3 Things I learned in My PR Technology and Applications Class:

Throughout my second year at SIUE, I enrolled in a class titled PR technology and applications.  This class has benefited me in numerous ways and I want to discuss a few of those reasons with you today.

  1. Professional Development Project:

In this class, we were required to attend three events throughout the course of the semester to get real world experience.  For this project I went out of my comfort zone by going for an interview.  This interview is for a job that is geared exactly for my future dream.  I want to be an event planner and this company that I interviewed with plans weddings, baby showers, and even hosts prom dinners.  I am happy to announce that I got the job as a summer intern and will be pursuing my dream.  This project taught me to always take the next step in life.

interview

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2. LinkedIn

We were also required to create a LinkedIn profile in this class.  Surprisingly enough, I had never heard of LinkedIn before this project.  I downloaded the app on my phone and began connecting with individuals within seconds.  This app has became one of my biggest hobbies that I check daily.  Not only are you connecting with several individuals, you are also networking/getting your name out there.  I think a cool feature this website has is that you can see who viewed your profile that week and even what companies viewed it.  When I saw what companies were viewing my profile it was definitely a confidence booster.  If you are not on LinkedIn I would suggest you join.  It is basically a walking resume at all times.

 

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Image by Pradeep {Link to: https://mspoweruser.com/linkedin-brings-autoplay-video-ads-to-its-network/}

3. Indesign and Photoshop

I had little experience with Photoshop in high school, but when we had a Photoshop project assigned to us in this technology class the techniques much harder for me to grasp.  Photoshop is very difficult to get used to, but by working with it more and more I will only get better.  We also made a trifold brochure from Indesign.  I think Indesign was easier for me to grasp than Photoshop was.  I am thankful that I got experience with both of these advanced softwares to prepare me for my future endeavors.

Comparing-Adobe-Photoshop-and-InDesign

Image by Oodles studio {Link to: http://www.oodlesstudio.com/comparing-adobe-photoshop-indesign/}

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3 Ways I Was Introduced to PR:

I know many of you have no idea what public relations is or how broad of a field it is. I had no clue what this field was before my freshman year of college when I was introduced to it by internet research, my family, and freshman orientation at SIUE. Before my freshman year, I had no clue what I wanted my major to be.. which is OKAY! I finally decided on this and it is the best decision I have ever made.

  1. Internet Research:

When researching online what all actually goes in to public relations I found that this was the perfect fit for me.  I did not want a major that had only one focus I wanted a major that was very broad.  This major has a wide range of options going from event planning all the way to marketing.

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2. My Family:

When I was lost and did not know where I wanted my future to go I resorted to talking to my family.  My parents said this would be a perfect major for me because I love to communicate with people.  My mom also majored in public relations so she really focused on all of the positives.

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3. Freshman Orientation at SIUE:

I was a scared nervous freshman going to orientation clueless.  I went to the business room and the communications room.  When I entered the business room I knew this was not the right fit for me. I felt out of place and I felt like I was trying to do what my dad does. Once I entered the communications room I felt at home and knew everything I researched and heard from my family was true.  It was the best decision I could have ever made.

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3 Things to Think About Before Public Speaking:

I know public speaking is the biggest fear for individuals in the United States. It is so hard to get in front of a crowd of people and speak. I know some of you do not mind it at all, but for me it was the opposite. Public speaking was always one of my main fears in high school and going into college. I have taken a public speaking class and I am taking an advanced public speaking class at the moment. I never would have thought I would be where I am today. These three things I will discuss will hopefully help calm your nerves before you have to give a speech.

  1. Remember everyone is as nervous as you.

It always occurred to me that everyone in my public speaking class was calm as can be before they had to give their speeches.  I always thought, why do I freak myself out like this?  Everyone seems so calm and not worried at all.  When in reality everyone felt the same as me.  I talked to several individuals after class was over and they all said, “man I am glad that is over.” I was shocked to hear this and after that day I will always remember that everyone hates it just as much as I do.

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Image by Steemit {Link to: https://steemit.com/life/@kenan1989/how-to-reduce-the-fear-of-public-speaking}

2. Remember you can speak as good as anyone else.

I know you are probably thinking how come everyone is so professional when they speak?  When people give speeches they are usually very critical to themselves.  I always think I sound terrible and stumble over my words.  I make bigger deals out of the little things that do not matter.  After I finish people always tell me how good my speech was then I feel better.  Remember you are always better than you think.

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Image from Youtube {Link to :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36otu8jZIw4}

3. Remember the students will not remember anything about your speech once they leave class.

In reality, none of the students care about if you stumbled over your words or how you did.  They are more focused on getting out of class and moving on with their day.  Focus on getting up there doing what you do, then getting to do whatever you want the rest of the day.  Speeches always fly by once you get up there and start speaking.

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3 Things That Make Me Happy:

There are many things in my life that bring me joy but I want to share a couple with you. Finding joy in the little things is important in this big world of ours.

1) My family/Significant other

I have always been super close to my family. I can go to them about anything and I am grateful for that. Having that close bond is important to me and is what persuaded me to stay close for college. I am also grateful for my boyfriend Chase. He inspires me everyday to be the best I can be.  

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2) Dance

Dance has been a part of my life since the age of 3 and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have made some of my best friends from the SIUE Dance Team.  Going to dance practice is a stress reliever for me. It is a place where I can forget about anything causing me stress in my life and just do what I love to do.

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3) Vacations

Vacations have always been something that has made me very happy. Anytime I am stressed I always tell my parents we need to plan a vacation. Vacations are something that help me get through school or stressful times because they are something to look forward to. I recently went on a cruise over Spring Break and loved it. I am already looking forward to going on another. I also enjoy them because you get to spend time with your family and the people you love.

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3 Greatest Accomplishments in My Life:

Throughout my life I have realized that your accomplishments do not have to be big and extraordinary to count. They can be as simple as getting an A on a quiz. Be proud of yourself for the little things you accomplish. These accomplishments I will discuss are the reason my college career is going as smooth as it is.

1) I made the SIUE Dance Team:

I have been dancing since I was 3 and knew when my senior year came that I was not ready to be done with dance. After I thought long and hard I decided I would continue dancing through my four years at college. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.  I have made some of my best friends from the team and it is nothing but joy for me. I am so happy I did not give up.

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2) I made the Dean’s List every semester so far:

I am proud to say that I have managed to get on the Dean’s list every semester I have attended SIUE. I always maintained good grades in high school but I am proud that I still am in college. I know not too many people have the privilege to say they have made the Dean’s list.

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3) I got accepted into my sorority Alpha Sigma Tau:

I knew I wanted to join an organization that was big so I could meet a bunch of people at the start of my freshman year. I am so happy I joined Alpha Sigma Tau that has over 120 members. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t see someone from the sorority on campus or even just around Edwardsville. It is a great way to get involved.

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3 Tips To Look Your Best For an Interview:

Before going on an interview you may be extremely nervous and not think of your appearance as much as what you’re going to say.  Your appearance is their very first impression of you. Looking the part plays a bigger role in the process than you may realize.

1) “Dress to Impress

I know you’re probably thinking I have heard this too many times but it really is appropriate for every interview. Make sure your clothes are ironed and fit you. If your dress pants are too short that might leave a bad impression. Take the extra time to look prepared.

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Image by Priyanka Ramani {Link to https://www.thehrdigest.com/business-fashion-dress-impress-workplace/}

2) “Always Be the Best That You Can Be”

This quote is very special to me because it is something my grandma always told me growing up. Anytime I saw her she would tell me this so it is engraved in my head now.  This quote is very true when you think about it. You only have so much time here on Earth so why not live every day to your fullest potential.

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3) “Take Time to Shower

This tip is self explanatory even though it may not be for some people. Is it really that hard to take a shower before a job interview? I have heard stories of people coming into interviews looking like they just rolled out of bed. That just shocks me and is definitely a turn off automatically for the company you are trying to work for.

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3 Simple Tips to Help Your College Career Be Bright and Successful

I know many of you are probably thinking college is the one of the most stressful times of your life but believe me you will miss it when it is gone.  Now is the time that you can plan your schedule and simply do whatever you want when you want.  College should not be something that you dread going to.  It should be looked at as the path to your bright and successful future.

1)  Take time to stop and smell the roses.

I know this may be a very cliché saying but it is the honest truth.  In college we sometimes tend to get caught up in schoolwork and let it take over our lives.  Do not let this happen to you.  Remember the reasons you are going to college, but do not let it overcome everything in your life.  Always remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

pug smelling roses

Image from Payton L. Methvin {Link to https://www.theodysseyonline.com/smell-the-roses}

2) Take time to hangout with your friends as much as you can.

Friends are one of the most important things in my life.  I take time to hangout with them every chance I get.  Friends are an important part of college that can help you when times are tough.  Making friends in your classes is also very important.  When you have friends in your classes to go through the tough times with you it will help.  Being able to complain to each other and knowing you have others that are on the same boat is helpful.  Always remember true friends will always be there for you when times are tough.

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Image from Dexter Drippy {Link to http://dexterdrippy.blogspot.com/2017/03/sol-1-hanging-with-friends.html}

3) Take time to do something you love or something special just for you.

This is so so so important in college.  I know for me I always want to help others and sometimes forget to do things for myself.  Taking time to do things special for yourself is beneficial.  It is also a stress reliever.  Go shopping, go get your nails done, go get a massage, or go get that shirt you have always wanted.  Believe me it is the little things that will make you feel good.  

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Image from Express {Link to https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/378360/The-450-bill-for-beautiful-nails}

3 Questions Students May Have About Public Relations:

I have only been studying public relations for a little over a year and a half now.  I know students will have questions like I did when I was deciding what I wanted to do.  I hope these questions and answers help you!

1) Do you have to be as skilled as a professional writer to have a degree in public relations?

No!  You do not need to be an amazing writer when you start studying this degree because you definitely will improve fast.  I am in several writing classes and I have already noticed a tremendous change in my writing.  

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2) Do you need an internship right away?

No, most college students do not start looking into getting an internship until their junior year.  It is not something you should stress about in the beginning.  Take your time, focus on school, and you will do just fine.  There are so many job opportunities in the public relations industry that you will have no problem.

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Image by Matt Kelly {Link to https://baseballhall.org/learn/steele-interns-then-and-now}

3)  Do you have to be skilled with all technology if you want to pursue a degree in public relations?

No, you do not need to be an expert in all areas of technology to pursue a degree in this field.  I have never been very technologically advanced in many areas, but I am in a couple technology classes now and have learned a lot.  I am currently learning a lot about Photoshop and Indesign.  Believe me you will learn if you want to learn!

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3 Tips for Public Relations Students

I know I have not had much experience with public relations yet, but I do believe I have enough to educate you on a couple of tips I have for new public relations students.  Getting advice from students that have already been in the shoes you are getting ready to be in is always helpful.  I hope you take these tips and apply them when you’re in my shoes.  Always remember everyone else is going through the same struggles you are.

1) Be ready to write A LOT.

I hope you are prepared to write for several assignments a day.  It used to take me so long to come up with topics to write about but after getting experience from the public relations classes I have improved tremendously.  Writing is the main thing you do for this major so if you do not love it yet you better learn to!

Serious male student writing in a laboratory

Image by Gary R. Hafer {Link to https://www.facultyfocus.com/tools/assignments-and-activities/punctuating-error-strategies-help-students-become-disciplined-writers/}

2)  Be ready to deliver plenty of speeches.

I was the most nervous for this part of the public relations field.  I was required to take public speaking and advanced public speaking.  These classes have definitely helped me improve.  I am not near as nervous as I used to be.  They will go by fast I promise.

Student speaking

Image by Keio University {Link to https://www.keio.ac.jp/en/news/2012/120920-3.html}

3) Be ready to get a lot feedback from your professors.

You may think your writing is perfect and does not need anything changed but you will hear different from your professors.  Sometimes it will just be minor changes but other times it will be major changes.  Take the corrections and learn from them.  They are doing nothing but trying to help you.  

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1) It will build lasting friendships. 

I know I know I know college seems like it will be the most stressful time of your life but believe me it is simply what you make it.  Some of my best friends are from the college dance team.  College is where you find your true friends and believe me when you’re with them all the time for practices you will become best friends for life.

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2) You will stay in healthy physical shape.

By being involved and having weekly workouts/practices you will for sure stay in good physical shape.  One thing I was worried about was gaining the awfully dreaded freshman 15 but the dance team helped that not happen.  Our mandatory workouts and practices did not seem so bad after all.  When you’re with your best friends, working out does not seem as dreadful.

3) This is the last time in your life to be able to do this so take advantage.

Yes I know getting old sounds awful but it is coming faster than you think it will.  This is the last time to be able to pursue your passion before you’re old and all you can do is work.  Balancing a sport and school really works on your time management skills which you can apply positively in your future.  My main tip for college is to just get involved.  I promise it will all be worth it in the long run.

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