Visit to Weber Shandwick

by John Rybolt

Where can I get job with my public relations degree?

Weber Shandwick is located in downtown St. Louis by the Edward Jones Stadium. PRRSA got to visit the fun, outgoing, and casual workplace on Friday November 4. They have a bar and a billiards table in there lobby.

After taking a short tour of their workplace we got to have a sit down meeting with eight of their employees. We discuss everything from a typical day to what skills are necessary for the job. They shared that they like the face pace of the job, having different challenges daily, getting to work on projects that they enjoy. Joey (Assistant Account Executive) shared that he gets to work with soccer and beer. Some their clients include Coca-Cola and Budweiser.

What Skills do I need? Some of the skills that they share that are necessary for a job in public relation included being efficient with excel, communication skills, and time management. They also shared that you will make mistakes as an intern. They best way of moving on is to accept that you made a mistake and not to make the same mistake again.

Weber Shandwick is an international business with 74 offices in 38 countries and 25 States. Their headquarters is in New York. Each office has a different theme and feeling to it. Some are very professional while others are more laid-back like the St. Louis office. The St. Louis office has 35 employees. A great resume that doesn’t waste any space is needed. Emailing and networking are they best way of getting a job at their office. Weber Shandwick also offers four month full time internships.

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No time for an internship?

One of the first things that we are told once we choose a major is that we should intern. Intern early and intern often, we are often told. Internships are a great way to gain experience, build your resume and land a job. They allow you to put what you learn in the classroom to real life scenarios. Internships allow you to test the waters of a particular field before diving into a career. The experience gained in an internship can help you find your niche.

Unfortunately, paid internships can be difficult to find. Many students need to work part time jobs while attending college in order to stay afloat. Between work and school, it seems there is not much time for an internship. So, are you just out of luck? Absolutely not. While internships are a surefire way to grab an employer’s attention, there are other ways to stand out from the crowd. Using your work experience is just one way to impress a potential employer.

According to looksharp.com, there are a few different ways that you can utilize your skills without landing an internship.

1) Volunteer in class

Take your classwork seriously. In class writing assignments can be used to build your portfolio. Use this time to put your skills to the test and practice your organization and time management skills. Don’t be afraid to volunteer to copy edit for a professor or peers.

2) Get involved

PRSSA is just one way to get involved on campus. There are many student organizations. Take advantage of the resources that these organizations can provide. Many organizations participate in several campus activities throughout the year. Do not be afraid to step up and participate. Take time to volunteer for nonprofit organizations in your area.

3) Build relationships

Professors are always willing to help their students. Treat class time like a job. Set a meeting with your professor at the beginning of the semester, and stop in during the semester to check your progress. Maintaining relationships is a huge part of networking. This is a great training ground for the real world.

So, do not feel discouraged if you’re your schedule inhibits you from having an internship. There are several ways to supplement your college education, build your resume and land a job.

2016 PRSSA Leadership Rally

By David Gallaher

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Although hidden, I found the well. It did not appear like a mirage in the heat, nor did it contain water. The well I discovered overflowed with information, motivation and inspiration.

I recently visited Scottsdale, Arizona, to attend the 2016 Public Relations Student Society of America PRSSA Leadership Rally.

The rally provided an opportunity for incoming Chapter presidents and firm directors of nationally affiliated student-run firms to network and develop leadership strategies for the upcoming year.

The three-day event provided much more than professional development. Keynote speakers, breakout sessions and Chapter discussion provided insight into effective leadership strategies and the future of the PR profession.

Brian Lott, executive director of group communications for Mubadala an investment and development company in Abu Dabi, delivered the final keynote speech at the rally. Lott spoke about his journey from journalist to a leader in the public relations field, the importance of “paying your dues” and the value of work experience.

“The more broad your experience, the more successful you will be,” he said.

Lott’s speech encompassed the purpose of the rally: to inform, motivate and inspire. Despite differences in age, experience and education Lott’s words connected with each student leader. His message of courage and perseverance personally provided me with the confidence to pursue my goals.

Lott’s speech contained three simple words that epitomized not only his message but the message of the entire weekend:

“Be not afraid.”

As a student leader and a future public relations professional, I will be faced with challenges and opportunities. My ability to incorporate previous experiences with new innovative ideas will determine my level of success.

I found more than beauty in the Arizona desert. I found friendship, encouragement and the inspiration necessary to lead the next wave of public relations leaders.

If you don’t use it you lose it

So its summer. Time for relaxation and fun.I love summer just as much as the next person, but I don’t want to lose everything that I worked so hard for over the last year (especially writing). Thankfully, there are several ways to keep your skills sharp during your break.

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  • Take a class

This may seem like the most obvious, but most tedious way to keep your skills sharp, and you may think, “Its summer! Why would I take a class?” However, summer classes are extremely beneficial. They are often short and can be taken online. This is a surefire way to ensure not only keep your brain working, but to knock some classes out of the way. Beware, while some enjoy summer classes, the shortened length could lead to stressful deadlines.

  •  Start a blog

Helooo? What could be more simple than this? Simply starting a blog is an excellent way to keep your writing skills sharp. Who could remember AP Style rules all summer? Not me. A blog will help improve your writing skills and enhance your creativity.

  •  Get an internship

If possible, look for a summer internship. Internships allow you to learn about the workforce and apply the skills you’ve learned to real-life situations. Plus, internships are also awesome networking opportunities.

  • Read a book

I get it. You read all semester long, you read the news and you read articles. Who has time to read a book? However, reading books, fictional or not, are an excellent source of creativity. Reading enhances your writing and keeps your vocabulary exceptional.

  • Pick up a dictionary

Speaking of exceptional vocabulary, what better way to enhance your vocab than to pick up a dictionary? Yes, it could be a dry read, but learning just one word a day will improve your writing abilities. Thankfully, there’s an app for that.

We are busy people and may not have time for all of these things, but they are just a few ways to maintain your skills while on break.

 

Knowledge is power

How many times have you heard knowledge is power? Countless, right? For most, power is desirable. If you seek power, then you must seek knowledge. With power, we often associate the words success and wealth. Unfortuanately, many get caught up with the words associated with power rather than what power itself can mean.

Posessing knowledge can be powerful, but sharing knowledge can be rewarding. What is the purpose of having all this knowledge bouncing around in our heads if we refuse to share it with others. I have sometimes come across people that refuse to share th (9)what they know, even if that information could be useful to others. Why? Because, knowledge is power.
Unfortunately, some have the understanding that by witholding information they are putting themselves in a more powerful position. We need to shift our mindsets to considering how we can be great leaders rather than powerful. When leaders share their knowledge with others, they are empowering people and providing opportunities to succeed.

Marketing yourself

As young professionals begin to enter the workforce, many questions arise. Thankfully, through PRSSA, many professionals have provided answers to
these questions. Lindsay Van Quaethem, Downtown STL marketing director, brought plenty of advice to the SIUE Chapter of PRSSA. Her advice, in addition to advice I’ve gathered from communications professionals, is very helpful in counseling young professionals. Learning how to brand yourself is an important skill. If you do not know how to communicate about yourself, then how can you be expected to communicate on behalf of a company?IMG_4004

Of course, social media is important when it comes to branding yourself. Keep your social media profiles professional, but show your personality. It is okay to share something funny or quick-witted. Professionals want to see who you really are. This advice for social media transfers to real life situations. No one can be two people. You cannot successfully be completely different at home than you are at work, because eventually your true personality shines through.

You are your best asset, so stay true to yourself. Just as employers are looking to see if you will be a good fit for their company, you should look to see if the company is a good fit for you. Important advice that I have heard reiterated by multiple professionals is to not lose who you are. While it is important to know how to adjust to different situations, it is necessary to remain your authentic self.

In addition to remaining yourself, it is important to know how to sell yourself. Have an elevator pitch. Networking is at the heart of everything. We meet new people almost daily. Have a short pitch that you can give people to briefly explain who you are. Here are a few things to include in your pitch:

  • Your Name
  • Your school and year
  • Hobbies and interests

In addition to having an elevator pitch, it is key that young professionals know how to tell a story. People remember how you made them feel. Telling a story that grabs attention, shows your personality and provides insight to your skillset is the secret to networking.

Entering the work force can be intimidating, but there are many people willing to help along the way. If there weren’t, I wouldn’t have gathered all of this great advice. As a young professional, always be willing to learn. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Know your skills and highlight those. It is okay to be both professional and creative. Ultimately, be authentic.

 

Finding hope

Cancer. A terrible disease. A terrible disease that shakes families at their core. A terrible disease that engulfs friends in its darkness. A terrible disease that affects each one of us as it spreads like a weed touching the lives of many we love.

Through this terrible disease we find love. We find compassion. We find hope. As we come together to support those we care for we can find light in what can seem to be endless darkness. When those we love are weak, we find strength in our communities. This terrible disease brings people together as we learn to celebrate life.

Relay for Life at SIUE was a somber experience as we remembered those who have battled and are battling cancer, and as we honored those who lost their battle to cancer. In the midst of our remembrance, we also had a celebration. A celebration of being one step closer to finishing the fight, a celebration of those who have survived and a celebration of life.

As we raise money for the American Cancer Society, we are given hope. Hope for a cure, hope for those battling and hope for the future. We find strength as we lean on each other in a time of grieving and celebration. As survivors emotionally reflect on their experiences, we find strength. As terrible as this disease is, it strengthens communities.

PRSSA of SIUE is proud to be a part of such a meaningful event. Raising money to fight something that disrupts so many lives is just a small step toward finishing the fight. As we reflect, we turn from a somber moment to a celebration. Let us to continue to find hope and celebration as we move closer to finding a cure.

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The SIUE Chapter of PRSSA would like to thank all of those who donated to our team and to SIUE Relay for Life.