As the last few weeks of school creep upon us, I’ve been thinking a lot what extracurricular activities I want to pursue over the summer.
First, I learned that newspaper reporters are wanted for the Polish Heritage Society Newspaper. The ad says you can write one significant story or become a regular columnist. Perhaps I would be able to write several articles over the summer when I have more time, and less during the school year. I would have to find out for sure, of course. But I think this would be a great opportunity to practice my writing skills and have my work published.
Secondly, I wanted to practice speaking Spanish (so I do not forget the language) and I found an opportunity to do so with the Brown County Library. On Tuesdays from 6:30- 7:30, the East library branch hosts an “English and Spanish Conversation Group.” This is a chance to meet and talk with people who are learning English or Spanish. After not being enrolled in a Spanish course for over a year, I have already forgotten things. But hopefully this conversation group could help me refresh my Spanish vocabulary.
I think it’s important for me to stay somewhat busy over the summer, otherwise I get bored. If I do become a writer and attend conversation meetings, not only will I stay busy, but I’ll be adding skills to my resume. It’s essential to be a strong writer and know a second language, so I should definitely pursue these activities!
‘Tis the season for advisement and registration! I can’t believe it’s that time already!
I met with my advisor last Wednesday and was set to register on Friday. It took me awhile to decide which classes to take, mostly because there are so many classes I want to fit in before graduation. But I narrowed it down to four and feel pleased with my decision.
One of the classes I selected was “Marketing Concepts and Issues.” I noticed through my internship searches that marketing is often listed with public relations. Several internship job titles even say “marketing/public relations intern.” Thus, I want to learn about marketing so I can become a more well-rounded job applicant. Some communications job descriptions are rather broad, often including public relations, graphic design, marketing, media relations etc., so I think taking a variety of these courses could be very beneficial.
I am also taking “Organizational Communication” to fulfill my major requirement, “International Inequalities for my GS 11 and 12, and “Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies.” I feel that next semester may have a fairly heavy workload, so I might not do another internship during the fall. Perhaps I will take three courses during the spring and do another internship for credit at that time.
Good luck with choosing classes!
Today I attended my second PRSA luncheon, right here on the St. Norbert College campus. Registration began at 11:15 followed by social networking. I chatted a bit with two people and I really enjoyed learning about their careers. I mainly talked with a man from the Red Cross and asked about his public relations role within the organization. I had actually emailed the Red Cross last week asking about summer internships, so it was nice to talk with someone directly with the organization. He gave me his business card and invited me to contact him specifically about internships. Apparently, they may need someone to help with summer projects.
Shortly after 11:30 we sat down at the dinner table and began lunch. Everyone talked throughout the next half hour and it was nice to hear bits and pieces about their daily work.
Following lunch was the presentation entitled “Take your Pitch Nationwide: Tips to Achieving More Media Attention.” Dr. Kunkel, St. Norbert College president, was the keynote speaker.
Overall, the PRSA event was very worthwhile. I was able to network with people in my field and learn more about the media industry. I can’t wait for the next meeting!
We’ve been doing some exciting things in my internship class that I’d like to share. First, Jenny Schroth, our teacher and St. Norbert internship director, introduced us to Linkedin, a popular professional networking site. Linkedin is a great way to make contacts in your field (which is extremely important by the way!). These contacts can answer any of your lingering questions as well as refer and suggest employment after graduation. After class I signed up for Linkedin and added a little bit of information to my profile. I did not yet add many contacts, but I definitely need to start!
Secondly, I learned about creating professional portfolios. A professional portfolio is a binder of your college work and accomplishments that should be brought to job interviews. I am in the process of creating one now. So far, I included my awards and scholarship information, writing, internship work, and my resume. I am also creating a table of contents with brief descriptions, and I plan to place the papers in plastic covers. Professional portfolio’s are a definitely a great way to stay organized!
Overall, I suggest creating a Linkedin account and professional portfolio. Linkedin is a great way to network and professional portfolios can help show off your successes. Make the time to prepare for your future now!
This past Tuesday I attended my first Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) luncheon for the Northeast Wisconsin chapter. The meeting was titled “Driving your PR Goals with Social Media” and featured speaker Al Krueger, founder of Comet Branding + PR in Milwaukee.
I arrived in Appleton around 11:15 for registration. I paid my dues, only $15 for undergraduate students, and then put on my name tag. We had a few minutes before lunch, so I chatted a bit with two other women. They asked about my internship and college in general, and they told me a little about the PRSA.
Lunch began at 11:30. We were offered lasagna, alfredo or tomato based sauces with noodles, salad, brownies, and soda or water. Once I filled my plate, I sat back down in the conference room. I actually saw a former supervisor of mine and we talked over lunch. It was great to catch up with her!
The presentation began at 12:00 and I found it to be very informational. Al first showed us a youtube video on the social media revolution, and then proceeded with a PowerPoint presentation. He taught us how social media can drive PR results and the importance of social media in the PR profession.
Overall, I am happy I attended the PRSA meeting. It was nice to learn about something new regarding the PR profession because I previously knew little about social media. I definitely broadened my understanding of PR work and it was just nice being in the presence PR folks (I hope to be in the same field with them some day!).
Since we are well into spring semester, I thought I’d discuss my class credit internship. As you may know, I am interning with Aurora Health Care.
For the past few weeks I’ve been writing news releases, many of which are about new doctors practicing at Aurora. I also had the opportunity to write a community posting for an Aurora R.N. The nurse had wanted to highlight her position with the Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA), so I wrote a brief summary in the form of a news release. My supervisor will then submit it to the newspaper for their “business people” section.
For the most part, I have only been in the office each week. I would like to do more outside work with the media, but my schedule has not been too flexible. So I have basically been stationed at a cubicle for four hours, twice a week, and that has definitely taken some getting used to. The office environment is different from my previous jobs. At my summer job, my coworkers are very verbal and there is always a lot of background noise. At Aurora, almost everyone and everything is silent; phones rarely ring and coworkers seldom talk. Secondly, I sit at an open desk at my summer job; there are no cubicles that separate coworkers. But at Aurora, everyone sits at a cubicle except for those who have their own office. Sometimes the seclusion makes work a little lonely. The walls block our ability to communicate or even see each other. I am getting used to these differences, but I definitely prefer the louder work environment (probably because I have been working in one for a longer time).
I’ll keep you up-to-date- with my Aurora adventures. This week I will be attending two different events, so hopefully I will have much to talk about!
I know many students are busy with end of the semester work and exam preparation, but I hope you had a somewhat enjoyable snow day!
I want to share with you some of my past and future volunteer experiences. First of all, I became involved with the “conversation partner program” here at SNC. I met with an ESL student once a week so she could practice communicating with an English speaker. We usually met over lunch at the caf or at Ed’s and basically just talked. Our conversations varied, but she was consistently able to speak and listen. Her goal was to practice the skills she learned in class which include speaking, listening, writing, and reading. I was happy to help her with any homework or even questions she had about American customs. I was also able to learn a little about her lifestyle in China. Overall, I was happy to be a part of the conversation partner program. I have become sensitive to other cultural values, norms, and customs as a result of this volunteer experience and the many classes I’ve taken at St. Norbert. These sensitivities will hopefully become useful in the workforce as well.
I also signed up to be a soldier’s penpal through the organization called adopt-a-platoon. I submitted my information a few days ago, and I will soon receive a soldier’s name and contact information. I thought this would be a good opportunity to continue writing, even though it will most likely be once a month informal letters. Though I do enjoy writing and I am excited to (hopefully) brighten a soldier’s day with a letter from home.
I want to continue volunteering once I am back home over winter break. Hopefully I will have more time to lend a helping hand!
This semester I am enrolled in Prof. Milbourn’s Writing for Media class and over the past few weeks we have been studying broadcast writing. Specifically, we learned about style, copy preparation, TV news story formats and scripts, as well as putting together newscasts.
I wanted to share with you broadcast writing style characteristics and tips. I hope these may be helpful for anyone interested in the media profession.
1) Titles usually become before names. For example, a broadcast journalist would write “St. Norbert College junior Jennifer Seim,” not “Jennifer Seim, a St. Norbert College junior.”
2) Minimize punctuation. A lot of semi-colons in broadcast may actually be periods instead.
3) Round off numbers. For example, if you need to write “3,978” you should state “almost 4,000” instead because it is clearer for the listener.
4) Use pronouns sparingly. Too many pronouns may make it difficult for readers to understand whom you mention in your writing.
5) Put attribution before the quote or paraphrased sentence. For example, state Jenny Seim said “quote,” not “quote,” said Jenny Seim.
6) Do not abbreviate. A broadcaster only has one chance to inform the listener and abbreviations may cause confusion.
7) Avoid quotes. Try and find sound bites or paraphrase instead.
8) Personalize when appropriate.
9) Add pronouncers where appropriate. This will help the broadcaster pronounce the word more accurately.
10) Finally, avoid dependent clauses at the beginning of the sentence.
I hope you find this list helpful! Broadcast writing is certainly different from other media forms, but it is really interesting to learn.
I suggest anyone pursuing a career in journalism take Writing for Media. The course not only allows you to learn broadcast writing, but also writing for print, web, and public relations.
I just finished registering for my spring ‘10 classes. Next semester I will be taking two communication classes, nonverbal and small group, as well as christian ethics, which counts for an upper level general education requirement. I will also be continuing my PR internship for class credit.
I am thrilled to be back at Aurora next semester for my internship experience. SNC students are required to work 120 hours to get class credit, which means I will double my weekly time at Aurora. I feel grateful that I was invited to come back and I know that by spending more time in the office as well as the hospital, I will gain a better understanding of PR.
Aurora has also done some unexpected restructuring in their communications department. Thus, I am a little nervous about what my future duties entail. I do hope to continue writing, working with the media, and attending special events.
I look forward to next semester as it quickly approaches! Best of luck to everyone as you select classes and apply for internships!
This past summer I joined Mary Kay Cosmetics and I wanted to share the ways in which the company has helped improve my communication skills.
First of all, I feel that my public speaking skills improved. There were several events where I got on stage and had to share information about myself, reasons for joining, and details about products etc. One event, in particular, where I had to speak was on the evening of my induction ceremony. I got onstage in front of a small group, maybe 10 people or so, to introduce myself to the other consultants. Another time I had to talk on stage was at a quarterly event. This time I spoke to a crowd of about 80 people and I had to share my favorite MK products. The situations were equally scary at first because of the bright lights and what seemed to be a million eyes staring right at you. But after awhile, I became more relaxed and less nervous.
I also feel that my interpersonal communication skills improved after joining Mary Kay. I attended group meetings, make-over parties, and held my own debut party- all of which made me more comfortable communicating with new people. Although shy at times, I soon found myself approaching people I didn’t know and striking up a conversation with them.
My overall Mary Kay experience has been beneficial to me thus far. As a communications major, I need all the practice I can interacting with others. In fact, several SNC communications majors became Mary Kay consultants. So it’s nice knowing that there’s always an opportunity to increase my business and pursue it as a full-time career in the future.