Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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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.

Benefits of Joining Both ImPRessions & PRSSA

November 5, 2013 8 Comments

ScrippsIn college one of the greatest ways to gain professional experience and expand your knowledge of your major outside the classroom is by getting involved. Luckily for us Scripps Kids, the journalism school has some top-notch extracurricular activities that students can be a part of. PRSSA and ImPRessions are two of these amazing organizations.

Both yield so many amazing benefits; I could go on forever about why I love each of these organizations. However, when you join both PRSSA and ImPRessions instead of just one or the other, it can be extremely beneficial in the short and long run.

1. You learn skills, and then in return experience how to apply them. PRSSA is a great organization to join if you’re interested in exposure to the many kinds of PR. You get to hear from a wide variety of speakers who are experienced in their jobs and enthusiastic about their day-to-day work. You learn what it’s really like in the world of PR and what’s important to take away from your time here at Scripps.

However, just learning about what you need to know isn’t enough. You need to have hands-on experiences with these skills to really become a master at them. This is why joining ImPRessions in addition to PRSSA is so helpful. You get to perform real tasks for real clients, which the PRSSA speakers elaborate on during presentations.

2. You make more personal connections with members. Because PRSSA meetings are only an hour long, with much of the time being taken up by announcements and speakers, there just isn’t time to connect with fellow members during the meetings. Of course you eventually begin to recognize familiar faces, but without exchanging of names and conversation, it’s hard to bond in that time frame every Monday night.

When you join ImPRessions in addition to PRSSA, you get the opportunity to meet for an hour with a more personal group of people. This allows for a better chance at having casual conversations and making friendships with fellow members. You get to become more familiar with some of the people you see every Monday night at the PRSSA meetings, which no doubt encourages positive relationships between the members of our PRSSA chapter.

3. You have a greater opportunity to hold a leadership position. Running for the executive board in PRSSA is a great way to get more involved and gain potential experience with having a leadership position. However, with only nine available positions, this makes elections quite competitive. With the new revamp of ImPRessions, new director positions have been added, giving members a chance to hold a higher position.

In ImPRessions you can also become an account supervisor or an account executive, which are also both great ways to gain leadership experience and learn how to manage groups of people. By joining both organizations, you have a better chance of being able to hold a leadership position, which in return looks amazing to potential employers.

4. They complement each other on a resume. Being able to put that you’re a member of PRSSA looks great on a resume – it’s even better when you say that you’re a dues paying member. Paying dues may seem like an expensive investment, but the rewards of doing it really are worth it. It comes with benefits that can help improve your skills and facilitate your entry into the wonderful professional world of PR. When you pay dues you also are exempt from paying ImPRessions dues, pretty much making ImPRessions membership an additional bonus to PRSSA. So why not join both?

Both of these organizations provide their members with experience that can be used in college and on after in a professional job setting. You get to learn things that will be used in the future, while making positive relationships and connections in the process.

-Mira Kuhar is a sophomore studying strategic communication with a business minor and English specialization. Follow her at @MiraKuhar.

Gearing Up to Revamp That Resume

August 27, 2013 4 Comments

ResumeThe beginning of the school year is the perfect time to update your resume. Many of us just wrapped up our last days at respective jobs and internships and will be starting new positions for the school year. Equipped with an additional few months of experience, the rub with this is deciding what to eliminate from your current resume.

Follow these tips to make sure your resume is in prime shape for the year:

1. Sell Yourself A brief description of you, your passions and objectives is always a great touch. Think of a few adjectives that best define you and use that sum up who you before you go into what you have done.

2. Put Your Best Foot Forward FIRST Your most proud or impressing achievements should go at the top of your resume. This will change over time but you always want potential employers to see your best work right away. Your resume gets you the interview, not the job. Start it off with your crown jewel.

3. Less is More When it comes to the length of your resume, less is more and one page will always suffice. Keeping the summaries brief will also make it so that your proudest and most recent accomplishments are highlighted. You don’t want your resume to be junky! You can always elaborate and give more detail once you are in the interviewing process.

4. Make it Job Specific Because you only have a page to summarize your education and experience, it is important to tailor your resume to the job that you apply for. You don’t have to list everything you have ever done. Think about the position you are applying for and list what it most relevant to that position when you find yourself having to choose what to post.

5. Design Matters Make good use of your white space. Your resume should have a clean flow and be easy to read. Paragraphs are a no-no. Use bullet points and only say what is necessary.

6. Make the Most of What you Have As a college student it is more or less expected that you have had no “real work experience.” Summer jobs, volunteer work and extracurricular activities are hard work and respectable commitments.  Be sure to include these as well as executive positions held and or any special recognition that you receive.

7. Show Your Personality Adding a splash of color can make your resume stand out, just don’t over do it!

-Malindi Robinson is currently undecided but will be applying to the Scripps strategic communications program this fall as a sophomore. Follow her at @fillemalindi.

5 Challenges of Switching a Major into the Journalism School

August 21, 2013

ScrippsSwitching your major in college is one thing, but switching into the prestigious E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is another story.  Personally, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in coming into college, so I scanned through the majors offered at Ohio University as I was applying.  By the time I got my acceptance letter, I had forgotten what I even chose to major in.  As I’m going into my sophomore year, I’m about to apply to the J-School for spring semester.

I imagine many other students are in the same boat, and probably facing the same challenges as I am. Make sure to keep the following in mind before applying for the school.

1) Recommendation Letters One of the main challenges I’m facing with this process is finding people who can write recommendation letters about my journalistic abilities. Since I did just realize this year that I love writing, I only took two journalism classes.  One of which was a huge lecture hall, so there’s no way my professor would even know my name, let alone write me a letter recommending me. This upcoming semester, I’m taking two more journalism classes, so I’ll be looking to build a relationship with my professors in hope that they will be able to write me a recommendation letter.

2) Examples of journalism work Having just realized that I want to be a journalism major this past year, it’s been challenging to get professional samples of work to be able to submit with my application.  However, I did talk to a professor in Scripps, who suggested I join ImPRessions and PRSSA.  From there, I have learned so much already, and he also suggested that I join as many clubs that I can.

3) The Pressure I thought getting into college my freshman year was stressful, but now that I’m already enrolled at Ohio University, there’s so much pressure to get into the major I want because if I don’t, I might not graduate on time.  If denied acceptance into the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, it is required to wait a whole year to reapply.

4) Resume building Not having much experience in anything related to journalism makes it hard to have a perfect resume that makes you look like you know what you’re doing with your life.  Using InDesign to create your resume at least gives it a professional look.   Also, asking professors and other J-School students to critique your resume will help make it get that much closer to perfection.

5) Getting help It’s challenging having to ask for help because you don’t know what you’re doing.  Transferring your major to journalism is a difficult process, but asking for help is the only way you’ll make it.  Email professors, go talk to an adviser, anything helps to get you going in the right direction.

Applying for the J-School is a challenging process, but it will be worth it in the end.  I’m looking forward to saying that I’m officially part of the J-School.  I have met many wonderful people as I’m applying this upcoming semester.

-Meredith Broadwater is a sophomore studying media arts and studies but will be applying to the journalism school in the fall. Follow her at @Meredithbroad.

 

 

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