Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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How to have a Productive Summer, Without an Internship

July 25, 2015

By: Sammie Fisher, @SammieFisher3 

After failing to snag a last minute internship for the summer, I decided not to let my summer be a failure as well. I may have had to return to my old summer retail job, but at least I kept my employee discount and still managed to add a few new things to my resume. It’s possible to have a professionally productive summer without an internship! Here are a few ways to continue to build your resume:

Volunteer in your community

Volunteering is an easy way to gain new experience and to meet new people in your community. Not only does volunteering help those around you, but also helps you gain skills that you can apply to a job in the future. Not to mention it allows you to network with companies and individuals that can help your future job search.

Ask for more responsibility at a summer job

If you’re stuck back at the same summer job, ask to take it to the next level. Many managers would be happy to have someone assist with customer relations or even pass on some social media responsibility. Offering to help with merchandising in an old retail job can give you more knowledge on product placement and consumer behavior. Gaining these new skills will add to your resume!

Get an online certification

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The internet offers endless learning opportunities, and the learning doesn’t have to end when classes do. Getting a Google Analytics certification looks great on a resume and can be applied to future opportunities. Trying your hand at Code Academy is another way to gain new skills in between days at the pool and at your summer job. Online classes through your college are also available to help knockout some class credits while you have the time, giving you more time to take on new opportunities at school.

Find a new passion

There is more to life than working, so find a passion that you can carry throughout your life! Unique experiences and interests separate you from others and can actually help your future a great deal. You have time to experiment with new forms of exercise you might fall in love with, or a new outdoor activity that gives you an adrenaline rush!

Have Fun!

It’s okay to have a fun summer! Feel free to travel and enjoy the company of friends and family. Traveling makes you a more interesting person, and employers like interesting people! So don’t feel like taking that dream summer trip will set you behind your peers.

These are just a few of the ways to have a productive summer without an internship. Comment with any other ideas!

3 Reasons Why PR Students Should Utilize Ohio University’s Global Consulting Program

July 21, 2015

By: Elizabeth Papas, @elizabethpapas_

Ohio University Global Consulting Program GreeceMy summer break began in a more impactful way than I could have imagined. I spent a month abroad and completed a two-week business consulting experience in Thessaloniki, Greece. While in Greece, I spent time refining my research and consulting skills, enjoying delicious Mediterranean cuisine and making lasting friendships with both American and Greek college students.

My experience abroad was made possible by Ohio University’s Global Consulting Program. Ohio University’s College of Business offers this top-notch consulting program to students in multiple cities throughout the world. The program has partnerships with international universities and allows students to work in integrated teams that are made up of both Ohio University students and college students from their partner university.
Once abroad, each consulting team is paired with a company within their host country. The team has an initial meeting with their client where they learn about a problem the company is experiencing and has an opportunity to ask questions and gather information. The team then spends the remaining time researching their client’s problem, identifying steps to solve the problem and creating a report to present to their client at the end of the program.

Ohio University Global Consulting Program Students

Although GCP is a College of Business program, it is open to all Ohio University students and is an experience that can make an “imPRession” on anyone. As a PR student, I was able to absorb valuable knowledge and experience from GCP and for the following three reasons I recommend this program to all strategic communication majors.

1. You Can Learn From Your Peers

When I was assigned to a consulting team, it was no surprise that I was the only non-business major in the group. However, this turned-out to be a great experience for me because I was able to pick up new skills and learn from the business students. For example, my team members were able to introduce me to business report format and help me improve my Microsoft Excel skills. After having this experience, I am more confident in saying that our peers are one of our most valuable resources and you never know what you can learn from understanding another student’s perspective.

2. You Can Offer New Insight

As a Scripps kid, I was also able to add value to our team project. For example, I spent much of my time utilizing my research and writing skills by gathering information for our project and proof reading our team’s written report. The skills that I have learned as a strategic communication major helped me immensely and were extremely relevant in this business-focused program.

3. You Can Observe Another Culture

While abroad, I noticed many cultural differences but the most valuable difference was in the work ethic of my Greek peers. It was interesting to see the difference between the ways the American students worked compared to how the Greek students worked. For example, I am use to getting up early and consistently working on a project until it is complete. However, the Greek students are more thoughtful in their work and emphasized the importance of taking breaks and recollecting one’s thoughts. Overall, this cultural difference taught me to slow down in my work and strive to produce a higher quality result. The opportunity to observe another culture was one of the most impactful aspects of my GCP experience.

From one PR student to another, I highly recommend Ohio University’s Global Consulting Program when considering study abroad programs. The impact this program can offer to students of all majors is truly rewarding.

If you are interested in this program you can apply here: http://business.ohio.edu/about/centers-institutes/center-for-international-business/global-consulting-program/apply/

Tips for entering a new position

May 21, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

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With the summer starting and people starting jobs and internships, a new world is opening. Starting a new job or internship can seem intimidating, especially if you have never lived in the area and are meeting a group of new people. There are so many stressors in a new position, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take control and make your transition seamless, and impress those bosses.

1. Take the time to meet people

Starting in a new work environment, especially one where you may not know anyone, is overwhelming. Take the time to go around and meet everyone who is probably feeling the same way. There are probably other interns, or other new hires, so take the initiative and befriend them. At least introduce yourself, this is a time when you are allowed to be outgoing and talking to everyone you meet. Forming relationships with coworkers early will help make the experience better down the road. So take a moment and prepare your small talk.

2. Find a mentor to be your guide

Identify someone who has more experience than you, and have them be your guide. Chances are there will be someone who can help you learn the ropes, give advice, and help ensure you take away all the knowledge and connections possible. This person may be a returning intern or veteran employee. Find someone you feel comfortable with and that you know will helpful to you. You may only be in this position a short while, but having someone to help in that time can make a huge difference.

3. Set expectations for yourself

Sit down with your supervisor and set those expectations for yourself. Know how you are going to act throughout the summer, and make it known. Show your supervisor that you are committed to this position by creating and maintaining these expectations. It could be as simple as setting how long it will take you to respond to an email. This will allow you and your supervisor to know these expectations so there is no miscommunication later on. Plus, it gives you a guide to follow.

4. Deliver what you promised

Make sure you live up to everything you made yourself out to be in the application process. Do not back down on any of those promises you made. Take the time to go back and remember what exactly it was that impressed the people who hired you. This will remind you what you can be doing to impress the higher-ups, but also assure yourself that you have ideas that people want to see happen.

5. Get yourself organized

Organization is key. Take the time to do whatever it is that helps you stay organized. Make sure you are comfortable and ready to dive into anything. Organization will give you peace of mind as you begin to start the chaos of learning the ropes, and it will help you form good habits. This may take time, but it could save you from many headaches.

Take the time to set yourself up at the beginning of a new job or internship, it could make or break the summer for you. So even though it will require a little extra work, the results are worth it.

**Tips provided by Business Insider

Who says ‘Grunt Work’ is a Bad Thing?

May 20, 2015

By: Sam Pelham, @SamanthaPelham

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When a person accepts an internship position, or really any job, they often worry what their first few months will be like; possibly nothing but getting coffee or cleaning toilets. These monotonous jobs are sometimes hard to understand why we are doing them, when we should be out learning about the future career we could hold. But grunt work is something everyone has to do and for good reason. In the end, it can teach us more about our job and work ethic than we ever thought possible.

Recently, I’ve started my first internship and although I’m lucky enough to be given the opportunity to learn directly about PR, there are the days when the grunt work still must be done. At first, I didn’t understand why I had to be the one doing it since I was there to learn about PR, not do household chores. The more I would do these repetitive chores though; I found how much of a learning experience it could be.

For example, I never thought I would be wrapping over 200 gifts for an event at an internship, but here I was making sure each gift was wrapped pristinely. To me, it seemed like there was a better use of my time, but eventually I realized this was more than just wrapping gifts. This was about being detail-orientated and keeping up a reputation.

Each one of the boxes had to be wrapped just right and look like it was the first one we had done, not like we were getting tired and sloppy. This means each detail from the corners being tucked in right to the way we put the brand sticker on had to be exact. By wrapping these gifts we weren’t doing grunt work, but rather keeping up the image of the professional and classic brand the company was giving out.

Another lesson learned through grunt work is how important it is to listen to people when they talk. There are countless hours spent standing around at conference call meetings, or at media gatherings and most of the time an intern or new employee won’t have much say. Just because you don’t have much of a voice at the time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen. The amount of knowledge a person can gather while listening to others discuss can be endless.

You can pick up so much information by just doing small tasks your boss asks of you. It is by paying attention to your surroundings in areas like an office, or out in the field getting coffee, when you get to be the fly on the wall. Then, when you are asked for your opinion or ideas on something, you know how to give a response your peers will support and or at least understand.

There are many different forms of grunt work employers have you do just because they can, but none of that means you are any less important than the person next to you. The grunt work is something that needs to be done and can show not only your employer the type of work ethic and attitude you have when doing it, but can teach yourself something that applies to everyday life.

How to deal with rejection

May 19, 2015 1 Comment

By: Alex Corsi, @acorsi17

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Rejection is not something people like to face. It’s not even something people necessarily like to talk about. But let’s face it, not everything is going to work out in your favor. Especially in the public relations industry, where nothing is handed to you. Unfortunately, rejection happens, and it’s one of life’s necessary evils that we just have to deal with.

I applied for probably 20 internships this past semester, and unfortunately, I was not offered a single position. At the time, I was incredibly disappointed. Dealing with rejection is never easy, especially if you’ve worked so hard to build up a personal brand and resume that seems just not good enough. However heartbreaking it may be at the time, you will not die. It will be okay. You will make it through. Here are some tips to making the best of rejection, from the queen of rejection herself.

1. Realize what your rejection really means.

A lot of companies told me I was too far away from their office to even do an interview or I was too young and they were looking for rising seniors. Other times their emails came with no explanations; they issued the standard “due to our high volume of qualified candidates” excuse that of course left me with questions. And yes, while I was searching for an explanation, I realized that there is always going to be someone better than you. There will always be other opportunities. Better things are down the road.

2. Take it as a learning experience.

View rejection as a source of empowerment, not a setback. Utilize this disappointing time in your life to revamp your portfolio and tighten up your social media presence. Spend time trying out that perfect resume format you keep eyeing on Pinterest, or invest a little time and money in a professional headshot. There is always room for improvement, so give your resume and portfolio a second look (or third, or fourth, if you’re like me) and brush up on the areas that could use even the smallest enhancements.

3. Refocus your efforts.

Not having to prepare for a summer internship has allowed me to focus on other aspects of both my professional and personal life. In terms of my personal life, I started a new diet and got a summer job to save some cash for the upcoming school year. In professional aspects, I worked my tail off on my application for the ImPRessions board of directors, and I was fortunate enough to be offered the position of Director of Internal Affairs!

Rejection isn’t all bad. It initially stings and sometimes it’s hard to understand why it happens. But like any other life event, there are lessons we can take away, and realizing those lessons can make the hurt fade and strengthen us for the next attempt.

Staying True To Yourself During Your Internship Hunt

February 24, 2015

By: McKennah Robinson, @kennmilli

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Spring is fast approaching, and for a majority of students, that can only mean one thing – the hunt for internships has begun. It’s finally time to get that resume in tip-top shape and perfect the cover letter. We all know how important it is to impress a potential future employer, but it can be very easy to accidentally sell yourself short along the way.

I have found myself guilty of doing this. To keep myself from compromising who I really am to employers, I have made a mental list to ensure that I am putting my best and most true self out there. Here’s a few ways to ensure that you represent the true you throughout your internship search.

  1. Don’t be afraid to show that you excel in other skills besides journalism.

As journalists, we are all expected to be able to write and communicate well. What we aren’t expected to do is have other, outside-of-the-box skills, such as knowledge of programming. When trying to tailor yourself to a company, throwing these skills off to the side is easy to do. We justify it by thinking that the company doesn’t want to see a skill like that on your resume. However, I say put those types of skills on your resume, or in your cover letter. Not only does it show your capacity of knowledge in various fields, but it may also make you stand out in the long run.

2. Don’t mold yourself – online and offline – in to something that you’re uncomfortable with.

We have all heard the saying, “Don’t post it if you wouldn’t want a future employer to see it!” so many times that we could recite it in our sleep. I wholeheartedly agree with keeping Twitter, Instagram, etc. clean, but trying to gear your presence towards what you think an employer might like to see makes you lose your individuality. If you enjoy tweeting about the latest news, then do it. If you’re like me, and enjoy tweeting about the latest awkward moment in your life, then do it. Most likely, the company who has the personality that is closest to yours will love your social media presence and won’t expect anything else from you.

3. Like what you like – point blank.

It is extremely tough when you walk in to an interview and the first thing they ask is “So, tell us about yourself.” We all automatically jump to what we think the employer wants to hear, instead of actually telling them what we like. They already have our resumes and cover letters, so they know what we are capable of professionally. Tell them what hobbies you have or what show you spent way too much time watching on Netflix last semester. Having your little quirks that you’re proud of makes you a memorable person and gives the employers ample ways to connect with you outside of a desired career goal.

Being professional is important and helps get the job done. However, being an individual and showing employers what you’re proud of, and what your personality is like, is equally as important. May the PR force be with you.

Show Some Love for PR this Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2015

By: Jessica Carnprobst, @jess_carnprobst

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Valentine’s Day is almost here, and love is in the air. There are chocolates, teddy bears and roses everywhere, but this holiday is much more than all those things. It’s about celebrating all that you love, no matter what that is. So, for all you single ladies (and guys too, sorry Beyoncé forgot to include you) out there, don’t forget to love how we are in the public relations field.

We can do almost anything

Everyone needs public relations whether they realize it or not, which is great news for us. Whether you really love a food company, Disney World or a certain city, they can use your help! The sky is the limit for us, which gives us time to experiment and try new paths throughout our career. One thing is for sure, we will definitely never be bored.

We never stop learning

We are doing something new every day. We are constantly learning about a new client, or researching a specific product or service that a current client has, we will learn things throughout our lifetime that we never expected to learn. Also, we’re in a field that is constantly changing, forcing us to keep up on news, social media and emerging markets. We’re consuming new, relevant information, and it’s a true blessing to know that we don’t have to stop learning after we graduate.

It’s a very creative field with creative people

It’s so much fun to get to come to work each day and think up new, crazy ideas that are welcomed instead of scorned. Whether an idea is off the wall or not, it builds into something else. The people that hear this crazy idea will most likely think the same way, and it’s fun to all think up crazy ideas together.

Another plus to being in such a creative environment is the people. We get to work with unique, exciting people. This makes our job so much more enjoyable, plus, it’s nice to have cool work friends.

And last but certainly not least, the coffee. Don’t worry; I wasn’t about to forget that one. A field where people worship their Keurig is a beautiful idea. There are many reasons to love PR, and although you may not be rushing out to have a Valentine’s Day dinner in honor of public relations, it’s a field we know we can love throughout our entire career.

Expanding the Options of Campus Involvement

February 9, 2015 1 Comment

By: Allison Zullo, @allisonzullo

As students of the various majors in the Scripps School of Communication, we have been told, repeatedly, to get involved in student media and other organizations related to our field of study. As students interested in public relations, we were told that joining Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions was crucial to the success of our future careers. We would learn essential skills, expand our networks and prepare ourselves for the professional PR world.

While its great to be so involved in strictly PR organizations, it is also important to branch out on campus. Joining different clubs can be a great way to meet people that aren’t majoring in strategic communication or journalism. It’s also a great way to learn new content and gain leadership experience, even if you are serving as a PR or marketing chair.

Getting more involved on campus may seem intimidating (and impossible, depending on your schedule), but here are just a few of the endless ways you can make it happen.

Professional Organizations

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Scripps PRSSA is a professional PR organization, but there are many other clubs on campus that help students develop professional skills, while building camaraderie among members and having some fun. If you’re getting a minor through the business school, you can join a business fraternity to meet other business students, polish your skills and expand your network. If you have a high GPA, consider joining an honors fraternity, where you can gain leadership skills while meeting people from different schools on campus. Finally, a small (shameless) plug for an organization I’m involved with, Student Alumni Board. It’s a professional organization that focuses on connecting current students with the Alumni Association and other OU alumni. All of these clubs are great ways to get even more involved on campus, while meeting new (non-PR) people, and building your network and skill set in preparation for the professional world.

Greek Life

Greek Life can be a great way to get more involved on campus and meet new people. Not only do you have a chance to befriend men and women from all different areas and majors, but you also have the chance to gain valuable experience by becoming a leader in your chapter. Nearly every sorority and fraternity has a vice president of PR, marketing, and/or event planning, which is a great way for PR majors to gain hands-on experience in their future career field. Each Greek organization even has a specified philanthropy event, which also allows you to get involved in the community as well as the campus. Plus, you immediately have a network of alumni across the country, and the world, which is pretty cool.

Non-Profit/Community Service Organizations

OU’s campus believes in service, giving back, and involvement in the community, so in turn, there are many organizations that focus on these values. The Make a Wish Foundation, OU End Slavery Movement, Relay for Life, and BobcaThon, are all organizations and events that focus on raising awareness and money for a particular cause. There are countless that aren’t even listed. In addition, service fraternities, such as Alpha Phi Omega, focus on performing community service, while also building leadership skills and fostering relationships. These types of organizations are for meeting people who are interested in, and passionate about, the same causes as you, or if you’re interested in pursuing a career in non-profit PR.

These are just a few examples of the many student organizations on Ohio University’s campus in which you can get involved. From professional organizations, to student government, to religious organizations, and so much more, there is a club for you, no matter what your passions and interests are.

Don’t be afraid to branch out and join a non-PR organization. You’ll end up meeting cool people, learn new skills, and fight for causes that you’re extremely passionate about. Isn’t that what college is about?

Starting 2015 right: Cleaning up your online PResence

January 21, 2015 1 Comment

By: Alexandra Corsi, @acorsi17

Twitter was full of blunders in 2014. Between DiGiorno Pizza’s insensitive tweet, in light of the Ray Rice domestic violence accusations, and U.S. Airways’s leak of a pornographic image. Poor online public relations decisions made headlines left and right this past year. Taking these PR fails into account, here are some ways you can start 2015 right by cleaning up your online footprint.

1. Think before you tweet.

Check out this infographic from Mashable. If you’re ever wondering whether you should post something, this is a good flowchart to help guide your decision. Almost 80 percent of employers will consider someone’s online presence before hiring them. Even if you’re not currently considering internships or job offers, thinking before you tweet, or even having two different social media accounts—one private for personal use and another public for professional use—is important for preventing future debacles.

2. Always do your research.

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The reason DiGiorno’s tweet came across so insensitively was their lack of researching the meaning behind #WhyIStayed. Instead of coming off as snarky and funny, the tweet was received by Twitter users as ignorant and insensitive. Hashtags often relate to current events, so even if you do keep up with the news, doing your research before using a hashtag can prevent your tweets from coming off as ignorant and being used incorrectly.

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3. Create a brand for yourself, and make sure your online profiles are consistent with that brand.

How do you want to come across to potential future employers? This is something I always keep in mind when I’m drafting a tweet. Nothing online is private anymore; between screenshotting and quote-tweeting, there are multiple ways to save someone’s tweet, even if they have deleted it. You, typically, don’t want to come across to a potential employer as a crazy party person, with the mouth of a sailor. If you want to brand yourself as a professional, hard-working public relation mastermind, make sure your social media is consistent with that brand too.

Let your 2015 resolution be to shape up your social media presence. I think that one of the main problems is that with phones and technology, people feel like they are invincible, when hiding behind a phone. Keep in mind that what you post online reflects upon you in person. Practice good personal PR and keep your social media clean!

How to Spend an Unconventional Summer (and still get some PR experience!)

January 19, 2015

By: Gentry Bennett, @Gen_andTonic

With so many options of opportunities to do between semesters in college, it can be hard to choose a path to take! Here are some not-so run of the mill ideas to set you apart from your colleagues.

1. Volunteer at a music festival

A great way to see some awesome music, but also get applicable skills for your future, is volunteering at music festivals, like Bonnaroo. A variety of jobs will be available, and some include speaking to industry moguls and artists. These types of connections could set you apart from other music-industry hopefuls, and even potentially secure a job.

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2. Get a customer service job

While it seems like it wouldn’t apply much to PR, customer service is a great way to brush up on your networking skills. While you might not meet someone that will jumpstart your career, you will learn many life lessons and see how marketing and PR work from the retail perspective. Sign up for the email list, follow the profiles of where you end up and watch to see the effects that email and social media have on the buying process.

3. Travel the world

While traveling the world seems like everyone’s dream, not everyone gets three months away from responsibilities or has the opportunity to make this experience happen. If you can make it happen, traveling will teach you about other cultures and how to be more respectful and inclusive in your career. Another global option is setting up an informational interview at a PR firm, or with the communications department, of a foreign company. Seeing the differences between the industry in America, as compared to abroad, will give you insight into potentially moving abroad.

4. Become a mentor

Leadership is extremely important in the communications field. Even as an intern, you never know when you’ll be asked to take charge of a project or client. Building up these leadership skills, and having the reward of seeing your mentee succeed, will help you in the long run.

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5. Shadow someone in your dream job

A lot of professionals, especially alumni of your University, are willing to help out young professionals. If you’re really inspired by the work of a specific firm or company, ask to shadow someone that works there for a day. This will allow you to see a window into your future, provide many networking opportunities, and pick up good tips and tricks of the trade.

6. Blog Weekly

If you do end up spending a conventional summer at an internship or working, blog about it! This will help your employer to see that you value your experiences with them, and that you want to spread the word about working there. Also, it never hurts to sharpen your writing skills, and it is great to have a personal set of writing samples.

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