When the snow melts away and the sun comes out for the first time in months, every college student knows it’s that time of year again: interview season. First impressions nowadays can often happen over email or the phone, but that does not mean you have an excuse not to impress an interviewer again when you meet in person. Your outfit says more than most people believe it does; especially as PR professionals, being mindful of the image you’re presenting to the public is key to success.
Most people think of professional, or business casual, wardrobes as a legion of black blazers and dress pants paired with classic Oxford button down shirts. However, business attire never has to be boring. You can let your personality shine through while still looking professional.
For ladies, it can be as simple as throwing on some jewelry. Statement necklaces and chunky rings can add a little fun and brightness to a simple outfit. If jewelry is not your thing maybe pick out some blouses or pencil skirts that are jewel toned. A pop of color often conveys confidence and personality. Maybe, you’re more like me and you live in black and white clothing. You can still make it fun, and stay appropriate, by exploring new shapes. The way a blazer or blouse is cut can completely change the look of the piece, while still retaining its professionalism.
Guys can accessorize too. A nice watch, belt, or tie can really take an outfit from expected to exciting. There is also no need to be afraid of color. Just like the ladies, a pop of color makes you stand out and exude confidence. Nothing quite says confidence like a guy rocking a bold colored blazer. When it comes to the cut and shape of your jackets and pants, knowing what fits makes all the difference. A lot of guys, in my experience, think they know what fits but after a little research online realize they have it totally wrong! Wearing something that fits right and looks right will give you an unrivaled boost in confidence.
Now go out there and rock those interviews!
Last semester, I wrote about taking the initiative to discover doors full of opportunities. I’ve applied that mantra to several aspects of my life since then and have discovered that mustering the courage to take that first step can lead to many directions. This semester I wanted to challenge myself by securing an internship, but I had no idea where to begin. I knew it would be difficult for a freshman to get an internship let alone an interview, but I took the initiative and not only have secured one, but two internships this semester.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Follow your passion: I live and breathe fashion on a daily basis. I’m no Eva Chen, but I keep track of trends and constantly read style articles. While I might not know how to write the perfect pitch letter, I knew my knowledge and interest in fashion would my biggest assets.
Save those Contacts: I save all of my contact information from networking on an Excel sheet with the person’s name, email address and a quick note about them such as where we met or something we had talked about. I saved the contact information from a speaker that I had met last September and wrote him an email about my interest in interning, which proved to be a smart move on my part.
Speak Up: The wonderful part about having friends is that they are always there to help. Speak up to your friends, professors and peers, asking if they have any ideas or contacts they may be able to share. I spent two weeks asking every person I know if they had any ideas—not one of them turned me down.
Do Your Homework: Before I went for an interview, I made sure to research the company to get a general understanding of its background, goals and reputation. Interning should be taken as seriously as working a job; it’s a big commitment and a lot of work. Also, it is useful to take the time to practice answers to questions before interviewing and have friends give feedback.
Believe in Yourself: Easier said than done, but do not sell yourself short. You might not have a lot of professional skills under your belt, especially if you are a freshman like me, but the skills and lessons you may have learned from sports, summer jobs or campus clubs can be used to your advantage. Make sure to include those activities on your resume.
Every year, different groups of people from across the nation look forward to the Academy Awards. Commonly referred to as The Oscars, this award show recognizes achievements in the film industry, as well as those who have contributed to nominated works. Although the purpose of the segment is to award exceptional works in cinema, the program has recently drawn viewers who are more interested in which celebrities attend, their outfits and who the host will be. As a result, promotion of the award show has taken a route that appeals more to those who are drawn in by these elements, focusing on celebrity personalities rather than nominees.
This year, comedian Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting. Known for her humor and good nature, DeGeneres has become a household name in homes across America. She previously hosted the Oscars in 2007, and it would appear that public reception was positive due to her second offer. In order to successfully promote The Oscars, the show needs to appeal to the expectations of viewers on all levels. One way to do this would be to hire a host already valued by those who plan to tune in. Although it has become almost tradition for some to watch each year, if the host falls short of capturing viewers’ attention, the segment may receive poor reviews which could affect the tone of next year’s show. Therefore, by bringing back successful hosts from years past, the likelihood of high viewership increases.
In order to successfully promote the show—focusing on DeGeneres as the host—the network must craft advertisements that highlight what makes her funny. Her dancing, singing and overall sense of humor are the centerpieces of each promotional clip, not nominees. In one of her videos she notes the “side effects” of watching the Oscars, which include laughter and “critiquing women in beautiful gowns.” In others, she talks about how it’s her second time hosting while flexing her comical vocal and dance abilities. Again none of these personal traits directly relate to the film industry, but it attracts viewers.
So I have two questions for you all—will you be watching the Oscars this year, and why?
PRAdvanced: #FuelTheFuture is just around the corner. In order to get the most out of this great networking and learning experience, you need to be prepared. We’ve compiled a list of things you don’t want to forget on February 15th!
1. Your résumé. Our career fair attendees include some of the best brands and PR agencies – this is the time to network. Get names, business cards, and information about internship and job opportunities.
2. Business cards. Have your own business cards already? You’re ahead of the game! This is the perfect opportunity to put those puppies to good use. If not, consider printing some up before conference with your contact information. It’s good to have a recruiters’ information, but it’s even better that they have yours.
3. Business casual attire. Dress your best to make a good impression. One of these professionals could be your future supervisor.
4. Questions. Expand your education beyond the classroom. This isn’t “Intro to PR,” this is real advice from professionals who are well versed in working in, and adapting to, the dynamic communication industry. Prepare some questions ahead of time that you would like answers to about the industry – these are the people you’ll want to ask them to!
5. Your networking game. It’s not everyday you’ll likely have this many PR professionals and students in one room. Get contacts, make connections, and start building your network. These people could be your future bosses, and will be your future colleagues.
See you February 15th, and get ready to #FuelTheFuture!
A whirlwind of adventure began on October 29th as the seven E-Board members boarded a plane, after zero sleep, and headed to Philadelphia for the PRSSA National Conference. After 5 days of networking, presenting, listening, exploring and a ton of tweeting (#PRSSANC was a nationally trending hashtag!), we deepened our knowledge about our craft, our Chapter, and ourselves. See below!
Instead of going over every breakout session and keynote we attended (because that would take a book), we thought it would be a better idea to let everyone know what key points have stuck with us from conference and our ideas to continue improving this rockin’ Chapter.
- Enthusiasm is key for a successful Chapter.
- We have a lot going for us: easy access to professionals, conference, agency and our website.
- Improvements: we have begun working to diversify our events and activities.
- It’s time to start giving back to our community through volunteering!
- Maintain relationships with your peers in your classes and in PRSSA because they are the people you will be working with and helping you find jobs after college.
- Follow your passions.
- Collaborate with people to get different perspectives.
- Write fantastically.
- Stay humble.
- Balance work and life.
- Read, learn and be a sponge (absorb everything you can).
- Adapt in the face of change, and have a battle plan for success!
Though there are several ways we can keep improving our Chapter, a big thing we realized at conference is that THIS CHAPTER IS AWESOME! And that’s thanks to all of our amazing members!
So let’s keep getting awesomer together :)