#UDPRIntern: Double Duty: How to Work Two Internships

Tabs, to-do lists, and timesheets—oh my! This winter, I took on two internships—one at The Journey church and one at UpTrend Creative & Consulting. Fun? Absolutely. Crazy? For sure.

As per usual, I accepted a hefty workload without realizing its weight. However, the lessons learned and the skills acquired are far worth the frantic and frazzled hours I spent flipping between multiple assignments. As Olivia Pope would say, I have it #handled. Kind of.

If you choose to wear multiple intern hats, here are a few of my tips:

  1. Set boundaries

When you accept one job, you need to set boundaries. When you accept two, you seriously need to set boundaries. How many hours can you work? What deadlines are realistic for you? When can you come into the office? If need be, will you drive in the snow or bad weather? What hours will you be online? How much is too much? You need to think through all of these questions and communicate your limits before you even begin. Remember—you are a human, not a robot. Your boss will understand.

  1. Stick to those boundaries

Remember those boundaries you set before you laura1entered the office? Did you make exceptions to your nonnegotiable rules? I often catch myself caving into requests that are not realistic for me. I will set a deadline that is not comfortably feasible. I will take on more work than I can manage within a certain time frame. I make mistakes and start blurring my boundaries—it happens. Sometimes, we have to make exceptions to get a time-sensitive task completed…but this should not be happening on a daily basis. Be realistic, and respect yourself and your time.

  1. Unwind

Whatever you do, do not forget about this step. You have to rest. You have to breathe. You have to have fun. When I am home, I split my time between catching up with friends and family, binge-watching Netflix and reading some inspirational books. Everyone needs to recharge his or her battery. You and I are no exception. Settle down, get plenty of sleep, and maximize your down time. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

Working double duty can double the fun and double the development—just make sure you double your balancing efforts. Happy interning!

By: Laura Hepp

journey2Laura Hepp is a junior mass communication major with minors in advertising and theatre performance studies. Aside from interning at The Journey and performing in various musical theatre productions, Laura loves running, laughing, and eating far too many vegetables. She serves as Vice President of Professional Development for PRSSA-UD.

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#UDPRIntern: The 30-Minute Email Method: Why It’s Long and Why It’s Worth It

4:00- I sit down to write my email, telling myself it will only take 10 minutes.

4:30- Still sitting, having my best friend look over the email for the 20th time, and calming myself down enough to send the thing out into cyberspace. paxton2

Some people call me crazy for taking 30 minutes to write an email. I prefer careful over crazy. I have a right to be cautious; emails are a simultaneous reflection of your written communication skills and your personality. Through my emails, I want to convey professional decorum while still maintaining a positive attitude at all times.

Here are some tips for writing your next email explaining why not a minute of that half hour I take to write just three short paragraphs is worthless:

  1. Make your subject line stand out. The subject line serves as an attention grabber- it’s what gets the reader to open the actual email. If people don’t think an email is worth their valuable time based on the subject of it’s content, they will delete it before even giving it a chance. So make your subject line original and engaging, but also keep it concise. No one wants to read a long subject line- or a long email (see Tip 4).

TIME: 5 MINUTES

  1. Decide on the perfect greeting. Depending on the person you are contacting, there are different rules for greeting someone in an email. If the email regarding a job or internship position, say “To (insert name here)” to maintain formality. Sending an informal networking email? Say “Hi (insert name here)” to immediately set the email’s friendly, conversational tone. If you are writing to a professor, simply put the professor’s name, conveying to your teacher a sense of business and purpose.

TIME: 5 MINUTES

  1. In the body, insert meaningful details. People can tell when an email feels formulaic. Mentioning specific details makes an email personalized and shows a desire to connect with your audience. You want your reader to know that you care about what’s important to them, whether it be their company or their class. This may require some research, but it will go a long way towards conveying your strong work ethic and determination to stand out.

TIME: 10 MINUTES

But while you should include details…paxton1

  1. Keep your content concise. Just like the college students writing to them, professionals are busy people. They don’t have time to read lengthy proclamations of love for a company or the many reasons why a grade should be changed. Get to the point while still making it meaningful, and you stand a much better chance of your email actually being read.

TIME: 5 MINUTES

  1. Read your email aloud- but not just to yourself. After all of the researching and editing is done, read your words aloud. Reading aloud forces you to concentrate on what your writing, making it easier to spot typos and determine whether or not words flow together. The goal is to sound like you would in normal conversational; the closer to what you would say when verbally communicating, the better. Make sure to get a second opinion about your word choices by reading your work to a friend. He/she can tell you when something sounds awkward rather than brilliant, providing valuable constructive criticism.

TIME: 5 MINUTES

I understand that this method is time-consuming. There are a hundred other things I could spend my time doing in that half an hour I use to write three paragraphs. But I know that after spending those 30 minutes on tweaking and perfecting my work, I’m not sending just any ordinary email. I’m sending a written masterpiece catered to my audience reflecting the kind of professional I want to be.

So get ready to showcase your killer personality and your excellent written communication skills. All it takes is 30 minutes and the courage to press “Send.”

By: Paxton Mittleman

Paxton Mittleman is a sophomore communication interest and English double major who is passionate about public relations and social media marketing.  When she’s not attending PRSSA meetings, Paxton is tweeting from her @BlueHenPaxton Social Media Ambassador account, volunteering with the sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma, or planning events as a Senior Fellow for the UD Honors Program.

#UDPRIntern: …But Can You Talk the Talk?

As a college student, the term “networking” is far from a foreign concept. Students are regularly told how networking can positively impact their future. However, for many people, networking can seem like a confusing or even frightening task. This is where “casual networking” comes in handy.

Casual networking is no more than maximizing conversations with everyone you communicate with. Once a conversation gets into full swing, it is easy to learn a lot about the person you are talking to, and vise versa. Here are a few easy tips to casual networking.

1. Be Yourself- The goal of casual networking is to develop contacts and connections to further one’s life, and career. Spreading fallacies about one’s accomplishments will only be detrimental in the long run.

2. Never make assumptions- Always be open minded about talking to someone because you never know how a person can change your life!

3. Keep it light- Due to the fact that casual networking can happen in any situation, it is important to speak lightly and conversationally. In doing this, one can further exhibit his/her own charisma while still offering up information about work experience and interests.

4. Ask questions- Asking questions can further develop a conversation, while still keeping it on a personal level. Questions also show the other person that you are interested in talking to them.

5. Follow up- Do not be afraid to follow up on any offer or information you are given. It never hurts to try.

A likeable personality can be just as powerful as a high GPA, if used correctly.

Resource: http://www.advancedresources.com/blog/unusual-places-network-tips-casual-networking

By: Morgan Pudimott

Morgan Pudimott is a freshman Communication Interest with a minor in advertising. She is passionate about the field of Public Relations. Morgan plans to continue to become more involved in the blog, and PRSSA itself.

#UDPRIntern: Learning over the long-haul: How to grasp new opportunities at a long-term internship

journey1

Let’s face it—as ambitious communication students, we plow through internships with a “what’s next” mentality. We want something bigger, better and more boast worthy to add to our resumes once we conclude our current internship. I get it. But what if we decide to stay right where we are? Does this derail our practically perfect resume?

I have spent the last year working as the Communication & Development Intern at The Journey, a rapidly growing nondenominational church in Newark, Del. I originally signed on for a five-week winter internship…but life had something else in store for me. I ended up staying, all because I loved what I was doing and who I was doing it with.

Over the past year, I found that professional development only flourishes when you plant roots in some great soil. Here’s how you can stay fresh and fruitful at a long-term internship:

1. Overachieve on and off the job

Go above and beyond to learn about your industry. Listen to pod-casts on your way to work, follow key influencers on social media, skim through articles and blog posts from industry innovators and read books about leadership. Uncover potential opportunities, and then go after them!

2. Connect with your coworkers

Stop hiding in your cubicle. Seriously. Do not allow those three walls to imprison you and your success. Start talking to others in the office and ask them about how their days are going. Ask them about their jobs. Ask them how you can help. Just start asking—new and exciting projects (and connections) could start coming your way. Hello, networking.

3. Ask for feedback

Build a relationship with your manager and start regularly asking for honest feedback. It might not feel great or it might even sting at times, but this is essential to sharpening your skills and growing as a person and professional. You can’t improve if you don’t know where to start.

Best of luck with your internship endeavors, and remember: it’s not about checking a box; it’s about soaking in the experience.

By: Laura Hepp

journey2Laura Hepp is a junior mass communication major with minors in advertising and theatre performance studies. Aside from interning at The Journey and performing in various musical theatre productions, Laura loves running, laughing, and eating far too many vegetables. She serves as Vice President of Professional Development for PRSSA-UD.

#UDPRIntern: 5 Tips for Future Event Planners

Planning and setting up for events is definitely not as easy as it may seem. When that day rolls around, after months of planning, you need to make sure everything is exactly how the client wants it. Whether it is a Bar Mitzvah, a Sweet 16 or a Corporate Company Holiday Party, there is always so much to do when the day of the event arrives. Stefanie Bartell-Zednick, who also happens to be my aunt, is the owner of SBZ Events, a full-service event planning and production company. I have had the opportunity to work some of these events with her and have learned so much about event planning and how to make sure everything runs smoothly.

  1. Arrive VERY Early. Stefanie does a lot of the preparing before the day of the event. Any décor she can arrange before she does. She has a complete layout of what everything is going to look like before she gets there and she also makes sure that everyone involved in the event is on the same page. However, there is always something that doesn’t go as planned, or some problem that comes up that has to be taken care of. When planning an event, youevent planning have to make sure you leave yourself a lot of time for any unexpected issues that may arise. For example, if an event starts between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m., I am usually there between noon and 12:30 p.m.
  2. Have a Timeline. Although things will come up; you want to have a rough timeline for how much time you want spent on each project. If you don’t watch the time, you might get caught up in it all and run out of time.
  3. Don’t Ask Unnecessary Questions. In the beginning, I would go up to Stefanie for every little problem I had. When setting up for the event, the person who is running it all is going to have a lot of things going on. You can’t be going to them with every little problem you have. Either ask someone else or figure it out yourself. If it’s a stylistic question definitely ask, but don’t ask where the tape is. Learn to be a problem solver and work through it.
  4. Relax, Breathe, Don’t Stress. Depending on the size of the event, the hours leading up to the event can be very stressful. With so much going on, you can get very overwhelmed. The hour before the event starts is always the craziest. All of the final details have to come together and everything is being checked to make sure it’s up to standards. I once did a corporate event in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We were holding the party in one room that didn’t was open to the public until 6:30 and our event started at 8. We only had an hour and a half to pull it all together and it was the most stressful hour and a half of my life. People will yell at you, and you will be all over the place, but do your best to relax and breathe because it will all turn out great.
  5. Bring two pairs of shoes. I learned the hard way that working in the same pair for shoes for 12 hours is a terrible decision. Always wear sneakers to work and then different shoes for when the event starts. Otherwise your feet will be numb by the end of the night!

Working for Stefanie has taught me so much about event planning. It is definitely a stressful job but when you see the finished project it is definitely worth it.

To view pictures of events or to learn more about SBZ events, visit http://www.sbzevents.com.

By: Katherine Bartell

Katherine Bartell is a sophomore with a Communication Interest major with a Spanish minor. She is the Finance and Fundraising Director for PRSSA-UD, and a member for the Harrington Theatre Arts Company. She is a PR enthusiast and can’t go a day without a cup of coffee!

Photo source: https://samaneapr.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/like-most-about-event-planning-s.jpg

#UDPRIntern: #UDWinter At Home– Not Boring When You’re Exploring

Recently, my social media feeds have been chock-full of study abroad pictures, tweets about UD’s first snowfall of 2015 and the top ten reasons to spend winter session at Delaware. But what about all of those students reading social updates from their living rooms? What about everyone that opted not to pack up their bags, go abroad, or just go back to the land of the Fightin’ Blue Hens?

I never thought I would be one of those people that chose to come home and stay home from mid-December to mid-February. Until I was.

When I made my decision to stay put for the entirety of winter session, I received mixed feedback from my family and friends. Because UD’s break is pretty unique, people who have never heard of winter session can’t understand why it even exists. They don’t see the point of giving college students extra time off when almost every other university is back in session while we still have five weeks to go. Some people assumed that, like most college students with typical-length breaks, I would sit at home and take time to relax…except for two months rather than one.

Little do these people know that winter session is far from a time to gloat about how you are spending two months on the couch instead of in the classroom. Winter session allows people to explore a new country while knocking out some breadth requirements along the way. Winter session enables people get a broader education by offering classes students wouldn’t normally take. To put it simply, the goal of winter session is to allow the UD community to explore what other opportunities are out there.

paxton1This winter, I chose to explore professional development from the comfort of my own home. I have two internships, both within public relations and social media marketing-related fields, to obtain experience doing the work I love. I am compiling a list of PR firms that have internship programs matching my interests, and I have a list of Delaware alumni I want to reach out to before February. In my free time, I have a reading list of books I’m making my way through on effective engagement and professionalism. I even finally launched my own blog!

 

I barely have any time to sit on the couch and binge-watch Friends, and I am totally okay with that.

Like myself, PRSSA members choosing to stay home this winter have the chance to explore and apply themselves towards achieving their post-graduation dreams. From home, PR students can gain valuable experience in the industry through a winter internship. There is also no better time to get ahead on networking and developing a personal branding strategy; both become much harder to make a priority once classes begin. And with a clear personal voice in mind, students can get ahead on summer internship applications, knowing their unique voice sets them apart from other candidates. paxton2

I don’t regret that I’m not posting pictures of me jumping off a cliff in Hawaii, or that I’m typing this up on my desk instead of in the Trabant Lounge. I, along with my fellow aspiring public relations professionals, choose to have clear-cut goals and tactics I can take on at home. I am broadening my horizons, sharpening my skillset, and preparing to tackle whatever opportunities come my way this winter session and beyond.

Now excuse me as I take a selfie of myself writing this and post it using #UDWinter. My social media audience needs to know that I’m at home this winter, and I’m going exploring.

By: Paxton Mittleman

Paxton Mittleman is a sophomore communication interest and English double major who is passionate about public relations and social media marketing.  When she’s not attending PRSSA meetings, Paxton is tweeting from her @BlueHenPaxton Social Media Ambassador account, volunteering with the sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma, or planning events as a Senior Fellow for the UD Honors Program.

#UDPRintern: 4 Easy Ways to Make The Most of Winter Session

Winter Session at the University of Delaware (also known as #UDWinter) is a great way to get ahead of the game. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take a class. The most important part of Winter Session is making the most out of your time, whichever way you choose to spend it.

Here are four major Winter Session paths to choose from:

  1. Take Classes

Aside from the obvious, being a student at the University of Delaware is extremely advantageous to one’s overall success, due to Winter Session. As students, we are given an opportunity to earn up to seven credits while on winter break. These credits can abate the course load for the coming semester, or help to ensure that one graduates on time or even early.

  1. Study Abroad

A traditional study abroad excursion puts one away from his/her home for as long as four months. While this is bearable for some, many students find this to be too overbearing. Lucky for students at the University of Delaware, there is an option to study abroad for one month during its winter session. Additionally, students are still offered a broad range of destinations during this time.

  1. Intern

Whether it is through the University of Delaware or an independent opportunity, finding an internship for Winter Session is an extremely productive use of one’s time. Due to the fact that UD’s Winter Session is two months, companies are more inclined to hire a student who can be there for a longer duration. Even still, during this time period, students can network and prove their abilities in order to attain a summer internship, as well.

  1. Self-improve

For some students, Winter Session is a time for utmost relaxation instead of being completely focused on schoolwork. Winter Session is a great time to give one’s brain a little detox; however, there are many productive activities that do not come with stressful baggage! Working a part-time job, improving one’s overall fitness, volunteering or participating in resume building activities are all great ways to have a dynamic, yet peaceful, Winter Session.

Whatever you choose to do this Winter Session, there is a way to make the most out of it!

By: Morgan Pudimott

Morgan Pudimott is a freshman Communication Interest with a minor in advertising. She is passionate about the field of Public Relations. Morgan plans to continue to become more involved in the blog, and PRSSA itself.