Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Fall Internships are Coming! Did you Apply?

August 20, 2014

By: Austin Ambrose @tex_ambrose7

TypingFinding an internship is a big stress that many college students face in their academic career. The importance of having experience in the field a student is studying has risen. Many majors have made completing an internship prior to graduation a requirement.

Deciding when to start looking for an internship can be confusing. Students may think that there is a designated window in which internships are applied for. The simple answer of when to start looking: anytime.

Internship applications can be found year round, depending on when a student wants to participate in an internship. There are chances to complete an internship during a semester (spring or fall), the summer and even during winter breaks. There are always internship applications available, so it is never too early to start looking.

After a student decides when s/he wants to do an internship, the next step is to start looking and see what’s out there. Earlier is almost always better. As soon as a student is set on a time, go to resources that can help find internships available during that time frame. Good resources are academic department buildings, career and leadership services, and even professors of the university.

The typical period for when students try for internships is during their summer breaks. A good time to begin looking into these internships is in the middle of September. The most competitive internships have early deadlines for applications, some being in the middle of October.

According to internships.com, the bulk of internship applications are filled out between the end of February and beginning of April, and it is recommended that most of the application is ready before heading off for spring breaks. This will ensure that you are giving yourself time to complete all components of the application process.

If you want to find an internship at a specific company or organization, it is best to look at their websites to look for deadlines. These are also great places to identify what types of internships are offered through this organization or company.

Finding an internship is no easy task. The best thing that you can do as a student is to plan ahead, and be active in your searches. Starting to look as soon as possible will increase the number of internships a student will find, and can even raise the chance of receiving the internship wanted.

Interning Abroad: The Brand of Milk and Honey

July 24, 2014 2 Comments

By: Allison Rumsas @allisonrumsas

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I have spent the last five weeks of my summer in Israel interning at a PR and branding firm, BOMAH- The Brand of Milk and Honey, in Jerusalem. In Israel, internships aren’t very common and after meeting with my boss the first day, I quickly realized that my internship would be much different than the previous internship I had in Chicago.

I work directly with the Founder and Assistant Director of the firm and am given a huge amount of freedom and responsibility with the work that I do. I created my own title and job description the first day and rarely have to get approval before posting content on their social media accounts, sending pitch letters, or creating proposals and campaign ideas.

To say the least, this was a bit of a culture shock at the beginning.

Now that I’m close to finishing my fifth week interning, I can appreciate the benefits that come with interning in a foreign country and how much I have grown professionally from doing so. In my opinion, here are the three major benefits of interning abroad:

Disclaimer: There are many, many more benefits that can come from interning abroad, just ask anyone that’s traveled or worked in a foreign country, but for the sake of not making this post 12 pages long, I picked the three big ones!

IMMERSING YOURSELF IN THE CULTURE- When traveling to a foreign country it’s easy to feel like a tourist no matter how hard you try to hide it. When interning and working in a foreign country you learn much more than you would when just visiting different sites or meeting people at restaurants. You learn about the society’s working culture, the daily life of citizens, and what it’s actually like to live in that country – not just the planned routes for tourists to see.

RESUME BUILDER- We’d all be lying if we didn’t say that an important part of receiving an internship is being able to put it on your resume. An internship abroad not only allows you to add a location outside of the U.S. to your resume, but it also allows you to add numerous different skills that aren’t limited to your professional experience. Having to communicate with coworkers whose first language may not be English and learning the norms of your dream job in a city outside of the U.S. not only adds to your professional experience, but showcases your character as well.

KNOWLEDGE AND GROWTH- As I previously said, internships aren’t common in Israel, and I’m sure they aren’t as common in most of the world as they are in the U.S. Because of this I’ve learned more than I could have possibly imagined. I’ve learned how to use a storytelling strategy on social media, lead workshops, and pitch articles and campaigns to various clients. However, I’ve also learned more practical skills. I can effectively communicate my ideas and suggestions to non-native English speakers, stand up for the ideas that I truly believe in, and gain new perspectives from my co-workers that come from a completely different background.

As I said in my disclaimer, I could go on for days about the benefits of interning abroad. The knowledge, growth and experience you gain from just being abroad in general is multiplied when receiving an internship and immersing yourself fully in a different culture. If given the opportunity, accepting an internship abroad is a must!

 

 

Increasing Facebook Engagement one Step at a Time

July 22, 2014

By: Annie Beard @annie_beard

Before starting my internship this summer, I thought I knew pretty much everything I needed to know about social media, including Facebook, but I was wrong. Throughout the past two months, I have learned a lot about this social channel and what works for increasing engagement.

  1. Pay to play. Facebook’s organic reach has declined. Less and less people are seeing posts that you work hard to create, which means less people are engaging. Unfortunately, if you want to increase engagement, you will have to pay to boost your posts. Personally, I don’t think boosting every post is necessary, just the important posts. For example, if your company gets publicity and you share it on your Facebook page that is a post I would boost. If your company is hosting a webinar or added a new blog post to its page – those are posts I would write and boost.
  2. Use images. Images will catch your audience’s eye, and people are more likely to share a post with a fun photo. Posts with photos get 39 percent more interaction, according to NerdGraph. If you can post behind the scenes photos of your company’s employees, location or events, this is a great way to get people engaged and give them the inside scoop on your company, giving your brand a personality.
  3. Ask for engagement. If you want someone to share or like a post, ask for it. Many times, if you include a simple call to action in your status, it is likely that people will play along, doing what you asked for. If you get engagement, make sure you are always engaging back! This is important. People engage with you because they want a two-way experience, not one-way.
  4. Check your insights. Facebook insights can be very helpful when you are deciding when or what to post. Check to see what time the largest amount of your fans is online and then schedule post for that time. This will help to increase your organic reach so more people see your post. Also check insights on what the most popular types of posts have been in the past. This will help you decide if you should post a link, a text-only status, a photo, video, etc.

These are four steps that I have found helpful in getting more engagement on Facebook. I hope you found them helpful, too!

Check out this infographic for more tips on increasing Facebook engagement!

FB

How to Make a Media List Without Cision

July 14, 2014

By: Marisa Fiore @MarisaFiore1

So you have already made a media list that identifies the campaign’s objective and the audience you want to reach. What’s next? Here are three ways to enhance your media list without using Cision.

  1. Research beginning with the end. What do you want your end goal to be? Decide what the steps you need to take to meet your goal. Once you have figured out where/how you want the message shared, go after the outlets that will get you to that exact goal.
  1. Use social media. Most journalists have Twitter accounts these days, and they usually have Twitter lists of their colleagues. Just do some digging to find new reporters. Once you have found new reporters, Google them and read their stories. Don’t forget to research reporters that have covered your beat in the past too!
  1. Collect the right information and refine. Make sure you are getting the correct contact information. Don’t forget to include how the journalist prefers to be contacted whether it is by phone or by email. What materials do they usually need (photos/videos)? When is the best time to connect with them? What is the best story angle for your pitch? Make sure you only have one reporter for each type of publication, to ensure you don’t have any duplicates.
  1. Quality over quantity. It is more effective to have a small list of folks you have a relationship with vs. a large list of people you randomly send information to. Build up a relationship before you actually need them.
  1. Consider new media groups. Sometimes when we think of our audience, we think of just one kind of person. However, sometimes our audience includes a whole new group of people. For example, I did a project on coffee addicts and my research showed that there was a growing number of Hispanics that were drinking more than two cups of coffee today. It is important to be aware of these trends so that you can tap into different ethnic and local media groups.

No matter which way you decide to go, make sure you have done your homework. Research is the most important part of any successful campaign. As Albert Einstein said, “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” If we already had the perfect media list we wouldn’t be building and enhancing one! Remember nothing is ever perfect and there is always room for improvement!

 

Making Time to Blog: Quality > Quantity

June 30, 2014 1 Comment

By: Kerry Tuttle @kerrtut

As PR majors, we’re writers and storytellers and lovers of personal branding.  However, making time to blog can be tough, especially because we already spend so much time writing for our classes, internships and student organizations.

Having a blog is not a requirement for getting a job or being a PR major. If you can’t see yourself regularly contributing content, just create a personal website that serves as a landing page for your online presence. Blogging should be something that’s enjoyable for you. It shouldn’t be a burden or feel like it’s another assignment you have to turn in.

That being said, here’s my advice for making time to blog:

  1. Blogging because you’re inspired to write something, is better than blogging because you haven’t gotten a post in for a while. I don’t keep myself on a set schedule. The content I produce is a result of me finding inspiration or feeling the need to write about a recent experience. Your posts will turn out better if you’re writing because you want to, rather than because you have to.
  2. Aim for at least one quality post per month. You’re not a professional blogger that’s expected to update us on your life every day. In my opinion, quality is greater than quantity. I’d rather read one well-written, thought-out post per month, than four average weekly ones.
  3. Keep a list of blog ideas. This will make it easy to write something when you’re feeling like you need to update your site. Also, start posts and save them as drafts. It’s easy to come back to them if you want to publish something.
  4. Try out new things. I know that everyone says that your blog is supposed to have a theme and I agree to a point. I say write about whatever you want to write about in order to find your voice. A personal blog is a perfect place to experiment with new writing styles and subjects. Every single post doesn’t need to be industry related. If you want to write about your latest travel adventure or an awesome recipe you tried, do it. Your personal blog should reflect you as a person and your interests.

Happy blogging, Bobkittens!

You can read Kerry’s personal blog, Keep Calm and Kerry On, here.

To Break or Not to Break?

May 22, 2014 1 Comment

By: Elaine Carey @snakesona_laine

THE REAL WORLD – No, not the MTV show. I’m talking about that big, scary, looming thing that awaits you after graduation. Think you’re ready? Maybe not? Perhaps a break (AKA gap year, AKA bridge year) after graduation is right for you.

What kind of break are we talking about?

If you’re thinking about moving back in with the ‘rents, sleeping in, and asking your high school job to rehire you, reconsider.

Your “break” should be spent developing skills for jobs you might like to have in the near future, as well as learning about your industry – not loafing around. Get an internship or a job abroad. Volunteer! Do something!

Some tips

badgrad

  • Be warned: Break years can be hard to explain in interviews! Be ready for questions about what you’ve been up to since college, and have a good answer. Use your break wisely.
  • If you simply couldn’t find a full-time job out of college, don’t waste that year moping, but don’t panic either.  For example, if you think that you need some customer service experience, volunteer to answer phones for a nearby charity organization.
  • If your parents are paying the bills, at the very least find a job as a server or a clerk in a retail store. Save up some money of your own and learn everything you can from your position.
  • Break years are for figuring out what exactly it is that you want to do for the rest of your life. If you want to postpone a commitment to a full-time job, use that time to explore. Get to know yourself better and have new experiences. If it seems like all your friends have jobs and know exactly what they want from life, just remember that everyone is different.

So is a break right for you?

If you’re worried that you might end up living with your parents until you’re 40 and buying a lot of cats, don’t do it. If you want to move to Montana, work on a ranch and meet the love of your life, maybe, but let’s not romanticize. Breaks are for people interested in growing and learning before committing to something that they’re unsure of – and they’re just that – a break. Don’t forget to put that wonderful degree to use some day in the foreseeable future! You worked hard for it.

2dudes

Need more help deciding? Check these out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/jobs/05career.html?_r=0

http://internships.about.com/od/internsites/a/Gap-Year.htm

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ariellecalderon/reasons-its-ok-to-be-unemployed-right-after-graduating-co

 

Ask and Ye Shall Receive – How to request a Letter of Recommendation the Right Way

March 19, 2014 1 Comment

Ah internship season, perhaps not quite as popular as the Ohio University fest season, but much more important. With many internship and even scholarship applications comes the requirement for at least one letter of recommendation. Now I know how a daunting a task this can be. Who do I ask? Will they say no? How many letters can I ask for? These are all valid questions that will swarm into your mind once you start the process. However, I think I can provide some tips that will help simplify the process when asking for letters of recommendation.

  1. Know how many letters youll need ahead of time. It is very important that you give whoever is recommending you enough time to write the letter. I always recommend asking them at least two weeks before the application is due. If you send requests out this early, you won’t have to worry about getting your letters at the last minute and it makes the process less stressful.
  2. Make a list of professors and employers you have made a good impression on. It might be hard to determine who you feel comfortable asking for a letter of recommendation. Try thinking about which professors you’ve developed a good relationship with, past employers that have been supportive and even leaders in your clubs and organizations. Make a list of all these people and keep notes by their name detailing what field they specialize in, and use this list to keep track of how many times you’ve asked them for a letter of recommendation and how many times (if any) they’ve written one.
  3. Ask for more letters than you may need. If an application requires you to have two letters of recommendation, send out requests for three to four. That way, if one person says no, you still have the number that you need. This can save you a lot of time scrambling around at the last minute for an additional letter.
  4. Try to tailor your letters to the internship for which youre applying. When you send your email requesting a letter of recommendation, be sure to include information on the internship itself and some of it’s requirements, as well as your own resume. This gives the recommender the information they need to ensure your recommendation fits with the internship application. Some may even ask for specific accomplishments you may want them to highlight in their letter. Be ready to answer all these questions and include enough information so the writer can make you look as good as possible in their letter.
  5. ALWAYS say thank you!. I know this just sounds like common sense but I felt that it needed to be said. Writing a good letter of recommendation takes time and effort, and it deserves a sincere thank you email. I have been truly touched by some of the recommendation letters I have received and said so when I thanked the writers. Also keep in mind that a sincere showing of appreciation will go a long way when you ask them to write another letter in the future. Always leave people with a better impression of yourself each time you work with them.

Sarah Rachul is a sophomore studying Strategic Communications with specializations in Sports Management and Visual Communication. You can follow her on Twitter at @SarahMRachul.

ImPRessing potential employers

March 4, 2014

standing outIt’s difficult to stand out to a potential employer, and it’s especially difficult to stand out amongst a community of overachievers like yourself. Sure, your GPA practically denotes you as a genius and you’ve been involved in extracurricular activities since the beginning of your college career. You’re so involved that you can’t even fit all of your experience on your resume. On paper, you look hirable AND desirable. But here’s the catch: Everyone else does too.

So, how are you going to stand out?

It’s easier said than done, but there are ways to set yourself apart from the crowd that just might land you your dream job or internship.

  1. Request informational interviews. Although less formal and more conversational than the standard job interview, informational interviews give you a chance to chat with a company’s employers, ask questions and soak in the company’s atmosphere. You’ll be asked questions, but it won’t be as nerve wrecking, because you’ll also be expected to ask questions. These interviews will put you a step above people who are simply applying for the job because it will demonstrate your interest in learning about the company and dedication to making connections with the employees.
  2. Use social media to your advantage. You’re on your phone 24/7 anyway, so you may as well use your social media addiction to your advantage. Before going to a company, firm or corporation, tweet at them and express your excitement to visit. Use appropriate hashtags and tweet at the company, along with any employees you are expected to meet. In addition to this, take the time to “like” the company’s Facebook page and “follow” its LinkedIn and Twitter sites. Showing interest in a company can be as simple as a touch of the screen.
  3. Be prepared. There’s almost no quality more attractive in an employee than being prepared. Research the company and write down questions to ask them. Express curiosity in what they do and show interest in what they say. Be prepared to listen. It’s seemingly impossible to actually listen to someone when your heart is beating a mile a minute, your palms are sweating and you’ve completely blanked on your next question. But remember to actually listen to their responses. Take what they tell you and refer to their advice or anecdotes later when you follow up.
  4. Follow up. Be traditional. Instead of sending a follow up email, hand write a thank you note and connect with the employer on LinkedIn. When you ask to connect with him or her, make sure you include a personal message instead of using LinkedIn’s automated message. It’ll make you stand out above others that didn’t take the time to personalize a message. As said above, take something the employer said and refer back to it, whether it’s something candid, informational or simply memorable. Just make sure it’s noteworthy.
  5. Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your work, including homework assignments, projects, your resume, LinkedIn profiles or social media accounts. Don’t let being professional obscure your uniqueness, individuality or even your sense of humor. Most importantly, remember: It’s possible to be both personal and professional.

Standing out among other overachievers isn’t an easy feat, but the difference between receiving or losing a job can be as simple as a handwritten letter. Take advantage of all of the opportunities you can, and don’t lose your dynamic personality despite pressures of the professional world.

Allison Barwacz is a senior studying Magazine Journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at @abarwacz.

International Travel for the Inexperienced Traveler

December 11, 2013 1 Comment

QuitoIn less than a month I will be traveling to Quito, Ecuador for a study abroad trip and I could not be more excited! Considering I’ve only been on a plane twice in my life and have only had one real experience abroad, preparing for this trip has been a pain in my backside. So here’s the basics of what I’ve learned so far in my how-to on preparing for traveling abroad:

Get a passport (if you already have a passport check the expiration date): I know you’re sitting there thinking, “Thanks Captain Obvious! I’m going out of the country of course I need a passport!” But let me tell you something, Lieutenant Sarcasm; putting off getting your passport can turn into a big problem.

I had a passport from my freshman year of high school, but unluckily for me it expired within five months after my study abroad. In order to leave Ecuador you need to present a passport with at least six months validity. (I recommend checking your country of travels policy on validity.) So I took my drivers license, old passport, social security card and another government issued I.D. to the post office to renew my passport. Because I was a minor when I got my first passport, those four forms of identification weren’t enough. I also needed my birth certificate and a copy of my birth certificate. Basically the only thing they didn’t need from me was a list of my ancestry and a written note from the doctor that delivered me stating that I was, in fact, myself.

I did eventually end up getting all thirty forms of the necessary documentation, filling out the application and getting my picture taken. A half an hour and $150 later, I had ordered my new passport.

Purchase your plane tickets: Make sure you have enough time to get from terminal to terminal if you have a connecting flight. I, being the inexperienced flyer I am, made sure I had plenty of time between flights… six hours to be exact. You know just in case I can’t find my terminal or get lost in the airport for five and half hours. On second thought, I’m probably going to regret that layover choice.

Pack light: You’re going on a trip, not moving you’re entire life to a foreign country. I realize you might really like those black studded heels but realistically you’re never going to wear them! Leave them behind! Only pack the necessities and when you’re dragging your suitcase through the airport by yourself, you’re going to thank me. Check ahead of time to see if you’ll have access to a laundry facility, because if so, only take enough clothes for a week. Just think the less stuff you bring, the more room you’ll have to take things back!

Embrace a more natural look: You don’t want to lug 50 different hair products or tools to another country, trust me. And this goes for the men too! Leave the hair gel behind! Take only what you need. I promise that you’re not going to want to spend an hour getting ready when you could be out exploring.

Adapters, Money, Identification, Etc.: If you plan on using any electronics you’re going to need an adapter. Research the type of outlet used in the country you’re traveling to and buy a couple adapters of that type. When traveling you don’t want to be carrying around all your money in case you get pick pocketed. Your best bet would be to take the money you will need for the day with you when you go out and leave the rest in the safe at your hostel or hotel. Same thing goes for identification; take COPIES of your passport with you and leave your original passport in your safe. In foreign countries your United States driver’s license will not work as identification, instead use a photocopy of your passport.

In Quito the American dollar is widely accepted so I won’t have to worry about changing currency, however they aren’t going to be able to break large bills for me either so I’ll be taking mainly smaller bills (10’s, 5’s and 1’s) and change.

The Not-So-Stand-Out American: Basically try not to look too American and tourist-y. Blend into the culture; wear clothing that doesn’t make you stand out. The more out of place you look, the easier target you are for pick pocketing and petty theft. If you make an effort to keep your belongings on or in front of you, you definitely reduce the risk of theft, but if you’re wearing name brand clothing that is obviously expensive you are basically holding up a sign inviting thieves to target you.

Last but definitely not least,

HAVE FUN! Traveling is fun and exciting. You get to experience a new culture with interesting customs, foods and languages. Many people don’t get the opportunity to travel so take advantage of it. Take risks and do something new! Personally, I have this crazy fear of sharks but while abroad I’ll be snorkeling with sharks and other tropical fish in the Galapagos Islands. Granted I might have a minor anxiety attack, but I’m still going to! Take chances and do something that you’ll remember forever; make the thousands of dollars you’re spending worth the trip. Don’t spend too much time stressing the little things and just look forward to the great experience ahead of you.

Travel safe and wish me luck in Quito! I’m going to need it with those sharks!

-Rebecca Zook is a sophomore studying journalism with a minor in studio art. Follow her at @BeccaZook.

3 Ways to Deal With Long Work Hours

November 12, 2013 1 Comment

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.

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