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.

Preparing for a Summer Internship (or Job) in a New City

April 14, 2014

Manhattan Office Vacancy Rate Drops In Second QuarterAs the school year is beginning to wind down and we’re preparing for the summer, you are probably thinking about the next steps with your upcoming internship in a new city. It’s exciting to explore a new city and discover more about yourself and how well you mesh with the city you are living in for the next three months. But with this move, you probably have a lot questions burning in your brain. Here are five tips that will ease your mind about the big move:

1. Where am I going to live?

There are a few ways you could seek out this answer: Start by asking co-workers, especially the hiring manager. They certainly know a thing or two about the best and safest places to look and with whom you can be put in contact. Also, check out nearby universities. For instance, if you have an internship in New York City, NYU has housing over the summer for interns coming in from out of state. If the city you’re moving to doesn’t have a university that rents out dorm rooms, check out the college student areas. Many students look to sublet over the summer! Don’t forget your smartphone. One app that I’ve recently discovered is called apartment list. It lets you search by zip code, bedrooms and price in order to narrow down what exactly you’ll need for the summer.

2.How am I going to pay for everything?

Budget, budget, budget. I don’t think I can stress that enough. Seriously though, when you’re moving to a new city that’s as expensive as Los Angeles or New York, expenses need to be at the forefront of your brain. Plan your budget ahead of time and think about what you’ll need to make it through the summer and stick to it!

3. I feel so alone! What should I do?

Don’t be afraid! Not knowing anyone, in my mind, is the most exciting part because you get a fresh start. You get to put the best version of yourself out there! Just because you aren’t in a dorm anymore with fresh, curious faces about this new world of college they’re about to face, doesn’t mean that you won’t make friends. It’s hard to be vulnerable, especially in a place where you don’t know anyone. Embrace your alone time, because pretty soon your phone won’t stop blowing up with people asking you to hang out.

4. How do I get around?

Take a couple days before you start your internship to navigate your way around the city. You DO NOT want to be late on your first day – mapping your way around your new surroundings will put you at ease and make you feel more comfortable about wherever are for the next three months.

5. I need to get out of the house, what can I do?

There many things you can do in this situation like ask your co-workers. They’ve lived in the city long enough to know some of the best hotspots in town and probably have some great insight into cool events that happen every summer! Your smartphone can once again come into play here, too. One app I love using is Fodor’s City Guides. The app lists off all of the important sights, restaurants, shopping, performing arts and nightlife that you should check out while you’re in town for the summer.

Ali Cupelli is a senior studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @ali_cupelli.

Making ImPRessions in D.C.

March 10, 2014 2 Comments

IMG_1527No matter how old you are networking can be scary. Putting yourself out there to make connections can freak out anyone, the trick to it all is knowing how to network efficiently. However, sometimes LinkedIn and mixers just don’t cut it for college students, and that’s where the networking trip comes into place. What better way to make an imPRession than in person? This spring break, Assistant Junior Director Melaina Lewis made an imPRession in D.C. while on an individual networking trip to scope out the D.C. area and network with D.C. PR professionals. Want to know how to coordinate your own networking trip? Read our interview with our fabulous Assistant Junior Director herself.

Q: Why did you want to plan your own networking trip?
A: I’ve always loved D.C. It’s one of my top 2 places I want to live post grad. I was trying to think of where I had the most connections and DC won over Charlotte, N.C. I want to work for nonprofit or healthcare PR, and DC is a hub for those PR sectors.

Q: What were your first steps to planning?
A: I reached out to my Bobcat network and made some cold connections. I knew it was going to be harder to do the trip if I stayed at a hotel, so I reached out to Sienna Tomko who was recently hired at Children’s National and am staying with her.

IMG_1541Q: How did you reach out to the Bobcat network?
A: LinkedIn was a big one. I connected with Judy Dashiell at the National Fisheries Institute through LinkedIn messaging. I also spoke with Daniel Klein, whom works with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. The rest of the Bobcat network were local connections I already had, and knew their agencies or organizations had offices in D.C. I also reached out to Devin Hughes and he connected me to someone. Sienna also has a huge network, even though she doesn’t believe it, she does. Oddly enough, I have a family friend from my hometown who works in a government department, and she helped me with connections as well.

Q: How long have you been planning this trip?
A: I would say I have been planning this trip for two FULL months. I decided to make the trip right after Christmas break in January. I would suggest plan a networking trip three or four months ahead, so you don’t feel rushed.

Q: Were there any hiccups?
A: Monday was a snow day for the D.C. area. Even the government workers didn’t go into work. So Sienna and I joined a planned snowball fight in Du Pont Circle. I was retweeted by a Washington Post blogger, so that’s exciting.

Q: Would you recommend an individual or group networking trip?
A:  Any networking trip is an opportunity and a business card. It is less hectic when you are alone, and you’re guaranteed one-on-one time, unlike in a group setting. Also when you’re doing it individually, you’re tailoring it around whom you want to meet and who has your skill set. I planned my networking trip all around nonprofit and healthcare PR.

IMG_1542Q: Are you planning on interning in D.C. this summer?
A: Fingers crossed. I want to, I want to. I have met with a lot of people and I don’t know if it’s going to happen but it’s my goal.

Q: You’re a huge Scandal fan. How is that playing into this trip?
A: I get to watch Scandal in the capital this week. That’s really exciting. Walking down the streets, I secretly tell myself I’m Olivia Pope. This is the life Olivia Pope leads.

Q: What is your day-to-day like during this trip?
A: I’m trying each day to meet with 1-2 people, and leave my late afternoons and early evenings open. I want to make sure I’m getting that aspect of living here in the trip. It’s a mix of networking and fun.

Q: Is there anything you would change about this trip?
A: I wish I would’ve started planning earlier. It just felt so rushed and I wanted to expand more of my connections. It’s been a really good trip so I wouldn’t change much.

Interview conducted over Google Hangout. Later in the day, Melaina planned to check out the Georgetown area and visit Georgetown Cupcakes.


Interviewee: Melaina Lewis is a junior studying Strategic Communications with specializations in Global Leadership and Marketing. You can follow Melaina on Twitter at @melaina_lewis.

Interviewer: Kelly Hayes is a senior studying Strategic Communications with specializations in German and Global Leadership. You can follow Kelly on Twitter at @kmshayes.

What if Bobcats started their own PR Firm?

January 28, 2014 1 Comment

bobcatsThere have been many times that my friends and I have had discussions on how it would be if there were a PR firm that was owned and operated by Ohio University alumni? The answer: amazing!

We are already on a good start since there is our student-run PR firm, ImPRessions. So we have that going for us.

The mornings would most likely start out with the playing of the fight song or the alma mater to get our day going on the right foot, followed by sweet treats catered by Fluff Bakery.

Just about every desk would have an Athens brick, a “Pubs of Athens” poster, an Ohio University coffee mug, thermos and water bottle, and pictures of dear friends that we celebrated many nights with on the hallowed streets of Athens.

burritoLunch would be filled with the scent of Goodfellas pizza, and Burrito Buggy would have its own parking space.

There would be cubicle shuffles.

East, West and South Greens would designate different departments in the office.

There would be our own Scripps statue to give associates luck before client pitches.

Casual Fridays would most likely be, “wear your OU hoodie day.”

There would be an office cat named Rufus.

And of course, there would be a bar for the office with Jackie O’s on tap, where happy hour would be a regular occasion with recordings from The Bob Stewart band on repeat.

Working with only Ohio University alumni would give clients the opportunity to work with the most fun and driven people in the industry. If there is one thing that students in Athens know is how to work just as hard as they play.

Because of ImPRessions, students already have a small grasp on what it is like to be in an agency. We have around 100 colleagues and now 12 clients. We know how to support different clients to better the agency as a whole. ImPRessions is a group of students with high ambitions that know how to push each other in a positive way. With the backing of a journalism education and a think tank of bright, young Bobcats, in a real PR firm we would be an unstoppable firm with clients just as fun and hard working as we are.

- Ben Clos is a junior studying Strategic Communications. Follow Ben on Twitter at @BenClos1

Your Internship Fell Through…Now What?

November 26, 2013 3 Comments

My freshman year was coming to a close and I couldn’t have been happier with my first year at Ohio University. I had made great friends in my dorm, joined a sorority and PRSSA, and done well in all my classes. As sad as I was to leave Athens, I was so excited to be heading home to Cleveland for a summer internship I had gotten through a family friend.

Then the unthinkable happened: about a month before break began I was notified the company’s funding for interns was taken away and I was left with an internship-less summer.

I’m not the first student to experience this situation, and I can promise that I won’t be the last.  After some panicked calls to my mom and some too-little, too-late internship applications I decided that if I wasn’t going to have an internship over the summer, I still needed to do any, and everything possible to grow myself—and my resume.

If you find yourself at the last minute without an internship, don’t let it keep you from exploring other opportunities. Here’s what I didn’t to make my summer as productive as possible.

1. Work. I had worked at a local flower shop for several years prior to going to college and my boss was the second person (after my mom of course) that I called when my internship fell through. I was welcomed backed to my old stomping ground with open arms and I was able to save up money..

Whether it is returning to the part-time job in high school or mowing your neighbor’s lawn, find some sort of job. At the end of the day, you’re still a student with lots of student loans. If you are having trouble growing your resume, try to grow your bank account. Employers would ratherGardner see that you were doing something with your summer rather than nothing.

2. Network. Even though I was lacking in the internship department, I still wanted to network and learn about the PR industry. I got in contact with the director of communications at Progressive Insurance and was given the opportunity to not only job shadow an event, but meet with the entire communications department including their public relations and social media teams.

I was able to talk extensively about the different job roles and get a better understanding of corporate PR. I walked away from my job shadowing opportunity with advice, business cards and many promises of helping me find internships in the future.

Just because you don’t have an internship doesn’t mean that you can’t play in the PR sandbox. Talk to your family and friends. Everyone knows someone and it just takes one person to put you in contact with the right person. Find a company or agency whose work you admire and get in contact with them. They may not be able to offer you a full internship, but you can still grow a relationship with the people and the company.

3. Learn. I didn’t have an internship which meant I had plenty of time. I might not have been in school, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t learn. Throughout my summer I explored some of the things I had heard about in my PRSSA meetings, but never had the time to explore – Hootsuite, cleaning up my resume and updating my LinkedIn page.  

If you’re going to sit at home over the summer catching up on the latest Netflix series, bring your laptop with you. Spend time that you don’t have during the school year looking up and creating. Google, google, google. If you heard something mentioned multiple times throughout the year and have no idea what it is, find out. Your computer can’t judge you for asking the same question five times so take the time to really dig deep into topics you aren’t familiar with.

If you find yourself with a less than ideal summer, don’t panic. There is always something you can do to improve the situation and it is up to you to make the best of every situation. Learning to adapt is one of the best skills you can have in life and nothing will test your ability to adapt more than losing an internship.

-Sydney Gardner is a sophomore studying strategic communication. Follow her at @SydneyGardner.

Bobcat Network: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

July 9, 2013 3 Comments

We hear it all the time – Bobcats are everywhere and willing to help you out. I always believed it when I heard those words, but this summer I got to experience it firsthand.

Over winter break this past year, I went on interviews and received an internship at a small agency in Cincinnati. I was ecstatic considering this would be my first internship, I had it lined up early and I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. Rawr

As the end of the school year was approaching I had been in contact with my boss and several of the employees. However, I began to feel uncomfortable with some of the comments that my boss had been saying to me (we will just leave it at that) so I made the VERY tough decision to quit. Keep in mind that it was the first week of May when this was all happening.

So, I went into panic mode as I began to search for a new summer internship. I emailed Professor Gerl and Professor Stewart, and they immediately emailed me back with suggestions and references. It was awesome to see how willing they were to help a student out. As I was searching through the references, I realized that two of the internships had Bobcat connections! I interviewed with both of them, and they both immediately pointed out how amazing their experiences had been at OHIO. I had so much in common with people whom I had never even met!

Long story short, I got offered both of the internships! I took a corporate route with Hobsons, an educational services company in Cincinnati, and I couldn’t be happier! Now, I have met even more Bobcats in the office, making it feel like home. It is a good feeling to have that connection with people that I work with. I’ve had conversations revolving around OHIO sports, Scripps and even Court Street. There are not many bonds stronger than a Bobcat bond, and this summer I got to experience it firsthand.

-Annie Beard is a junior studying public relations. Follow her at @annie_beard.

How To Network Using Social Media

January 31, 2013 7 Comments

Marisa Dockum

LinkedIn and Twitter serve as better networking tools than you might think.  The power of networking is endless, especially now with easy access to professionals via Twitter and LinkedIn. Here are a few tips to improve your online visibility and build a network:

  1. Never send a generic LinkedIn connection invite.  In order to stand out and make things personal, you must take the time to write a nice blurb on how you know them or explain why you would like to connect with them.
  2. Clean up your Twitter account to make sure it is appropriate before you begin attracting professionals.
  3. Don’t have full-blown conversations on Twitter.  Make an initial connection with a tweet, but then continue the conversation via email or direct messages.
  4. Use hashtags such as #intern, #internships, #HAPPO, #PR,etc. and directly tweet at companies or people who work there about news/events that are happening at those companies.  When you express interest in what that agency is actually doing, you will get noticed.
  5. Don’t get to the point right away, start by asking about the professional’s experience or for advice.  PR people love to talk about themselves and want to feel like they’re helping someone out from their expertise. So, allow them to do that and they will be more likely to then talk about a job or internship opportunity.
  6. Join Twitter chats, ask questions and share your answers.  Your questions could get noticed by a professional looking for an intern, and your active online presence will impress professionals.
  7. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and error free at all times, especially before you connect with professionals.
  8. Utilize the LinkedIn headline in a creative way.  For example, “PR major seeking internship in NYC,” and be active in different LinkedIn groups.

As a pre-professional, it is your job to seek out professionals, companies, PRSA young professionals and alumni on Twitter and LinkedIn.  Let your personality shine online, and do what we do best: communicate.  Actively tweet about PR news, tweet at professionals and companies, use hashtags, and connect on LinkedIn with personal messages.  These tips will allow you to network with the industry and establish a solid online presence, but most importantly it will highlight YOUR brand.

Go forth young professionals, use social media networking to your advantage!

#AskOUrPRos Twitter chat a success

February 2, 2012

It was @OUImPRessions’ first ever Twitter chat with PR professionals and students from @ScrippsPRSSA to @CentralOhioPRSSA and beyond. Great thanks to @mjclark, our professional adviser, for helping us host the event and spreading the word. And of course, thank everyone who participated in the Corporate vs. Agency #AskOUrPRos Twitter chat!

Join us February 29 at 7:30 p.m. EST for our next #AskOUrPRos chat!

Please check out our Twitter chat review below. Students and pros, what was your favorite part?


Interning in the Big Apple

August 22, 2011

By: Amanda Stefanik
Co-Account Executive, OU Performing Arts Series

For any student who is hesitant to apply for an internship because they feel like they don’t have enough experience or are worried about moving to the big city don’t be worried- APPLY!

I am the perfect example of someone who was worried about not having enough experience and almost didn’t apply for a PR internship with the Miss Universe Organization. I took a risk and am so happy that I did. My internship with the Miss Universe Organization was THE best internship experience that I could have ever had and I would recommend everyone to apply. I can’t write enough about this internship but am going to try and summarize my experience in four points.

  1. Hands on Work: On my first day, my boss called the other intern and I into her office and gave us our tasks. I was privileged enough not to be given typical intern tasks but hands on work that has broadened my portfolio more than I could have imagined. I wrote press releases and itineraries, edited blogs and program book letters, and pitched stories to secure interviews for contestants. I also attended events and interviews with the titleholders. I was very fortunate that my boss trusted me with major tasks. For example, I was in charge of overseeing the media credentials for the Miss USA pageant and working with all the media that attended events leading up to the pageant.
  2. Networking: This internship gave me the opportunity to network with so many people. In New York, I not only worked with the PR team from the Miss Universe Organization, but also agency professionals from Rubenstein Public Relations. When I went to Las Vegas, I was able to network with NBC Universal professionals, PR professionals who helped run events and everyone that helped make the Miss USA Pageant Telecast possible. Finally, since I worked so closely with the media throughout my internship, I made great media contacts with journalists throughout the country.
  3. Production: This internship was different because not only did I learn more about the PR industry, but also about how a major television production comes together. Everyone at the Miss Universe Organization works very closely, because everyone needs to be in the loop for the live telecast to come together. This taught me how important it is for the PR team to be aware and informed about what is going on!
  4. Big City: I not only grew professionally from this internship but also grew personally. By moving to NYC by myself, I became more independent and realized that moving to the big city after I graduate is something that I would love to do!

5 Steps to Landing Your Dream Internship

August 15, 2011

By: Nina Bressau
Account Supervisor, Bird Arena and Student Senate

After joining multiple student groups, completing various unpaid internships and building a network of professionals, I finally got my dream internship this summer before beginning my senior year. How? Build connections, retaining connections and consistently trying to get your foot into the door of the workplace. I tried to come up with five important points that help you get the internship you have always wanted.

1.     Build connections. They are everywhere.

You hear it over and over again: Meet professionals, introduce yourself, stay connected to classmates, professors and speakers. It’s true. I would probably not have gotten my current internship without the necessary connections.

One night I was dining at Wild Ginger in Hyde Park Cincinnati (FYI- delicious!) with my parents, when my dad recognized a woman sitting a few tables away from us. He told me she worked at a branding agency downtown Cincinnati and I was immediately interested in meeting her. I contacted her via email and set up an informational interview in her office at Landor. I was very impressed by the agency and developed more connections through my initial contact.

Again, people are everywhere. Get to know them.

2.     Stay in contact and try to meet in person.

When I set up an informational interview, I had the luck to meet in her office. I was able to see the interior of Landor and get an idea of the atmosphere. Meeting in person leaves a stronger impression and leads to better communication.

3.     Join every club that sounds interesting.

Although I major in PR, I was very active with the OU Advertising Association. I cannot stress how important it is to develop different skills, even if you think you know exactly what you would like to do one day. My current internship is in client services, which requires both PR and advertising skills. Although the majority of my work has been communications, it is very important to understand the industry when working at an advertising or branding agency.

4.     Be a good student.

Yes, you should retain a high GPA if you want to be considered for a valuable internship or job. I was told that most companies prefer to see a GPA starting at 3.6. More importantly, be nice to everyone you meet – you may need their help or advice one day.

5.     Be interested and be interesting.

Always be engaged and focused on your work. If you do not understand something, don’t be afraid to ask. My manager has told me she was very happy with my constant questions during the first weeks. Also, show your character and be yourself. Employers do not want to have a company full of the same talents. Be yourself and you will appear more interesting and likable.

Finally, the secret of succeeding in your internship? Enjoy every single moment of it. If you are passionate about something, you should be able to reach your goals. My mentor has given me that advice and it has helped me throughout my internship – if you are always enjoying what you are doing, work will appear much easier.


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