By Taylor Meade
Hi guys! I'm the PRSA/PRSSA Liaison and the Student Chair for the YouToo Social Media Conference. For those of you that attended, I hope you all left the conference with something and if you didn't attend, make your calendars now for April 8, 2015. That will be the date of our ninth annual conference!
One of my biggest goals as student chair this year was to increase the registration and we almost doubled it. I'm so pleased to announce that our student registration increased 44 percent this year. We had students from 5 different universities including Akron University, Bowling Green State University, Mount Union University and more. Some of these universities were joining the conference for the first time.
I also wanted to make sure that students were comfortable networking and connecting with professionals. The conference really strived this year to promote our mentorship program. This program was an option for students to sign up for under their registration. This program linked students directly to professionals in communication and business fields the morning of the conference and gave students the chance to meet with their mentors throughout the day to recap on sessions and talk about the mentors careers. I heard great feedback from students about their mentors and I hope this will only increase student participation in the future and encourage more students to attend.
Last but not least, I'd like to give a special thank you to my awesome student committee for all of their hard work and dedication. Their work definitely didn't go unrecognized. I'm thankful for their hours of stuffing packets for participants, racking up tweets, speaking to classes and more. I'm also thankful to be the recipient of the YouToo Social Media Conference scholarship. I put a lot of time into this conference and I'm happy to have been recognized for my dedication and appreciation for not only this conference but to networking and striving to find my niche in public relations. I couldn't have made this conference come together without my student and professional committees behind me.
By Carrie Ann Kandes, APR | KSU PRSSA Professional Advisor
I have a confession to make. I’m not in love with writing articles about the job or internship search. Don’t get me wrong – I agree it’s a critical topic for collegiates. But like the Kardashians, the topic is a bit, well, overexposed. It’s everywhere. Everyone talks about it. And everyone has advice about what you should do. Saying something profound – something you haven’t already heard – is a tall order.
That’s why I decided to focus this piece on what you shouldn’t do. During nearly 20 years in this business, I’ve interviewed a lot of candidates. And many of them have been recent grads. I’m always a little stunned by the mistakes that can completely derail an otherwise effective interview.
So as you look toward the end of another academic year and the search for a new internship or job, think beyond what you should do to prepare for that interview. Make sure you also consider what you shouldn’t do as part of your pre-interview regimen.
Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I must reveal that my Marcus Thomas colleagues Polly Ryder, Heidi Modarelli-Frank and Amber Zent contributed their thoughts to this list of don’ts. Thanks, ladies!
Carrie is the vice president and associate director of public relations for Marcus Thomas, a Cleveland-based integrated marketing communications agency focused on ideation and audience insight. A graduate of the KSU PR Sequence, Carrie has spent nearly 20 years in the industry.
By Ashley Cowles
Ciao, PRSSA! My name is Ashley and I’m a public relations minor. I’m currently studying abroad through the CCI program in Florence, Italy, and I’d like to share with you some of the many reasons why studying abroad should be on your to-do list.
Life in Italy
First of all, Italy! Have you happened to see pictures of this beautiful country? Here’s one of me and Kayla Todd, a PR major and photo illustration minor, just to give you an idea:
Yes, this is what it really looks like, and it's actually even a little more beautiful in person. Not only is this country breathtaking but the Italian culture is enough reason in itself to study here. This isn’t a chance for you to go to another country just to be a tourist. You will be immersed into the local culture. You’ll be overwhelmed by the fresh food, intricate art, friendly people, amazing fashion and just an overall different way of life, and I guarantee you’ll love it.
Second, traveling! Florence is amazing, but you have the opportunity to travel all throughout Europe (or even farther if you’d like). I’ve gone to at least six other cities in Italy as well as two different countries. You have the option to just hop on a train and take a day or weekend trip, and there are also travel companies everywhere to book with that make it extremely easy to visit places.
Third, of course it’d be wonderful just to travel the whole time while in Florence, but there actually is a reason for the “study” in study abroad. No matter your major in CCI, Kent State offers classes that fit your path. You can take classes on intercultural communication, international marketing and comparative media. You can make your own documentary, learn about the Italian cinema and contribute to a blog based in Florence. You also have the opportunity to become even more integrated into the culture, through art and language classes! The course load is completely manageable, and the professors are from Italy and always there to help you. Also, not only are you being taught in a classroom, you’re constantly able to apply what you learn in your everyday interactions.
Kent State in Italy
Lastly, CCI and Kent State Florence unbelievably prepare you for this journey and help you along the way. You’ll have orientation weeks before you leave and learn basically everything you need to know, from applying for your visa to talking with Italians. Once you arrive in Florence, you’ll have orientation with the staff there. They’ll teach you common Italian phrases, show you places you’ll need to go, like the grocery store and train station, and so much more! There are also many opportunities and activities available to you, such as cooking classes, hikes, and rafting on the river. The Kent State Florence staff are not just professors or advisors, they are more like friends who will assist you with anything you need. Have family coming to visit? They’ll give you a list of hotels. Don’t know how to say what you need at the pharmacy? They’ll translate it and write it down for you. When you’re in a different country you’ve never been to before, you’ll undoubtedly struggle along the way, but the Kent State staff both at home and in Florence will do all they can do make your experience as easy as possible.
So have I convinced you yet? I had an extremely hard time writing this, because I feel like I could write an entire book on my study abroad experience! Studying abroad will teach you about different cultures, introduce you to new people, help you continue on your degree path, get you out of your comfort zone and overall change you as a person for the better! If you’re thinking about studying abroad and have questions I didn’t address, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can get your application at CCI Study Abroad. You won’t regret it!
What is your dream study abroad destination? Why is a global mindset important is public relations?
By Gabrielle Woodard
When someone falls in love with his or her career path they could go on for weeks about what it means to them and where they hope to be in ten years. When listening to someone who is passionate about what they do, whatever that may be, you find they exude excitement, dedication and a deeper understanding about the work they are doing. So the bigger question is how does one find their passion and how does one then exploit it?
So if someone's passion is public relations, he or she should dive into every PR opportunity they can find. This includes the ones they may not be so interested in. This can lead to a broader portfolio and the understanding of a topic they don't care for. A short stint in a disliked sector will help a person narrow their career path. Applying what is taught in class to real work will create a passion for learning, in hopes to improve one's work product.
Where to Begin
College is the perfect opportunity to jump into a student organization and experiment. Unsure if you really like your major? Join the student organization that pertains closest to your major. Often times hearing someone who is excited about what they're learning will either excite you as well or make you realize that isn't the path for you. Joining PRSSA made me realize I really enjoy what I am learning and can see myself excelling in the field. Another option is to apply your skills to an organization you're already in. Maybe your organization needs some better public relations, so brainstorm what kind of plan you would create for them.
Your direction in public relations may be hidden in the small things you enjoy in your free time. Do you enjoy watch endless hours of E! Entertainment? Then maybe entertainment PR is for you. Do you cringe when athletes mumble or represent themselves badly on camera? Then sports may be your avenue. I know many people who discovered a love for nonprofit public relations in their love of helping people. I found my passion for political PR in my slight obsession with JFK. Finding something you enjoy in your free time and guiding a career path around that will help you to enjoy and find passion in whatever job you may choose even if it isn't public relations.
What makes you passionate about public relations?