve already done. If the list was mental, write it all down then do the same. You should already feel much better. Now breathe, and make a separate list of everything you still want or need to do. Whether this includes going on some crazy adventure or updating your resume, write it down and don’t hesitate to get started.

2. Remember that a lot can be done in just seven days

If you’re looking at your packing list and your new to do list thinking there’s no way, don’t worry it can be done! Prioritize your list and start checking things off. If your list still seems too daunting after a few days, look over it again. Is everything really that urgent? It might be a good idea to save some not-so-urgent things for fall semester. Now that you’ve reminded yourself what is most important, make it happen! Go on a wild adventure, hang out with your friends and family one last time, maybe start packing the car. In a week’s time, you’ll be glad you crammed it all in, making your last week one of the best weeks of the summer.

3. Get ready for Athens!

Both mentally and physically, prepare yourself for the upcoming year because it’s going to be a great one! If you’re a planner, set some goals for yourself. If you enjoy channeling your creativity, make some crafts for your dorm or apartment. If you’re feeling very creative, feel free to share the love and teach me a craft or two (I’m trying to decorate my apartment, but I don’t want to end up with my fingers glued together). Whatever it may be, get yourself ready for your best year yet! If you go in feeling prepared and accomplished, there will be nothing stopping you from an outstanding semester!

 

Now it’s time for me to take my own advice and prepare for my move in less than one short week. Even though it seems like I have month’s worth of things to do, it will somehow all be done by the time I see those beautiful bricks yet again. I can’t wait to see you all there, let’s make this year fantastic!

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