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Archive for May, 2007

social-media.jpgIt’s amazing to me how many majors don’t require internships or any out-of-class experiences in order for students to graduate. My roommate is a biology/pre-med major graduating in December, and she was mentioning to me that she wishes she’d been forced to gain some experience during college, either in a healthcare setting or a research lab, so she would feel better prepared for her upcoming grad school applications and interviews. She readily admits that she didn’t try all that hard to gain experience, but argues that she didn’t really understand its value until it was too late.

While good grades and studious habits will earn you recognition and scholarships, the extracurricular activities and internships are what set you apart from the other superior students. In the end, there’s really no better way of learning than doing.

I really think PRKent takes that ideal to heart. Our professors are always touting the benefits of hands-on experience through classroom projects and paid and unpaid internships, and I guess they should know since they all came back to teach after spending some time working in the real world.  

This blog is one of the many projects to not only make students learn why, but how. Our PR Online Tactics class was faced with a blogging project this semester where we were required to monitor other blogs, develop a theme for our own PR-related blog and then post at least once a week throughout the semester. This part of the class was led by Professor Sledzik, author of the Toughsledding blog, and he recently posted about our class and provided links to everyone’s blogs. I made sure to monitor everyone else’s work throughout the class, and I was impressed. I don’t believe blogging is for everyone, but I thought the variety of themes and opinions really demonstrated what blogging is all about… sharing ideas and creating a conversation.

Unfortunately this was only a classroom project for a number of students so they are not going to be continuing their blogs, but I still think the project was incredibly beneficial. PR majors take classes like Print Beat Reporting that require students to write for our college newspaper for a semester to learn about news value, deadlines and how reporters think, and I’m excited that they’re transfering that ‘learning by doing’ mentality to social media as well.

This is finals week so I’m going to be putting to practice all of my hard-earned knowledge. Then I have a few trips, and I’m off to the real world!

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Each semester in our PR Campaigns class here at Kent State a client is selected and the keyred.gifclass is divided into groups who form agencies and compete for the client by developing a plan during the semester. I have been working with my group, AntHill Communications, to create a public relations campaign for KeyBank. This Friday we have 20 minutes to present weeks and months worth of research, planning, developing and design to our client, who will then choose a winner.

To be honest, at this point I don’t care whether or not that’s me. This class has been such an eye-opener to me about what goes on in the real world, and at a probably much more intense and strict pace than what I’ve been working at. It’s also been a fantastic opportunity to culminate all of my classroom and internship experiences into a final product that I will have with me the rest of my life. I’ve heard wonderful success stories of students taking their final casebooks to interviews and really having an upper-hand with the experience of creating and presenting an original campaign to a client already under their belt.

This has also been a stressful semester for me, having to work so closely with a group of people for so long. I only remember enjoying a few group projects during elementary, middle and high school, and that was when I was able to choose a team of like-minded individuals who I knew would complete their portion of the work, assuring me that I would get my A.

This semester has really changed by perception of group work in a number of ways, and since I’m about to enter an agency experience this summer, this realization couldn’t have occurred at a more appropriate time.

  • Delegation=Trust
    As product manager of my group, learning to delegate tasks, and trust that they would be completed and done well, has been a huge challenge. I am the boss that would just rather do it myself so that I know the final product meets my rigid standards of perfection, but I’ve learned the hard way that not only is this impractical but impossible. There is just too much work to do, and perfection is not always possible when a last minute project occurs and you only have an hour to complete it. It’s not that I’ve lowered my standards, I just think I’m a little more realistic. (more…)

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