Find Your Focus: How to Narrow that Over Involvement

By: Sam Miller, @keepcalmsam14

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I’m sure we all remember our first weekend on campus. After a riveting speech from President McDavis, your entire class marches up Richland Avenue to College Gate, and here you truly become a bobcat. Another event that everyone undoubtedly remembers is the involvement fair. Hundreds of organizations, and thousands of students, crammed onto College Green, each of them trying to find the place they want to get involved. If you’re like me, then you probably signed up for at least 10 clubs, but you only became a member of about half of them.

Fast forward to the end of the year. You’re beginning to realize that you are spreading yourself a little too thin with your involvement and you need to cut back. But where do you even start? I am currently having this experience, and was recently given some advice on how to limit my involvement to three activities, and I’m passing it along to help all my over-involved friends out there.

1. Keep it professional

When it comes to deciding on organizations to keep, the one at the top of the list could be your pre-professional organization. These organizations for all the PR stars out there would be PRSSA, ImPRessions, SPJ, or Ad Club. These are the organizations that focus on your development and are going to arm you with the skills that will make you extremely hirable as you make your way into the work field.

2. Stay true to your values

The next organization that you should be sure to keep is any that advance your values and opinions. It is important to not lose sight of the things you believe in as you make your way through college. These organizations will help you do that. Examples of these organizations include any political parties student organizations, those with affiliation to special interest groups, or ones that have religious connections.

3. Having Fun

These groups are the ones you do for the heck of it. Your involvement in these groups should serve as the place where you forget about classes and go to relieve stress. These could include anything from a group that talks about your nerdy TV obsession, or one that works to give back to the community. Never underestimate the importance of keeping one of those organizations. It could be the one thing that keeps you sane.

Bonus: Once you choose your three organizations, it is then up to you to gauge your involvement in them. It is important to focus on the quality of your involvement as opposed to the quantity. If you devote all your time to one organization, and can only attend one meeting a month in the other two, do that. The people running the organizations will totally understand because we’re all college kids and we’re all in the same boat when it comes to involvement.

How to get the most out of your study abroad experience

By: Elizabeth Harris, @elizharris32

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It’s that time of year again! Many students have made the life-changing decision to study abroad in the destinations of their dreams this summer. By this time last year, I was accepted into Ohio University’s Politics in Paris Program. I had my flight booked, I was researching everything and anything about Paris, and Europe in general. My over-all excitement level was through the roof. Studying abroad was the best decision I ever made in my life, and I would give anything to go back again this summer. Here are some tips for first-time study abroad students to make sure you have the best study abroad experience possible!

1. Embrace every single moment

It may sound cliché, but it really does’t hit you how amazing of an experience you had until you get home and it’s all over. Take several moments “to soak it all in” and realize how lucky you are to be in the country of your dreams.

2. Travel to other cities as much as possibly 

The world has so much to offer; every city is different. Especially if you’re studying in Europe, traveling from city to city can be extremely inexpensive. Utilize student travel opportunities, as well as discount airlines; I found a round-trip flight from Ryanair that went from Paris to Barcelona for only $100. In addition to Barcelona, I also went to Amsterdam and the French countryside. You do not know when you will have the opportunity to be back again; take advantage of as many travel opportunities as possible.

3. Don’t let the metro scare you. 

It may seem intimidating and daunting at first, but the metro really is not that scary. It is an extremely efficient way to travel from place to place. You can easily download several different apps, that don’t require Wi-Fi, that will tell you the exact route to take when going from one destination to another.

4. Become really close with other students in your group 

Your group becomes your family throughout your time abroad. You will spend every day with these people. So, even if they may not be the type of people you would normally hang out with, try to establish friendships, you may be surprised. Your study abroad friends may end up being the best friends you will ever make in your life.

5. Bring a selfie stick. 

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The selfie stick has become an essential travel companion for many travelers. If you use a selfie stick, your pictures will inevitably be amazing snapshots and memories to keep and cherish for a lifetime.

6. Keep an open mind

There are many different serotypes of the various cities throughout the world, which are not necessarily always true. For example, that the French are all rude. I found that most French people are actually extremely kind. Also, keep an open mind when trying new foods, using new modes of transportation, meeting people of different cultures, and much more.

7. Secure your belongings

Pick-pocketers are everywhere, especially in highly populated tourist areas and the metro. Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and keep a hand on your purse at all times.

8. Wander 

Sometimes you will find the best hidden treasures when your are least expecting to. Take the time to simply wander the city you call home during your time abroad. Without setting a destination, see what all the city really has to offer you. (As long as you are wandering in safe areas, of course!)

9. It’s OK to look like a tourist! 

Chances are most other people around you will be tourists as well. Embrace your inner-tourist. Take thousands of pictures, do not be afraid to carry around a map, ask for directions, and overall have fun!

PR Skills Make Everything Easier, Even Sorority Recruitment

By: Corina Rolko, @CRolko

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Working long hours and balancing multiple projects at the same time are just two of the obstacles one will face as a professional in the public relations industry.  In fact, any student who is studying public relations, and staying involved in related organizations on campus, can already attest to that.  Although it can be overwhelming at times, the skills and lessons you learn as a PR student or professional will benefit you outside of a professional or academic setting.

Anyone who has participated in the sorority recruitment process, on either side, knows how overwhelming it can be.  The days are long and the heels on your feet are far from comfortable. However, as a junior studying public relations and advertising at Ohio University, the professional skills I gained have enhanced my life on a daily basis, but especially during sorority recruitment season.

Here are just a few examples of PR lessons or skills I’ve learned, which have gotten me through two years of formal recruitment with a smile on my face.

Time and task management skills.  At Ohio University, formal recruitment takes place within six short days. During these six days, recruitment starts early in the day and ends late. As a result of learning how to balance multiple clients and prioritize different tasks, I have learned to prepared to stay on top of school work, and still manage to get a good night’s rest during recruitment.

Communication skills.  Communication skills are necessary to be successful in most professions, but it’s central in the public relations industry.  PR professionals are constantly communicating with clients and their colleagues.  Therefore, holding a comfortable conversation with a stranger during recruitment is a simple task.

Working with others.  Cooperativeness is a personality trait found within many PR experts because in this profession you are typically expected to work both individually and on a team.  When striving to do the best work, or recruit the best new members, both require the ability to work with others toward a common goal.

Living a fast paced life style.  As a public relations student or professional, one has many responsibilities each day. In addition, you are expected to be able to stay on top of a workload that is constantly changing.  As a result, PR professionals live a go, go, go lifestyle, which makes the fast-paced, chaotic days of sorority recruitment a little easier to handle.

The Advantages of Being a College Student

By: Morgan Borer, @MorganBorer

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Last semester, I took World History Since 1750, to fulfill my history requirement. There were mostly freshman, but sprinkled in there was a handful of sophomores and juniors. Somewhere between discussion of the Cold War and the spread of anti-colonial movements, my professor said something that has been etched in my mind ever since. While vehemently urging us to attend an extra credit presentation in Baker Theater, he said “Never again in your life will you have access to this many free resources. After college, you have to pay for everything. Take advantages of these opportunities while you can.”

While I may not recall the details of Jospeh Stalin’s reign, I definitely remember this. As a stereotypical Scripps student, I enjoy being overloaded with classes and student organizations. In the midst of these things, it is easy to forget about the wealth of on-campus resources that OU provides, specifically resources for Communications and PR students.  It is crucial, however, to make time and take advantage of them. After all, most of us only have four (maybe five) years to do so. These opportunities won’t last forever.

The Career and Leadership Development Center

The Ohio University Career and Leadership Development Center provides students with resources in several areas. These include choosing a major, exploring career options, and applying for graduate school. They help students develop leadership skills and work to accomplish career goals. During my first appointment, a faculty member reviewed my resume, LinkedIn profile, and gave me advice about searching for summer internships. The CLDC is open for 10 minute drop-ins Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., or 30 minute coaching appointments, which can be scheduled by calling 740-593-2909. They are located on the 5th floor of Baker Center. To learn more, visit their website at http://www.ohio.edu/careerandleadership/

Mock Interviews

The CLDC also offers a Mock Interview Program, which helps students prepare for employer or graduate interviews. These 30 minute mock interview sessions are conducted face to face, over the phone or via Skype. I have never done a mock interview, so I decided to register for a date in February. The CLDC is holding sessions on Thursday, Feb 12 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Baker Center 507. To register, you must activate your Bobcat CareerLink account at https://ohio-csm.symplicity.com/students/

BobCat Careerlink

In the past few months, this has become my go-to resource for everything job and internship related. Bobcat Careerlink provides current OU students and alumni with job and internship postings from a wide variety of fields. It allows users to post resumes, cover letters, transcripts and other documents online for employers to view.  All OU students are automatically registered for Bobcat CareerLink. Since I have started using this website, I’ve found several postings for summer internships in PR/Marketing/Communications. I’ve also registered for on-campus interviews and the Spring Career and Internship Fair, held on February 17-18 in Baker University Ballroom. To access Bobcat Careerlink, go to http://bit.ly/11bUtvD

Scripps PRSSA

Finally, there is arguably no better resource for aspiring public relations professionals than our very own website, scrippsprssa.org. The “Chapter Events” sidebar includes all upcoming events, conferences, meetings, etc. within the chapter. I refer to this weekly to ensure that I am informed and updated with all things PRSSA.

I whole-heartedly encourage you to take advantage of these free campus resources and search for more!

Introducing the Administration: Senior Director Kerry Tuttle

Have you ever wondered, “Who are these people that send me emails from the OUImPRession’s Gmail?” Well, here’s a chance for you to get to know those names, and not just what their position is in the firm! Kerry Tuttle is the first of the administration to offer herself as tribute. See what she is all about, you may realize you both never left seventh grade (in your music taste).

Kerry

1. Where are you from? 
I’m from Macedonia, a suburb 25 minutes south of Cleveland. I went to Nordonia High School and graduated in 2011​.
 
2. Why did you choose Ohio University?
I made the mistake of visiting Ohio University first and no other college even came close after that. I actually committed to a school to play volleyball, but my heart was always set on Ohio University so I retracted my commitment at the last minute and came to Athens. Best decision I’ve ever made.
 
3. How did you end up at ImPRessions?
I joined ImPRessions the winter quarter of my freshman year after realizing getting involved with major-related activities would probably be a good idea. I honestly can’t remember how I learned about it, but I do know that I had so much fun starting out on the Scripps account. It’s been my favorite student organization all four years.
 
4. What are your guilty pleasures?
If you put a bag of chips and a jar of salsa in front of me, both of them would be gone in less than ten minutes. I also have a deep love for early 2000’s rap and hip hop, so I am queen of all the middle school throwbacks. I’ve basically been listening to the same music since seventh grade.
 
5. Where do you hope to be in five years?
In five years, I hope to be in Chicago doing meaningful work at a company I love (and that pays for my MBA). I hope that I’m able to travel frequently, laugh often and pay all my bills on time.
Be on the lookout to learn more about the other administration members! 

A Graduating Senior’s Advice to New ImPRessions Members

By: Kerry Tuttle, @kerrtut

2011-2012 E.W. Scripps School of Journalism ImPRessions Account
2011-2012 E.W. Scripps School of Journalism ImPRessions Account.

The fact that I’m even writing this post is insane to me. I joined ImPRessions at the beginning of winter quarter (RIP quarter system) my freshman year. That was three years ago. Now I’m sharing what I’ve learned since then, and why joining ImPRessions is one of the smartest choices you can make for your future career.

Our 13 clients span various industries, and we are one of the largest firms nationally. Although we are student-run, our leadership is some of the best of any organization on campus. From the administration to our associates, and everyone in between, we are made up of smart, hard-working, outgoing students who will be a driving force in the industry someday. ImPRessions gives members the tools to excel fast in this field at a young age. Here’s how to get the most out of your experience, both professionally and personally:

Look at this as a learning opportunity. Who cares if you’ve never written a blog post before or have no event planning experience? This is the chance to learn in an environment where it’s OK for you to have no idea what a press release is. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Try out different industries. I have worked with higher education, political and non-profit clients during my time in ImPRessions. The experiences with each account were vastly different and I had to navigate unfamiliar territory with every new client. This only benefitted me and gave me a lot to talk about during internship interviews. You may discover a new passion. Maybe food PR is your thing, even though you’ve been dead set on fashion. You never know until you try.

Network. Do you see those ten students sitting in your account meeting with you? Someday they’ll be working in the PR field so get to know them now! Form relationships with your account executives and your fellow account associates. Don’t be intimidated by members who are older and seem more experienced than you. Ask them to coffee now. It could pay off later in a big way.

Spend time outside of your account meeting. A slightly different point than above, ImPRessions is a great place to form personal relationships as well. Some of my closest friendships at Ohio University have resulted from my involvement in ImPRessions.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Our firm attracts some of the best and brightest Ohio University has to offer. Our members’ resumes and life experiences are completely different from one another. It’s easy to look at your AE’s LinkedIn and think, “Wow, I’ve had no PR experience compared to her/him. Cue panic attack.” Trust me, I’ve been there. As long as you work hard and are open to learning, great things will happen for you. The good thing about ImPRessions is that you don’t need to have had three internships to have your voice heard and your opinion respected.

I’m depressed that I only have 15 weeks left with my favorite organization, but the future of ImPRessions is so bright and I look forward to seeing the firm continue to evolve.

Social Media Trends: Ohio University

By: Morgan Peterson @mopeeeezy

Social media is a major aspect in everyone’s lifestyle nowadays, but for the average college student it seems like social media activity is on overdrive. From heavy observation, I noticed that during Spring Semester there were a few social media trends that appeared at Ohio University! Here are some that I noticed:

Let’s Take A Selfie

When Instagram came onto to the scene in 2010 taking “selfies” wasn’t exactly a craze. Now in 2014, it’s all anyone does. From Ellen Degeneres taking the infamous giant selfie at the Oscars, to the song by The Chainsmokers “#Selfie”, this craze has gone viral and in turn has taken over Ohio University’s campus. You can see selfies being infused everywhere. The big trend was heavily used during the Student Senate elections between the ACTION and One tickets. Both of these parties used the selfie campaign strategy by having voters take selfies to show support for the respective party. And thanks to Snapchat, you can catch people taking selfies everywhere! People don’t have any shame either! Have you ever caught someone taking a Snapchat selfie in class? Thought so!

Party, Party, Party Lets All Be Festive!

Oh fest season, how us Bobcats love thee! The infamous fest season starts mid March and ends towards the end of April. What’s better than fest season? Capturing the awesomeness that is fest season on camera. Ohio University has been known as a party school for years and now with all this new technology, people have begun to make epic YouTube videos of the fests.

Aside from the fest season YouTube videos, there are also the flood of instagram pictures that appear on your timeline the day of a fest. People like to document their entire “fest process.” If you’re like me (often stuck in the library), you’ll feel like you were at the fest just by looking at everyone’s photos (or feel left out).  Either way there’s no missing fest season even if you have to live vicariously through your friends.

Home is Where the Bobcats Live 

The Ohio University campus is probably one of the prettiest college campuses I’ve ever been to, and I’m not the only one who seems to think so. Walking through college green, you can’t help but want to capture the beautiful array of trees, the buildings, and of course Court Street in all of its glory. The city of Athens even has its own Instagram page (@athensohio) where they artistically capture all the beauty that is Athens.  What’s wrong with sharing with the world how much you love your campus? Nothing! 

Throwback is the New Black

tbt#TBT also known as Throwback Thursday is another social media trend. People love being nostalgic and reminiscing about old times whether it was 10 years ago or 10 days ago, people love looking back. We love the past so much that UPC even threw an event called TBT with UPC (which was a major success might I add). Whoever created #TBT probably never realized how big this “instagram holiday” would get – but now it’s a major phenomenon that is sweeping the nation and the Ohio University campus. 

#LetsTweetAboutIt

I don’t know if this is unique to Ohio Univeristy, but we have a LARGE amount of twitter accounts. Some people might not understand why, but I personally love it. I feel like if I ever have a problem I can just tweet Jenny Hall Jones or VP Lombardi and they will get back to me! With them having twitter it makes me feel like I can reach someone important in no time, and they often respond back! Twitter is used everywhere at OU. You can find out what’s going on in your campus organization, who the basketball team is playing, and if someone is secretly crushing on you all on your timeline. It’s awesome and I hope that never changes!

After long observation Ohio University is definitely on the cutting edge of social media trends, but what do you expect? We’re Bobcats!