CMU

Curriculum Committee

This year I have had the pleasure of sitting on the Curriculum Committee for my university committee. I really didn’t know what to expect when I joined this board, but it was interesting to say the least. Every meeting was full of energy, debate, excitement and mixed feelings about what is best for the students.

I quickly realized that even though students may feel like they are a second thought when it comes to the curriculum chosen, the committee really takes us into consideration on all decisions. They have a wide variety of faculty from all parts of campus which is helpful on getting different perspectives. Whenever changes came up to certain aspects of a degree of class, everyone would get involved in the debate of how it will effect students, and if someone felt like the students weren’t being considered enough, someone would bring the conversation back the students. I really thought that was a cool thing.

It was intimidating to join the committee at first because I was the only student on it. I wasn’t sure if anyone would respect my opinions or think I was valuable to the group because I didn’t understand the forms as much as they do. To my surprise, when I spoke up at the meetings, everyone seriously considered what I said and appreciated my input. There was one meeting that everyone was debating whether students would understand the way the bulletin phrased one class’ requirements and after a while I finally spoke up and let them know that it was common to phrase it the way it was phrased and most students understood it that way. Everyone agreed that if I thought it was fine for the students then they would keep it that way. It felt really good to be heard and to have me opinions and suggestions me taken seriously and respected.

I really think it is important for students to sit on this committee, and I would strongly encourage more students to try and get involved in it.

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Leadership Development, Professional Development

The ups and downs of management

This year for my leadership position I decided to continue managing at Pisanello’s Pizza. Although I learned a lot last year, this year has taught me a great amount about patience and communication.

It’s difficult to lead a team of peers. I think anyone who has had to be in charge of people their own age can attest to that. You have to find a balance between friendships and trying to keep order without making people feel like you’re trying to boss them around. As I have gotten to know the people at work more and more, they have quickly become some of my best friends; this has made managing more difficult, but it’s been a great experience. I have learned how to talk to people about work issues while keeping our friendship separate. I also have learned to confidently bring up issues with coworkers in a way that presents the issue followed by constructive criticism and encouragement. I think finding that balance has been one of the best things I’ve learned.

Another difficult thing I’ve faced in the past year is having to manage individuals who are years older than I am. I think it’s hard for some people to take you seriously when you’re a significant amount younger than they are, and that can be overwhelming and confusing to try to deal with. This past year I had a situation where an older employee yelled at me in front of customers and other workers because he didn’t agree with the deliveries he was assigned or how the shop was being ran. In the past I might have gotten angry and potentially even yelled back, but because of the leadership classes I have taken and the way I’ve seen other professionals handle frustrating situations, I took a different route. It took a lot of self-control, but I held my tongue and used all of my patience to stay calm. After taking a few minutes to calm down and figure out how I could best handle the situation, I pulled the employee aside and talked to him about how inappropriate it was for him to react that way. I made it clear that he doesn’t have to like the way I manage, but he has to respect me because I am his boss and am following the rules laid out for me. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with at work, but he ended up apologizing to me, and we have not had any problems since.

This last year I have seen myself grow in my leadership skills, and I am proud of where I am headed. I can’t wait to keep working on myself throughout my professional career.

Professional Development

PRSSA

PRSSA has been something I have been involved with since my sophomore year. To keep it short and sweet, in PRSSA you get in what you put out. For me, I didn’t utilize the organization in order to gain experience, but more so to get knowledge. I have been able to go to resume workshops, listen to guest speakers and learn about ways to be a good intern.

The workshops I went to and the messages I’ve listened to at PRSSA have been extremely beneficial to me. I feel like I have been more prepared for the big steps in PR that I have taken. Although I could have gotten even more out of the program, I like that there is something for everyone in it. There are teams and committees you can join and even an E-Board if you want to take on a leadership position. For me, I had a lot of other commitments and didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew, but the opportunities I took advantage of have helped me grow as a professional and thrive in my undergraduate career.

I encourage anyone going into public relations to get involved in PRSSA in some way or another. You will learn and grow each and every meeting. It will help you land internships and jobs.

Professional Development

Grand Central Magazine

This is my second full year on the Grand Central Magazine PR team. When I joined the team, it was brand new, and there wasn’t a lot of direction. We have tried out a lot of different ideas such as an internal newsletter which didn’t work out well and an art event which did. There has been a lot of people who have come and gone, but now we are a small team of dedicated members with a clear direction that we are headed in.

This year, we have worked a lot on writing clear goals and objectives for the team in the future. We are currently working on being more organized and consistent with social media, creating an alumni networking page for past and present members and using every opportunity to set up around campus and promote the magazine and recruit members for each section of the magazine. I am graduating this year and really feel like I am in a position to step back and let others gain experience. I have been trying to lend a hand or advice where needed, but I know this is a great opportunity for others to get portfolio pieces and build their resumes.

I’m sad that my time on GC Mag is almost over, but I am proud to say I was a part of the PR team from the beginning, and I hope to be able to continue to help the team grow.

CMU, Community

Conversation Partners

This year was my third year participating in the Conversation Partners program at CMU. This program matches an international student with a student from the United States for a number of reasons. I have been matched with international students who are doing the program for class credit, need help with homework, or with my current partner, needs practice speaking English.

Snow is a graduate student from China. She loves to play video games and cook. I’ve had other partners before, but Snow and I get along so well. She really is unsure of her English speaking skills, but truthfully, she speaks well. She has a quiet voice and that makes it hard to understand her sometimes, but I really enjoy talking to her. As she becomes more comfortable talking to me, she gets louder and seems to really enjoy our time hanging out.

I have learned so much from all of my partners over the past few year. I have learned about Chinese and Saudi Arabian cultures, and I have gotten to see the similarities and differences in the lifestyles we all live. It’s so interesting because even though we all grew up so far from one another, the core things about us as humans seem to stay relatively the same. I’ve noticed dating as young people is somewhat different in different places, but the way we think about our relationships and feel in them has been similar in all of our three cultures. We also all love to tell others about our lives and what is happening in them. I guess no matter where you’re from, you crave to have someone to talk to and share your live with.

Uncategorized

Journalism 450 take-aways

Going into journalism 450, I was nervous about the difficulty of the class. The first day our professor had a “coming to Jesus meeting” telling us that this class was our opportunity to start working like professionals. This is a scary thought when all of your other professors practically hold your hand throughout the course and tell you everything you will see throughout the semester on the first day.

Once I got into the class, I realized this was a grand opportunity to test my skills and abilities. The first positive thing that 450 presented me with was the opportunity to be creative and fail. Which I did. I tried hard on all of my assignments and put full effort into my writings. I had ups and downs. Some assignments I did well on and one I fully failed. Normally, I would be crying about the failing grade, but in this case, I am taking it as an opportunity to not make the same mistakes in an actual job.

The second positive outcome of 450 was the challenge the class presented. As the class progressed, we were given a serious of projects from basic PR writing to making brochures and newsletters. I have not been exposed to making things like brochures before this class and had no clue where to start. This was a great challenge because I had to learn to use new programs and softwares to complete the projects within a deadline. Now, I have more transferrable skills and am confident in my ability to independently learn new skills to complete tasks.

Finally, 450 made me faster and more confident in my basic PR writing. Although it was frustrating to get two wrong on my style quizzes and be forced to keep taking them every week, the quizzes made me better. I learned a lot about basic style format and the importance it has in public relations and related fields. Additionally, because we had to do timed, in-class writings weekly, I learned to get my thoughts out concisely and fast, which is something I struggled with prior.

I am thankful for this class because I feel confident in my abilities and will work to continue to grow in my skills. My internship this summer will be happy that I took this class because without it, I would be afraid to fail, not confident in my PR skills and a worse writer.

CMU, Leadership Development, Leadership Training, Professional Development

New perspectives on Grad Ball

This is my third year serving on the graduation ball LEAD team for the LAS scholarship program. Grad ball is a program that is near and dear to my heart because I have been a part of it for so long and this year I was named chair for the team.

It was really exciting that I got the position because I felt like I had a lot of really good ideas and could make the night really great for everyone. A few of the goals I had for the team were to keep everyone involved, keep the night stress-free and challenge myself with planning a big event.

It was tough to plan the night because I had absolutely no notes or anything to work off of. I pretty much looked to past nights and other parties and event that I had attended in the past to figure out what we needed. When meeting with my team for the first time, Kalie, the other chair, and myself talked to our team about what they expected from us and how we could make the night the best for everyone. We took careful notes and tried to consider all of their input as well as the Leadership Institute staff’s opinions while picking a venue. Eventually, we settled on the Comfort Inn because they had the most of our requests and requirements.

From there, the team picked our menu and voted on other aspects of the night in a relaxed way where everyone’s opinions could be heard. We are coming up on grad ball in a few weeks and we are now forming committees to make sure last minute details like the senior slide show, desserts, the photo booth and other things get done for the big night. I believe that the team will put on a beautiful, fun night for the seniors, LAS scholars and staff.
grad ball3

Leadership Development, Professional Development

Managing Pisanello’s

I started working at a local pizza place in downtown Mount Pleasant about a year ago. I quickly learned the ropes and had the opportunity to be promoted to manager after just a few short months of working at Pisanello’s Pizza.

I was really nervous to begin as a manager there because I am the second youngest person who works at the establishment, and it can be challenging to gain respect and authority among people who are older and have been there a lot longer. As a manager, the responsibilities include routing drivers, delegating tasks to workers, managing the money at the end of the night, handling customer complaints and more. You constantly have to be on task and watching to make sure everything is going correctly.

Being in this leadership position has taught me to be patient and trust myself. There are times when I have to calm down customers and keep my cool in the process. We have even had situations where I have had to do conflict management with other workers and solve disputes. I have utilized things that I learned in LDR 200 and in leadership communication class. I have grown as a leader a lot in this position because there are times when I just want to shut down and give up or think I can’t do something. I have learned that I need to take a deep breath, slow down the situation in my mind and start acting. I have been able to get through more situations than I thought and I feel confident in leading groups of diverse people of all different ages.
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Uncategorized

PRSSA part 2

I have been involved with PRSSA for about two years now. PRSSA was originally an organization that I wanted to be highly involved with, but as my time in it progresses, so have my intentions. I have shifted from using it as a way to get PR experience to more of an idea and learning tool. I go to the meetings and try to learn how to handle situations, gain ideas for future projects, and learn about aspects of PR.

I take the things I learn in PRSSA and use them in things like being the social media coordinator at Pisanello’s Pizza and the PR team at Grand Central Magazine. PRSSA is not something that I want to hold a leadership position in, but rather use it to learn from the professionals they bring in and those with more experience so that I can learn more.

Professional Development, Uncategorized

Grand Central Magazine PR team

This past fall I joined the online magazine Grand Central Magazine. I had a professor that is the adviser for the magazine and thought it sounded really interesting. GC mag puts out lighter, student-focused content meaning the magazine talks about things college students can relate to.

I joined the public relations team to gain more experience for the future because my major is public relations. Since being on the team, I have had to opportunity to help plan and run a promotional event for the magazine that showcased local artists in the area. I was worried that the event wouldn’t have a good turnout, but with the help of The Dreamer, where the event was held the event was packed with people and got GC mag’s name out more.

For the event, we handed out flyers around campus, promoted it with sneak peeks of the artists on social media and in our issue. We also collaborated with local artists and businesses to get special deals for the guests.

This semester, I am serving on the internal PR team. This has been a good experience, but the entire PR team is new so we have been experimenting a lot with ideas. We originally were putting out an internal newsletter with original content from each of the team members, but the reaction was not as excited as we intended. We quickly shifted gears and are now working with other sections of the magazine to create a promotional video for the magazine to use as a recruitment tool. I am excited to see where this team will take me next year.