[Updated September 2014]
“When should I start applying for that internship?”
“Where do I start with my job search?”
“Do I need to be sending my resumes out now?”
There’s a point of recognition where the senior public relations major realizes that yes, barring any major gaffes, chances are good that they’re going to graduate and need to find a job. And then the panic sets in.
Senior year both flies by in a blink and seems to drag on forever at the same time. Benchmarking a few key activities may help you create your own plan for prepping for graduation.
A quick note: University of Oregon is on the quarter system – we start the last Monday of September and finish mid-June, so this calendar may vary based on your University.
This week I took about 80 staff portraits for a couple of different websites – the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) is a client and I’m managing the launch of a shiny new website and I’m a long-time volunteer at HIV Alliance.
Taking that portraits in such short time frame brought up a couple of things that I thought I’d share.
- Man, we are uncomfortable in our skin. Too this… not enough that… “hope you brought an extra camera because I’ll probably break it.” Taking pictures always reminds me how beautiful people are. We have warm smiles and beautiful eyes, we’re friendly and genuine. Sure, we have a little gut, and our noses look weird at that angle, but who cares?
- It makes me very, very sad when say people haven’t had their photo taken in years. Biz portraits aren’t so important, but family/friend/life photos and capturing memories is. Your family and friends want photos of you. You will want photos of you. Document your lives! It’s nice to hire a professional once in a while to capture the great above-the-mantel portraits, too.
I’m not going to lie, as an undergrad, the idea of doing investor relations would’ve given me the heebie jeebies. Math? numbers? all those regulations? Blech.
As a professional, I’ve learned that not only are numbers and math your friends, they can be a lot of fun. And regulations? Everyone’s got ‘em. Communicating complex info in a clear, persuasive way while navigating the rules and regulations along with company culture and politics is pretty much what we do.
Had I had some mentorship or just some instruction in financial communication, I might have taken a different path. Or I’d at least had some sense of all the options for a career in public relations.
So I was pretty excited when, this spring, the PR sequence at the SOJC launched IR Futures, an investor relations-focused student club. We have a couple of stellar faculty who have expertise in investor relations and financial communications and this is a growing area of focus for the PR sequence.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Apparently, all “successful” people can answer this question immediately. From The Muse blog:
Tina Eisenberg says that all the most successful people she’s met have been able to answer this question immediately: John Maeda, who led the MIT Media Lab and Rhode Island School of Design, responded with “curiosity.” Maria Popova, who curates the popular Brain Pickings blog by reading 12-15 books a week, said “doggedness.” Eisenberg’s own superpower? Enthusiasm.
I agree, this is a great question. However, I’d argue that the answers she gives are not the answers to that question, but to another: If you have a superpower, what is it? Curiosity, doggedness and enthusiasm are “superpowers” that have helped each of these people be successful.
I do like this question, though. My superpower would be the ability to extend time.
What’s yours and why?
I get interviewed quite a bit. Once every couple of months or so I’m asked to speak as an “expert” about PR, social media, technology, trends or any other random number of things, mostly by student reporters and TV reporters. I love to talk, so if a reporter shows up prepared, listens and asks good questions, I truly enjoy the process.
Regardless of what kind of content you’re creating (doing journalism, writing e-newsletters or blog posts or feature articles for the company magazine), being a good interviewer will help you tell a better story.
My Strategic PR Writing students blogged twice a week for seven weeks this term. It’s a feat to get all those posts done! I picked a “best of” from each blog to share with you. You can learn more about the background on the students’ assignment here.
Congrats to all 16 of my students on their blogs! In no particular order… here are this term’s best ofs:
We’re on the downhill slide of the term. Just three weeks to go (and a ton of grading), and winter term will be in the books. So just keep swimming! We’re almost there.
This week’s links feel very random, to me, but each interesting on its own merits. You can learn more info about these “linky loves” and the background on the students’ assignment here.
I truly enjoy meeting with students. One-on-one chats provide time to explain a confusing topic, go over feedback on an assignment or just chat about career (or life) goals. And everyone’s time is valuable – your time as a student, my time as faculty member and a PR pro.
I ask students to make appointments with me using an online calendar system because it helps me manage my schedule and be more available and present for students.