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Archive for the ‘PRSSA’ Category

heather-graduated.jpg

As I mentioned in my previous blurb, I’ve graduated and entered the real world. I took two weeks off between my graduation and the beginning of my new agency job to travel (surprise), but now everything is catching up. 

I’m still receiving e-mails from KSU listservs, which is bringing on a barrage of emotions ranging from joy to horror at having finished college, but I’m loving every minute at work and it’s really what has helped me stay stable and sane. Although my first weeks flew by, trying to get acclimated to the workplace and my clients, I’ve finally had a moment to stop and think about everything that has happened.

I was talking with a friend who is finishing her last semester at KSU in the PRKent sequence, and she was asking me quite a few in-depth questions about my time at Kent State, my internships, my job, my travels and how those things helped lead me to where I am now.

 I’m glad that I dedicated so much time and effort not only to my course work, but to the organizations I joined and positions I held. I just turned in my paperwork to join the Akron Chapter of PRSA, a move brought on by good experiences as a member of Kent State’s PRSSA. I was only a mildly active member due to declaring my major late, being out of the country and class conflicts, but the meetings I attended and my experience at the PRSSA National Convention all helped me develop professionally before I was officially a professional. Whether I was participating in a resume or cover letter critique, earning scholarship money or simply meeting other classmates, I learned more about applying what I was learning in class to the real world, and I was learning how many opportunities existed for me once I left Kent State. (more…)

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prssa.jpgJust a brief note, but I wanted to put in a plug for the Kent State PRSSA chapter that is working all summer long to bring members news and updates.

Of particular interest to me in the latest edition of the PRSSA e-newsletter is an article on my friend Desiree Bartoe who’s completed four internships as of her senior year. I have no better advice than to get as much experience as possible, and if you want an opinion outside of the one I express here, you should check out some of her comments.

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I really don’t consider myself an ‘interview guru,’ but since I’ve had some experience, especially as of late, I thought I’d chime in with some dos and do nots. In my last post, I mentioned how to send out ainterview.gif killer application… in fact I handed you the phone with a call asking you to schedule an interview.

You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging, did you?
The advice that I’ve used myself on several occasions came from a session I attended at the 2006 PRSSA National Conference held in Salt Lake City last November. Jennifer Brown of Limitedbrands, Janeen Bullock of Connect Public Relations and Cathy Morley Foster of Fleishman-Hillard spoke on ‘How to Build a Career, Not Just Get a Job,’ and the career strategies they offered work just as well in internship settings.

 

  • Plan and prepare: If you did your research before sending out the application in the first place, you should know some background about the company, possibly the person interviewing you, and whether or not you are truly interested in the job. Use that information to help you come up with questions for your interviewer. (Yes, you are allowed to ask questions too. In most cases, it’s expected. At the very least, it’s a great way to impress your future employer with your interest in the company.)  
  • Dress to impress: Cliché phrase, and yet I’m still surprised when an interviewer comments about that last person he or she interviewed that wore jeans and flip-flops. We should all know better by now, but before you ever think of second-guessing yourself, leave the party hair, dangly earrings and casual attire at home. Someone once said, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you want to represent your clients in a professional manner, consider how you’re representing yourself. 
  • Create a portfolio and leave-behind: Even if you only have class projects or a few clips from print beat reporting or a short, unpaid internship, create a professional portfolio of your work. Pat Catan’s and other art supply stores offer portfolio cases in all shapes and sizes for different display options. Use your portfolio as a talking point to further demonstrate your skills and the results of your work.

 

While your portfolio is helpful in showing that you have some experience, your interviewer is not going to take the time to read every piece you created to assess your strengths and abilities. Set yourself apart from other interviewers by creating a simple folder of work to leave behind when you are finished with the interview. You can include different writing samples, an extra resume or even a list of references with names and contact information. This will ensure that the interviewer has samples of your work on hand, and it also shows that you are taking the interview seriously. (more…)

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