A Public Relations Major’s Guide to Moving Across the Country

It’s entirely possible that you will receive a phone call one day offering a job you can’t turn down. Luckily, I can help you make a smooth transition. Let’s get down to it!

  1. Make a moving list

Get out your sticky notes and color coded planner, it’s time to organize. Moving across the country seems like a huge task, but when you break it down, it can be much simpler. Some tasks you don’t want to forget on your list are packing, finding housing in your new location, budgeting your move and transportation for the relocation.

  1. Find a good coffee shop and pizza place

Nothing makes home feel more home-y than warm coffee in the morning and pizza for dinner (probably on the floor, because you haven’t put together your tables yet). Yelp and friends that are in the area can guide you, but I will tell you one thing: if you are moving to the West Coast, make sure you find a Philz near you. It’s the best coffee I’ve ever had.

  1. Be aware of your new time zone

Watching your favorite shows on television, scheduling phone dates with friends and setting up business meetings can all be ruined by one thing. Time zones are tricky, especially if you live in a state like Arizona, Indiana or Tennessee, which all have funky time zones. Be sure to be respectful of your new time zone and others’ sleep patterns when scheduling things!

  1. Don’t lose contact with your network

This is vital. Make sure that your network in your old location stays strong. Social media makes this easy, but going even further than that ensures that you will stay close in a special way. Ensuring that you have phone and Skype dates, send each other funny photos you find online and in general staying up to date is key. Your old network and friends won’t disappear if you don’t let them.

  1. Build a new network

While your old network is important, building a new one will enhance your experience in your new location. Try to find alumni events hosted by your university for an instant conversation starter. There also might be location specific events, such as Internapalooza. Internapalooza was an event held for Bay Area interns with many companies recruiting like Google, eBay, Dropbox and more. You should also begin to network within your own company. No matter how tired or busy you are, taking an hour to attend the after work event can seriously help. Even better, taking 15 minutes to get coffee with a colleague builds a relationship that you can rely on, on a daily basis.

  1. Have a “local moment”

At some point in your new home, you’ll have a “local moment.” Mine happened when I was at a popular tourist attraction in San Francisco. A family of tourists asked me if I knew anything about the area we were in, and since I had been there three times I was able to tell them about the area and some fun facts they might not necessarily have picked up on their own. Once you have a “local moment,” you’ll carry yourself down new streets with much more confidence.

Overall, it’s important to make the most of every life change. Moving can be difficult, especially moving cross country. If you follow these tips you’ll be on the right track to a successful transition!

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Gentry Bennett is a senior Strategic Communication major with a Social Media certificate and Outdoor Recreation specialization. She is also the President of Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @Gen__andTonic.

Online Personalities and Professionalism

“Once you put it online, it’s there forever…”

“Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see…”

We are relentlessly taught by mentors, professors, advisers and professionals to be careful of what we say online. Every tweet, snapchat, Facebook post and blog we publish is available for (almost) anyone to see. Which means we have to scrutinize everything we say for fear of one person misinterpreting our words, right?

I don’t think so.

Employers want to hire people who know how to act professionally – that’s a given. But they also want to hire people with personality. Would you rather share a cubicle with someone who has no decorations or someone who displays their love of the Cleveland Cavaliers through LeBron sticky notes and Kyrie pens? You’d probably choose the latter, unless you’re a Steph Curry fan – although getting a message accompanied by LeBron’s face could provide a great foundation for witty office banter.

Just as you decorate your workspace to reflect what you’re like in real life, your online personality should do the same. In fields such as PR and advertising, where creative thinking is of high value, it’s okay – and even admired – to act a little quirky. The sense of humor you show on social media could also be the talent that helps you write outstanding copy for your first assignment.

If you’re still wary about what you post, keep these things in mind:

Be respectful with the content you share. Into politics? That’s great! But instead of voicing your opinion by retweeting a potentially offensive political cartoon, share a link to an article that uses examples and facts to get your point across. It’s awesome to talk about your passions on social media – just do it in a way that is courteous to other viewpoints.

Think of your audience. Your Instagram followers would love to see a picture from your karaoke night, but that same post might look a little funny on LinkedIn. Different types of posts work with different audiences. Keep this in mind when deciding what to share.

Consider where you want to work. Do you see yourself at an edgy, forward-thinking company? Or do you prefer a more structured, traditional setting? The tone of your online personality should match your IRL lifestyle.

There are many fine lines when it comes to social media, but those lines are taking new shapes every day. Whether you’re online or in the real world, let your personality show!

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Emily Barber is a senior studying Journalism-Strategic Communication. She is also the VP of External Relations for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @emilybarbershop.

4 Reasons to Attend PRSSA National Conference

Attending last year’s PRSSA National Conference is one of the best decisions I’ve made—second only to my choice to come to OU, of course. As if learning more in 5 days than I could in a semester of class, and networking with countless PR pros and PRSSA members from across the country wasn’t enough, I also grew to love my fellow Scripps members as family and had the opportunity to explore a new city.

Yes the cost may seem daunting to “broke college kids” like us, but the benefits far outweigh the price. Besides, we shouldn’t put a price on furthering our careers. In case you haven’t heard those of us who went last year talk about it enough, here are 4 reasons you should join us in Indianapolis for this year’s National Conference.

  1. The ride there is almost more fun than the conference itself.

Last year, we travelled the 14-hours to Atlanta, GA, in a 12-person van driven by none other than then-President Jess Carnprobst. Stuffed to the brim with luggage, snacks and excited girls, the van was full of laughter and Justin Bieber songs the entire time. Do you feel apprehensive because you don’t know everyone in the van? After about an hour, I promise you will be just like family. The ride gives you plenty of time to get to know one another and create hilarious lasting memories (London, KY anyone?)

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  1. Just about everyone in the entire hotel is a PRSSA member, and they’re eager to meet you.

I’ve always felt the most at home on OU’s campus because there are thousands of young people just like myself milling around. At PRSSANC, that feeling is always stronger because everyone is a PR nerd just like me. The moment we walked into the hotel, we were welcomed by members from Arkansas. Throughout your time in Indianapolis you will meet many young professionals. Don’t forget to connect on LinkedIn and Twitter—you may need them someday.

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  1. With plenty of diverse sessions, you’re sure to find what interests you.

Whether you come to the conference knowing exactly what you’d like to do in the future or you’re still working to find what’s right, the sessions will help you begin to figure it out. They give you opportunities to learn about the various sectors of PR from super successful professionals. The sessions cover the basics like the perfect pitch, expert media relations and they go even more into depth on crisis communications and the future of social media. Take a look at the program here (http://prssa.prsa.org/events/Conference/Program/).

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  1. You will be buzzing full of creative ideas and inspiration after.

Hearing speaker after speaker offering up new insights, asking your own in-depth questions, really taking the time to consider your future and discussing these unique ideas with fellow members will leave you refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your schooling and time in PRSSA. There is much to be said about new and refreshing takes on old ideas. While classes teach us, PRSSANC and PRSSA meetings allow us to shape our future careers.

PRSSA National Conference provides you with inspiring insights from PRos, a network of PRSSA members across the country, new best friends and countless incredible memories that will last a lifetime.

Do I have you convinced? Register here (http://prssa.prsa.org/events/Conference/Register/) by Friday September 16. Still not sure? Feel free to email me or any Eboard member for more details.

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Taylor Dilley is a junior studying Journalism-Strategic Communication. She is also the VP of Social Media for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @Taylor_Dilley.

5 Ways to Keep Building Your Resume Even if You Don’t Have an Internship This Summer

Well Bobcats, we’re one month into summer ‘16 and some of us are itching to add valuable skills and experiences to our resumes. For those people who have public relations related internships, resume builders may not be too hard to come by. For those who do not, it is more important than ever to build your skill set and keep learning and growing while there is no pressure of a full course load breathing down our necks. Here are five surefire ways to build your resume and add pieces to your portfolio this summer.

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Blog for PRSSA and ImPRessions and write for PR Success

You’ve heard this time and time again ladies and gentleman, but you can never be too good at writing. Nobody is perfect and even the best writers in the world are always looking to improve. That being said, we have a few wonderful outlets that allow you to go through the process of coming up with a topic and writing a blog or article, but with much less pressure. Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions would love for any and all OU students who are looking for writing experience to blog for our websites and write for PR Success, our newsletter! In this case, an executive board member will read your blog or article, edit it and give you tips to improve in the future before publishing it. How cool would it be to say that you were a contributing writer for a newsletter that is seen by members and alumni of PRSSA all over the nation!? This opportunity will also help you build experience writing for an eclectic audience.

Create and write your own blogs

I would urge any and everyone to make their own blog site at some point during their college career. There is nothing more exciting than getting to write about whatever topics you choose, designing your website so it looks the way you want it to and promoting yourself on social media. It’s really such a rush! This is also a place where you can add writing samples and your resume. You won’t regret it and you’ll only have to write as much or as often as you’d like. Here’s the perfect chance to show your creativity.

Learn how to use the social media tools available for free online

Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Google Analytics are just a few of many free online tools that help with social media organization, branding and analyzing. These hard skills are extremely valuable when looking for a job or internship in the future. Gain some experience working with these types of programs while you have the time so that you can speak to this skill set during interviews later on down the road.

Shadow a professional for a day

While contacting a professional to ask if you can shadow them for a day or throughout the summer may sound a little intimidating, it is a sure way to gain insight into an industry or type of company you may be interested in. Scripps alumni are always looking to help Bobcats! All it takes is a few emails and I guarantee you, someone will be more than willing to take you under their wing.

Find a job PR related or not

Having a summer job of any kind is a resume booster! Future employers like to know that you work well with others and know how to keep up in a fast paced environment regardless of what it is that you are doing. You can learn soft skills from any job such as communication, organization, time management, working on teams, etc. Another big upside of having a summer job is that, if you leave on good terms, your boss will allow you to use them as a reference for employers to call down the line and they’ll be happy to put in a good word for you!
Not finding a summer internship can be extremely frustrating, but there are more ways to keep learning and expanding your knowledge completely on your own! If you ever want to learn more about writing opportunities for Scripps PRSSA, please don’t hesitate to reach out to an executive board member. Make this summer about the beach, the sun and turning yourself into a PR Star! Ready, set, LEARN!

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Jennica Lurie is a senior studying Journalism-Strategic Communication. She is also the VP of PR for Scripps PRSSA. If you would like to learn more about getting involved with writing for the PRSSA blog or PR Success email her at jl390412@ohio.edu. Follow her on Twitter @jennicalurie.

 

 

 

How to Spice Up Your Social Media Game This Summer

If your internship involves drafting social media content, you may already be running out of ideas on how to keep things interesting for the summer. It is easy to get in the habit of posting similar content day after day. But never fear ¾ here are 10 ideas for keeping your social media accounts interesting and engaging all summer long!

  1. Use GIFs and images

Posting content with engaging GIFs or images is pretty much guaranteed to not only make your social media look more appealing, but increase engagement. Twitter makes using GIFs super easy by having tons of options available.

  1. Take advantage of Twitter polls

Twitter polls are a great way to engage with your Twitter followers! Not only are they fun, they are also a great way to get feedback from followers or allow followers to have input on a future decision for your company.

  1. Try out Facebook Live

Facebook Live is fairly new, so for those of you who don’t know, it allows users to live broadcast video to their friends. This is a super cool way to spice up your Facebook feed! If you have an event coming up, Facebook Live is a great way to share the event with Facebook friends who couldn’t be there in person, and the broadcast remains on your Facebook profile after the live broadcast, allowing friends to watch the video later.

  1. Relate content to holidays

By relating social media posts or campaigns to an upcoming holiday, posts can gain a lot of attention. Try relating content to summer holidays like Father’s Day or Independence Day! Look up lists of national holidays too, like National Best Friends Day happening on June 8.

  1. Use re-occurring hashtags as a campaign like #TBT

Consistency is key for this one. Posting on the same day every week will give followers something to look forward to, making these posts popular week to week. It is important not to overkill this idea though. Posting a daily hashtag (#WBW, #TBT, #FBF), everyday will get annoying very quickly.

  1. Run giveaways/contests

People love free stuff, and even if your funds are low, you can always find inexpensive giveaways at the local dollar or discount store. By having people follow, retweet and tag friends for giveaways, you can gain many followers quickly.

  1. Tag other accounts

This is one of the easiest ways to spice up your social media, yet many people forget or overlook it! Tagging other accounts will often get those accounts to repost/retweet your content allowing their followers to see your content.

  1. Create infographics

Who doesn’t like a nice infographic? Infographics (using pictures to show data) are a great way to push content that could otherwise come across as boring. Making statistics into infographics makes followers want to actually look at the information (and they will be able to easily understand it!)

  1. Offer behind-the-scenes information/pictures

Behind-the-scenes content offers a new perspective to followers, but more importantly, it can draw new fans that feel they are part of a special group getting exclusive updates and information.

  1. Don’t preschedule all content

It is very easy to get in the habit of prescheduling all social media content ¾ DON’T! Allow yourself time to think of things on the spot, get inspired by what is happening on a given day, or post something silly that your followers can laugh at too.

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Natalie Butko is a sophomore majoring in Journalism-Strategic Communication. Follow her on Twitter @chatty__natty.

The Power of Being Present

We’ve all heard the speeches about what ‘professionalism’ means, but how seriously do we take that advice? The better question may be; do we even apply the words of wisdom? Regardless of your major or profession or career, you have to have some standards of professionalism. Even clowns have to arrive on time for their act.

However, we interact with people everyday who don’t adhere to some basic norms that should be followed by all professionals, both young and old. The truth is that people notice when you follow simple norms, and they can make a huge difference in the success of your aspirations.

As PR professionals, we are competing with thousands of other students for the same positions around the country, and even in our little bubble of Scripps, we are competing with our fellow classmates for executive positions in organizations. Focus on the basics, act on them, and see how far they can take you.

The biggest action you can take is just being present. We all know that sometimes the weather drains our mood, but pull out the rain gear and make the trek. Being present is one of the best ways to get noticed. People will begin to recognize your face.

Taking it to the next level on being present means asking questions and participating in conversation. Put away the phones and laptops and be present in the conversations and talks that are happening right in front of you. People will notice the more you participate, even if you’re just paying more attention than the person who’s on Twitter. It’s okay to not have an academy award winning comment; articulation comes with practice.

Being present includes pulling your end of the bargain when it comes to work distribution. We all know how annoying that one person is during group projects that never shows up and does maybe 5 percent of the total workload. Pull your weight and if you’re able to, ask what more there is for you to do or how else you can help. Employers will especially appreciate your willingness to take on a little extra. Being around to take on these extra responsibilities is important because you can’t volunteer if you’re hiding in the bathroom.

Be sure to be present digitally as well. When someone sends you a personal email, respond to it, even if you are only letting them know you received it. This demonstrates your willingness to communicate frequently and this way, the person doesn’t have to worry about whether or not you saw it.

Taking these small steps to make yourself more present will make heads turn your way and your name will begin circulating among students and professionals alike. When people say ‘you get out of it what you put in,’ they truly mean it. Being present will begin that process of slowly putting more in so you can reap more benefits.

 

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Austin Ambrose is a senior majoring in Journalism with an English minor. He is also the CEO of ImPRessions. Follow him on Twitter @tex_ambrose7.

Anonymous Apps: Worth the Risk?

Social media platforms continue to amaze us with their ability to help make, maintain and build connections. Extensive friend lists and followers are always there to listen to our ramblings and reply. But what about the apps that give no attachment to a username? Anonymous apps provide a unique outlet for users and new opportunities for brands, but they can also have a negative impact.

Some of the most popular anonymous apps include Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak. The majority of users are high school and college-aged, and posts typically consist of silly confessions, complaints and comments on current events. They are great for getting things off your chest or sharing opinions you wouldn’t necessarily reveal under other circumstances.

However, not all unidentified posts are harmless. Just before the spring semester ended at Ohio University, police officials received information of a video threatening American students posted to location-based app, Yeti. Although police eventually concluded the post was not targeted at Athens, Ohio, all public schools in the area were closed and Ohio University officials took extra security measures.

This type of material is not uncommon for such apps. Multiple suicides have been linked to abuse on Ask.fm, a site where users ask questions and receive anonymous answers, according to NoBullying.com. While cyber bullying can occur on all social media platforms, anonymous apps allow users to say whatever they want with no repercussions to themselves.

These incidents have parents and teachers worried and are even enough to keep brands wary of getting involved. Using such a controversial app poses a risk to a brand’s image and trustworthiness. There are also ethical concerns with brands joining anonymous apps. Since it is impossible to identify the user, it would be all too easy for companies to pose as excited customers, talk negatively about a competitor or give untruthful information about their own products or that of a competitor’s.

But not all companies are shying away from the opportunity. Some platforms, such as Whisper, offer advertising opportunities. Brands and companies are able to identify themselves and associate any messaging they put out with the brand. MTV took advantage of this to promote its show ‘Virgin Territory.’ Most users of anonymous apps are between the ages of 18-24, the perfect target audience for MTV and other companies marketing to young millennials.

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This post aligns closely with native advertising in that it looks like an average user’s comment until you realize it’s sponsored by MTV. By using similar themes and language to typical Whisper users, MTV does a good job of making their content fit within the app.

Whisper also recently launched a polling function, which allows users to give their opinions on everything from late night snacks to civil rights. Brands can then purchase the results. The empowerment users feel from remaining nameless may work towards the benefit of brands looking to gain thoughts on controversial or secretive topics.

The username is centric to basically all of our favorite social networks. We tweet at each other’s handles, ask people to follow our Instagrams and share our Snapchat names with all of our new friends. Removing this norm brings chaos to the social media world, but for some, it might just be worth the risk.

How do you feel about anonymous apps? Let us know!

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Emily Barber is a senior majoring in Journalism-Strategic Communication, minoring in Marketing and receiving the Social Media Certificate. She is also the VP of External Relations for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @emilybarbershop.

 

 

Lemonade: A Publicity Stunt?

I don’t think Jay Z cheated on Beyoncé.

Despite the hour-long visual album and the angry lyrics that make up Lemonade, all of which makes us think that Jay Z is a vicious cheater who deserves the music industry—and the world—to turn against him. Queen Bey wants us on her side, and the reactions to Lemonade make it clear that we are, in fact, on her side.

However, as much as I love Beyoncé and as much as I want to be angry with Jay Z for hurting Beyoncé (and Blue Ivy) as her sixth album of songs insinuates, the PR girl in me sees through it. Lemonade, while incredible and perfect to sing loudly to while driving, is not much more than a PR stunt. Here’s why:

  1. There was no pre-release publicity.

Twitter campaigns, Facebook posts, Instagram contests…these are all tried-and-true, oft-used PR tactics to highlight an important event. However, Beyoncé abides by her own PR rules. She violates all the norms for generating pre-event discussion and instead incites reactive media coverage. Beyoncé loves the element of surprise, and this is not the first time she’s dropped an album out of nowhere. Not all artists can pull this off—one must have the appeal and fan base of an artist like Beyoncé to make a surprise like this a success, and not to mention a surprise that leaves everyone wondering.

  1. The album is available in very, very limited places.

You have to buy the album on Google Play or iTunes in order to listen to it offline. It’s not available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify or related services…

  1. …But she did release the album on Tidal, Jay Z’s music streaming service.

This one is a pretty common talking point. Why would Beyoncé incriminate her husband, then support his business by releasing her limited-access album about what we think are Jay Z’s discrepancies on his music database? Interesting and counterintuitive.

  1. The visual album, a concept that Beyoncé more or less pioneered, aired on HBO. Once.

And that’s it. It’s not even available on HBO GO. You can download it only when you buy the album, either through the Google Play store or iTunes. But the visual album premiere, which foreshadowed the album release shortly thereafter, was a media event on its own. It was advertised as a “Beyoncé movie”—little did we know the showing would turn out to reveal a surprise album full of potentially incriminating lyrics.

  1. Jay Z plans on releasing a response album.

This publicity stunt could very well be a joint effort between the husband and wife duo to garner media attention to their dynasty of music production. According to Us Weekly, Jay Z is working on an album to tell his side of the story, which also happens to be his first solo album since 2013.

The answer we don’t have, however, is whom the album is about. Are Beyoncé’s songs a reference to her father’s infidelities (yes, plural): well-known affairs with multiple women that produced a couple half siblings for Bey? Or is it about her first love, who famously cheated on her? And who the heck is Becky with the good hair?

It’s pretty clear that Beyoncé rules the media and the world, and she knows it. She is capable of using the media to her advantage and simultaneously manipulating their coverage and the Beyhive’s opinions. All this talk might be exactly what she wants (and for my own sanity/hope for true love I pray that Beyoncé and Jay Z aren’t having marital issues). Queen Bey strikes again!

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Alexandra Corsi is a senior majoring in Journalism-Strategic Communication, minoring in Political Science with a certificate in Strategic Leadership and a specialization in Management. Follow her on Twitter @acorsi17.

An Open Letter from the President

I still remember the day I joined PRSSA. Along with roughly 50 other organizations, I added my name to the email list. At that time, it was just another organization with a mission I didn’t understand yet let alone embrace.

It’s funny how quickly something can feel like home. From the very moment I joined PRSSA, I had this feeling in my heart that I was supposed to be here. I continuously attended meetings every Monday at 6pm, until it became a part of me. I stopped going because I felt like I should, and I was going because it became the best part of my week. In the blink of an eye, PRSSA stopped being just another organization to me, and it became something I couldn’t live without. Now, I sit here moments from graduation and blinking tears from my eyes, trying to imagine what a life without PRSSA will even be like.

From the very first day, a series of fateful moments developed and morphed me into the person and professional that I’ve become today.

thumbnail_IMG_2299.jpgAt the very beginning of my freshman year, I started walking to PRSSA meetings with a girl on my floor wearing a pink fuzzy North Face. In my first semester, I was paired with a mentor who believed and encouraged me when I didn’t even have faith in myself. I traveled to Philadelphia, D.C. and Atlanta and shook from excitement each time as we all did our roll call together. I made a weird breakfast sandwich in a 7/11 next to a girl who I hardly even knew. I started becoming really good friends with my AVW account. I almost puked while giving my speech for the VP of Member Relations position. I unhealthy worshiped my peers on the executive board, who seemed to teach me something new every day. I was given my own mentee, who I still think has taught me more than I will ever teach her. I was elected as this year’s president. Our executive board inspired me every day, and always brightened my Tuesday night. I was given two more mentees, who remind me everyday to never lose my passion and excitement for this industry. I drove a 12-person van to Atlanta. I was somehow trusted enough to make the Thanksgiving turkey. We danced for 12 hours as the biggest fundraising student organization involved in BobcaThon. We went on a networking trip in the city filled with all of my childhood memories. I attended countless socials and events with each of you.

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These moments, and so many more, that seemed so small at the time affected me more than I could ever know in that moment. It’s each of these moments that pulled me into PRSSA like a magnet, and it’s each of these moments that grew me closer and closer to this Chapter, until you all became another family to me.

That girl in the pink fuzzy North Face eventually became my roommate and one of my very best friends. That mentor turned into one of my biggest role models and support systems. That girl in 7/11 is now the Vice President, and the girl that’s helped to make this year not only possible, but more than I could have ever wished for. That van ride was one of the best days of my college career.thumbnail_IMG_8508.jpg Those mentees bring a smile to my face each and every day. That executive board became friends I can rely on, trust and turn to for anything. Those socials and events brought me my best friends, and hopefully future bridesmaids.

With time, I accomplished all of the goals I originally set when joining PRSSA. But what I didn’t realize was all of the additional, life changing moments I would experience along the way. I undoubtedly joined PRSSA to grow myself as a professional, but the personal experiences are the ones that have affected me the most.

Leaving Athens means I’m leaving a second family; a family that held my hand through some of the toughest moments of my college career, and encouraged me in some of my best.

You, the members of Scripps PRSSA, have eternally changed my life. It’s each of you that took the time to show up every Monday at 6pm, it’s you who believed in me enough to vote me onto eboard and again as thumbnail_IMG_8465.jpgpresident, you who turned into those I’ve traveled with and shared endless laughter with, you who became my best friends, and you who I will forever look up to, respect and adore. I truly can’t express in words how much you mean to me, and how thankful I am to know you. I think Alphaba said it right, “who can say if I’ve been
changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

Thank you for four years that I’ll always wish I could go back to just for a moment. I’ll always cherish our time together, and more than anything, I promise to stand by each of you beyond Athens, wherever life may take us. Together we’re unstoppable, and nothing can limit the bond we’ve grown together. Thank you for changing my life in every way imaginable, I hope I’ve been able to help you half as much as you’ve helped me.

 

Forever and always,

Jess Carnprobst

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A Senior’s Open Letter to PRSSA

When you go to college, it’s inevitable that you’re going to hear these two phrases over and over:

“Get involved!!” and “You’re going to meet your best friends for life!!”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say these two things, I may just be able to put a nice dent into my student loan payments. Upon my arrival at Ohio University I was really looking forward to two things. The first was meeting new people, and the second was joining organizations and get involved on campus.

I remember my very first PRSSA meeting; a room full of intimidating people chatting away, faces sparkling. I was nervous yet excited to learn more about my industry and meet some like-minded people in major.

Now, I like to consider myself a live-in-the-moment kind of person. I try not to yearn for days of the past or anticipate too much into the future. But, If I could, I would absolutely stop time, march over to my 18-year-old innocent freshman self and give these four pieces of future wisdom:

You will find your career path and define your passions. Right now you’re probably feeling pretty overwhelmed. Your 1000-level journalism classes are only scraping the surface of what there is to know about PR. Then, you come into these once-a-week, one-hour meetings and you are bombarded with information. How are you supposed to form your own opinions and find your passions? Believe me, it’ll come with time. You will change your dream career path many times over the four years. You will get some amazing internship opportunities, fall in love with social media and have a killer resume by the time you start to apply for jobs. You will realize your biggest passions, and you will find a way to mix public relations into them to form a killer career path that you’ll be so, so excited about. Don’t fret, for you don’t need to have it all figured out right now. Hint: you won’t have it all figured out come graduation, either.

The best friends you’ve ever had are or will be sitting in this room. You see that girl with the curly hair, decked out in pink and floral, talking a mile a minute? Yeah, she’ll eventually become your roommate and best friend. She will be there for you every step of the way throughout college with nothing but support and compassion during your best moments and your biggest breakdowns. See the girl with the brown hair who’s listening to Scotty McCreery and looking at pictures of her adorable brown labradoodle? You will keep each other sane throughout your years here.  Also: the separation anxiety when you have to leave each other will be so real. Flash forward one year: you’ll meet an incoming freshman. One that loves all the same music you do, views life the same as you, dresses just like you and is basically your unbiological twin. Although you don’t openly express your gratitude for each other because ew emotions, it will come through in so many other ways. Towards the end you’ll also get close with a red headed girl who has an intimidating fiery passion for everything she does. She has a take-no-sh*t attitude that you aspire to have and you’ll eventually create an inseparable bond over beer, boys, the great outdoors and Game of Thrones. These people will become your people. You won’t be able to imagine life without them

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Don’t give up. There are just those days where you want to break down and cry. I’m not going to lie, you will have many. Through a tough Sophomore year filled with hard classes and over-involvement, to the days of being a Junior where you’ll start to become a mentor, onto being a Senior where the unknown of the future taps you on the shoulder every day. When you feel lost and overwhelmed, just remember that you WILL make it through. The work will get done, the stress won’t stay forever and you’ll eventually grow to love being busy and constantly on the move. This will become a big part of who you are professionally.

Enjoy every moment. Although sometimes it feels like the days are never ending, it’s important to remember that they won’t always be the norm. Classes will turn into 9-5 jobs, and there will be no more Monday night meetings at 6 pm. And you know what? That’s okay. Because all good things come to an end. Just make sure to enjoy the ride while you’re on it, because once you’re off you’ll probably want to hug those memories pretty tight. Make sure they’re good ones. Spoiler alert: they’re pretty freaking great memories.

Fast forward four years from that fateful first meeting, and I can honestly say it’s been one heck of a ride. Through the laughter, the tears, the days filled with too much caffeine and the nights of no sleep, I really did it all. So thank you, Scripps PRSSA, for molding my college career. Without you I wouldn’t have a career path, the will to push through tough times or a set of really great best friends. You’ve changed me for the better and for that I am forever grateful. I can’t wait to see the amazing things the chapter is going to do in the future.
This is Mira signing off. Scripps PRSSA 4 life❤

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