December 17, 2007

The Final Final

Posted in Amanda, College, Stories, Students, Transitions, Young Professionals tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:49 pm by Amanda Gravel

So, today I took my final final of college. As I sat there, test finished, totally not caring if any of the answers were right, I couldn’t believe I was done.  I knew I wasn’t going to add anything else to my answers, but I spent a few extra minutes sitting and waiting for the “wow” moment when I felt totally different. Strange, but it just felt the same as any other final exam.

I expected when I passed in my test, that I would maybe punch my fist in the air and make some little squeal sound as I left the room. Instead, I just put the exam on Don Wright‘s desk, wished him a happy holiday, and walked out. I was happy and proud, but I didn’t feel as if I had just had a life-changing experience. I mean, there was no beautiful music playing and there weren’t any people applauding as I walked out of the building and headed home. Weird, right?

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I guess it just takes a while for big things to hit you sometimes.

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December 11, 2007

Transitions

Posted in Amanda, Beginnings, College, Job Hunt, Public Relations, Stories, Students, Transitions, Young Professionals tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:55 am by Amanda Gravel

The paper that Maria mentioned in her most recent post marks a big transition for me. This really is the end of college and the start of a life in the “real” world of public relations. I plan to start working near the end of January, so I have a month and a half to attempt the metamorphosis that occurs when student becomes professional.

I practically live on the Web, so I’m not going anywhere. I just feel that today, writing this paper, I am truly seeing within myself how much my life is about to change. I am experiencing a departure from Amanda playing the role of student to become Amanda, the Future as Chris Brogan so wonderfully calls me.

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PR students of the Web, I hope that you feel as empowered as I do when you are on the cusp of graduation. I feel excited and ready to tackle a million and one new things, with a great group of friends who are cheering me on. This is a huge transition in life, and I am proud and happy to share it with all the friends of On the PRowl.

PR pros– please keep giving us your esteemed advice.

PR students– please keep using this blog as a forum to discuss issues and ask questions.

Professor Quigley– please grade us well.

I leave you with a haiku:

“We are On the PRowl/ Real world students with a voice/ Here we shall be heard”

December 10, 2007

Oh No You Didn’t…

Posted in Amanda, College, Ethics, Maria, Students tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:12 pm by Maria

Our blog experiment has come to an end. The semester is over, and our blog is up for review. Don’t panic, Amanda and I aren’t going anywhere. We will continue to write this blog. But the era as students is coming to an end. Amanda graduates in exactly one week. And I graduate in one semester and two days.

As part of our final project (this blog) we also had to write a paper (sooo old media *wink*) explaining various aspects of the blog: subject matter, voice, style, reader persona, seo, and such. The last question was regarding ethical dilemmas. This took Amanda and I a minute to figure out. We are such ethical beings that figuring out dilemmas was difficult!

We finally settled on a few to write about, and I thought that I would post one of them up here for all of you to comment on. We would love to hear your perspective on the dilemma and any further advice you have on how we can be more ethical.

Over and out. (for now at least).

“The most (seemingly) straightforward ethical issues is that of giving due credit. Throughout college we are warned against plagiarism, but there are few plagiarism laws on the internet, especially when it comes to the intellectual property of blogs. We have tried to be vigilant in linking content within the blog to its thought author. In many ways, giving due credit is more difficult online than in a scholastic paper. We all know the rules for footnotes and bibliography, but online, the rules are different. We are still learning what they are, and luckily seasoned pros have been kind enough to gently clue us in when we stumble (if this was a blog post I would hyperlink “seasoned pros” to Steve Garfield). When a name is mentioned — hyperlink. When a site, book, article is mentioned — hyperlink. If a picture is posted, don’t just give photo-credit, but hyperlink to the source of the photo. And this is just the beginning. Every piece of a blog post has to be multidimensional to make sure that everyone can find the source of what you are saying.

In order to adhere to the standard of being ethical, we try to remember to link everything and welcome with open arms, any suggestions of how we can give even better link-love. The ethical students that we are, we will not fail to give credit when we know that credit is due, and as much as we can, we will spread the link-love.”

December 3, 2007

Four Degrees of Separation

Posted in Community, Friends, Job Hunt, Maria, Networking tagged , , , , , , , at 3:31 pm by Maria

Last year I attended a PRSSA meeting at BU. One of the many things the speaker talked about that night really stuck with me — you never know when you are going to meet your next boss. Amanda‘s recent post College Kids Party; I Network reminded me of this. I don’t mean this in the swarmy way like Chris Brogan mentioned in his comments on Amanda’s post. What I took this piece of advice to mean is that jobs don’t just happen by submitting a resume and going on an interview. ‘It isn’t what you know, but who you know’ wouldn’t be a cliche if there wasn’t some truth to it. 

In this new age of building relationships, knowing people is what it is all about. And not just collecting business cards, actually getting to know people. Pose in pictures as Amanda suggests. One link leads to another to another and so on. Which brings in the whole concept of six degrees of separation. More like four. I can get to almost anyone in four steps or less. The more people I meet, the fewer the degrees separate me from the rest of the world.

Take this semester for example: Last spring I needed a fourth class to add to my schedule.  I had had Professor Quigley for my intro to PR class and had loved him so I looked to see if he was teaching any other classes. He was – Special Topics: Interactive PR. Translation = new media. One of the first classes, Amanda mentioned PodCamp. She then told the class about Twitter. It took her a while to convince me that it wasn’t stalkerish, but I finally decided to give it a whirl. And what a reception! By the time PodCamp rolled around, meeting people like Bryan Person and Laura Fitton aka Pistachio in person for the first time, was like reuniting with an old friend. Through them I have met others; I’ve gotten advice from new grads like Yianni Garcia, guidance from Len Edgerly, had my eyes opened to a whole new world of possibilities by Jeff Pulver, and have had a whole lot of laughs with Steve Garfield.

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I recent wrote a post on my personal blog Thru My Green Eyes about my New Media Friends and how they are the strongest community in my life. I didn’t “network” in order to get a job, but to make friends. And I have. I’ve also made some great job related connections through those friends. 

So, “networking” may have a bad rap, but getting out there, and getting to know people is the best thing you can do. Even though I am always one of the youngest people in the room, I have been greeted with arms wide open.

So. Party, give book suggestions, ask questions, have dinner, tweet, link, and everything else in between.

December 2, 2007

College Kids Party; I Network

Posted in Amanda, College, Job Hunt, Networking, Students, Young Professionals tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:54 pm by Amanda Gravel

It’s no secret that college students party.

That said, I don’t think enough students, especially students who want to go into the communications business, understand that partying can be useful for boosting their personal brand. In my previous post, you’ll notice that the professionals who left comments stressed the importance of building a network early in your career path. My advice to my fellow college students: if you know you like to party, USE it.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’d much prefer to go out to a bar with a group of like-minded, passionate, exciting people from whom I can learn than to a frat party where underaged drunk people are wandering around aimlessly, spilling beer on the floor. I’m not saying that college students shouldn’t go to big crazy parties and trendy clubs with their peers. (IMHO, you absolutely should have those experiences.) However, it is extremely beneficial and FUN to step outside of the college-kid stereotype and “party” with people who can teach you new things and advise you in your career/life path. When I’m at parties with professional people I admire, I may be having a few drinks, and I not be acting the way I would in an interview, but I am building one hell of a strong network.

2076857379_aa701d08e5.jpgWhen you’re at a bar or a party, you tend to let loose a little and show your true colors, right? Well, I think that’s what’s going to get you places. Show off who you actually are to people who can help you in your career. Be social, be authentic, be fun. People will notice that you’re not just the average college student, and that really pays off when you’re searching for a first job or your next competitive internship. In this business, it’s so much better to be a real person who’s out there having fun than a random interviewee smiling and holding a resume.

And here’s some extra proof. My e-friend Justin Kownacki told me that when he’s interviewing potential hires, he WANTS to find some party pics of them on Facebook and Flickr. When people invite you to events and pose for pictures with you, it means they probably know your name and they may even like you. You’re a smart, savvy student. You have interesting things to say, a ton to contribute, and, oh yeah, you like to go out on the weekends.

If you’re going to party anyway (and let’s face it–you are), why not do it with smart, connected industry pros? In my book, networking is the new night on the town.