Career Fair

April 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

Wednesday, February 24, I attended my first Career Fair, not only at Georgia Southern, but ever.  I thought that the overall the experience as a whole was a good one. There were about 84 different companies ready, available, and eager to answer your questions. The majority of these companies were education and government related. It was good to have the chance to get out there and network with the representatives. I think that going to this Career Fair will help me better understand how to act at one next year when I am closer to graduation. It also helped me to prepare for future Career fairs I might attend. Including the Communications Career Fair, which will be Wednesday, April 14, 2010.  I am really looking forward to this career fair because I think it will have more representatives and networking opportunities that can better benefit me specifically. This experience better prepared for what I should expect when I go to a fair. Prior to this experience I didn’t realize how much really relies on you putting yourself out there. It’s your job to approach, network, and potentially impress the person you desire to learn information about a specific company.

Although I learned valuable information from the Career Fair I attended, I did not think that the fair offered a very diverse selection of options when it came to the companies present. There were a large number of Education related representatives. As Public Relations major I didn’t feel like there were companies which appealed to me. I am particularly interested in event planning as a career option. Belk had a booth set up at the Fair. I had heard that they have a wedding consultant section through there department store. However, when I talked to the representatives they were solely discussing retail related opportunities within the store. Although I didn’t personally find something that caught my interest I still think it was good to get out there and practice networking for the future.

Here is a quick video offering tips on how to prepare for a Career Fair

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Informational Interview

March 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

I interviewed a woman named Claudia Sasser for my project. She is a business graduate from University of Georgia. Claudia is a woman who is relatively new to the wedding planning business. She is the meeting and events manager from her self-owned company Claudia Sasser Events. I met Claudia through my mother; they used to coach gymnastics together. She was kind enough to participate in a phone interview with me. My interview with her was very insightful and taught me a lot about the industry. I found the interview to be especially informative since I am interested in a career in event or wedding planning. I learned how difficult it is to get started and just how important social networking really is for this career choice.

What’s a typical work week like? Well work is slow right now since I am just getting started and I have a very young daughter. Right now I really have to do most of my work around her schedule. I am working independently so right now I am just researching a lot of the time and trying to get my name out there.

Can you tell me about a project you have worked on that you are especially proud of? I have been really proud of the fact that with all the weddings I have planned I was able to stay within the client’s budget. It is a lot more difficult to stay within budget than most people would think.

How important is writing in your career? Writing is actually very important. I have to e-mail back and forth a lot with vendors. And I have to be able to know how to get the price I want. I also have to write to try and make my name known.

What 3 tips would you offer someone who is just starting out? I would say that you need to be ready to put in a lot of time. You need a lot of patience. And you really need to know your market, the ages and the demographics you’re trying to appeal to along with what type of events you want to do.

What do you do to keep current with the industry? I subscribe to several websites for even planners, along with magazines. There are several workshops offered that can help give you experience. One woman in particular that I have taken some workshops with and really learned a lot from is Natalie Bradley. http://www.nataliebradley.com/Home.html I talk to other planners and I also read a lot of books about planning. One book I have found especially helpful is “Southern weddings” by Tara Guerard http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Weddings-New-Looks-South/dp/0941711935

Did your education prepare you for your work? Well, I graduated from the University of Georgia with a business degree so I didn’t have any courses that specialized in this type of work. However, business skills have definitely benefited.

What has surprised you most about your work? The liability involved. It is very important that you have a lawyer in order to protect yourself. They will help you compose a contract with your clients that will ensure you don’t lose money or put time into a wedding just to have it cancelled. An example of how having protection is if the guests were to get food poisoning from the food served at the wedding. Although it is the caterer who served the food, you are the one who hired the caterer.

How has technology affected your daily work? I am constantly on the computer as well as the phone. Whether it is to research, or e-mail vendors or book locations, I am always using technology in my work. It is something that is needed every day.

What is your most or least favorite part of your job? Surprisingly, I really enjoy the stress of it all. I love the feeling I get with managing an entire project. Luckily, I haven’t yet come across something I dislike that much about my job.

 

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Internship Tips

March 10, 2010 at 10:42 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

This week’s blog topic for my Public Relations Practicum class is Internship advice. I think that this is a good topic because many of the students in this class have already interned or are about to begin applying for intern positions. Those that have already had internships can share their experience with those that haven’t yet. They can help them to have a better understanding of what to expect and how to prepare.

            Since I haven’t held an internship position yet, I searched online for internship advice. The first site I looked at was:  http://www.groovejob.com/resources/internship/importance/.

This article begins by stating how hard it is for new graduates to get good jobs once they are directly out of college. They say that it isn’t which university you graduated from, but what actual real world experience you have. Their advice on how to get this experience? Get an internship. Internships are the best way for college students to gain actual experience. An internship will provide insight into a real work environment. Now that I have highlighted the importance of an internship, I looked at http://www.magicpotofjobs.com/2009/03/24/internship-advice/.  for information about how to get an internship. This article suggested that the best time of the ear to look for an internship is during the “off” season. This is the time when there is not a break in school, such as summer. Times during student beaks are the most competitive times to try and get an internship. So if you are wishing to intern during this time, you should start applying early. The article mentioned that you should go to the career services office at your school or someone that can help provide you with a list of companies which are looking for interns. These companies are usually looking for college students and sometimes have more than one intern position they are trying to fill.

            After scouting out possible internships, it is time for you to start researching the companies you are interested in applying for. If you are fortunate enough to get an internship interview then you want to know background information about the company. This way you can ask your interviewer in specific questions. This will show that you have taken the initiative to research prior to getting the position. Prior research may also be able to help you understand what will be expected of you if you are hired, it can also help you decide where you want to apply. Once deciding where you want to apply, you should have someone (an advisor, career services, etc.), assist you in creating a resume and cover letter which are geared toward the particular internship you are applying for. After you have applied, you should begin preparing for the interview hopefully to follow.

            Make sure you are well prepared before you step into an interview. If you do not make a good impression during your interview, then you might not get the internship. Remember to research the company prior to the interview and dress appropriately. For more advice on how to prepare for an interview you can view some of my previous blogs.

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Blog Comments

March 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm (blog comments, PRCA 3711) ()

1.Here is the link to my comment on Sarah Kemp’s post:

http://skemp1.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/cover-letter-resume-tips/#comment-86

I enjoyed your post. Originally, I never thought of a cover letter as a way to show a future employer a little of who you are. However, you made an excellent point when you mentioned it. I agree that it is important to show who you are as a person not just and employee. Employers are probably interested in knowing the type of person they could potentially hire. Certain characteristics could make or break you. I think that when using personal information about yourself in a cover letter you should do so with digression.  Make sure personality points about yourself are appropriate and portray you in the light you wish to be portrayed.

2.Here is the link to my comment on Meghan’s post about body language and non verbal communication.

http://meghanlane.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/body-language-and-nonverbal-communication-during-a-job-interview/#comment-26

I think there is good advice in what your mother told you in regards to the importance of first impression in an interview. I think that people are constantly under estimating the importance of first impression. Your post on proper body language and non verbal communication provided useful information on how to improve your first impression.
3.Here is a comment I left about tips for how to dress for a job interview.

http://samonahan.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/what-not-to-wear-the-interview-edition/#comment-53

I found the video you posted within your blog to be very helpful. It was easier to watch the video than read posts about what to wear to an interview. I think the video covered all the main questions people have in regards to dressing prior to an interview.

4.Here is a link to the comment I left on Sarah’s post.

http://samonahan.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/internship-advice/#comment-51

Thanks Sarah,
I really enjoyed reading your blog on internship advice. It is difficult to find the right balance between speaking up and stepping on toes. I think as we are nearing the end of our college days we are also nearing the time to start internships. It makes me nervous to hear many people in our classes talking about their internship interviews but it also makes me excited. The advice your provided on how to get an internship is helpful, thanks!

5.My post on Micaela’s wall

http://micaelacarter.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/prca-3711-cover-letter-tips/#comment-48

I thought your post on cover letter tips was very informative. I also thought that the tip about including social media skills in your cover letter was interesting. I hadn’t thought about including these types of skills in a cover letter, but now that you have mentioned it I can see why. Especially when you are applying for a position involving public relations work.

6.Comment on internship advice:

http://dsmilez.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/internship-advice-prca-3711/#comment-20

I thought that your post was more interesting than others on the same topic because you actually talked about your friends who have interned. I also liked the way you incorporated their personal advice they wish to share from their personal experience. Also, the was you wrote your post was more conversational. I though this made it easier to read and follow along with what you were trying to get across.

7.Cover letter comment

http://ashleyprisfunrenfroe.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/cover-letter-prca-3711/#comment-45

I definitely agree with the comment you made about proper grammar use and proof reading your cover letter prior to submitting it. I do not think that the importance of this tip can be emphasized enough. Many interviewers will through out a resume without taking a second glance at it if they notice improper grammar in the cover letter. Although this tip seems basic and common knowledge it is still one of the most important tips of advice for a cover letter.

8.Interview Comment:

I found this interview to be very informative. I think I enjoyed it more than other interviews I have read because I can relate to it more than the others. I think that it is more appealing to me because the interviewee is a Georgia Southern graduate. I feel like I am constantly hearing others say that people who graduate from other “more challenging” schools have a higher chance of getting a job than GSU graduates. Marla is an example proving that this is not the case. You can graduate from GSU and still get a good PR job. It is encouraging to hear her thoughts and the description of her job.

9.Comment on J’s interview:

http://jcam19.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/pr-professional-interview/#comment-132

I enjoyed your post about the interview you conducted. As I commented on another blog where a student interviewed a Georgia Southern graduate, it was encouraging. I like to read about successful careers people with PR degrees from GSU have accomplished. I also was interested when you asked what advice she would give, and she mentioned “Take the PR Publications class”. I am taking this course next semester, so the advice has made me look forward to taking the course. I also liked the fact that she is a relatively new graduate. She hasn’t been out on her own that long and she has already had success. It gives me hope.

10.Career Services Comment:

http://stephaniemedlin.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/career-services-event-reaction-blog/#comment-24

Wow, this Career Services Event really sounds like it provided you with good, helpful information. It seems like it is the type of workshop that every student could benefit in some way from . I wish I had known about the event because I would have benefited from attending. That’s why when you mentioned you were the only student who attended I was surprised. I fee like a lot of student’s would have been interested in attending if they knew more about the event. Maybe the Career Services Department should find a better and more effective way of informing student’s of such workshops. It sounds like you really learned a lot from the workshop and I think that in the future if more student’s knew about similar events, the attendance rate would be much higher.

11. Comment on Marilyn’s blog

http://skemp1.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/comments-prca-37114711-spring-2010/
I think that the event you attended was a good choice. Prior to this semester I had not yet hear of LinkedIn. I heard about it through our Practicum class when we had to create a LinkedIn account. I think that the event you attended would have benefited me because I still have some questions about the site. It is nice to be able to read your post and have a lot of my basic questions about how the site works and how to use it answered. This is a great post. I found it very helpful. Thanks!
12. Post on Marilyn’s interview:
http://marilynpr.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/informational-interview-carter-salley/#comment-88

I enjoyed your interview. I thought is was original in the aspect that you though to interview someone who is still a college student. It goes to show that you can never be too young to start working on your career. I can’t believe he began working with PR at the age of 16. I also though that the post was interesting because the things he has accomplished were things that many Pr students are also capable of accomplishing. I think that a lot of students think that they need to wait to graduate before they can pursue their careers but as Carter proves, this is not true.

13. Post on Steph’s interview:

http://stephaniemedlin.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/informational-interview/#comment-25

I enjoyed your blog post about your interview. I liked the fact that you used a Georgia Southern graduate. It is always easier to relate to the person you are reading about in an interview knowing that they came from a similar education background as yourself. I also like the fact that you were fortunate enough to be able to conduct your interview face to face. I had to do mine over the phone. While my interviewee was very helpful, I wasn’t able to have that same type of personal contact you have when face to face. It sounds like she sure does keep busy with her work. I guess our professors aren’t lying when they say we better get used to writing. After reading your post, I fell like you do. I am ready to graduate and get out there!

14. Comment on Sarah’s Internship Advice:

http://skemp1.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/internship-advice-101/#comment-116

I found your post in internship advice to be very helpful. Since you have already experienced working as an intern not just once, but twice, I found you to be a credible source. It is refreshing to have someone who has already been there and figured it out for them self, to provide insight. I agree with you completely that an internship provides a great opportunity and that it can give you an idea of the “real world” and what to expect once you are in the work field. I also thought that then advice to include social media skills was helpful. As time are changing so is the high level of importance of social networking sites in the PR world. Potential employers would like to know that you posses the skills to navigate through these sites.

15. Comment on Non verbal Communication:

http://skemp1.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/body-language-nonverbal-communication-in-job-interviews/#comment-117

I found this post to be informative. The importance of something as simple as eye contact can not be stressed enough. I always knew that it was respectful to look a person in the eyes. I also knew that it is not polite to stare. However, I didn’t realize that if you look directly into someone’s eyes for too long that this is a sign of aggression. It is a helpful fact to now because I know I personally don’t want to come across as aggressive. I also loved the graphic you used in this post. It fit perfectly with what you were talking about.

16. Post on Allison’s Career Fair Expo:

http://aallmond1.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/eagle-expo-career-fair/#comment-66

I found this post to be informative. The importance of something as simple as eye contact can not be stressed enough. I always knew that it was respectful to look a person in the eyes. I also knew that it is not polite to stare. However, I didn’t realize that if you look directly into someone’s eyes for too long that this is a sign of aggression. It is a helpful fact to now because I know I personally don’t want to come across as aggressive. I also loved the graphic you used in this post. It fit perfectly with what you were talking about.

17. Post on Meghan’s blog:

http://meghanspr.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/my-interview-with-a-pr-professional/#comment-25

Wow! it sure sounds like Chelsea is kept very busy with her job. I like that she is a Georgia Southern graduate, and that she is a relatively recent graduate. I also liked the type of work she does. It sounds like she does so many different aspects of Pr work which I find intriguing. Also the fact that she mentioned social media in part of her job description was interesting. I feel like our professors are always telling us how important social media is in the PR world but it is nice to actually hear from someone who knows first hand.

18.  Post on Social Media:

http://dsmilez.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/benefits-pitfalls-of-social-media-for-job-seekers-prca-3711/#comment-30

I enjoyed reading your post on the benefits and pitfalls of social media. I completely agree with what you mentioned as the pitfalls of social media. You definitely do have to closely monitor what private information you are putting out there on these sites. Which is one of the things that also bothers me about social media sites. I use sites like Facebook for recreational use. My purpose for having a Facebook account is not to promote myself or make job connections. I use it to connect with my friends and keep in touch with people. However, even thought I don’t use this site for career opportunities, that doesn’t stop potential employers for using my personal information on this site against me. I think that there should be a line drawn between what is considered an invasion of privacy.

19.

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Tradebook Review

March 2, 2010 at 11:41 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

You can click on the link below to view my Powerpoint slide along with my notes:

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How to dress for an Interview

February 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

When it comes time for you to start applying for jobs you also need to start preparing for the interview that, hopefully, is to follow. In addition to preparing your resume, and practicing what you are going to say, you also need to prepare what you are going to wear to the interview. First impressions are very important in an interview, especially since this is your chance to make an impression that could possibly impress a potential employer. You need to dress for the job you are trying to get. In an article found at this link; http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/a/dressforsuccess.htm , you can find tips about how to dress for an interview for both men and women.

General advice for women going to an interview includes:

  • Wear solid covers, stick with a suit.
  • Your blouse should be coordinated.
  • Shoes should be moderate and not over done.
  • Do not wear too much jewelry; gaudy jewelry should also be avoided.
  • Panty hose should be tan or nude colored.
  • Be careful when applying makeup. You don’t want to come across as looking like a clown.
  • Your nails should be well tended, avoiding bright or busy colors and designs.

Here is advice for men going to an interview:

  • Wear solid colors, a matching suit is preferable
  • A conservative tie, one without a busy print.
  • You should wear dark socks and conservative shoes.
  • Your hairstyle should be neat and polished looking.
  • Do not wear too much aftershave or cologne. You don’t want your smell to overwhelm.
  • Have well manicured nails.

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Benefits/Pitfalls of Social Media in the Job Search

February 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

Today’s blog topic is “benefits and pitfalls of social media in the job search”. I am going to start by listing some different type of social networks:

The above sites are just a few of many different types of social networks. In our Public Relations classes we are constantly being reminded of the benefits of social networking. The more networks you can be a part of, the better. Companies and even colleges are using social networks to view potential candidates. Many employers will now type a job applicant’s name into a search engine, such as Google, and view what comes up. You have a higher chance of having results if you are an active user of some of the above social networks. If you have a strong, positive profile, blog, etc. it could give you an edge over other applicants.

Some other benefits of social media are the many opportunities they offer. You can easily find people who share similar interests as you. You can also use them to find job listings or available internships. Sites such as Twitter can provide instant advice or recommendations. You can “tweet” a question and concern and almost instantly someone can reply to it. Companies are even hiring people to make company profiles so that they can share news with the many users of the sites. While people can gain jobs from social media, they can also lose them for the same reason.

Depending on the information you provide in your social networking sites can determine if it is benefiting or harming your reputation. Certain pictures or comments can be regarded as inappropriate and can be means for expulsion. I have a friend whose Mom is an elementary school teacher. She refuses to get a facebook profile because having one may out her job in jeopardy.  She would like to have one so that she can easily get on touch with old friends but the headmaster at her school has given strict instructions banning the employees to have one. Apparently, they are worried that student’s parents might see things on the teacher’s pages that they don’t approve of.

While networking has its advantages it also has its downfalls. I think there is a fine line between social networking and what could be considered an invasion of privacy. It is an open debate about how much of an impact social media should have on your professional and personal life. My only advice is be careful what you’re posting.

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Body Language and non-verbal communication

January 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

Body Language can portray up to half of what you are communicating. This is high amount, so it is important to make sure you use your body to show what you are trying to get across. Your body can be used as a tool. It can either be helpful or harmful. I found some basic translations of everyday body positions at this website http://deltabravo.net/custody/body.php.

Some of the examples of body language and what it portrayed included:

  • When you stand tall and erected, you portray confidence.
  • If you stand with your hands on your hips, it comes across as being aggressive.
  • Sitting with your legs crossed while tapping your foot is a sign of boredom.
  • If you sit with your legs open you come across as being relaxed.
  • If you have your arms crossed in front of your chest you look defensive.
  • If you have your shoulders hunched with your hands in your pockets while you walk you look rejected.
  • When you have your head resting on your hand it is a sign of boredom.
  • If your hands are behind your head when you are sitting, it comes across as a sign of superiority.
  • Rubbing your hands shows anticipation.
  • An open palm portrays openness and sincerity.
  • If you wrinkle your nose and have your eyes closed, you come across as thinking negatively about something.
  • Tapping or drumming your fingers is a sign of impatience.
  • Constantly touching or playing with your hair shows a lack of self-confidence or insecurity.
  • You show signs of interest when you tilt your head to the side.
  • It looks like you are trying to make a decision when you stroke the bottom of your chin.
  • Biting your nails shows a sign of  nervousness and insecurity.
  • You come across as indecisive when you pull or tug at your ear.

These examples provided helpful insight. If you are speaking with someone such as an employer, a boss, or an elder you want to make sure you act respectful towards them. Although you might be speaking to them with respect if you are doing something as simple as tapping your foot you are portraying boredom. Your body language can completely off set the attitude you are trying to convey. This is an example of why it is important to be conscious not only how you are talking, but also what the rest of your body is doing.

Body Language is a form of non-verbal communication. Help Guide helps show the importance of non-verbal communication.http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm I thought the authors described it well when they said “The way you listen, look, move, and react tell the other person whether or not you care and how well you’re listening. The nonverbal signals you send either produce a sense of interest, trust, and desire for connection—or they generate disinterest, distrust, and confusion.” This shows how much of an effect non-verbal communication can have on a relationship or situation. Some of the main ways you show non verbals are by:

  • facial expressions
  • body movements and postures
  • gestures
  • eye contact
  • touch
  • space
  • and voice

I hope that this provided you with some tips about both body language and non-verbal communication and how to use it for your benefit in the future.

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Cover Letter Tips

January 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

     This week’s blog topic for my PR Practicum class is cover letter tips. I have looked at different websites for advice on how to properly write a good cover letter. The first place I looked at was Professor Nixon’s blog post on her website,  http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2009/09/17/resumes-that-resonate-revisited/. This post emphasized how important it is to avoid  overuse of words like “I” and “my”. Instead the post recommended staying ‘company focused’ in your cover letter. The blog also provided advice on how to correctly address your cover letter. It stated that you should not begin with the phrase “To whom it may concern…”. You should address the cover letter to either the name or title of the hiring manager.

    The second place I looked for tips was  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/CoverLetter_13348_7.pdf  This article mentions that your resume’s cover letter can serve as a marketing tool. The article then goes on to say that your cover letter should consist of three main parts. The first part is where you state the position you are applying for, also mention how you heard about it and why you are interested in applying for it.  The second part of your cover letter is where you should mention why you are the best person for the job. You should mention your personal skills that will give to the job and the company. The article says that in this part of your cover letter, you should also mention your characteristics and part experiences that will show your qualifications. The third part of your letter is your closing paragraph.  This is where you thank your potential employer for overlooking your resume and considering you for the job. You should also provide a phone number where you can be reached.

    Some additional tips the above article mentioned is to make sure you remember to sign your name at the bottom. You should use a standard business letter format that coördinates with your resumé. Your font size is anywhere from 10pt. to 14pt. Your cover letter should only have print on one side of the paper. The color of your cover letter should be white or off-white. You should avoid jargon and grammatical errors. Finally, the article advises that you use terms that apply to the employer.

     After reading about cover letters I have a better understanding of how important they are. They can really enhance a resume. The cover letter is the frist part of your resumé that a potential employer will see. It is the first impression of you that they will see. This is why it is vital to make sure that you have a good, strong cover letter. If your cover letter is sloppy, or poorly constructed your employer might toss your name out as a potential employee without even glancing at your resumé. If you can’t take the time to build a good cover letter then why would they take you seriously as a dedicated and hard worker? I have learned a lot more about how to properly build a cover letter, and I will keep these tips in mind when it is time for me to write my cover letter.

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