How to get the perfect summer internship!

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So It’s been a while but I promise I have a good excuse. I was accepted as a summer intern for my dream public relations company for the summer! It was an extremely competitive process and I spent a lot of time preparing for every stage of that process so I thought I’d share some of the things I did to help secure my internship. Hopefully it will help some of you.

1) Prepare a killer resume!

Your resume is the first thing they will see so you want to make sure it represents you and your skills adequately. You want to make sure your resume fits within the field you’re going into. My field is public relations therefore I need to show that I have basic software media tool skills. So for more creative fields choose more creative designs, other fields may just want a standard resume (you can check out mine in the portfolio tab of my website).

On your resume make sure you include your education, relevant work experience, skills, extracurricular activities if you have them, contact info and any awards you may have received. I wrote RELEVANT work experience because you want to include jobs that fit within the field you’re going into, or at least find a way to show that the skills you’ve learned or utilized will fit with the skills needed for the internship you’re applying.

*Tip: Double check the job duties of your internship to tailor your work experience to it. I’m not saying to lie… you should have some experience whether that be school, volunteer or previous jobs/internships.*

2) Have a well thought out cover letter

Do not rush through your cover letter, this is your first impression. Introduce yourself and tell how you are best fitted for the internship. Highlight some of your skills and experiences, this is a good time to sell yourself. Make sure you are sincere, if this is an internship you really want express that. They want to know you are serious about the opportunity and that you have what it takes to be there.

I tend to use the first paragraph as an introduction, the second one to pitch myself and my skills, and I conclude in the third paragraph by expressing why I’d love to intern with that specific company.

3) Prep for your interview

I over-prepare for everything so I took notes of possible questions they could ask *thanks google* and prepared answers in advance. Common questions include:

“How has your experience helped prepared you for this internship?”

“Why do you want to work for this company?”

“Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?”

A good strategy is to practice with a friend or out-loud to yourself, that way it feels more natural once you have the actual interview. Remember to ALWAYS have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview. They will almost always ask “Do you have any questions for me?” It’s awkward to just answer no, if you are truly interested you will have questions.

Some questions I asked were:

“What do you expect from an intern?”

“What does a typical work day look like for you?”

“Who would I report to for daily tasks?”

“What is the company dress code?”

If you are truly interested in the internship it will be easy to come up with questions because you will be curious.

4) Always write a thank you note/email.

I had several interviews throughout my process but I tried to remember to always send a formal thank you email to the interviewers thanking them for taking the time to interview me. Remember, the interviewers are busy employees and it’s a big deal for them to take time out to speak to you so make sure you show them you are thankful. It’s not only polite but it makes you look that much more professional.

5) Be yourself

As overwhelming as the entire process may be, try to always be sincere. Others can tell when someone is trying too hard so don’t. The best way to find the opportunity that’s right for you is to be yourself. Remember you will get rejected, I was rejected several times before I was finally accepted and I now appreciate those rejections. If you are being yourself do not be discouraged if you don’t get an opportunity because the right one will come along.

I hope this post will help some of you and good luck to all you future interns!

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How to Stay Motivated for Midterms!

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If you’re anything like me you’re probably already exhausted with your spring classes and are struggling to get by. Spring break is just around the corner and you want to keep good grades but would rather be watching Netflix than studying.

If this sounds anything like you, hopefully a few of the tips below will help.

Find your perfect study place

In order to have a successful study session you need to make sure you’re in the right space to do so. If you have loud neighbors, live in a crowded dorm or are easily distracted by tv screens get out and find a quiet place.

Some libraries offer meeting rooms and cubicles you can use to study. You may even try a quiet lobby if you live on campus or a coffee shop. Note: If you try a coffee shop make sure it’s not during peak hours when it’s super busy. Sometimes studying outside with a blanket and a snack is great too! Fresh air can sometimes be all you need to help you focus.

Reward Yourself

There are times when I’d really rather be watching Netflix than studying, in moments like these I’ve set up a system where I study in intervals and reward myself when I have a break.

Try telling yourself if you study for 30 minutes to an hour you can then go get a treat, watch an episode of your favorite show or visit a friend. It may not seem like much but if you do it several times a day you’ll be surprised how much you end up studying.

Find a Study Buddy

If you’re the type that has trouble retaining the information you study or find yourself reading and then going completely blank right after then you may need a little help. Find someone who you know will actually help you study and set up several times a week to meet for a study date. Note: Do NOT ask that friend that you know will not help. You know the one… you’ll end up laughing and looking at memes on Twitter.

Find someone you know will actually help you study and quiz each other. You’d be surprised how much faster you retain information when you not only read it but hear it. Oh and it never hurts to reach out to that friend that always creates a Quizlet for everyone. Bless!

Keep Your Eye on The Prize

When you’re really low on motivation I suggest using a countdown app or widget. Whether you’re graduating soon or just counting the days until spring break, it always helps to have something to look forward to, to keep you motivated.

For me personally I’m motivating myself to get through my exams by reminding myself that spring break is the week after and I’ll hopefully be on the beach in my bikini with my family relaxing!

So go find a quiet place, grab a friend and set those countdown widgets! Hopefully these tips will help. Good luck!

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AP Stylebook and the importance of keeping up with modern communication

By: Raneisha Stassin

Anybody who studied public relations will most likely come into contact with the Associated Press Stylebook (AP Stylebook for short) and learn to get accustomed to annual updates. I’ve learned to develop an appreciate for their annual updates as they clearly work hard to keep up with how communication continuously changes and as communications professionals, what could be more relevant?

In the the 2016 edition one update that stuck out to me was the global warming section. The updates included an explanation of how the phrases ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ can be used interchangeably. They also stated that writers should not describe those who do not accept climate science as skeptics or deniers but rather ‘climate change doubters’ or  those who reject mainstream climate science.

For example, when writing about someone who rejects this science instead of using a sentence stating “Global warming deniers argue this information is inaccurate,” you would instead write “Those who reject mainstream climate science argue this information is inaccurate.”

What I found particularly interesting about this section was the amount of understanding they had about the topic itself and the detailed explanations they were able to give about the topic. Then I realized they are not only required to understand how communication changes and have excellent grammar skills but they are also required to be well-informed about every topic mentioned in their style guide. Fascinating right?

The topic of global warming in particular is an often discussed controversial topic and the editors of the AP Stylebook recognizes this. Typically writers for mass media strive to be objective, I could tell that this revision was created with that in mind. Saying “skeptics” rather than ‘doubters’ may have implications that were not intended in the original writing. So I admire revisions that honor objectivity.

It’s interesting to focus in on the updates made to each new stylebook because it helps us get an understanding of how communication is changing while also pushing us to stay knowledgable about current social issues and trends.

 

Recognizing PR excellence: Bronze Anvil Award & The Creatives Behind It

By: Raneisha Stassin
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We often see public relations campaigns in action but rarely see the creatives behind them. The Bronze Anvil Awards gives us a chance to recognize those behind the media magic and they definitely deserve to be celebrated.

One particular winning campaign that stuck out to me was Ketchum’s #PrettyGreat Travel Hacks campaign they created for the Embassy Suites/Hilton. The campaign involved creating an online community where parents could find and share travel hacks or tips that would make traveling with kids easier and more enjoyable.

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I really admired their approach to this campaign and the pr tactics they used to create a fun yet informative strategy. They created an online community that could easily be integrated across other platforms such as Pinterest and Twitter with the hashtags #PrettyGreat #TravelHacks. Pinterest in particular is a great site for moms, travelers and those with wanderlust spirits. I felt their use of these sites along with the online community on the Embassy Suites website really showed their understanding of their audience. They understood that if their content was easy to share and could be found in sites already used by this demographic that their client would get the attention they were seeking. It also allowed the audience to be engaged and actively involved therefore content would continue to be created and shared.

Other tactics I found admirable was their use of research. They didn’t forget the basics and stuck to the R.A.C.E (Research, Action, Communication and Evaluation) model while simultaneously letting their creative juices flow. The Embassy Suites held a family travel study to collect information that would allow them to understand the needs of their demographic and aligned their strategies with those needs. After research they provided family-specific training to staff members and added family-focused amenities.

Their use of online influencers as a tactic proved to be successful as well. Several online mom and travel bloggers mentioned the Embassy Suites and the travel hacks while encouraging other traveling parents to actively participate.

As a millennial and young mom with a wanderlust spirit myself, I found this campaign pulled me in the second I discovered it. As an aspiring public relations professional I can not neglect to recognize the hard work that must have been put in to create such a successful campaign.

Ketchum ended up winning the Bronze Anvil Award for 2016 for this particular campaign and numerous others. You can check it out here.

This post was not sponsored and was created for my Comm 283-PR Tactics course.
All opinions are my own.

New Year, New Opportunities

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HELLO cliche blog post!

I can’t believe it’s almost 2017. 2016 flew by but so many things good and bad have happened. Though that’s interesting and all that’s not what I want to talk about, I want to focus on what’s next.

I always see the new year as a perfect opportunity to start fresh and while I believe you can do that anytime, there is something about the calendar changing that motivates me to really push myself to make positive changes.

This next year here are a few things I hope to see happen in my life:

Good Health

I know I know I sound like a fortune cookie but this is something I’ve actually struggled with. All of 2016 I’ve felt sluggish, fatigued and recently I have even suffered hair loss.

This next year my first goal is to successfully change my diet making sure I have all the vitamins and nutrients I need and also address any underlying or chronic health issues I have. This begins with finding the right doctor but also taking better care of myself.

This also includes mental health which brings me to my next goal.

Better Self Esteem

In the new year I hope to spend more time focusing on the things I love about myself. I’ve realized I spend a great majority of my time focusing on the things I dislike about myself, some of which I can do very little to change.

I hope as I get healthier I will also become more secure with who I am. I want to be more vocal about intrusive thoughts and body image issues and hopefully not only help myself heal but also help others who may be struggling as well.

   Career Opportunities

Next year is my last year of college and I will (hopefully) finally graduate with my bachelors degree. I want this new year to be a year of opportunities. I don’t know where I will end up but I love writing and I whether or not I get accepted for a job that allows me to do that, I still plan to write.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do was write a book and/or book series and It’s something I plan to start in the new year.

I also plan to purchase my own domain and design my website. I hope to increase my design skills maybe even get certified in various software tools.

I am excited to see what opportunities arise next year but I know none of it will come without hard work.

Travel

This is what I’m most looking forward to in the new year. My husband and I have come to a place where we are both mentally exhausted in the current town we live in and we are ready for a change.

We want to raise our little boy in a place that is diverse, open-minded and lively and sadly we currently don’t live in a place with those qualities.

It’s been particularly hard on my husband whose family and friends are on the other side of the world in Europe. We hope next year we have the chance to visit but we also have big hopes of moving west to California. Wish us luck!

I know none of these things will come easy and I’m determined to work hard to make these goals a reality but it’s exciting to take time to list the things I hope to see happen. I would love to hear what you guys have planned for the new year.

Feel free to share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

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How To Study For Finals!

Well if you’re a student like me it’s that time of year again… final exams. Don’t pull your hair out just yet there may still be hope.

I’ll be sharing a few of my personal tips for retaining all that info the night before the exam because lets face it Netflix exists and we all procrastinate sometimes.

Tip #1

WRITE THINGS OUT

You’re more likely to remember the content if you write it down, even if you’re like me and prefer typing (maybe you have bad handwriting) I’d suggest doing both. Write it several times if you have to. The more you write it the more likely you are to remember it.

Tip #2

TRY NOTECARDS

This is one of my favorite test prep activities and thanks to technology you no longer have to write each out on individual notecards (though that may help as well it’s also tedious).

Quizlet.com is the best website for this. Not only can you use the digital notecards but it has an audio button that allows you to hear it and also allows you to test over the material. Another thing I love about Quizlet is it’s easy to find study sets that match your material. I swear Quizlet has gotten me through this semester, I highly suggest it.

Tip #3

  REPETITION  

This is one of the most important things to remember. No matter which technique you choose make sure to repeat the content over and over. You are more likely to retain it if you read over it more than once. When I really have to memorize something I read it at LEAST three times before moving on.

Tip #4

QUIZ YOURSELF/HAVE SOMEONE QUIZ YOU

Another one of the most helpful study tricks for me is to have a partner ask me questions over the material to see how much I’ve actually retained. If you study alone try looking away from your notebook and testing yourself over the material. This is a good way to make sure you’ve actually learned the material and won’t blank out when you get the real test.

Tip #5

GET REST

You’ve probably heard this one a lot but it’s so important. Your brain can not function properly if you’re sleep deprived and you’ll just end up doing worse. If you’re too tired to go on but know you need to study more, try to at least take a power nap, or try waking up earlier to study (I know this can be rough but Starbucks exists so you’ll be fine).

And there you have it you’re ready to crush those finals!

Good luck to all you tired students out there and comment below if you have other great tips that work for you!

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Why I quit Blogmas & other news

It stinks to have to post this because I was so excited to participate in Blogmas for the first time but sadly if you hadn’t notice I’ve quit posting and here’s why:

Family

For those who hadn’t read my previous post my husband got into a car accident, he is ok but that put a lot of stress on us since we were without a car. 

UPDATE: We did get a new much better one.

School

For those who may not know I am a full-time student and mommy (my son is not in daycare) balancing those aren’t easy. I overestimated just how much work I would be assigned at this point in the semester. I’m currently taking a break from studying for finals to write this.

Bad Planning

I’m a little disappointed at how poorly I planned for Blogmas and this is probably the biggest reason I failed to follow through with it. I hope to really grow in this area within the next year that way I’m able to accomplish these things without pulling my hair out. 

While I didn’t follow through with Blogmas I do plan to continue to post but I don’t want to stress myself out to the point of not actually enjoying it.

IN OTHER  NEWS

I became an online ambassador for The Bloggers Hub an online community based in the UK that connect bloggers. They host Twitter chats three times a week. I’m thankful for this opportunity and the chance to meet other bloggers and learn from them. Hopefully in the future I can grow as a blogger and learn to plan properly.

For those of you reading this thank you.

Until next time!

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