Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Networking with Professors

April 15, 2014

professorAn average student has roughly five different professors in a semester. In a year, they probably have nine or ten. By the time a student graduates there is a good chance that they will have had 35+ professors. Each one has taught you something that you may or may not use in your profession, but are they here for more than being an instructor? The answer is yes.

They are here for you to network with, to help you potentially find an internship for the summer or a job after graduation. For some students it is intimidating to approach a professor. Students may not know how to network with a professor, or which professor to approach. To make the process a little easier, here are some guidelines to think about when starting to network with professors.

  • Find the right professor: This may seem difficult at times, but there are ways to tell which professor is right for you. Choose a professor that you like as an instructor and who has values you admire. Don’t pick one just because s/he is in your discipline, you have to be able to converse with him/her too.
  • Use your email: Sometimes the best first step is just sending a professor an email and asking them to meet you for coffee. You could also set up a meeting for their office ours. Just make an effort to get to know them.
  • Ask the questions: Be one of the students that actively participate in class, but be careful not to overdo it. Just be sure the professor is seeing your interest and knows your name.
  • Take small classes: This is easier said than done, but when possible take the smaller classes. The professor will get to know you better and vice versa. This allows for engagement in a more comfortable atmosphere.
  • Research the professor: Knowing more about your professor than just what they tell you in class is more beneficial than you think. This shows that you wanted to know a little more about them, and took an initiative to do so. Be cautious about coming off as a stalker.
  • Accept Advice: Be willing to accept the advice they give openly, many times they are just trying to help. Some information may really change your perspective.
  • Don’t Dine and Dash: Don’t be one of the students that takes advantage of your professors connections. Truly get to know them because you never know when they will be able to help in the long run.

These are just a few tips to consider when beginning to network. Don’t try to network with all your professors; it will get overwhelming and counterproductive. Remember to just take a leap of faith, because many professors want to help you. If you strikeout with one, move on to the next until you find the one you are proud to call a mentor.

Austin Ambrose is a freshman studying Journalism. You can follow him on Twitter at @tex_ambrose7.

3 Perks of Having a Scripps PRSSA Mentor

November 13, 2013 3 Comments

We’ve all felt that feeling as a freshman; you’re lost, confused and lonely when you first arrive in Athens, especially if you don’t know anyone on campus. I can admit that as a freshman last year, I had no idea what to do with my major and didn’t know anyone who could help me. I wanted to get involved to meet new people by joining organizations so I could gain PR experience. Little did I know that my future PR mentor was someone I looked up to in high school four years ago.

DarbI first met Darby Fledderjohn, a senior PR student, in high school as a sophomore in our journalism class. Darby was a senior and editor-in-chief of our high school’s yearbook. I joined the staff that year and looked up to Darby’s dedication and love for the publication. I admired her hard work the entire year and because of that, I knew I wanted to be editor-in-chief when I became a senior.

Darby and I kept in touch every now and then when she went off to college. I was accepted into Scripps my senior year of high school and was thrilled to know an upperclassman. At that time, I knew I wanted to write so I became a news and information major. However, my mind quickly changed and I switched to the strategic communication track two weeks into my freshman year. I have never been so happy with my decision.

I joined PRSSA to gain experience in the PR field and prepare for future internships. PRSSA offered a mentor/mentee program in the beginning of the year and I immediately thought of Darby. Fortunately, Darby became my mentor that year and she has helped me through so much.

Here are 3 ways having a PR mentor has helped me:

1. Scheduling. As a freshman, I struggled finding classes to take because I did not know which classes were most beneficial for my major. I didn’t know which professors to avoid or take.

Asking Darby to help me with scheduling over coffee in the Front Room was a great decision. She was able to help me pick the classes that were more important and which professors she learned best from. It was a comfort for me knowing that she was looking out for me and making sure I took the best classes possible for success.

2. Advice. A mentor will not only help you with schoolwork, but also with advice about school and life in general. I found myself multiple times texting Darby late at night asking about what to put on my LinkedIn page or resume. She was the first one I talked to when I was interviewed to be on MTV’s True Life. She was the first one I talked to about internships. It was so helpful to know that if I ever had a question about PR, internships, classes or just life in general, Darby would always be there for me.

3. Another Friend. A mentor is just another name for a friend. Darby and I were friends in high school but I feel that we have grown closer as friends ever since she became my PR mentor. We both have the same taste in TV shows (Catfish and Breaking Bad) and know each others likes and dislikes (Darby is obsessed with otters and pugs, but mostly otters). I looked up to Darby in high school but I look up to her now more than ever simply because she helped me through my awkward stage as a freshman and has made me fall even more in love with PR.

I am so sad that this is my last year with her as my mentor, but I am so excited to become a mentor myself and help another freshman just like how Darby helped me. Without Darby, I would not have had the confidence needed for this major. I have her to thank for being such a great friend and an influential person in my life. A mentor/mentee relationship has been one of the best decisions I have made at Ohio University and I recommend the program to anyone looking for guidance in PR.

-Alyssa Keefe is a sophomore studying strategic communication. Follow her at @lyssakeefe.

3 Ways to Survive Freshman Year

November 3, 2013 4 Comments

freshmen year 1Whether you were the star athlete, book worm or shy one in high school, it doesn’t matter anymore. You are in college with new people in a different environment, which gives everyone a fresh start. This is the first time that YOU are in charge of your own life. Your parents will not be contacted for any of the mistakes that you make, it is all on you.

With the new academic year (already) upon us it’s nice to have a few tips on making your freshmen year a GREAT one. These three tips are ones that will give you an amazing kick-start:

1. Make friends early. Everyone starts their freshmen year coming in looking for the same things as their peers. Go out and make new friends right from the beginning because all the other freshmen are looking to do the exact same thing. By making friends as early as possible it is almost guaranteed that you will make a few ones that will become your best friends.

Take advantage as early as possible to make good friends. You want to also make sure you make friends that bring you closer to college life rather than straying from it. These friends should be socially connected people who can introduce you to other people. Now, I’m not saying to disconnect yourself from your friends you already had coming into college. Simply try to find OTHER people who have the same major or interests as you.. These friends are the people who you can carry through the four short years you have in college and better impact your college career.

2. Get involved.  It is important to attend class and be a student first. This is SO important because attending class can give you the opportunity to create close relationships with your professors. When you need letters of recommendation or references for an internship or job, these close-knit relationships are easy resources to turn to.

If you have huge lecture classes it is still possible to create these relationships. Sit in the front of the class and they will be sure to notice you. ASK QUESTIONS if you need help! Professors are always happy to help – that’s the reason they’re there. It also puts your foot in the door and shows your strong work ethic.  The university has all the resources needed to help lead you to internships. Join clubs and organizations within the field of your studies to put you ahead.

3. Time management and personal discipline. One of the biggest wake-up calls when you first enter college is that every choice you make is strictly on you. Mommy and daddy will not be called if you miss class, oversleep on a test, or get into trouble. I know it is a scary thought but it is your life now – you are in full control of your decisions.

We all know that it is easy to slack off and be influenced by your friends to do the opposite of what we should be doing. However, time management and personal discipline are two major successors in college and everyone needs to learn how to use these skills to be successful in school. You have to learn to study, work and socialize all at the same time. Learning to balance your schedule to maintain good grades while also rewarding yourself later is the best bet.

The four years of college are said to be the “best time of your life,” right? So live it up while also taking the steps to have a beneficial time to later bring you success after college.

-Melissa Clark is a junior public relations major. Follow her at @clarkieee5.

Transitioning Back to College After a Dream Internship

November 1, 2013 7 Comments

Trump_GortIt felt like I was Cinderella in my own personal fairytale.

I would work at glamorous photo shoots and casually meet celebrity icons. Attending red carpet events were regularly jotted down in my planner. Being chauffeured around New York City with Miss Universe was as normal as drinking a cup of coffee.

Who was I and how did I get to this magical place?

It all started from applying to the Miss Universe Organization, where I worked as a PR intern in NYC for five months. Hands down, the most rewarding opportunity of my life. Working with this prestigious company gave me the best real world PR experience I could’ve ever imagined. I never thought I’d be one to fall in love with a job, but being a part of the 2013 Miss USA competition’s entire production truly helped me discover my passion for becoming a PR professional, specifically in the entertainment industry.

Adjusting back to the college life after interning with MUO, however, was not the easiest transition. There was some inevitable sadness and culture shock after leaving the big city lifestyle. Not to mention, I was anxious to get a real world job instead of being a college student more than ever. Regardless of how ready I was, it didn’t change the fact that I still had to finish my last three semesters at OU.

So for all you bobcats that have taken a semester off or are considering it to complete an internship, here are three tips for moving forward from your dream internship while still being stuck as a college student.

1. Make your planner your best friend. The great thing about taking a semester off to intern is only needing to focus on giving 110% to your job. So probably the cruelest joke of all after getting a taste of the real world is going back to the college grind of taking classes, studying for exams and balancing a social life on top of club work while trying not to have a nervous breakdown. YIKES.

Instead of panicking, I learned that making a to-do list every day is actually a huge stress reliever, especially when you get to cross something off! It might seem simple, but keeping a weekly agenda will keep you organized, which automatically makes you a saner person. The key to balance for any college student is time management!

2. Throw yourself into what you love.  As much as I want to move out to LA and begin my PR career, I sadly know I can’t until I finish school. Being able to hone and sharpen my skills and knowledge with the industry now is extremely beneficial for me as a young professional.

Staying involved with ImPRessions and PRSSA allows me to do real professional work to constantly keep improving my journalism toolbox. For that I’m thankful because I can still get relevant PR experience while finishing up school before I’m ready to take the West Coast plunge.

3. Keep the connections and plan for the future. One of the most rewarding things about working at MUO was the people I met. Every one of my colleagues in the office had something to offer as a role model and mentor. I made strong connections with the people I worked with and my advice to everyone is be sure to keep the connections you make at your internships! It could be valuable for the future when seeking out potential employers or wanting to get hired full-time at your previous job. Because remember: it’s not what you know, but who you know!

If You Ask Me: Account Advice ABC’s

September 2, 2013 4 Comments

It’s easy as 1, 2—never mind.

With three years worth of ImPRessions experience under my belt, I compiled a list of pointers I’ve gained from my time as both an account associate and account executive. My tips and hints are inspired by the impressive executives and associates I’ve worked with in the past, and the ones working beside me now.

As you begin your new role as an account executive this year, enjoy my tidbits of unsolicited advice:impressions

Acquire an agenda: When meeting with your client and account associates, prepare talking points to address beforehand. If you have an idea of what you want to accomplish from the get-go, your meetings will be more productive.

Bond with your executives: Your associates are the driving force behind the account. You will be collaborating with them, depending on them, teaching and learning from them.  Get to know your associates—they are your team.

Constant conversation will foster better communication: Scheduling weekly meetings with your client will enable you to stay up-to-date on their changing needs, and figure out how to best meet them.

Delegate tasks and assignments: You can’t take on everything yourself, nor are you expected to. Trust your associates to share the workload and help carry the account, and offer your assistance and guidance when necessary.

Evaluate your work: Conducting a self-review after initiating a new idea or plan will help you determine strengths and identify areas of improvement. Your evaluation will teach you how to be more effective in the future.

Follow-up with your clients and associates: Being prompt in your responses will build your credibility and keep the line of communication open between you, your client and executives.

Goals keep you on track: It’s easy to lose sight of what you set out to accomplish if you don’t specify it from the beginning. When you feel yourself veering off course, refer back to your mission to find out what really matters.

Have an encouraging attitude: Positivity and negativity are contagious. If you don’t have confidence or the right attitude, no one else will, especially your associates.

Improvise during downtime: Most accounts are bound to experience a lull in between projects from time to time. Hold a resume workshop, teach your associates how to write a press release or show them how to pitch a story. Turn your down time back up by finding ways to remain productive.

Jump right in: Be a self-starter. Contact your associates to schedule your first meeting of the year and reach out to your client, right now. There’s lots of work to be done!

Keep track of your progress: Comparing where you started to where you are now is the best way to measure improvement. Decide if you’re honing in on your goals. If not, come up with a different strategy.

Lead by example: Don’t just talk the talk—walk the walk. Follow through on promises and execute your plans. Others are more likely to take you seriously if you can prove you are dependable and reliable.

Make enough time for the account: Set aside time each week to plan out meetings, answer emails and prepare for upcoming events. Creating a monthly calendar that outlines tasks and assignments will help you stay organized.

Never forget to say thank you: When you offer a genuine, thought-out thank you, you’re acknowledging your associates’ and clients’ effort, appreciating their thoughtfulness and recognizing their intent. Saying thank you feels good, not just to the receiver but also to the sender.

Open yourself up to new ideas and opinions: Some of the best solutions stem from collaboration. Allow others to build off your ideas and pull from their own experiences to help formulate a plan.

Positive feedback can boost morale: Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up and energizes them. Showing your associates that their work truly matters and that they’re contributing unique value to the whole will drive engagement and motivate them even further.

Quantify your results: Your client is interested in the value of your PR work and exactly how much of an impact your account has made. Numbers serve as one of the best, most concrete ways of showcasing your results. Dust the dirt off your calculator, and start adding it all up!

Rely on your associates: Just like you, your associates joined ImPRessions to gain practical experience, learn and grow. Let them take the reigns as the account pursues different projects, and give them the opportunity to solve problems on their own. They’ll thank you later.

Serve as a role model: Often, your associates will be underclassmen, new on campus and in the public relations field. Your experiences, insight and knowledge of campus are valuable—share them. A little piece of advice can go a long way.

Take it one step further: Treat every meeting, interview and event as you would at an internship. This will not only give you great practice, but it will yield the best results for your account.

Utilize your resources: Remember that you’re surrounded by PR-stars! Play off of the knowledge, experience, skills and expertise of your peers to help formulate new ideas and overcome account obstacles.

Versatility is key: Your associates and clients are bound to run on different, sometimes even conflicting, schedules. If you’re persistent, understanding and accommodating, you’ll find a way to connect the dots.

Work hard: Give this experience your all. Your client and associates will depend on you to set the precedence and lead the way.

Xerox copies of your agenda: Supply your associates with a weekly agenda so they can follow along during meetings and refer back to it later on.

You’re going to make mistakes: Admit your missteps and mishaps, address them promptly, learn from them and move on.

Zen: find yours: Managing an account can be challenging, stressful, time-consuming and frustrating. By the end of the year, you’ll have gained skills and a learning experience that will undoubtedly help you succeed in the future.

So, breathe—you’re already one step closer to becoming a PRofessional.

-Katie Grady is a senior studying strategic communications with specializations in business and political science. Follow her adventures in NYC at @kaitgrady.

Four Years, Four Tips: Advice From a Senior in Denial

August 15, 2013 2 Comments

How is it even possible that I’m less than two weeks away from my last fall semester at Ohio University?!

Like everyone else, I’ve definitely had my ups and downs over these last three years. I went from just “liking” college to considering Athens my home. I began as an often anxious, homesick freshman into an overly confident, self-proclaimed “hot commodity” senior.

923446_4794050935240_452424382_nAlthough I’m in denial of approaching the ‘g-bomb’ and wish there wasn’t a life beyond Court Street, I can confidently say no other university would have given me a better college experience. OU and the J-School have given me the knowledge, resources and skills I will need to face life outside the Athens bricks.

Though I’m far from knowing everything, these four tips have been some of the biggest take-a-ways I’ve gain throughout my college journey.

1. Don’t over think it – I entered the James Hall freshman communications learning community with the plan of getting my byline printed on the pages of a traditional newspaper one day. Fast-forward three short years later – I’m headed in a completely different direction, aspiring to be PRofessional in a big metropolitan city. Believe me, your 18 year-old self won’t have any idea what you want to do for the rest of your life. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself. Get your feet wet in a bunch of different organizations. Enroll in classes that pique your interest, even if they don’t fulfill your major’s requirements. Stop giving yourself a headache! I still don’t know where I’ll end up. But I allow my passion for the field and the ambiguity of a PR career to lead me on my journey.

2. Don’t be ‘red’; be ‘Razzmatazz’– Our resumes apparently get 30 seconds, if that, of a potential employer’s attention. Think of yourself as being one small crayon in a huge box of diverse, colorful crayon box – how will you stand out in a Crayola Rainbow? Follow Farkas’s advice by coming up with your three talking points that will give you the tools to showcase what’s unique and only unique to you to give you the added confidence to walk into your next interview.

3. Channel your inner YOLO and put yourself out there – This summer I made a great connection via Twitter. While attending a non-profit forum for my internship on the power of storytelling, being the Twitter-obsessed PR girl I am, I live tweeted ideas and quotes that the speaker – an up-and-coming local advertising guy – said throughout the event. My tweets got his attention, because they eventually led to several conversations through email, even weeks after his presentation. I was shocked to get such a positive response. (Was it time to call Nev Schulman? Had I been “Catfished?!”) I learned that he too wanted to meet with me because I had impressed him; he appreciated my perseverance and enthusiasm of wanting to learn from him. I never imagine 140 characters would lead me to networking over coffee. Moral of the story – speak up; take risks; get out of your comfort zone. Who cares – YOLO.

4. Work hard, play hard(er) – I often joke to my friends that Alden is my boyfriend because of all the long hours I’ve spent over the years studying within the stacks. Between my rigorous course load, involvement in too many organizations, meetings on meetings on meetings I run to each evening and working to help pay for rent, books and groceries, I like to reward myself by enjoying Athens’s nightlife with my friends. Be dedicated and put your schoolwork first, but make sure you’re having a great time doing it. I have loved being so involved because it has not only helped build my resume, but more importantly, it has also allowed me to meet so many great friends. It’s important and healthy to participate in a balance of work and play.  You owe it to yourself to celebrate making it through the grind of a hectic college schedule – OU Oh Yeah!

Though it’s definitely bitter sweet, I’m so excited to embrace my last year at Ohio University. I’ve even decided to start a yearlong blog on all my “bucket list experiences!” There really is no place like OU and Athens – once a Bobcat always a Bobcat!

-Sara Lowenstein is a senior studying public relations with specializations in sociology and community health. Check her out at @SaraLowenstein.

A Day in the Life: PR Intern

June 25, 2013 1 Comment

This is the second post of a three-part series detailing the daily life of a public relations professional, intern and student.

IMG_3186Name: Ashley Osborne

Company: The Original RICH Girls Inc., Brooklyn Bodega (Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival) and Marie Theodore (special events intern)

Location: New York City, NY

Hourly Snapshot

8 AM: Wake up. Eat breakfast. Do a quick workout. Shower.

9 AM: Do computer work which includes phone calls, emails, researching venues, contacts, organizations and companies for partnership/sponsorship, etc. Build media lists, create press releases for an event, or attend meetings with Seto McCoy for The ORG Inc.

3 PM: Finish up with The ORG Inc. Eat finally.

3:30 PM: Begin heading to Brooklyn Bodega or find out what needs updated in their lists for the festival and update those. Handle the Twitter account and build a social media calendar. Assist with other tasks on the marketing agenda. I will do this until the festival’s final day (7/13).

7 PM: Leave Brooklyn Bodega or finish up that work on the computer.

7:15pm: Arrive home. Attend an event for work (if this happens I don’t stay at Brooklyn Bodega as long or attend work for them during the day) or attend an inexpensive concert or event happening. If neither of those happens, I chill with friends for the evening.

It’s hard for me to be extremely detailed because no day is the same but I learn and research a whole lot. I’ve met lots of people, saw some awesome concerts, enriched other people’s connections as well as my own, began building a network of contacts and I really am getting a nice feel of NYC culture. I love living in Brooklyn. And I love that Soho is literally a stop away on the Q train!

What is an example of a curve ball you may face during the day as a PR intern?
A curve ball I may face during a day as a PR intern is conflict of hours (needing to be in places back to back) and being in an unfamiliar area without getting to know my surroundings. Make sure you leave with well enough time to find your way to the location you need to be at, if you didn’t have time to do so before hand.

Outside of a typical day at the office, what are some off-site duties you may have?
Many of my offsite duties include working evening events, running errands, visiting and spacing/walking through venues and attending meetings and seminars.

What has the transition been like from PR student to PR intern?
The transition from PR student to PR intern has been amazing! I only do and learn PR related things during the hours I’d normally have class and I continue doing things that interest me after working. It’s win-win living. I’m constantly doing things I enjoy, learning new skills and meeting new people.

What experiences from your internship do you think you will be able to apply to your studies and future career?
Everything I’m doing right now is teaching me the skills I need to someday soon become a great publicist. I have a lot more to learn about PR but this is one side of it I am blessed to experience. I’ve made irreplaceable connections with genuine people who want to see me succeed. I am learning the place I plan to make my next move in life. Next to Costa Rica, it’s been one of the best experiences of my life!

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior majoring in public relations with specializations in marketing and international business. Keep up with Kerry at @kerrtut.

 

A Day in the Life: PR Professional

June 24, 2013

This is the first of a three-part series detailing the daily life of a public relations professional, intern and student.

DevinName: Devin Hughes

Company: Global Prairie

Location: Cleveland, OH

Hourly Snapshot

7:30 AM – Wake up, shower, and check Facebook/Twitter/News RSS Feed while eating a granola bar for breakfast. This includes both personal interest stuff (friends’ Facebook posts, sports scores) as well as work stuff (industry news/tweets)

8:30 AM – Arrive at work. Whole bunch of emails to sift through. Better make the first cup of coffee (in our Keurig!)

9:00 AM – A new team member has joined our office! We have a welcome breakfast to meet him and chat.

9:45 AM – Every week, we send a weekly media monitoring report to the client on Friday morning. I haven’t started on it yet. Guess I should get moving on that.

10:00 AM – Better make that second cup of coffee.

10:30 AM – Call with a major national organization about a partnership our client has with them. What can we do to enhance the partnership? How can we promote it?

11:00 AM – Call went well. Now, I have to take everything we discussed and build a formal strategic recommendation for our client to review. Better get started on that while it’s fresh on my mind.

11:30 AM – Or not. Now I have a different call, for the same client, for a totally different project. This time, we’re even working with another agency (that does event planning) to discuss how to coordinate our efforts.

12:00 PM – No time to debrief from that call. Now, we have an all-agency call; all of our regional offices and employees dial in for this one, where we go over agency-wide matters of importance.

12:30 PM – Another meeting on the calendar? This is the 5th one and I haven’t had lunch! Now, we’re brainstorming about how to improve a mobile app for our client. Some awesome new ideas bouncing around — ranging from major changes, to simple functionality tweaks.

1:00 PM – All right, a break! Grabbed a few coworkers and ran to the local market for a salad.

1:30 PM – Let’s dig back in and work on that media repo—oh never mind. Boss needs me to do quick research for a new business opportunity that just came up.

2:00 PM – Finished that up, and just got some feedback on a social media proposal I put together. Sweet! Really excited about this project. Let’s prioritize it. Incorporated those edits and sent back through to the team.

2:30 PM – Grab a Pepsi and work on that report I keep putting off, but not for long because…

3:00 PM – A brainstorm meeting! About Twitter! We’re creating an account for a client and are discussing the look and feel of the account. Graphic design team is on this call, always fun to work with them.

3:30 PM – Another call, this time about work one of our clients does with NASCAR. That’s pretty cool.

4:00 PM – Let’s wrap up that report, already. The document has literally been open on my computer all day.

4:30 PM – Call with a senior strategist at our firm to run through a PPT I put together. He really likes the plan! Sending to the client now

5:00 PM – Oh hello, mountain of emails I haven’t had a chance to reply to. Let’s catch up on those

5:30 PM – A few of us are actually going to a fundraising event for the National Kidney Foundation tonight. Pretty cool to do after-hours stuff with coworkers while also giving back.

8:00 PM – Home! Long day…let’s sit back and watch the Indians game (while tweeting of course)

11:00 PM – Bedtime. Can’t stay up late like I did in my OU days.

What is an example of a curve ball you may face during the day as a PR professional?
You can plan out your day all you want, but PR is driven by the news of the day, so be ready to get disrupted. For example, when I did PR for a grocery chain, anytime the news wanted to spontaneously come film at the store I’d have to drive out and meet them. One phone call from ABC was all it’d take to literally change the entire complexion of my day.

Do you find that you specialize in a certain area of PR or are your responsibilities more general?
Can I say “both?” I got into the agency world because I wanted to wear a lot of different hats and learn about any aspect of PR that I could. That said, I naturally gravitate toward social media and really enjoy doing that type of work, and my company has noticed that, so they’ve begun viewing me as more of a go-to person on social media matters. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not still doing all the other stuff! Best advice I can give is to be open to learning anything and everything, but also become conscious of what you really enjoy doing, and have dialogues with your manager about what those things are.

How many clients do you work with and what is it like transitioning between the different clients throughout the day?
It’s hard to quantify. There aren’t just different clients, but there’s different businesses within clients. So like, maybe your “client” is Toyota but you do some work for the marketing manager of the Toyota Camry; some for the Tundra marketing person; some corporate communications work; some general crisis consulting. It’s one “client,” but they have multiple billing codes and you report to different people.I actually really like transitioning between a bunch of different clients/types of work. Maybe I’m scatterbrained, but it helps keep me feeling fresh and energized. I think I’d go insane doing the same thing every day. The biggest challenge is juggling various client deadlines. I can’t tell one client that her work is less important to me than another client’s work. Luckily, our agency team is extremely supportive and when time crunches like this come up, anyone who can will jump in and help out.

What experiences from your days as a PR student and intern have helped you in your work as a professional?
I’ve said before that in a lot of ways, school is like its own PR agency. Your “clients” are your 5 classes, your 3 student organizations, your PACE job, etc. And you need to manage your time on all of these clients, prioritize assignments and get things done, while still having a social life. The running joke is that Scripps Kids tend to overextend themselves and sign up for everything; however, this actually prepares you really well for the demands of agency PR, if that’s a field you’re interested in.

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior majoring in public relations with specializations in marketing and international business. Keep up with Kerry at @kerrtut.

Making Army ImPRessions

June 20, 2013

Photo by Michael Noble Jr.

Photo by Michael Noble Jr.

Have you ever felt you were being thrown into the big leagues? Try being a media relations intern for an ROTC camp at one of the most renowned U.S. military bases in the world. Fort Knox, Kentucky is rumored to house our country’s gold and although I haven’t seen any gold, I have seen plenty of camouflage.

Applying for this internship I was confident of my portfolio, due to the pieces I gained from being an account associate for the ImPRessions Army and Air Force ROTC account. I had background with event coverage, the chain of command and LOTS of press releases. The opportunity to be a media relations intern for the ROTC’s Leader’s Training Course seemed like a perfect fit. I sent in my cover letter, resume and portfolio and then I waited.

After close to a month and a half of waiting, I got an email. I jumped out of my chair when I read that I had received the internship. Not figuratively jumped either, I literally knocked my desk chair over. I called my contact the next day within the allotted time, to verify my acceptance. When discussing the details, the public affairs officer whom I spoke to asked me how a freshman in college was able to put together such an extensive portfolio. My answer was simple; ImPRessions, the Ohio University student-run public relations firm. He sounded impressed, a very good sign considering I was dealing with the United States Army and I was just a freshman in Athens.

I’ve been in Fort Knox for close to two weeks now and thank ImPRessions every time I’m given a new assignment. My experience with the Army and Air Force ROTC account could not have prepared me better; my experience translated over perfectly. However, there are a few necessary things I’ve learned about taking on a big internship in my first weeks here.

Lesson 1: Make Friends. Friends are good to have no matter where you are, but when you’re working and living with 15 other interns for the majority of the summer, they’re essential. The last thing you need is drama from the hotel or wherever you’re staying carrying into the workplace. Getting along with everyone may be difficult, but it is totally worth the extra effort.

Lesson 2: Be Respectful, Not Intimidated. Coming onto a military base I knew that being respectful was going to be a huge part of the job. No matter whom you are dealing with, whether it’s another intern or a Major General, respect goes a long way. Just because you are respectful though, doesn’t mean you should be intimidated. No matter what the rank of the person you working with, it is your job to be there; act like it. Chances are they will respect you more and be more helpful if they realize you are serious about what you do.

Lesson 3: Do Not Let Anyone Underestimate You. Being a freshman, I am one of the youngest interns here. Most are going into their senior year of college or just graduated and many of them act like I am the baby intern. Although I may only be 18 years old (19 in three days), I have experience and I know what I’m doing. Letting them underestimate you will only make you believe what they’re saying. Take charge and prove your skills. Nothing feels better than having your boss ask you specifically for help on a job and nothing looks better than everyone else’s jaws dropping when you do well on an assignment.

Every internship experience is different: from the application process all the way through to the last day. I was lucky to have such extensive experience beforehand, but I still have a lot to learn. The best advice I can give to anyone starting an internship is “you get out of it what you put into it,” no matter how experienced your resume is before it will not benefit you unless you work hard and do your best. I’m looking forward to what the next two months hold for me.

-Rebecca Zook is a sophomore.

5 Tips for Your First Day

June 17, 2013 1 Comment

MovieThe first day of anything new is always scary and nerve-racking, whether it’s the first day of school, a new job or an internship. You don’t know what to expect and are thrown into a new place where everyone knows everyone; except you. On top of it all, you’re nervous about living up to everyone’s expectations.

I started my internship at Imerman Angels exactly two weeks ago. Imerman Angels is a not-for-profit organization that provides one-on-one support to cancer fighters, caregivers and survivors. I had spent the previous two months learning all about the organization, but when my first day finally arrived, my research was unnecessary. Here’s what to expect.

Nerves. Nerves are expected, but there are many ways that you can keep them to a minimum. Know where you need to go, what time you need to be there and leave enough time for travel whether you’re driving, walking or using public transportation. Also, leave enough time to collect yourself before you go in so that you aren’t a nervous wreck for your first impression.

Bring your planner. Depending on the company or organization you might plan out your schedule before your first day, but if not make sure to bring a planner. You may not work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. so have an idea of what days or times work best for you. This is also a good time to bring up any dates that you cannot work.

Tours and Introductions. Most of your first day will be spent getting acquainted with the office and everyone who works there. Your supervisor will show you where you’ll be working and introduce you to everyone you’ll be working with. This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about the dress code, the office or what to expect on a typical day.

Dress Appropriately. You don’t want to be underdressed but it can also be just as uncomfortable to be overdressed. I recommend business casual, but it can also depend on where you will be working. If you are a girl and are unsure about what shoes to wear, bring flats and stick a pair of heels in your bag and wait to see what other women are wearing. Also, make sure to also dress appropriately for the weather; it may be hot outside but inside they might have the air conditioner blasting so bringing a sweater or jacket might be a good idea.

Snacks and Drinks. For my first day I didn’t know how long I would be there; I could have been only doing introductions and figuring out my schedule or possibly working a full day.  If you are unaware of how long you will be there, make sure to bring something to drink and a quick snack in case you happen to be there longer than expected.

First days can be scary, but remember there’s only one first day! Once you know what to expect and what is expected of you, the next days, weeks and months will continue to get easier.

-Allison Rumsas is a junior strategic communications major with a Spanish minor. Follow her  at @allisonrumsas.

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