Tips for Saving Money While Traveling Abroad

By Lindsey Zimmerman

Euros There are some things that just can’t be learned in a classroom – you have to go out into the world and experience them firsthand. Whether you’re with a study abroad program, a volunteer project or simply traveling independently, international travel is one of the absolute best experiences money can buy.

 The costs of traveling internationally might seem daunting, especially to a first-time traveler, but this shouldn’t deter anyone from setting off on the adventure of a lifetime. With some research, careful planning and awareness of where your money is going, a little bit can go a long way.

  • Set a budget. I wish I had done this before my study abroad trip last summer. I had the most incredible time, but certain trips and activities ended up costing me more than I was expecting. It might not seem like the most exciting idea to sit down and plan out how you plan to spend your money while abroad, but it can be extremely helpful so that you don’t dig yourself into a hole. At the very least, come up with a rough draft based on your travel plans. If another trip or opportunity presents itself, adjust your budget accordingly.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. This is a given no matter what – it doesn’t just apply to finances. However, knowing where your wallet and other important items are at all times is extremely important, especially in a new city. A bit of awareness could save you an overwhelming amount of time and money if, God forbid, you fall victim to a pickpocketer or other thief.
  • Take advantage of student discounts. Use that student ID while you can: it can get you some amazing discounts on everything from museums to transportation. If you’re headed to Europe, make sure to check out the youth discount for the continental train system, which could save you hundreds of dollars while traveling from country to country.
  • Get to know the locals. Chances are, they’ll know the best places in town to get great deals. Local friends can also help watch your back and warn you if you’re about to fall victim to any kind of scam.
  • Research accommodations beforehand. Every style of accommodations offers something different in the way of experience. Sites like Hostelworld are great for comparing prices on hostels and hotels in different cities around the world, and can be super convenient when it comes to looking for good value for your money. Staying in a hostel is a great opportunity to meet and connect with other travelers from around the world. If you’re feeling more adventurous, Couchsurfing offers you the chance to stay with a local resident for free.
  • Familiarize yourself with the exchange rate. That way, there won’t be any surprises when you check your bank account. Exchange rates rarely stay at an exact, constant number, but having a rough idea of how much your local currency is worth compared to the U.S. dollar will help you stick to your budget.

With a little bit of planning and budgeting beforehand, along with keeping a close eye on your expenses while on your trip, international travel can be a reasonable goal. The experiences you will have and the friendships you make along the way will make the expense worth every cent.

Happy traveling!

15 internship tips & tricks for the summer

By Marisa Dockum

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Being an intern can offer a wealth of knowledge and lead to lasting relationships, and if you’re lucky, a future job.  As a trainee at Edelman, with 50 other interns, I have sneaked a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to stay on top of my game and make a lasting impression.

1. Dress appropriately for anything and everything.

In the PR world, your daily tasks change every day and vary drastically. One moment you could be wiping off chairs before a client meeting or packaging and shipping products to bloggers. Then the next minute you’re in a formal brainstorming meeting with client executives. Either way, you must be dressed with the flexibility of doing physical or official activities.

2. Arrive early, stay late.

Coming into the office 30 minutes before expected, and staying until all jobs are complete to expectation, shows that you are dedicated and willing to go the extra mile. This will earn major brownie points.

3. Catch up on the news every morning.

Reading the news and staying up-to-date on the world can help increase your creativity and knowledge about the public relations industry. It will also give you a competitive edge by knowing what client competitors are up to.

4. Do your homework before you start.

You want to walk into the office with a general understanding of what your account has worked on in the past, and what it is currently working on. Trust me, you will be grateful if you’re already caught up on your accounts doings before you are thrown into it and no one has time to thoroughly explain things to you.

5. Gain trust early on.

Do your best on small, early assignments. Once you prove that you produce good work, your supervisor will start giving you the more “fun” projects.  Don’t expect to get free reign right off the bat. Trust must be earned.

6. Ask for feedback.

The best way to learn and grow is from feedback. Always ask how you did, and what you can do to improve.

7. Learn from your co-workers’ mistakes.

It’s OK to make mistakes, everyone does. But, if you can learn from other’s mistakes it will save YOU from unwanted embarrassment and anxiety.

8. Mirror your supervisor’s actions.

To get into the groove of your company culture, mirror how your supervisor writes emails, talks on the phone and interacts with other employees. Remember to still be yourself!

 9. Don’t present the problem, present the solution.

If you encounter a problem, tell your supervisor only after you come up with the solution.  You can say, “Hey, this happened but here is how we can fix it.” This will take a load of their shoulders while making you look good.

10. Set personal goals and share them with your supervisor.

You get out what you put in. If you know what you want to come out of your experience, write them down and communicate them to the people around you. Both sides will work toward your goals and you’ll be satisfied when your objectives are completed on time. 

11. Keep track of all you do.

It’s important to archive all your work for personal reference and future interviews. Save and compile your work so you have a clear understanding of your contributions and hard work.

12. Network.

A plethora of talented professionals are right at your fingertips within the agency or company you are interning for. The more people you meet for coffee, the better. You are there to learn from them, so do it! 

13. Always smile, never whine.

Attitude is everything, and it separates the weak from the strong.  Conquer every task with a positive attitude, no matter how frustrated you may be on the inside.

14. Carry a notepad with you at all times.

You could be walking back from the bathroom, and an AE could walk by and rattle of an assignment to you. You’ll want a notepad handy to write down all the details.

15. Bring snacks and thank you cards on your last day.

Who doesn’t love yummy snacks and thank you cards? Showing your gratitude and appreciation will leave a lasting impression, and will be remembered if you reapply for a full-time position in the future. 

What will you do with your PR degree?

By: Megan Valentine, PRSSA member

After obtaining a degree in public relations, one of the biggest challenges graduates face is deciding exactly what they want to do with their education. While graduate school is definitely an option, many feel that they have at least the minimal skills and experience to jump right in.

Capture-1Public relations professionals can be found in nearly every facet of every industry, from entertainment to health care and non-profits to politics. While this is a blessing in terms of the number and variety of available positions, it makes narrowing down the options very difficult. In addition, the type of work done in a corporate environment is considerably different than that taken on by agencies.

In an agency, each individual works with a range of clients on a daily basis and must be able to adapt accordingly. The assignments are typically very fast-paced and being able to identify writing styles, audiences and objectives is extremely critical. Multi-tasking is a must and each day consists of diverse responsibilities.

Working in corporate public relations is a better fit for those who enjoy consistency and would like to handle one, specific client instead of multiple. While in-house tasks still usually vary day-to-day, it is much easier to establish a particular voice and seek out relationships with media outlets that are relevant to the company.

After determining which atmosphere would be best for you, it is also important to look into what skills you have refined the most and where you could become a valuable asset. For example, someone who enjoys working online would thrive in positions that involve blogging, social media, search engine optimization and email marketing.

For those who would rather look into the big picture of a company, brand strategy may be a better route. Strategists work to help the public understand distinguishing qualities and increase awareness of a product or person. They expand upon branding techniques already put in place and find creative new ways to heighten recognition.

Outside of these typical routes for those in pubic relations, there are various other ways to put your degree to good use. Skills learned in strategic communications can also be valuable to positions in advertising, event planning, journalism, human resources and marketing. Even entrepreneurs working toward opening a business must know at least the basics of public relations in order to be successful.

The best way to get an idea of where you will fit most comfortably in the spectrum upon entering the industry is through internships and shadowing professionals in your area of interest. Finding your niche is the key to strengthening necessary skills and tailoring your experiences to fit your desired career.

To be or not to be an all-star intern

To be or not to be an all-star intern
By: Sienna Tomko

Internship opportunities are readily available by more and more companies, organizations and non-profits today than ever before. These opportunities allow you to experience public relations first-hand and to test different industries that may interest you.

More and more, students all over the country are spending their summer breaks, winter intercessions and even semesters gaining experience through internships. The norm nowadays, even with Scripps students, is not just one internship, but multiple internships with multiple employers.

It’s essential to be all-star intern in the PR world today. Yet, what does it take to be an all-star intern? Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you start a new internship:

Be early

There’s nothing worse then being late as an intern. Try to get to work early to show your dedication. Like they say; the early bird catches the worm.

 Be persistent

Done with a project and looking for something to do? Instead of waiting around for your supervisor to tell you what’s next, be the first to ask. Show your eagerness to learn and keep busy!

 Be outgoing

No matter the size of the department, company or organization, be outgoing. Get to know staff members, learn about their PR backgrounds and ask questions! The last thing you want is for people to not remember you.

 Be flexible

The workweek is never the same. Events may arise that are out of your control. Be willing to work around a crazy schedule and get your work done on time.

Be willing to say you don’t know

Do you know how to ________? It’s okay to answer that question with a no. Although we like to believe we know it all, unfortunately we don’t. If you are faced with something you are unfamiliar with or don’t know, do not be afraid to say you don’t know. Just be sure to follow up with questions on how to learn.

Be attentive

Attention to detail is essential in the PR world. Be sure to double and triple check your work.

Be professional

In all senses of the world, be professional. Dress professionally, act professionally and present yourself in a professional manner. Remember that you are representing Ohio University, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and YOURSELF!

Be yourself

The first day of an internship may be scary, especially if you are unsure of what to expect. Remember that an internship is a learning opportunity and a chance for you to grow in the field of public relations. Be yourself and enjoy every minute!

Be precise

In all internships, but especially when working in a fast-paced environment, don’t forget to take your time and be precise. It is easy to get caught up in saying yes to project after project but if you’re not presenting your best work, you’re not helping anyone. Don’t be afraid to say no so you can really focus on the task-at-hand. Proofread everything and check every detail. But most importantly, don’t rush through projects.

 Be humble

It is important to realize that you’re an intern and that you’re there to learn and to take any project given to you. We all know that a couple of the tasks that will come across your desk aren’t going to make your friends drool with envy, BUT it is important to prove yourself. Take those opportunities to prove to your supervisor that they can trust you with the small jobs so he or she will include you on the bigger ones. As interns we are not entitled to anything. Be humble and thankful for the experience and the resume boost!