Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Being Bobcats on a Budget

April 8, 2014 1 Comment

broke“Broke.” I’d say that’s an adjective college students have used to describe themselves at least once in college. I can’t remember how many times my checking account was overdrawn freshman year. Living on a tight budget can be difficult at times, but it isn’t impossible! I’m no expert in finance but here are a few tips from experiences I have had with managing my mullah.

Get a Job

With the hectic schedules of class and extracurricular activities, having a job can seem daunting. I personally believe it’s necessary to work while in school. There are many campus and local jobs in Athens to take advantage of. Working in the dining hall isn’t the most glamorous job, but it is a job nonetheless. There are work opportunities in Baker Center, Alden library and many other campus buildings, as well as internships. Work experience while in school not only looks great on your resume – it plants the seeds of learning to track your spending. Money from Mom and Dad is great, but there is a financial consciousness and accountability that comes with having to spend your own money.

Be Financially Aware

Be honest about your spending habits. How much money do you spend when going out? Are you more likely so spend cash or use your credit/debit card? These are all things you should take into account when budgeting. Sit down and write out how much money you have weekly/monthly and how much you usually spend. Does it add up or are you living beyond your means? Always have some cushion. I prefer to use a debit card because it’s similar to spending cash. Be careful when using credit, because it can add up. I also don’t spend money once my account gets to a certain balance.  Decide what your max amount is and hold yourself to it. Overdrawing your account comes with additional fees, and ain’t nobody got time for that! 

Check your accounts & statements regularly

I check my account online everyday. You should always know how much money is in your account so you don’t overdraw it. If you download your banks app, you can get mobile alerts sent to your phone whenever your balance is under a certain amount – allowing you to keep track on the go.  Also try to keep an eye on your account activity and your monthly statements. Freshman year, someone illegally used my card information to make some purchases. Thankfully, I knew right away when the $100 was spent because my bank alerted me via smartphone , causing me to immediately check my account history. Since then, I have made it a point to stay cognizant of account activity.

The 20 percent rule

My mom always told me to put 20% of every paycheck into my savings account. Now let’s be real, sometimes there’s a pair of shoes or a concert that takes precedence, but saving is a great habit to start right NOW.

Treat Yourself

You can be frugal and still have fun! You deserve it! Regularly getting out/doing something nice for yourself is more cost efficient than splurging. Always have some money set aside to treat yourself.

Again, these are standards I’ve established for myself and how I handle my money. It’s worked out very well for me and I am proud of how responsible I have been with my spending this year. Here are also some links to additional tips, plans and advice.

What do you do to budget your money?

Malindi Robinson is a sophomore studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @matrixxmal.

Looking for more resources? Here are some links to help you with budgeting.

Wells Fargo         Bankrate        DailyFinance

College Book Store Gives Back to Athens Youth This Sibs Weekend

February 6, 2014 1 Comment

sibs_2014_tee_impr-1It’s been a crazy couple of weeks at Ohio University! With holidays and two school closings, we have yet to have a full week of classes, since week one of the semester. Last Tuesday, the College Book Store ImPRessions account was suppose to be working hard in Scripps 116 to prepare for their Sibs weekend event. Instead, the account was stuck as home after the first weather related closing since 2009. As Queen Elsa would say, the cold never bothered us anyway! Our account worked from home to relay College Book Store’s message of giving back to the community this Sibs Weekend.

For the fifth year in a row, College Book Store will be donating a portion of their Sibs weekend sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens County. The locally owned store, located on Court Street across from College Gate, donates 20 percent of each Sibs Weekend T-shirt sold to BBBS of Athens County as a way to give back.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donation-supported organization that relies on community contributions in order to carefully match mentors with local youth. Since 1986, BBBS of Athens County has made a difference in the lives of children and mentors through their volunteer program.

This is the fifth year the College Book Store will be making a donation to the worthy organization. It is our account’s goal to drive up store traffic resulting in the largest donation to date. Give thanks for the sibs that are here in your life by giving back to the children of Athens. Purchase a Sibs Weekend t-shirt at College Book Store for just $9.99 and $2 will be donated directly to this worthy cause.

Hopefully the weather will clear up this weekend when the Sibs come to town, but if not, you can bet that the College Book Store account will still be hitting the bricks promoting the message of giving back. Make sure to visit us this weekend and treat your guest (or yourself) to a Sibs Weekend t-shirt. Feel good about your purchase and give back to the community that is home to us all.

 

Angela Martin is a senior studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @_angelamartin.

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.

Account Spotlight: GoBus

November 6, 2012

By: Marisa Dockum

At every Scripps Public Relations Student Society of America meeting, an ImPRessions account is selected to be a spotlight based on their accomplishments and efforts.  On Monday, November 5, the GoBus account was highlighted to all PRSSA members.  The Hocking Athens Perry Community Action’s GoBus is a non profit community based organization. The GoBus is a new federally funded transportation service that offers transportation from Athens to Cincinnati and Columbus with stops along the way.

“The goal of the OU ImPRessions GoBus account is to assess the current state of the GoBus brand positioning on the Ohio University campus and in the Athens area and to improve customer impact, loyalty, and reach through the application of strategic and creative PR tactics,” Account Executive Nicole Spears explained.  Account Associates have been working together to collectively assemble a PR Plan for the year, which has proved to be a learning experience for all.

After just 11 weeks, the account has done a lot that contributes to future tactics and current events. Account Associate David Homan says, “My favorite thing about the account is how the meetings are operated with ease in a productive manner.” The GoBus account conquers tasks outside of meetings as well. They collected survey responses from 271 OU students to learn about their use and knowledge of GoBus. The GoBus drove in the 2012 OU Homecoming parade, and to help maximize on this appearance, the account designed T-shirts to be thrown out to attendees. Furthermore, the account has explored the GoBus websites and offered advice on how to smooth communication with the company’s customers using this medium.

The GoBus account is now in the process of assembling a campus-wide Travel Safety campaign for the upcoming holiday season, look out for their flyers and tables at the Baker center! They hope to partner with the Ohio Department of Transportation for this project and also look forward to offering internal counsel for an upcoming company restructuring.

Congratulations to the GoBus account for their accomplishments, and keep up the good work!

Philanthropy Spotlight: College Book Store Homecoming for the Homeless

October 8, 2012

By: Klare Williamson

The new shirt you buy Homecoming weekend may not only look good on you, but it’s also doing good for others. During homecoming weekend locally-owned College Book Store will be sponsoring their 3rd annual philanthropy event “Homecoming for the Homeless”. College Book Store will donate 10% of all purchases made in-store to the Good Works Timothy House. Last year more than $1,000 was donated to Good Works Timothy House from Homecoming weekend. The house has provided to over 200 men, women and children with an estimated 4000 to 5000 nights of shelter.

Timothy House is the only shelter in 9 counties available to men, women, and children who are in an emergency and need a place to go. Anyone who calls ahead can stay, but this year the staff are experiencing a shortage of space.

“We did not have room for most of the people who called in 2012. So far this year we’ve helped 163 different people, but we’ve had to say no to 200 people over the phone because we didn’t have room to be able to move them in,” said Andrea Horsch, Director of Caregiving for Timothy House.

Horsch says financial donations like those given by College Bookstore are what keeps the house running, “Financial donations to Good Works and Timothy House go toward utilities like paying the electric bill, keeping the lights on, keeping the house warm and also paying staff salaries so that we have people here making sure that the house is running smoothly and that the people who are living in the house are safe and have a stable place to be.”

To support Good Works and the Timothy House students can participate in “Homecoming for the Homeless” by making a purchase at College Bookstore on October 14th – 16th or by visiting http://www.good-works.net and clicking on volunteer opportunities.

Timothy House

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