Do as I say, not as I do – senior advice on my freshman mistakes

By: Logan Trautman, @logantrautman


It could be the fact that the final semester of my final year at OHIO is quickly coming to a close, but recently I’ve been reflecting back on the last four years. As I try to plan my post-grad life, when I’m not hyperventilating, I catch myself thinking what I would have done differently in the years leading up to these final months to better prepare myself for what lies ahead.

Internships are not for upperclassmen only

I have held three internships since being in college; all three took place within my junior and senior years. It is easy to think that you have endless time at OU, but please, go explore the world of internships early. You probably won’t get the internship of your dreams as a sophomore, but gain the experience now that will help you secure that dream internship as a senior. Plus, why wouldn’t you rather do a fun, worthwhile internship, rather than a summer job passing out free samples at Costco? I’m not sure either, ask my underclassman self.

Seniors are not scary

As a freshman, I was terrified of seniors. Who wouldn’t be? They looked like they were ten years older than me, they beamed professionalism, and they could drink… legally. As a senior, I love freshmen. In fact, the freshmen on my ImPRessions team are a few of my favorite people in Athens. As a freshman, you are encouraged to network, but approaching someone who is soon to graduate while you still have the “greatest four years” ahead of you is intimidating and easily avoided. As a senior, I welcome any underclassman that allows me to ramble about college. A bobcat is a bobcat, regardless of class rank.

Do not underestimate the power of a good schedule

Every semester, we all face the same slightly irritating routine of scheduling classes. As much as you want to take classes with newly made friends, in buildings that are only a five-minute walk, choose wisely. The hard truth is that some professors are better suited for you than others, and some courses will teach you more than you expected. Do your research, talk to upperclassmen, and take classes that will benefit your learning experience. I know taking a course in scuba diving is tempting, but think about your future!

There are clubs that exists outside the Scripps world

The world of Scripps is fascinating. It presents you with such a diverse group of people and opportunities. You know what other world is fascinating? The business world, or fine arts, or even the engineering world! It’s easy to get caught in the Scripps bubble, but explore! Join organizations comprised of people in all different majors. After all, in PR, it’s your job to know EVERYONE!

Summer Reflection Series: Morgan Brenner

PR Lessons while Waitressing

By: Morgan Brenner @morganbren

After getting through my first year as a full time college student, I decided to hold off on the stress of searching for an internship and find a job for the summer. I ended up being hired at a family owned restaurant as a server. At first it seemed like a total opposite experience from anything I could be learning about public relations in an internship. However, by the end of the summer I had more confidence in the field I was going into than ever.

Into the first few weeks of my new waitressing gig I realized how much I underestimated how difficult the job would actually be. Just when I had finished finals, I realized how much I would need to memorize to be able to do this job. The restaurant required every server to memorize and understand over 50 appetizers and entrees, as well as an extensive drink menu. Not only that, but I had to remember when my customers ordered their food and drinks so I could deliver them in a timely fashion.

It was overwhelming how much attention to detail mattered in the restaurant business – a lesson I believe can cross over into any career I may have in the future. Most people, whether it’s ordering food or planning an event, don’t think about every little detail. But if someone ordered a salad and didn’t tell me what dressing they wanted, they’d blame me for not asking.

Serving is one of the unique jobs where how well you do your job directly effects how much you get paid. There was a lot of times where I would be overwhelmed with the amount of tables I had, but I would still refuse to give my tables to other more experienced waitresses because I didn’t want to loose out on the cash. I ended up doing a bad job with more tables, and making less money, than if I had taken fewer tables and focused on making them happy. Taking on more than you know you can handle is a big no no. Everyone has a limit, and it’s important to know what that is.

One thing that stood out to me about some of the staff that differed from what I did, was a lot of people just told the customer what they wanted to hear. If I didn’t like something on the menu I would tell them (if my boss wasn’t near me), and customers really respected me for that. Of course you want to make money for whomever you’re working for, but you may lose a customer if you’re not honest with them. It’s all part of respecting people you’re working with even if they may not be your favorite person.

Despite there being many lessons that translated over to the PR world in waiting on tables, the biggest thing I learned this summer was that serving people food was not what I wanted to do for my whole entire life. I have a lot of respect for the people I worked with that do that for a living, and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have. So next time you’re at a restaurant, don’t forget to tip! (Seriously though, that’s just rude.)

Summer Reflection Series: Lindsey Zimmerman

The Tale of Two Internships

By: Lindsey Zimmerman @lindseyzim716


This summer, I had the unique experience of working not just one, but two communications internships. I worked full-time as a corporate communications intern at Battelle, a research and development company in my hometown of Columbus, and I also had a virtual social media internship with a site called College Tourist. Although managing two internships was not without its challenges, I learned so much about two very different industries and about communications as a whole throughout the summer.

I’ll admit that I was a little bit hesitant going into my internship at Battelle, which is known for its science and technology work, because I really don’t know much about science/tech at all. Without a doubt, the most important thing I learned throughout my time there was to ask questions. The first few times I was asked to interview one of our scientists or engineers about the various projects they were working on, I felt annoying asking them to clarify some of the technical jargon they were using because I had no idea what they were talking about. Although after a while I realized that most of them were aware of the fact that people outside their area of expertise might need more clarification, and they were happy to provide it.

One of my favorite things about my position at College Tourist was the fact that I was able to read all of the interesting articles on the site before posting them to social media. However, I quickly realized that some articles were more social media-friendly than others. In some situations, I wasn’t sure how to create engagement, which forced me to get creative. Sometimes that would involve tagging a business or restaurant that was mentioned in the article, or asking followers a question when I posted the link and encouraging them to respond.

With both internships, time management was a crucial skill. Even with only one position, knowing how to manage your time is extremely important. Procrastination is always tempting, especially when you have a computer and the internet at your disposal, but getting things done as soon as possible will save you a lot of time and frustration at the end of the day.

Now that fall semester is in full swing, it’s starting to hit me that all of this will be over soon. I’m graduating a year early this May, so these next few months are going to be extremely bittersweet. During the fall, I want to stick to a schedule that will allow me to get things done without being overwhelmed, help my ImPRessions account to accomplish all of our goals, and do something every day that will get me closer to where I want to be after graduation.

Is Having Two Part-Time Internships Good or Bad?

By: Elaine Carey @snakesona_laine

multitaskingAs far as dilemmas go, having two part-time internships to choose between is not too shabby. In fact, congrats! Whether one or both are virtual, or they’re both part-time and in the same city, you might not have to choose just one.

It’s not an uncommon scenario: You applied to plenty of internships, you went to a bunch of interviews and you worked your butt off! And great news – two of your top choices want you to work for them. Not readily willing to sacrifice one of those opportunities? Maybe you can do both, but there’s a lot to consider before you commit.

  • What else will you have on your plate? If you have to worry about a part-time job or classes in addition to the two internships, be absolutely certain that you can handle a hectic schedule.
  • Make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin. If you won’t be able to do an outstanding job at both internships at the same time, pick one.
  • Take a look at past experience. Remember that one semester when you worked 2 jobs, took 6 classes, kept up with your blog and still had time for friends? Yeah, you can handle two internships. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who prefers a slower pace and gets stressed easily, there’s no shame in that. You know yourself better than anyone else. Make a decision based on that.
  • What kind of internships are they? Resume building is great, but is working two social media internships at the same time really beneficial? Not only would doing the same thing at both gigs get tedious, it wouldn’t give you a glimpse into other aspects of your future career. However, a virtual blogging internship that requires 10 or so hours of at-home work paired with an experiential marketing internship that requires travelling might work out perfectly!

There is no clear-cut solution to the age-old “two internship” problem. The answer lies within! Don’t drive yourself crazy, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself either. Good luck!

Tips to Working Remotely


More people now see working remotely as a positive and rewarding way to complete work. A typical misconception is that employees will goof off without supervision. However, in my experiences I have found that working remotely increases productivity because it eliminates office distractions.

During the past two years, I had the opportunity to work for my father’s company, Yerecic Label, remotely from Athens. In this time, I have made many mistakes and learned how to work at my full potential remotely. Here are my six tips to being a great remote worker

  1.  Make sure you are passionate about your job. The key to being successful working remotely is to be self-motivated. If you aren’t passionate about your job and the work you are doing, it is a lot easier to shirk responsibility and goof off.
  2. Set and keep your hours. My first year working for Yerecic Label, I tried to fit my work in around my classes, clubs and other activities. Bad move. Most of the time I ended up doing my work when almost everyone was out of the office. This year, I have carved out set hours that I am working during key work hours. My co-workers know the best times to reach me and I am much more efficient.
  3. Minimize the amount of emails you send for approval and submissions. Managers get dozens and sometimes hundreds of emails each day making it tough to get a quick response or feedback. Combining your submissions or work will make your supervisors’ life easier and it will also help you get quick complete responses. Find your happy place to get work done. Find a place without distractions where you work best. Whether that’s a local coffee shop, library or your kitchen table, work in a place that is going to help you focus and avoid tempting distractions.
  4. Use technology for easy collaboration. There are so many great tools to utilize when working remotely to help group work. Some of my favorites include Google Docs, GoToMeeting, and Skype. Whatever tools you use, try to incorporate video since you can get more discussed in a 5 minute conversation than 20 emails.
  5. If you can, show your face in the office as much as possible. It is easy for your supervisor and co-workers to forget to include you in a relevant project or new company happenings when you aren’t in the office daily. No matter how responsive and connected you are remotely, you can’t replace face-to-face interaction. Some of the best insight and ideas come from simple conversations, so make it a point to get into the office to spark your creativity and connect with your employer!


Remote work is growing in almost every industry. Working remotely has significant benefits such as a decreased commute time and increased flexibility. Implementing good work practices can help you to the path to success. What tips do you have in your experience from working remotely?

Kristin Yerecic is a senior studying strategic communications and minors in business and economics. You can follow her on Twitter at @yerecick

3 Ways to Deal With Long Work Hours

I’ve always been “weird” about time. Despite my implied lack of math skills as a lover of journalism and art, I still wake up during the night and am able to quickly calculate how much time I have left to sleep. I spend time worrying about the time I’ve spent on assignments or whether I’m prioritizing tasks correctly. When traveling, I rush to leave exactly on the hour, packing my belongings hastily and then rarely making any stops in order to get to my destination at exactly the time that Google Maps calculated.Google

Luckily, last summer’s internship with the Ohio State Fair helped me stress less about time and learn the importance of “being present.” Here are three tips my experience left me with:

1. Don’t stress about what you can’t control. Some days you’ll work longer than you expected. Last summer on several occasions, I had to work 16-hour shifts. One day I had to get up at 2:50 a.m. to coordinate a live traffic broadcast.

I never bothered to try and calculate my missed hours of sleep – it wasn’t worth it! I quickly realized that stressing about my hours wouldn’t improve them. Working overtime isn’t always fun, but it doesn’t kill you. Additionally, when you show up to work optimistic and ready to help, your attitude rubs off on others. Why make everyone miserable? Leave your negativity and stress at the door. Your coworkers will thank you.

2. Leave work at work. Leaving your work at work can be tricky and involves some consideration. Is it worth calling your media partner at 10 p.m. when you know they’re out of the office? Should you send out your press release at an ungodly morning hour?

Write yourself a sticky … or one hundred. (Photo: Flickr – elitatt)
Write yourself a sticky … or one hundred. (Photo: Flickr – elitatt)

If your task isn’t something that absolutely needs to be done by the end of the day, leave it! Write a reminder to finish what you were working on in the morning. Save a draft of the email you were working on and send it when you’re coherent enough to proofread it, and at a time when you know the person who’s on the receiving end will actually read it.

3. Take care of yourself. At school, I’m surrounded by amazing peers who do work that exceeds anything others our age should be capable of. With packed schedules, they find ways to function in an unyielding state of busy and stressed.

I cannot stress (pun intended?) how important it is to take care of yourself! As mentioned previously, losing sleep is an inevitable part of having a full-time job. But a busy lifestyle can’t be a continual excuse to treat your body like a garbage disposal. Similarly, constantly forgetting to eat regular meals, refusing help or foregoing needed rest in order to complete a work related project will never make you a hero.

Discuss your workload with your supervisors, know your expectations and utilize your coworkers. At my internship, my fellow coworkers and I would cover each others shifts to make sure we were taking care of ourselves properly. While our teammates were out working with media crews on grounds, we’d even deliver sunscreen, snacks and water bottles to them via golf cart.

All of these points are far easier said than done, but it’s still important to remember to step back from your work and breathe. Next time you’re in a time crunch, do yourself a favor by not letting your doubts and worries control your life.

-Marissa McDaid is a senior studying strategic communication with specializations in sociology and English. Follow her at @mlmcdaid.

3 Ways to Survive Freshman Year

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.