Blogging…one day at a time

Updated Profiles!

Well, it really has been a while since I’ve ventured into blogging. I believe it mostly has to do with the mandatory assignments that turned me off from the whole idea.

Crazy how things work. But I figured I’ll give it another shot. This semester in my PR Firms class, we are managing PROpenMic for the week. I’ve been updating my account and my LinkedIn one as well. It amazes me how much is done online. I have been searching for internships a lot this past month for the Summer 2011 term, and can’t believe how much of it has to do with these profiles. It really is about who you know and the connections people make.

While posting new pictures and changing all my “about me” sections from sophomore year to senior year, it hit me how fast this whole thing goes. Even though I am pretty nervous of stepping out into the real world, it is all the more exciting! I am currently searching for PR jobs in Charleston, SC or Raleigh, NC.

If anyone has some helpful hints, send ’em my way!

Going into the professional world of public relations, it was our assignment for class that we interview a PR professional. From this, we were to hopefully gain some insight about life in the field, and how the professional’s background helped get them where they need to be today.

I was so fortunate to interview the lovely Patty Cooper who works in the Communications Department for the American Cancer Society. I was connected to Ms. Cooper by my cousin, Ashley Haseltine, who volunteers in a separate department of ACS. Ms. Cooper actually started out in another division of the ACS, but was offered a different position that has opened new doors for her.

When I first asked her about a typical week at work she told me it depended on the event. Daffodil days, their most recent project, they sent out a couple of photos saying that the volunteers have come and helped them out. With any event they usually send out photos, advisories, press releases, and media kits. Everyday, you’re checking to see if there is any coverage, or picked up a story.

The event she’s most proud of:

The Volunteer Award Dinner. Created certificates, honored the children with goody bags, and introduced those who participant. The event was brand new last year. “That’s what it’s all about, and they have a lot of young people that raise a lot of money, in memory of their grandparents.” They were commemorating their hard work.

To keep current, look at the papers every morning. They have a database for ACS, where anything related to ACS and cancer related comes through. It makes Ms. Cooper’s job a little easier.

She wishes she would have taken more photography courses. You can’t just go and start snapping pictures, you have to wait for the right moment, that right look on someone’s face.

Writing is very important, and luckily it is something she likes to do. you have to know how to express yourself. A lot of coworkers come to her for editing.

Two tips she finds beneficial in the PR/Communications field: Be hands-on as much as you can. Also, internship, get out there and scatter yourself. The experience is key.

I asked Ms. Cooper what she likes most about her company. After short hesitation, she explained she likes how they help people in whatever way they want. In a specific example, she shared with me about her two volunteers. She requested help with the busy season and a lot on her plate. One was an extremely shy young man. When he was asked to make phone calls, he was so shy he needed to be in a secluded room with the door shut. After about a month of being a round such a great group of people with the biggest hearts and welcoming arms, he is no longer as secluded. He even mentioned to Patty how the ACS has helped him open up.

I find it so great that there are companies out there that not only spend their time volunteering to those externally, but want to bring things to those internally. This interview has reinforced my desires to work in the PR field. I know that helping people for the greater good is what I am supposed to do. And since I love working with people, meeting new people, and helping them, public relations is the right path for me!

Internship Advice

It is about that time in my major where all the kids in classes relative to my own are preparing for their internships. This is a big step for any college student, because it is a taste of what is to come in the future. It is a chance for them to get a feel of what they will be doing (hopefully, if the economy changes and jobs are easier to find) on a daily basis. As for me, I have a little less than a year until I’ll be applying for my internship, but I want to make sure that I get the most out of my experiences as an intern. I am looking to be very prepared for whatever job I get, after all I would probably want to keep it.

According to the Cornell Business School, the five best piece of job/internship advice are, “Know what you are getting into and speak up from the start, be proactive, do your homework, it’s the little things that count, and network, network, network.”

Students need to look at internships as a way to gain knowledge, not just to be the person who gets coffee for everyone. While you may have to run some errands, you may get the opportunity to work under someone that does exactly what you want to do years down the road. More often than not, they will want your help with the important stuff, because how else will you learn? Like Groove Job says, “Just think, no more classes, no more papers to write, no more tests to study for. This is it, how exciting! Look at this as an opportunity to work with a full-time after the completion of the internship.” The internship is the final step before being throw into the real world and living the nine to five, or for most people at least.

There are different types of internships that a person can be involved in. According to Wet Feet, the main six are, cooperative education, field experience, practicum, service learning, externship, and apprenticeship. Visit the pervious link to learn more about the different types offered.

When applying for your internship, make sure you are fully prepared. Treat this like the job it is! You need to have a prepared cover letter and resume, prepare some questions so that the interviewer knows that you have done your research about the company, and of course your wardrobe. An internship is your gateway to the real world. By succeeding in an internship, you have the ability to network, which helps get you a career. You may even be fortunate enough to be asked to stay with the company. Regardless, be positive, attentive, responsible, dependable, and reliable. Show the company your intern with that you did not just spend the last few years of your life wasting away in the classroom, but that you do have something to offer the field. Don’t be afraid to speak up, but try not to step on any toes. And finally, prove that you have what it takes to make it!

I have fallen in love with Twitter, and here is proof:

These are the actual slides from my presentation. To see the full notes, go HERE. (Slideshare.net)

More on what not to wear on this blog:

http://micaelacarter.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/107/#comment-20

(blog comment)

See the Pros and Cons on Ashley Renfroe’s Blog!

http://ashleyprisfunrenfroe.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/pros-and-cons-of-social-media/#comment-38

Check out Kati Ann’s blog post about Twitter!

http://katiann4710.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/weekly-topic-social-media-defined-in-140-characters/#comment-55