Thursday, June 23, 2011

The most interesting day of my life.

Friday, June 10, 2011
5 a.m. Alarm.
6:15 a.m. I am sitting shotgun in a truck full of Coca-Cola product heading to the outskirts of downtown Atlanta.

Today I experienced a new aspect of The Coca-Cola Company. Today was my route ride with a Coca-Cola truck driver delivering product to Georgia convenience stores and local restaurants.

My driver, guide and new best friend Greg had no idea what he was getting himself into: a curious little girl, full of questions and unwilling to do less than equal the workload.

We had 19 stops, more than 400 cases of Coca-Cola packages including DASANI, SmartWater, VitaminWater, Powerade, FUZE, MinuteMaid, FANTA, Sprite, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and, of course, the original Coca-Cola, in cans, plastic bottles and even 8 oz. glass bottles—which made me the most nervous to move.

Greg strapped me down with the electronic devices that updated our deliveries and printed the receipts. And after few trial and error runs I was ready to go—a real pro at perfecting the orders. He took his side of the truck and I took mine. I’d read out the order, and we would both get to business unloading and stacking the cases.


We were in the outskirts of Atlanta, and with Greg I was completely safe. His positive attitude, huge smile and hard work ethic gained him respect and trust among the store owners.

Greg did most of the work with the hand trolley, but I would lock up the truck, hold the door for him, deliver the bill and collect the money before he could even unload the product. We both stocked the shelves and coolers, then I would put the trolley back in its place on the truck, then on we went to our next stop. 

By noon my arms were bruised, scraped and shaking from lifting so much, I didn’t slow down though, and I think Greg became more and more proud of me with each stop. He loved telling the store owners and regular customers he knew that I was his help, and hell no, he wasn’t lifting a pinkie today—it was all me. Of course he did pick up a good deal of my slack, but I know he appreciated my hard work, too.



So let me tell you about Greg-- one of the most interesting men I have ever met. First off, he looks in better shape than most NFL football players I’ve seen. Broad shouldered, with calves like ham-hocks, his bright, white-teethed smile is what really stands out.

It is the people like this that I meet in Coca-Cola that make me realize that there is more to the business than creating a product-- it is about a lifestyle that is so sustainable, 125 years after the first glass was poured, people still wake up each day with a smile on their face because they are part of it.

There is just something different—real—about immersing yourself into the everyday labor of physically bringing people a refreshing moment in their day. Something incomparable, and I will not trade today for anything.

Onto a hot shower, good meal (no, we did not even stop for a bathroom break in our 10 hours of work, let alone lunch) and a long night of rest.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Help me do some quick and dirty PR!

Check out this commercial we interns are helping to promote for Coca-Cola's new Hispanic-American commercial for the Soccer Gold Cup:  
http://bit.ly/compracoca

Already almost 25% done?!

Well it is pretty obvious that I have been MIA lately. My evenings have been filled with writing journal entries, creating media contact lists, running through Buckhead—not leaving a lot of time for blogging.

I CANNOT believe I am already in my FOURTH week at Coca-Cola. Not cool. I am going to be 1/3 done by Friday…tear.

Scott always gives us little tid-bits of advice each day. My favorite has been, “If you haven’t been in an animal suit, you haven’t been in PR.” And let me tell you, he knows from experience. Can you say Coca-Cola's Pin Collectors' Conference mascot Pin-Guin?

 
PHOTO TO COME.

Anyways, the weeks are flying by as I jump from meeting to meeting, trying to keep up with the lingo and remember as many names as possible. I know for a fact I am getting way more out of this internship in one day than I will be able to give back the whole summer. I feel like I am stealing, like physically robbing the company of education.

Oh P.S. the storm that ripped through the city last Thursday—as in two weeks ago, I guess—turned my 7 mile, 45 minute drive home into 2.5 hours! Not to mention, (I never know why people say that, because obviously they are mentioning it) a tree snapped and fell on the car three in front of me. Real life. Plus, it ripped the sheets that were covering the Coke tower for the 125th anniversary digital display.

One of it's images:
It was just an incredibly sad day for Atlanta on so many levels.

Today, on the other hand was fabulous! We got to tour a Coca-Cola syrup plant, which was amazing—I felt like I was in Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory! Let me tell ya, though, those freestyle machine cartridges are not easy to create. It was watching some futuristic movie the way the machines moved so quickly and intelligently, easily molding the plastic, creating the bags and filling them with concentrate.


Did I mention the cool outfits we got to wear??


I am continually amazed by the genuinely passionate people who work in every division of the company, too. The plant manager was so knowledgeable and interesting! The quantity of beverage the plant produces on an annual basis for the Southeast is insane, but not quite as impressive as its turn-around time from when an order comes in—only 48 hours!

After the plant we stopped at America’s original location of the original chicken sandwich: the Chick-fil-a Dwarf House! I never knew! The entire experience was utterly hysterical, and almost deadly as I laughed so hard I began to choke, drawing the attention of many bystanders, including one 8-year-old who was completely turned around from her food to watch me try and breath:


It only got worse when I just about fit perfectly through the dwarf door. Not as funny as Colleen and Daniel made it out to be, and definitely not my fault they are giants in my world.





Eating out is a real treat, because most days I take my lunch back to my desk so I can work. Last Friday, however Scott treated Daniel and I to a delicious meal at a restaurant called Stats. It would have been a pleasant outing, however we dinned on the day a funeral was being held there—for the Atlanta Thrashers. Hockey team. Enough said.

Other times I have really enjoyed lunch are when we plan to meet up in the cafeteria with fellow Coke interns we have met—real middle school style: meet at the table to the left by the big window, three away from the freestyle machine (that they, as engineers, are helping make updates to). It is just kind of refreshing to be around college students for a few minutes, even if they are from GA Tech. Strange how that works.

Funny how midnight seems soooo late when you are waking up at 7am each morning and working a full day! Good night, moon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Still Alive!

Well, I have one full week under my belt. I'm a true working woman! I did not realize how I have already learned until I went home this weekend when for my brother's graduation.
Me and Hunter at Graduation

I hurried out of the office Friday just in time to wait in traffic on my way to Knoxville. I eventually made it, however, and my family was welcoming with dozens of questions about my first week. I was able to easily explain how my various projects were linked to the different brands, and how so many people could work together from opposite parts of the company—and even outside agencies!

Already accumulating on tasks to my to-do list, I was surprised by how excited I was to sit down Saturday night and work! But, I was, and I'm not afraid to admit it...I think I KNOW really like what I do! So what if I'm a huge nerd—I am a dog-gone happy one!
Both my work laptop and personal one were needed!
I am happy about more than just my job though; it is the whole experience of living in Atlanta. Last week I got to run a few times through the Buckhead area. I loved everything from the beautiful homes, to the dad throwing a softball with his daughter, to the groups of eight-year-old boys playing wiffle ball!

I love all of the fun places and parties Atlanta offers, too. Colleen and I were given a pair of tickets to a charity night with amazing food, unlimited Sweetwater beer and fabulous music. We had a great time, and took full advantage of all the free food and beverage!
Sweetwater Brewery sponsored the event...I wasn't complaining
I love the proximity I am to Target, Publix, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Lenox, Phipps Plaza...should I go on? Probably not—I can see my dad's face now as he things of me shopping :-)

Mostly, though, I love having a schedule and not having to worry about anyone but myself. I know that these are precious years where I can come home from work, go for a run, cook myself an artichoke omelet on an English muffin with goat cheese and have a glass of wine while reading myself to sleep with a great novel. I plan to take full advantage of every second of it.
Green eggs and wine! That's what you get with artichokes, yum yum though!


I am already looking forward to tomorrow! My dinner, my run, my quick trip to the mall for the skirt that I put on hold and cannot stop thinking about (sorry mom!), my work—even waking up at 6 a.m. to go do ground work PR at 7:30 a.m. Hand-to-hand combat...they've got us on the front line already!



P.S. Tomorrow is Choose You Day. Sprite Zero is teaming up with the American Cancer Society to tell women "put yourself first"—go for a walk, eat a healthy meal and schedule that long overdue doctor's appointment. www.chooseyou.com

I may or may not be promoting that tomorrow. Regardless, I believe in the cause.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A day of FIRSTS and THIRDS

Let's start with the FIRSTS:

• It was the first time I could have out-run my car. Thanks to a wreck on I75 this morning I was definitely moving slower than a 10 minute mile.

• It was the first time I went into a Bed, Bath & Beyond and came out with Zyrtec and popcorn. 

• It was the first time a young businessman smiled as I walked by thinking I, too, was a young business woman! Oh HEYY!

I'm to to interject a THIRD here: It was the third day that I made a fool of myself as I tried to figure out which side to scan my badge and walk through the gate on. TOTALLY disproving the previous man's thought that I was a mature working woman. Cool.

• It was the first time an attractive man pulled up next to me, smiled, then proceeded to watch another attractive man cross the street, not even noticing there was a car next to him—let alone me!

Carly + hot Atlanta men = FAIL. 


Onto the THIRDS: 

•For a third day in a row, I have woken up 2 hours before needing to be at work 7 miles away. Quite unusual for me because it only takes me 45 minutes to shower, dress and eat. I guess 2 hours is the norm, however, when it take 50 minutes to drive 7 miles and you are still trying to impress people by being early.

• For a third day in a row, I have consumed more beverages—carbonated and otherwise—in a 24 hour period than I normally do in a full week. Along with that, I have also excused myself for more bathroom breaks than the average kindergartner excited about potty training.

• Third day in a row I have had to turn on my seat heaters on the way to work mid-MAY. Lame.

• For a third day in a row, I successfully found a new route the WRONG way home. Today, was a first though: I got on the interstate heading the wrong direction during 5pm traffic. So fun, really—sitting 20 minutes going south instead of north towards your home. Really desirable afternoon!

• And finally: for a third day in a row I have gotten to go work at the COOLEST company in the world! I guess that about evens the rest out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And Day 2, despite the fact it is posted on the same day :-)


After our thrilling corporate orientation this morning (NOT), I was excited to get back in the office. I had prepared some material for Gorki on a PR plan he had me look over and had a meeting with Susan set up for the afternoon. We fixed a to-go plate on our way in and trekked on up to the office.

Scott gave us a quick update on his schedule for the day and offered Colleen and I each an opportunity to tag along. So, at 3:00 p.m. I ascended to the 20th—and highest—floor of our building. I was surprised, then unsurprised by the change in appearance. While the floor was by no means too prestigious, it definitely had a “big man upstairs” atmosphere.

The man who initially greeted us showed his disapproval of Scott’s tardiness, and we quickly entered a large conference room. I was introduced to the Chief of Marketing Operations (CMO) and the woman who represents LeBron James for Coca-Cola.

The CMO was going to be interviewed for a story on companies who represent big-name athletes—thus the LeBron James situation. As expected, the crew threw around potential speaking points, relationship highlights and a time-line of the partnership with LeBron.

I absolutely would love that job! Who doesn't want to manage the entertainment?!?!

Walking away from the interview, Scott took a few minutes to fill me in on what I had learned:
• Call the reporter just before walking into the interview to ensure they are available at the discussed time and number.
• Know the time frame of the interview and potential questions that will be asked
• Debrief the interviewee ahead of time to make sure they are prepared

And a few personal lessons unrelated (or related, as everything in this business seems to be):
• Make friends and build relationships at every level. People move all the time, and you never know who’s assistant may one day run the company
• Be necessary. Make your advice relevant and you presence needed. That way, when the above do move up the ladder, you are the one they cannot leave behind.

Moving on, I also was introduced to the Houston team in charge of MinuteMaid. We had a conference call about the new product. They are in the beginning stages of launching the brand, and trying to make it newsworthy.

Gorki was busy working on presentation material for Scott and did not have a chance to look over the revised plan I worked on. Totally fine, in fact I hate feeling like I am annoying by checking in all the time. This is why having a computer or phone would be quite convenient!

—break out in song—
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow… you’re only a day a-wayyyyy!

And so I begin...

Well...my first day went fabulous! I got my ID badge, a parking pass and even my own cubicle! Colleen and Daniel got great views from their new desks, but mine is closest to the team, so I consider it a fair trade...I'll be working too much to enjoy the view anyways ;-)

I am already being assigned to projects, and had two meetings with different projects this afternoon. I truly feel that I am in the right place, doing the right things here!

Scott is already beginning to tease me for being so inquisitive... I can't help it! I like knowing all the details of what is expected of me, and what I can expect of others! He jokes that I am going to be the one keeping him in line this summer; really, it is not my fault he is so ADD...

After my first day, I sat down to begin looking over my notes from the day. Words seem to be scrawled all over the pages in front of me; no order, no particular direction, no single page color or size even seem to be consistent. Organized chaos. I pride myself on it.

I have tried to keep a running list of people I meet and people Scott mentions with particular importance—so basically everyone.

The sweet woman at the front entrance is Carolyn. I told her I was here for Scott Williamson and received the response: “You are going to be having a fun summer.” Scott later shared that she greeted him with the same words 20 years earlier. Talk about a company of sustainability!


P.S. green is going to stand for Scott's words of wisdom.

Another woman I meet is quite stylish and was wearing a pink leather jacket! She further intrigued me after I saw her office; it is covered in African photos and memorabilia. I hope to have some time this summer to just talk with her. I feel we would get along well and have much in common.

So what is it that makes all of the people around me great workers? Scott had that answer: Being smart + having good energy + working hard.

Ok, back to business. Friday we may get to sit in on a pitch Jackson Spalding is giving for a new can design. I hope we are able to follow through in observing because it could very well be similar to what I need to know for future agency positions and especially campaigns next year (hint, hint).

Side note (literally on the side of my page): unbranded PSAs work best.

More random thoughts:
I am meeting with my new stylish, Africa-visiting friend tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to discuss MinuteMaid's new product. So thrilled to work with her and drive right into a couple great initiatives!

We were also introduced to the “Glass-O” team in New York. After an hour of wonder what the “Glass-O” building must look like in order to receive such a unique name, I was kindly informed that that was the proper pronunciation of Coca-Cola’s brand GlacĂ©au. Embarrassing.

One woman has the amazing job of working with VitaminWater and Smart Water. While VitaminWater has its problems with law suits due to its ‘enhancing’ elements, Jennifer Aniston makes up for it with her sexy Smart Water campaign pictures that received sweet coverage all over top entertainment sites and shows.
http://www.google.com/search?q=jennifer+aniston+smart+water&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

One of the more important lessons learned today is one I can take to any job in life: OCM. Ownership Cost Management. You think it’s a term any student should learn in a basic business or administration class, right?! I don't remember it at least... hope I didn't just miss that lesson ;-)

A few pics to help illustrate my first day:


My cubicle for the summer:
 An Icee from the lunch room:
 My nameplate outside the cube:
The team is so great welcoming me: 
 First think I see walking in the building:
My first day reward to myself—Cami Cake's cupcakes: nom nom nom nom

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why I want to be PRSSA's new PRES!

Here is an easy way for you to remember why I would make a good PRESident of PRSSA:

I am
Persistent—v. Continuing firmly in a course of action despite difficulty.
I am dedicated to PRSSA, and regardless of the challenges I may face will persistently fight for the organization and it’s members best interest.

Representative—n. A person chosen or appointed to act or speak for another. 
I want to be your voice; represent your opinions and make PRSSA YOURS.

Eager—v. Wanting to do or have something very much.
That says it all. I love this organization and very badly want to be a more involved leader.

Skilled—v. The ability, coming from one's knowledge or practice to do something well.
As a current exec member I have witnessed what it takes to make this PRSSA outstanding, and I have the skill to lead this organization to even greater excellence.

Well, that's the skinny of it...here are a few ideas I have to do make it PRaiseworthy, PRominent and PRofessional. 

I want members to feel more connected to the e-board, the organization and each other. With over 300 members in UGA's chapter (largest in the world!), however it is sometimes hard to get plugged in. That is why I would like to designate each member to an e-board leader. This way everyone has a familiar name and face to connect with, ask questions to and receive updates from. This can be done through Facebook groups, smaller email list-servs and group get-togethers in order to create a more manageable, more personal experience of PRSSA.

I would also like to have a running calendar that is visible and accessible to all members. Our PRSSA bulletin board is in a prime location right outside the Drewry room, and we should better utilize it by keeping a running calendar of local and national PRSSA, PRSA and general PR events students can attend. Creative Consultants events, as well as other UGA activites could be posted as well. A great one-stop resource for everything you need to know PR.

Next, I think PRSSA can expand beyond Wednesday night speakers. I have seen through other chapters how successful mini seminars on topics like social media usage can be. While many of us know how to manage our own Facebook or Twitter accounts, using them for clients may be more of a challenge. Monthly luncheons where professionals are brought in to discuss and expand on tools we learn in the classroom could enhance the benefits PRSSA offers.

Lastly, I want to make meetings consistent and convenient. I plan to work with the other e-board members to keep meetings time efficient and interesting. Alternating between highlighting CC teams, intern spotlights and committee on goings allows variations in the meetings and cuts back on lengthy announcements each week. Also providing online notes after each meeting gives members who couldn't attend the chance to catch up on what they missed.

Being on e-board this past year has provided me with valuable insight to what works and what can be improved upon. I am approachable, open-minded and am always seeking advise to better myself and the projects I work on. If elected PRSSA president, I want to work with every member to make the organization most beneficial to your needs as PR and communication students.

Please let me know if you have any question, comments or suggestions!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Internships on my mind!

With the semester at its half-way mark, and summer quickly approaching, PR students everywhere are becoming consumed with finding the perfect summer internship. There are so many elements that go into this process, including perfecting your resume, personalizing a cover letter and preparing for interviews!

Because this ordeal is no easy feat, I decided to dedicate the entire issue of this month's PRSSA newsletter to internships! The articles submitted turned out wonderful, and contain useful information that should be read by all.

There are articles on the applying process, how to be a superstar intern and even a couple  on internship alternatives!

That being said, I leave you all to read the issue for yourself, and gain some insight on how to score the perfect internship and make the most of your summer!

You can find the PRecedent March 2011 issue 9 on my personal site or on PRSSA's PRecedent page.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Call to action—include incentives!

Above is the amazing video a group of us made for UGA's Bateman team: Live Financially. Making it was quick, easy and fun. The best part: we got extra credit for our PR Research class! And if our video gains the most views, we get even more credit (so watch it about 14 times, please)!!

Incentives can definitely drive people to go a little out of their way to participate—like me including the video in my blog post. In today's high-speed world driven by multi-media tactics, it is becoming nearly impossible to gain an audiences attention and get volunteers to partake in your campaign efforts. That is why focusing on your target audience and offering relative intensives is as important as call to action.

I have found this true in my efforts as Philanthropy Chair of Zeta Tau Alpha, as well. Because there are constantly activities and programs going on, not only within our sorority, but on campus, too, it is more than understandable when my cry for help gets lost. That is when incentives become valuable.

A great way to fundraise for our cause (breast cancer awareness and education) is by mailing out donation letters. While it only takes about 10 minutes to print out the letters, jot down a quick note and address the envelopes, that is 10 minutes people could devote to another cause demanding their attention. Therefore, I have enforced the incentive of lowering each girl's fundraising goal by $25 if they mail out 10 letters. My hope is that by mailing out these 10 letters, they will in turn raise well over the original goal.

When creating campaigns and asking an audience to participate, it is important to include benefits that create motivation for their involvement. We see this alot in social media when businesses offer deals or discounts to fans or followers of their Facebook or Twitter pages.

The opportunities are endless, but it is key to target your audience and offer an incentive they will find useful. Does anyone else have examples we can learn from and keep in mind for the future?

Monday, February 7, 2011

A RISK, A PASSION, A CHALLENGE.

It is hard to believe that just 12 months ago I was attending my first PRSSA meeting and taking a huge leap of faith in my professional career by attending Real World PR—alone!

I had just been accepted into Grady College as a PR major, and I could barely tell you what public relations was. Considering myself a go-getter, however, I decided to dive right in to the unknown territory of PRSSA, and oh, how naive and clueless I was... here is a a video I took at the conference, still so unsure of what I was doing:

video

Well, that's embarrassing! Looking back on the people sitting around that random table I sat down at, I laugh at the fact they some of them were members of PRSSA who later encouraged me to run for a position myself; an opportunity that has stirred in me a passion and opened doors I had never dreamed would exist on that day of uncertainty at Real World. 

Saying all that, my challenge to the few people who end up reading this blog (and this excludes you, mom) is to be confident in yourself, trust your instincts and take a change on your future. If you don't, I can guarantee no one else will. 
It may mean taking on that second major, attending a professional conference, applying for that challenging internship, joining a committee or maybe just attending class! Regardless of your major, you have one life to make something of yourself, and it starts today. Will you go for it?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How I maintain the balancing act I call life

I know I am not the only person who has a crazy schedule full of classes, internships tasks and multiple leadership rolls. Therefore, I hope I am not the only one who thinks life can sometimes feel like a circus, and you are the main act expected to walk a tight rope, while juggling flaming balls and hula-hooping all at once.

Encyclopedia Britannica
<< This guy got pretty close to how I felt yesterday, juggling a million things while trying to keep balance in my life.

In a recent interview I had, I was asked if multitasking was a skill I possessed. I did not want to come off as pretentious, but of course I can multitask—I am a college student! Good luck finding someone at UGA who can't maintain grades, hold a job, participate in extra committees and still keep up with their social life...okay, so you may find a few. But, for the most part, we know that time management is a necessity for success in college.

I definitely recognize, however, that it does not come easily or perfectly-ever. The best methods I have found for managing a busy schedule efficiently include a good calendar (or two), a smart phone and premade meals.

1. The calendar. 
By far the most essential tool for keeping track of daily tasks, meetings and deadlines is a good calendar. It allows you to breakdown and organize your day in order to fit in everything... kinda like the game tetris! A contacts section means you are always able to jot down important names and numbers for future access. My favorite part about my calendar, however, is the notes section. I cannot tell you how many running to-do lists I keep on a daily basis. By being able to write everything down, it relieves my brain from having to keep up with it all!

On a side note, I also keep a separate calendar for my position as Philanthropy Chair of ZTA. Because I plan and execute 5-10 events each semester, my calendar has been a great way to track what needs to be done each step of the way. I can keep the necessary contacts and to-do lists together and have it all in a neat package in order to pass-on to the new Chair next year!

2. The smart phone
Having temporarily been without my Droid a few weeks ago, I have an entirely new appreciation for all of the capabilities my phone offers me on a daily basis. Being able to access my email saves me an incredible amount of time. I can read and respond while riding the bus, waiting line at Jittery Joes to get coffee or even while walking from class to class. Looking back on today alone, I have received 15 emails that I replied to with my phone. Instant communication makes life run smoother and more quickly—a key aspect of time management.

3. The TV dinner... minus the TV 

Okay, so while the picture above is more nauseating than it is appetizing, but it gets to the point. I love cooking, but some days there is just not time, and I am not willing to sacrifice a hot meal in order to save time, and eating out gets real expensive, real quick. Therefore, I have discovered Trader Joes' prepackaged meals! They are so easy to fix and I don't have to miss out on a yummy dinner. 
What is important to note here, is that by being satisfied in the areas of your life you may otherwise have to sacrifice allows you to stay more motivated and work more efficiently. Thus, you are able to devote more time to each element that is demanding your attention.

30 minutes on a treadmill, a tasty meal and taking time to maintain my personal sites and blog are all ways I refocus myself and boost my energy in order to balance my life better.
Taking care of business as it comes, and quickly responding to others, as well as physically organizing the hours in my day all allow me to meet deadlines, and still stay sane... most of the time ;-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not a suckup—just a fearless advocate!

Why I think attendance in Communication Law and all classes is important:

Organized structure is the backbone of all great institutions. Having a standard set of rules that is followed by all members of the institution creates a foundation upon which order can be maintained. I think the college classroom—the stepping-stone to the outside world—should be no different. I feel attendance should be required in order for the goal of the classroom to be fulfilled: to prepare and educate students for a successful life and career. Daily attendance builds a discipline that will be expected the second students leave the classroom and enter the workforce. It also creates a respect for the professor and subject being taught.

The material learned from textbooks is only a portion of the valuable education one takes away from college; the other part includes lessons on workforce etiquette and professionalism. There are few employers who accept tardiness or unexcused absences from their employees, and therefore, professors should enforce similar policies. By creating a standard of uniformity and commitment, students can begin learning to be prompt or accept the consequences—and a lowered grade is much better than the future alternative of being fired. Also, it forms consistency in what to expect each day. A firm schedule can lead to healthier habits in all aspects of one’s life.

Next, the professor should demonstrate the importance of the material being taught by requiring attendance to lectures. If students are not obligated to attend, they may loose interest—or never gain interest—in the subject. The course may become second-place to other tasks and activities student’s face. No attendance policy can express to students that the material being taught is of little added value to what can be learned from the textbook or outside materials. If failure to attend class becomes a habit without consequence, the material is never learned; thus, the goal of the course unsuccessful.

While it is true that an 18 to 22-year-old should be accountable and responsible for his or herself, college is a time of learning, and increased structure is often necessary. A professor is in no way obligated to hold a students hand, however they are compelled to create standards to which their students are held. Another argument that may arise stems from the fact that students pay to go to college, and it is their right to decide whether or not they choose to attend a class. Their payment, however, does not lessen the privilege they have of attending a top-noche university. The knowledge they gain, or do not gain, reflects upon the professors, as well as the university as a whole; each professor should encourage students to seize the opportunity they have to attend class and learn.

Due to discipline gained by the student, respect earned by the professor and a positive image given to the university, attendance should be mandatory for all courses. A professor is doing a disservice to the student, him or herself, as well as to the university by allowing students to slack off and be lazy. It is too easy for students to rely on their friends or outside sources in order to cram and pass an exam or course without learning the material. There is no doubt that a attendance policy should be a part of the rules that make of the structure of the great institution of the University of Georgia.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New endeavors and valuable advice!

Well, it's official. Two half days of classes and my head is already swimming with a long list class assignments, internship tasks, newsletter deadlines, philanthropy events and my newest endeavor: summer applications.

Over Christmas break, I was able to schedule a couple informational interviews at Scripps Network in Knoxville. I met with employees in the HGTV, DIY and corporate communications departments. Being a company I hold high respect for, as well as being located in Knoxville, I was extremely excited for the opportunity to get my foot in the door, and the conversations I had were more than beneficial.

• I gained advice that I will not only keep in mind over the next few months on the job search, but for years to come in the workforce:

It was pointed out to me that many fields, especially entertainment networking like DIY, only consider candidates for positions, and even internships, whom can show previous experience or interest in the field. Therefore, when choosing a minor or taking an internship, it is extremely important to narrow your interests, be picky and follow your interests or career aspirations.


• I was also able to witness the value of choosing a company in which you can move, not only vertically, but horizontally and diagonally, too! 

In most corporate companies, it is rather slow-going for PR and communications professionals to try and move up the ladder. A company as large as Scripps or Turner, however, you have a much larger range of internal movement throughout different departments or brands within the company.

Scripps Networks, for example are over HGTV and DIY brands in Knoxville, TN, Food Network and Cooking Channel in New York, Travel Channel in D.C. and GAC in Nashville, TN.

• Finally, I was able to secure an interview for a summer internship program with DIY Network. Because they were able to put an eager face to my resume, I was remembered and now have a phone interview in place!

So, back to the point... I am eagerly creating opportunities to strengthen my PR network, knowledge-base, as well as skill set. Between classes, my jobs and trying to figure out what I want to do with this career, I am daily engaging in the ins-and-outs of the profession. That being said, I know I must be careful not to overwhelm myself, and to stay on top of my deadlines.

That being said, I must now return to the stacks of papers surrounding me...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Excuses

So... I think the fact that it has been a month since my last post demonstrates the fact the sometimes you cannot help but relax and take a few weeks to not think about my PR life.

Well, that's not completely true. While my weeks at home were definitely filled with some free time and relaxation, it also gave me a great opportunity to set up my LinkedIn, online portfolio, work on the PRecedent, do some freelance work and meet with professionals. Check out my sites and stay tuned for a more detailed description of my on-goings!


For now, however, I suggest you all take a break—for real—and enjoy the snow!! Just to make you jealous, here is a picture of what you see when you open the front door... 2 hours, three inches and no class tomorrow!!