Making a Difference for All the Difference: Landing the Perfect Internship through PRSSA

We have reached the point in our academic careers where going to class and getting good grades is no longer enough. There is now the added expectation of networking and finding an internship that allows you to apply all that you have learned while acquiring new skills from the professionals you are working with. Though this process can seem daunting, the connections, exclusive opportunities and assistance provided to PRSSA members makes acquiring that perfect internship and crucial professional development skills that much more manageable.

This semester, I began volunteering for a nonprofit in Wilmington called All the Difference. This outpatient clinic provides treatment services and conducts research for children with developmental and sensory disabilities. The organization sought an individual to reconstruct their social media plan and help with crowdfunding research. Though I did not have formal experience in the field, the organization’s mission resonated with me so much that I felt compelled to apply for the position.

Thought I’ve only worked with the organization for a short time, my experience with All the Difference has proved invaluable. Having never formally composed a social media campaign before, I was initially intimidated by the endeavor. While talking to peers with social media experience, I found that I had all of the skills necessary to implement an effective plan; the only thing I lacked was confidence in my abilities. Currently, All the Difference is in the process of implementing my plan to increase traffic on their various social media sites in hopes of obtaining more donations through crowdfunding.

I would not have been able to take IMG_4203advantage of this experience without the help from and resources provided by PRSSA. This opportunity was posted on the PRSSA Facebook Member Forum only because members on the E-board had connections with people in the organization. As a paying member of PRSSA, there are many exclusive opportunities made available at organizations looking specifically for a dedicated PRSSA member. Landing the first internship tends to be the hardest, but the level of professionalism that PRSSA exemplifies to the community positively adds to your credibility and can make you a strong candidate for the position. Having PRSSA on your resume along with exclusive access to internships offers you the recourses necessary to positively impact your overall professional development.

By: Victoria Dellacava

Victoria Dellacava is a sophomore Honors student at the University of Delaware majoring in Interpersonal Communication and minoring in Public Policy, Organizational and Community Leadership and Advertising. In addition to her involvement with PRSSA and All the Difference, Victoria is a violinist in UD’s Symphony Orchestra. Follow her on twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn!

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How To Make The Most Of Your Summer

While school is in session we find ourselves daydreaming about being able to relax by the pool, stay out and sleep in as late as we want and catch up with old high school friends. Although, more often than not, we wind up hitting a slump mid break and start missing college. Of course we don’t miss the massive amounts of homework or having to set our alarm for that 9 a.m. class, but we do start to miss our college friends, laying out on the green, weekend dages and even sometimes those sweaty basement parties we all love to hate.

Here are 4 ways that you can get over that mid summer hump- no matter if it hits you days, weeks, or months after school lets out.

  1. Pick up a New Hobby

Summer is great because there are 3 months where you can pick up and perfect that new activity you have been dying to try all semester. This hobby could be a sport, a musical instrument, a new technique of cooking or even that DIY you have been meaning to try off your Pinterest board- the possibilities are endless! ‘

  1. Travel and Explore 

Find your wanderlust! Whenever I talk to people summerpost grad their number 1 regret is that they did not travel enough. College years are a perfect time to discover how big and amazing our world is. As full time students we have commitments, but we also have allotted free time. So ladies and gentleman please do not spend it sitting on the couch. Get up and seize the day!

  1. Be at Peace with Yourself

During school we are always trying to balance our social and academic lives equally, also while trying to maintain at least 6 hours of sleep per night. Rarely does this ever work out in our favor. We either wind up sleep deprived with an A or on the Instagram popular page with no likes on our Biology midterm. I cannot tell you how many times my mother told me that if I enroll in yoga or take a short break each day things will get better. Well, during the semester there is just not enough time in the day to take an hour for myself. Summer is the perfect time to find your inner peace. Watch the sunrise or sunset, lie in your backyard and try to find the constellations…anything that lets you breath in the moment.

 

  1. Strengthen your Academia

Summer has a unique power over us. We can spend almost 10 months filling our brain with information and then in just 3 months all of that information disappears. One way we can keep this from happening is to keep our mind stimulated. Many college students apply for internships, although this is the most desirable it is the hardest to attain. Personally, I applied to around 50 companies and heard back from 1 of them. If an internship does not work out there are still plenty of options. Having a summer job or doing volunteer work is a great way to spend your time, make a little extra spending money and put another accomplishment on your resume! Now the least desirable, but probably the most helpful with your college education is to enroll in summer classes. Most junior/community colleges will have inexpensive per credit fees and taking these classes will help you get ahead in your semester work for the fall. If you’re afraid of being kept inside a classroom all summer long, don’t worry! There are usually ample amounts of online classes to choose from so you can work on your tan and your homework at the same time.

 

By: Jill Swartzentruber

 

Jill Swartzentruber is a sophomore English-Professional Writing major with a minor in Organizational and Community Leadership. Along with being a member of PRSSA-UD, she is also the Executive Publishing Assistant for UDress Magazine and a writer for The Odyssey Online. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @jilly_swartz, or connect with her on LinkedIn!

Photo credit: http://everycollegegirl.com/summer-send-off

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Network Like a Pro

Networking is a critical skill to have that many people struggle with. Improving your networking skills can make all the difference and help you get your foot in the door. Here a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be Prepared

Before attending a networking event or meeting always do your research. Make sure that you know who is hosting the event and who will be there, this will help you know what to expect. Also make sure you prepare a short speech to introduce yourself. This short speech should briefly tell people about yourself, your goals and help them remember you.

  1. Make Eye Contactinterview

Looking someone in the eye is key. It lets them know that you’re are paying attention. Nothing gives a worse impression then looking around for the next person to talk to, or looking down at your phone.

  1. Listening is Key

Remember that networking is all about conversation and making connections, so you do not want to be talking the entire time. It is important to seem interested in the person you are talking to. Ask them questions and listen to their answers, you may be able to find out what is important to them and connect with them that way.

  1. Politely Exit Conversations

Part of preparation is scripting out some exit lines, this will help you smoothly exit a conversation. When exiting, make sure it flows with the conversation, do not interrupt the person to exit, wait for a loll in discussion. Make sure that you exchange business cards and share a firm handshake before moving on.

  1. Follow Up

Networking does not end when the event does, it is an ongoing process that always happens. It is really important to follow up with the people that you met, whether that is through and email or a phone call. You do not have to contact everyone you met, just the people you really connected with. Doing this within 24 hours of the event will set you apart and show that you can take initiative.

Networking can be intimidating but it is important to remember that networking is something that everyone does. Don’t be afraid to get out there and make connections because you never know where they will take you.

Article Used: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/12844.aspx

By: Hailey Fuzak

Hailey Muzak is a junior mass communication major with minors in business administration and journalism. She is a first year member of PRSS-UD, the VP of Communication for the Student Alumni Ambassadors, a cofounder of the Cockpit Crazies and a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma

5 Blogging Do’s and Don’ts

If you like writing, or want to sharpen your skills, writing a blog is fun and beneficial. To write a well-organized and purposeful blog, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind!

Don’ts:blog1

  1. Don’t use too much content. You do not want to overwhelm your readers. Keep it simple and they’ll be more likely to keep reading!
  1. Don’t clutter your page. Make sure there aren’t too many visual cues, links, or buttons on the page that may distract your reader from the message, or messages, you are trying to convey.
  1. Don’t frame things negatively or speak badly about anything or anyone else. A blog should not be used to express dislike or hatred. Use the power and freedom of expression for good! Spread positivity; the world could always use more of that!
  1. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Blog about something you know enough about. Make sure the content you’re posting is accurate so that your readers will see you as a credible source.
  1. Don’t imitate someone else’s blog. Don’t be a “copycat.” If there’s already a blog about something you want to talk about, engage with the writer and readers of that blog instead. Find something that makes you and your blog different.

Do’s:

  1. Show passion about your topic. Being passionate will reel readers in. Chances are, if you’re passionate about something, your writing will be richer and more interesting for readers. That’ll keep them coming back.
  1. Be specific and consistent about your message and reasoning. Avoid making a blog about nothing. Once you lock down that passion, stick to it! Open up to your readers, tell them why you’re passionate, and then stay true and focused on that passion.
  1. Write regularly. Make sure to keep readers engaged. Try developing a schedule so that your readers can know when to expect a new post. Setting deadlines for yourself will also prove helpful and efficient for maintaining your blog.
  1. Respond to comments/ engage with your readers. It’s crucial to realize that you’re writing for an audience and they matter! Responding to their comments will make them feel included, therefore encouraging them to keep reading!
  1. Use images and provide links where necessary. Pictures grab attention. Keep readers entertained! Following blogs is most often a leisure activity; pictures remind your readers that they’re not reading another boring article. Links help to display how your blog connects to the rest of the world, so be mindful of staying relevant.

By: Sydney Dawson

Sydney Dawson is a junior Mass Communications major and pursuing minors in Advertising and Spanish. She is a first year member of PRSSA-UD, an undergraduate TA for the Spanish Department, and a third year member of the UD Coed Cheerleading Team. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @syddle3.

3 Books to Read for Aspiring PR Professionals

In the public relations field, writing is one of the most important tools we have. However, instead of creating content, we can turn to books from some leaders in the field for meaningful advice. Here are only a few of the inspiring and informational books that the PR world has to offer. Each one of these books has a new way of looking at business and the way people build relationships.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book has been called the PR bible and is one of the first best-selling self-help books. Although released over 75 years ago, it still contains extremely relevant step-by-step information about how to be a leader, make people like you and win people to your way of thinking. The ability to create and maintain relationships in public relations, whether it is with your professors, peers or co-workers, is a necessity and an immeasurable quality. His timeless advice is definitely worth reading.

“Success is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.”

2. All Work, No Pay by Lauren Berger

As aspiring PR professionals, we know the importance of an internship. However, obtaining one is easier said than done. Berger, known as the Intern Queen, had 15 internships while in college and uses her expertise to help students find and make the most of their internships. With information ranging from how to write a resume to turning an internship into a job, it contains invaluable advice for students. It also includes a great section on practice questions for interviews to prepare. This is a great resource for PR students at any level.

“While an internship does not guarantee a job with an employer, it does guarantee an experience – an experience that takes you one step closer to where you want to be after college.”

3. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

For those interested in psychological side of business, this book is for you. Dweck found that people have either a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset” about our character, intelligence and talent. With a “growth mindset”, you believe that with hard work you can thrive in a challenging situation and learn from criticism. This is a mentality that we should adopt because those with this mindset are more creative and resilient. It is an empowering and motivating look at our behavior.

“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”

I hope you find these books as motivating and inspiring as I do and you continue to keep reading!

By: Jennie Osber

Jennie Osber is a senior mass communication major with minors in advertising and psychology. Along with PRSSA-UD, she is a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, the national service sorority and Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honors fraternity. Follow her on Twitter: @JennieOsber

Link used for research: http://www.businessinsider.com/must-read-public-relations-books–the-required-reading-list-of-pr-books-and-marketing-books-2011-9

Picture from: Google Images

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Break Through the Interview: A Recap of the Interview Skill Slam

The word ‘interview’ often makes people cringe. Interviewers can be intimidating, stressful, and can make you rethink what you should and shouldn’t have put on your resume. People walk into interviews never fully knowing what to expect, and never fully able to figure out whether the words “we’ll be in touch” mean you got the job, or that you’ll never hear from the interviewer again.

However, thanks to PRSSA-UD’s skill slam on Monday, March 23, entitled “Break Through the Interview,” planned by the pre-professional organization’s Vice President of Professional Development, Laura Hepp, some of the PRSSA members had the opportunity to receive feedback from PR professionals on their interview skills, and their resumes.

I was fortunate enough to be allowed to sit through members’ interviews and take notes on the feedback professionals provided, as well as, listen to what they said are dos and don’ts for any interview. What I learned from sitting through these interviews was always expect a behavioral based question, and don’t let it frazzle you. Possible employers want to know that you can think on your feet, especially when they ask you a question such as “give me an example of a time you tried to accomplish something and failed.” This kind of question sends people into panic mode, but no need to panic. Turn a negative into a positive. Admit to the failure. We all have them, but make sure you end with how this failure bettered you in some way.

Also, always maintain eye contact and shake an interviewers interviewhand. It seems simple enough, but in the heat of the moment a lot of people tend to forget about this simple gesture. Don’t let that be you. A handshake and steady eye contact make you seem confident and they differentiate you from someone who is so nervous they almost seem unsure about their own abilities.

Always make sure to sound enthusiastic about what you love, and be able to verbalize how you’d be an asset to the organization whose position you are interviewing for. It’s nice that you enjoy your profession, but interviewers don’t care about why you think a given position is the best fit for you they care about why you are the best fit for them.

Lastly, as for resumes don’t be afraid to get specific. Explain in detail how you personally have positively impacted the places you have worked for and make sure to put the most important and relevant thing you’ve done at the very top of your resume.

This was my first PRSSA skill slam and based on what I learned, I encourage everyone to jump at the chance to participate in the next skill slam. Who knows, you might just take away from it.

By: Stephanie Pinilla

Stephanie Pinilla is a junior Psychology and Interpersonal Communications double major, working toward a Women’s Studies minor. She is currently a general member of PRSSA-UD, and works as a media planner for Now Hear This UD public speaking competition. Stephanie hopes to end the year by becoming an Oral Communication Fellow and by becoming a more active member of PRSSA-UD. Follow her on Twitter, @lilpinil.

How to Take a Break and Get Ahead: Winter Session Recap

Overwhelmed with the amount of free time on your hands during the lengthy winter vacations we get here at UD? To those opposed to kicking back by the cozy fire, there’s actually a lot that can be accomplished in just two short months.

I, personally, couldn’t let the opportunity of UD’s winter session pass me by. Whether you’re trying to get ahead, boost your GPA, or coordinate for a double major, taking winter classes is an extremely beneficial thing to do. If you still want to be in the comfort of your own home over the winter months, then why not take online classes? UD allows students to register up to 7 credits during the winter session. I filled my schedule solely with online courses.

Online classes are designed to appeal to a mallorymdiverse range of learners. This is largely due to the fact that they are generally self-paced. I’ve always been more of an impatient, fast-paced learner and taking online classes allows me to work as far ahead as I can. I took a one-credit communications elective this past winter in which I completed all of the course material within the first week. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, online classes can also allow you to take your time more so than you might be able to when attending an actual lecture.

Enrolling in UD Winter online gave me more flexibility in my schedule to return to my seasonal retail positions at the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I worked as a sales associate at Harstrings Kids Clothing and a Brand Representative at Justice For Girls. Whether it’s greeting customers at the door, ringing them up at the cashwrap, or assisting them on the floor, both of these positions have helped me enhance my communications and PR skills by promoting both merchandise and sales.

It just so happened that while I was working at Justice this past winter, they were undergoing renovation. We had to ship out thousands of units of merchandise to stores across the U.S. to make room for construction. I obtained experience communicating with sales girls across the country about which types of merchandise would be most beneficial to their stores. I also obtained experience communicating with girls at my location on how to coordinate with the temporary and tight space that we had. I’ll be eagerly returning this spring to see our final product.

Returning to campus after Winter Session didn’t feel like I was just getting off of vacation and that’s great because that’s not what I was going for. I felt accomplished.

By: Mallory Metzner

Mallory Metzner is a freshman communication interest and fashion merchandising double major with minors in journalism, business administration and Spanish. She currently serves as a competitive member of the UD intercollegiate figure skating team, learn-to-skate teacher at the UD Fred Rust Ice Arena, crew member of the Student TV Network 49 News, writer for the UDRESS fashion magazine, public relations team member for UDRESS, and a general member for PRSSA-UD. Follow her on Twitter, @MaleePaytatweet.