A post-grad problem turned blessing.

Phew. I’ve been slacking.

I believe I mentioned in passing in a previous post that I had a great post-grad blog coming up. And here it is…I know so many readers have been anxiously awaiting. But it really is a story I want to share, but one that I couldn’t share right away.

Brief summary of the past year-ish of my life: I graduated from Oklahoma State University (go Pokes!) in December of 2012 with a degree in strategic communications. Although it wasn’t a full-time job, I was lucky enough to have an internship lined up for January – May of 2013. The internship was with Schnake Turnbo Frank, a PR and management consulting firm with offices in downtown Tulsa and Oklahoma City. I was super excited as I was pretty interested in working for an agency. I like variety and a fast-paced environment and from what I’d heard, that is what PR agencies had to offer. Unfortunately, at the close of my internship in May, the firm wasn’t hiring. I’d heard so many “my internship turned into a job!” stories that I couldn’t help be disappointed. From there, the job hunt began.

While I was looking, I waited tables at a restaurant I’d worked at on and off since high school. Finally, in September, I was offered a marketing coordinator job with a company that produced a liquid nutritional supplement. I wasn’t familiar with the product, but I’m into exercise and trying to eat somewhat healthy (I don’t always succeed), so it was interesting to me. I decided to stay on at the restaurant working Friday nights only for some extra cash, and because if I’m being honest, I was pretty attached to my management team and co-workers there. It was a tough goodbye.

Not two days after I accepted the marketing job, I got a call from…you guessed it, the PR firm. “We’re hiring an account coordinator!” Sigh. I had such mixed feelings. My initial thought was, Wow, that would have been great, but I found a job that I think I’ll like. I’ll pass. But as the days went on, the agency job stuck in the back of my mind. I started with the nutritional company and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. From the moment I accepted it, I accepted it with the stance of, “This is my first full-time job out of school. It might not be exactly what I want, but it’s a job.” The thing was, what I did want was a very likely possibility. I hated the thought of skipping out on a job within weeks of starting, but after consulting with friends, family, old classmates and other young professionals, I applied for the account coordinator position. I think a great piece of my advice my mom gave me was assuring me that throughout the entire application process, I’d have multiple opportunities to turn the job down if I wanted to stay where I was, so why not at least put my name in the hat?

Long story short, I got the job and it’s the position I’m at now. I love it, and I’m so glad I put my potential guilt aside and went for what I wanted. I am definitely a people-pleaser, and I was terrified to put my notice in at my previous job. I had every worst case scenario in my head. Would they tell me to leave right then and there? Would my boss freak out on me? None of the above happened. As everyone had assured me, my boss was completely understanding.

So today’s inevitable and obvious life lesson is: You have to do what’s best for you. I knew that from the beginning, but as usual, going through with it was the hard part. I’m a people-pleaser, and I hate upsetting people. Having said that, I am so happy at my current job, and I know if I had stayed at my previous job, I’d be going in every day wondering, What if I’d applied for that job like I wanted to? I’m so glad I did. I get the opportunity to meet all kinds of people in the hometown that I love, I learn every single day, and I know I’ll foster connections that will last a life time.

Do what YOU want, not what you think others will want. The chick flick-loving girl in me can’t help but leave you with, from The Notebook, “What do YOU want? What do you WANT?!” *crying* Here’s a video if you’d like to witness the beauty of Ryan Gosling (and who doesn’t?):

 

Oh, how time flies…

Doesn’t it? My criminology professor passed out our midterm paper assignment last week, due next week. A MIDTERM. I feel like we just started classes! But then again, the semester going by quickly is usually a good thing.

We have Fall Break this week, which should hardly be called a break because it’s only one day, and the one day that I have only one class. Regardless, I’m excited for my weekend ahead. I get to go home and see my family, see Taylor Swift on Saturday (yes, and I’m ecstatic) and I get to go out for a wonderful dinner with my boyfriend and family on Monday.

The thing I’m most excited about though (well, second to Taylor Swift ;)) is volunteering at the Association for Women in Communications’ national conference in Tulsa, Okla. I often feel like I’m still stuck in that place of not knowing exactly what I want to do when I graduate, so I’ve been trying to get more involved this semester with PRSSA, AWC, shadow days and now this conference. My volunteering efforts will be very simple; I believe I’ll be helping to set up a banquet room late Friday night for a session or meeting of some kind on Saturday morning. I then get to stay in the hotel, attend the chapter awards breakfast Saturday morning and attend a session of my choice. I’m still debating on a few, so hopefully whatever I decide will be entertaining and helpful.

I’m looking forward to getting to volunteer with others and do some networking with other women at the conference. Plus, I think it’s pretty awesome that the conference is in Oklahoma this year. We don’t get a lot of cool events coming in comparison to other states, so this is great for both Tulsa and the state as a whole. If anyone is interested in attending, I believe registration is open until the conference, which starts Friday, on AWC’s website.

Is anyone already planning to attend, as a volunteer or member of AWC? I’d love to talk about the conference with others who have attended in the past or plan on attending this year!

Time flies, huh?

Surprisingly, this semester has gone by pretty quickly for me.  After spring break, I thought it would drag on and on.  Luckily, the past four weeks have been very busy for me, so the time has passed quickly.  I can’t believe it’s already time for finals!

When I enrolled in electronic communications, I didn’t know what to expect.  All I knew from past classmates was that it involved blogging.  And obviously, that part was true.  I learned about so much more than that, though.  Before taking this class, I barely knew how to use Garage Band, and I own a Mac Book.  Basically, all I knew was how to record.  I’d never played around with editing or the Garage Band sounds or anything like that.  After doing the Cinema Scoop podcast with Greta, I learned how to put in sound effects and edit the podcast to make it sound somewhat professional.  So much more work went into podcasts than I ever imagined.

Personally, I found the podcast to be the most difficult project of the semester.  Making my soundslide and video projects was a lot of work, but putting it all together was so simple, thanks to the Soundslides and iMovie applications.  I’m really glad I got to learn how to use iMovie because I think it will be very helpful in the future, whether it be with school, my career or just everyday life.

Our final project was to make a mockup of a portfolio website.  As this was the last project, I was a little scared.  The projects had seemed to get more complicated throughout the semester, and making a website sounded hard.  But thanks to Adobe Fireworks, it was simple.  Hyperlinks, pictures and layouts were unbelievably easy with Fireworks.

We worked a little bit with PhotoShop as well in class, which I thought was fun.  I’m far from being an expert, but I’d eventually like to save up to buy Creative Suite while I’m still a student (discount!) and I look forward to using other programs like this when I take a graphic design class in the fall.

Overall, electronic communications was a very worthwhile class and I’m so glad I took it.  The projects were a lot of work, but in the end, I definitely think working as hard as I did on them is worth it.  I know I’ve learned a lot that will be able to be applied to my future…whatever that may be.

The video-making process

I really enjoyed this video project a lot more than I thought I would.  When it was assigned, it sounded hard, but my nerves and mind were set at ease once we started working with iMovie.  I loved the program!  I have a Mac Book laptop, but I’ve never really gotten into any of the iLife programs.  iMovie was so fun and easy to use and I’m so glad this class introduced me to such an awesome program.

Although putting the video together on iMovie was pretty simple, other aspects of the process were not.  In my head, I pictured getting a few takes of my friends making fun of silly Facebook statuses.  Easy, right?  Little did I know, it would take more than just a few takes.

I also recorded my voice-overs on my iPhone voice memos app because I felt that quality would be the best.  I recorded all my voice-overs as one file, thinking that would be the easiest…it wasn’t.  I thought I’d be able to cut the audio in iMovie just like I was able to cut and edit the video.  I ended up having to go into Garage Band and edit all my little 5-second clips into individual files in iTunes.  Even though it was tedious, I have to say if that was the most frustrating part of this process, I don’t have much to complain about!

Overall, I enjoyed making this video.  I’d say it’s my second favorite project we’ve done next to the soundslide.  The video was a lot more fun to put together, and iMovie a much more fun program than Soundslides, but I thought my pictures for my soundslide were more visually appealing than my video.  I hope everyone enjoys watching my video as much as I enjoyed making it! 🙂

A growing issue in today’s society

I know I’m not the only one who’s ever logged onto Facebook, only to find a news feed full of stupid/pointless/pathetic/weird statuses that, let’s be honest, no one really cares about.  For a video project class assignment, I thought I’d make a PSA poking some fun at this problem.  Enjoy! 🙂

Shout outs and thank you’s to my roommate Kaitlin and our friend Brian for being the stars of my oh-so-fancy movie! 🙂

Cinema Scoop

The last few days of my life have been consumed by creating a podcast.  It’s been stressful at times, but a fun ride overall.  If we worked it out right, my partner Greta and I spent about 10 hours total on this project, whether it be recording, interviewing, working in class or editing.  Late nights were spent in computer labs, but I’d say I’m pretty happy with the finished product.

We talk a bit about the Oscars, talk to some movie experts from Oklahoma State and give ideas for movies to watch if you happen to be stuck at home over Spring Break…much like Greta and I will be.

Follow the link to listen to our podcast!  Here it is, the

Cinema Scoop with Maggie and Greta!

The growing world of electronic communications

As we all know, the use of electronic communications is growing and growing: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc…all are being used not only for college students to spy on each others’ lives and vent about their “problems,” but also for social networking by major companies, organizations and businesses.

Honestly, when my mom got a Facebook, I was horrified.  And when my aunts and uncles started getting Facebooks, I was even more horrified.  How many times have you heard high school and college kids say, “Old people shouldn’t have Facebooks?”  While I can’t quite get rid of the opinion that Facebook is for students, not parents, grandparents, etc… I understand the use of Facebook by everyone, as well as Twitter and other social networking Websites.  My mom works in PR, so I’m sure having Facebook has helped her with social networking at her job.  I witnessed some need of Facebook in my (somewhat) professional life just the other day.  In writing a story for my college newspaper, I had a source I needed who I could find absolutely no contact information for…except his Facebook.  Sending him a message got me his phone number, and voila!  Facebook saved me.

I’m a strategic communications major (a mix between public relations and advertising), and I know working in a communications field will require my competency in electronic communications.  If I don’t know about social networking, what good am I to a possible employer?

I’m subscribed to Ragan’s PR Daily News Feed, and each day I receive e-mails with blogging and Twitter tips, including how to get more retweets and how to translate Twitter slang.  PR and strategic communications professionals obviously use Twitter and other electronic communication outlets to gain publicity and recognition for their organization.  If the professionals are giving me this advice, I’d be stupid not to take it.  Even visiting the Ragan Communications Website, it’s loaded with articles on electronic communications and social networking.  It is obvious that electronic communications plays a huge role in the field of public relations and strategic communications.

Besides online newsletters, strategic communications organizations are determined to teach the field’s professionals how to stay modern with the growing world of electronic communications.  A conference titled “Social Media for PR and Corporate Communications” is being held in Las Vegas in February, which if is unable to be attended, can be attended via live webcast.  How’s that for electronic communications?  A conference about it, with the chance to partake in it at the same time! And really, could you imagine a more fun place to learn?

I could definitely deal with this view while blogging...