Staying Focused On The Job

Summer is right around the corner and you may start to notice that it’s getting harder to stay focused on the job while catching a glimpse at the beams of light that shed through your office blinds on a regular basis. Although we may live in Oregon, I think it’s important that we learn ways to avoid becoming distracted in the workplace as we spiral through the remaining of Spring term.

Use a planner and take notes

When I have a lot of different things going on at once, I have noticed that it’s much easierto become distracted by my own thoughts in my head than anything else. If you’re always asking yourself “What do I have to do next?” or “What do I have to do today?” then you’ll never get anything done. In this case, disorganization can be your worst enemy. It’s essential that you record things in your planner or take notes on a daily basis so you always know what needs to be done.

When dealing with so many tasks at hand, how do you know which ones to focus on first? At the beginning of your day, collect a list of all your tasks, and arrange the order in which you will complete all your day’s tasks by the level of importance you place on each task. By the end of the day, you may have not completed all your desired tasks, but at least you will have completed the tasks that matter to you and to your supervisor or boss.

Put away all distractions

According to an article written by The Huffington Post, millennials waste more than 2x as much time on the Internet and social media as Boomers but also slightly more than Gen X’ers while at work. That’s really something to take into consideration when a majority of of supervisors are from older generations. So put your cell phone away, log off that social media account you’ve been itching to check out all day, and stay focused on what needs to be done in the present.

What every new intern should always remember

Since I had my first internship during the summer going into my junior year, I must say that I have really learned a lot. Looking back, there are definitely some things I wish I would have known before jumping into my first internship. In hopes of helping someone who may be getting ready to take on their first internship, I have written some words of advice that I think everyone should know before entering the workplace as an intern.

Don’t be afraid to take initiative

When you first start an internship, don’t feel like you need to constantly wait for your supervisor or boss to assign you your next task or assignment. Your ability to find things that need to be done and think creatively will make you stand out from others in the workplace. Most importantly, it’s a much better way to manage your own time. Your supervisor is most likely very busy on a regular basis and will appreciate you being proactive rather than waiting on him and her to tell you what to do next.

Ask questions

As an intern, asking questions can feel a little taboo at first. It can also be very intimidating. What you need to realize is that your supervisor or boss are there to help you. Asking questions will allow you, as an intern, to get the job done the correct way on a regular basis. Your boss or supervisor would much rather you ask him or her multiple questions throughout the day than for you to complete a task that is not line with their expectations.

Get to know your co-workers

Getting to know people higher up in your organization can be very intimidating, maybe even feel a little bit awkward. Being so low on the totem pole requires you to really go out of your way to get to know others in your workplace. According to Alexander Kjerulf, an international author and speaker on happiness at work, “Socializing with your coworkers is essential for your career.” Don’t be afraid to ask someone out for coffee one day or ask someone if they want to grab lunch. If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that most experienced professionals love to help out others from younger generations, especially if they work within the same industry.

I believe these three pieces of advice have made me a much better intern in my organization and I encourage others to take what I have said into account as well. As my senior year of college is quickly coming to an end, I can’t help but reflect on some of the amazing opportunities and experiences I have had while attending the University of Oregon. The people I have met and the endless opportunities that have been bestowed upon me these last couple of years cannot be taken for granted.

Time Management Tips

When juggling many things at once and trying to balance school, work, and a good social life, it’s crucial that you know how to manage your time efficiently. Over the last few years I’ve had to develop certain habits that allow me to stay organized and stay productive on a regular basis.

Focus on one thing at a time

When I first came to the University of Oregon, I was the type of person that would shuffle between 2-4 assignments at once. It was hard to see progress because it was take me twice as long to get everything done. In my experience I have noticed that every time I transition to another assignment, it takes me awhile to get focused and figure out where I left off last. This year I have really made an effort to finish something once I’ve started it and it has been working out great for me. I believe that staying focused on one thing at a time has made me much more goal-minded and has enabled me to become much more efficient with my time.

Make a ‘to-do’ list

When balancing a busy life, it’s important that you set daily reminders so that you don’t forget the little things on a regular basis. Often times if I don’t have time to respond to an email, I will use the notes feature on my phone to remind me that I have to respond by the end of the day. This can also work for daily life necessities such as doing your laundry or paying your rent. This habit can go a long ways in making sure you do the things you wouldn’t usually put on your calendar or your planner. I would say the best practice for this habit is making your ‘to-do’  list one of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning, that way you know exactly what you need to do throughout the rest of the day and when you’re going to fit it in.

Plan out your week in advance

While working at the Emerald Media Group, I learned some very valuable habits from one of my bosses. He taught me how to plan out my week in advance in a effective manner and how to time block my days in order to make my schedule as productive as possible. When I was working for the Emerald, I would plan out my entire next week, Monday though Friday, every Friday before coming home from work. Then on Sunday, I would time block each day, meaning I would plan out each day based on the tasks I had to perform and what time I would perform each task throughout the day. Also, these tasks can vary from homework to work assignments, or even to getting lunch at some point during the day. It’s all about staying organized and always knowing what you have next. It’s also gratifying being able to check things off throughout your day and having that feeling of accomplishment.

Put away all social media

As a college student, this is something I’ve seen a lot of people my age struggle with. I’m convinced that social media is the number one distraction for college students today. When it comes to getting something done, you’re always better off just putting away all forms of social media for the time being. Its okay to take breaks every once in a while but it’s important that you prioritize what you need to get done first and try to avoid multitasking at all costs. Something I have found as very helpful in making sure I’m avoiding these distractions is blocking certain social media sites that I’m prone to visit for a certain duration of time. Last year I blocked Facebook and Twitter for my entire week of finals and I felt that this really helped me manage my time and stay focused throughout the week and I would suggest this to anyone my age that’s active on social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can always wait.

The Importance of Internal Communication

In the fast paced and chaotic nature of today’s economy, many companies often forgot about the importance of having effective internal communication for their organization. Some companies are so wrapped up in their everyday external communication practices that they tend to forgot about what essentially makes up their entire organization- their own employees. Employees are the lifeblood of any company and also define the company’s brand. They also cultivate the company culture and are responsible for any output by the company.

So if this is true, why do so many employers tend to fray away from implementing tactics of internal communication in their everyday agenda? The answer to this is purely up to speculation but I believe it’s because of lack of time. Most companies are so wrapped up in their day-to-day agendas and reaping inmore profits that internal communications has fallen vastly on their list of priorities. When I analyze a company, the first thing I do is I think about its employees and the culture they have created for the brand. That’s why it’s also important that employers recruit people who represent the culture of their brand. They might have all the qualifications and experience in the world but if their personality and interests aren’t in line with the company’s culture, it can be very devastating for the company’s brand.

A company is only as successful as its employees, which means it’s crucial that all employees are on the same page and up to speed on all the company under goings at all times. Whether it’s weekly or daily statements to employees through email or just weekly meetings, the employees must be in close connection with everyone higher up in management. In times of a crisis, if the public finds out out information before the employees do regarding the crisis – this could lead to the downfall of the company. Employees are essentially the spokespeople of the company and manage the reputation of the company at all times.

It’s also important that companies share its goals with employees. This will allow employees to look at the bigger picture and understand the motives behind everything the company does. If a company’s employees are unaware of the organization’s future aspirations, they will continue to think in the present and fray away from any innovative and beneficial thinking. In order for a company to have success, its’ employees must be goal-minded and laser focused on the company’s values and priorities. I also believe that companies that have better employee satisfaction tend to have better consumer satisfaction. Treating your employees well will drive better work ethic, integrity, and will overall improve the product of their work. Efficient and consistent internal communication will empower your employees and drive individuals to think and act in the best interest of the company.

The Big Three

As the importance of using less-traditional digital mediums in strategic communication grows each and every year, I’ve really started to see what’s knows as “the big three” start to fade out of industry practices. “The big three” refers to three tactics that have been used in the field of public relations for many years. These tactics are known as press releases, mass pitching/emailing and traditional hard-copy press kits. When it comes to publicity, many companies and businesses are still relying on these tactics to share their news or market their clients to journalists and bloggers. In today’s rapidly growing market, the standard press release and email blast just won’t cut it.

Now I’m not saying that using these traditional tactics are not at all effective anymore. These tactics are still being proven to be very effective for many organizations, primarily ones within the public sector. What I’m saying is that it’s essential that organizations do more. Organizations need to be turning their heads in the direction of more innovative digital mediums. In order to keep up with rapidly changing consumer trends, we must keep up with the rapidly changing technology in our world’s communication mediums.

I believe businesses should turn to social media and emphasize the importance of storytelling. Instead of sending out a press release, why not create a campaign with your blog and social media channels? Why not tell the story with a video to help bring it to life? This new model of public relations places more emphasis on storytelling and turns brands into journalists where they don’t necessarily need to rely on traditional tactics. Although, it’s important that PR practitioners focus on giving customers their own story rather than focusing on their company’s story. As PR practitioners, we are also storytellers. As storytellers, it’s important that we are telling the right story. Another rule of thumb I’ve learned is “if you don’t tell your own story, someone else will tell it for you.”

Today’s busy editors and reporters don’t have time to deal with the copious amount of email pitches and press kits they receive per day. No matter how good the story is or how well put together the media kit you send them is, you’ll often get overlooked. Telling a story through social media is a quick way to get news out and it has a far reach in getting exposure from many different publics. Investing in digital media will provide your organization with much more value and will give you the ability to see quick results from your strategies and tactics. Not being online is pretty much letting your competitors slide right by you. PR practitioners should strive to expand their digital presence as much as possible and show that they are keeping up with industry trends.

"Surprise and Delight"

When it comes to public relations planning,  I’ve noticed that some consumer brands tend to rely on mostly traditional PR tactics and focus on the less innovative facets of PR such as media relations, rather than thinking of creative ways to establish their brand. I believe the strategy of “surprise and delight” is often overlooked as a effective way of building a brand. “Surprise and delight”tactics are a great way of creating a powerful buzz among many different audiences and publics. It also enhances brand loyalty and creates a powerful bond with consumers. People often see public relations strategy as age old methods such as press releases and strategic partnerships but when creativity is brought into the way organizations associate with the public, I believe the strategy behind a campaign is much more appreciated.

A pleasant surprise can make anyone’s day. This could be handing out free coffee on the street orcould go as far as setting up a flash mob in a busy city. It’s all about making people feel special and important, while increasing exposure and enhancing the reputation of a brand. These experiences are often the driving force behind multimillion-dollar campaigns. Brands can also expand this strategy to people who don’t experience it first hand in person. Brands can use social media and video storytelling to create a movement in which many others can experience it as well. Social media opens up brands to many different audiences and can allow people to put themselves in the shoes of others who experience these “surprise and delight” tactics first hand.

For example, in 2010 Tropicana launched a campaign called “Brighter mornings for brighter days” wrapped aroundthe idea of Tropicana orange juice and sunshine going along together kind of like bacon and eggs or peanut butter and jelly. In this campaign, Tropicana released a commercial showing it bringing a little sunshine to those who need it most – a group of residents in the Canadian arctic who haven’t seen sunlight in more than a month.

Personally, I was very moved by this commercial. I immediately felt like I was a part of the experience and I felt that it gave me an emotional connection to the brand. I wondered what it would really be like to not have sunlight for a month straight and it allowed me to put myself in the shoes of the residents featured in the video. This video ended up getting over 500k views and revamped Tropicana’s image to the public. That’s why it’s important that after using the strategy of “surprise and delight,” that brands take it to the next level by using other channels of media to increase exposure and awareness to these efforts.

A common misconception of “surprise and delight” is that brands tend to think this strategy has to be done in a fairly expense matter. By bringing creativity into into the picture , this strategy can be done without stretching the budget at all. It’s more about the showing the public that the brand or organization you’re representing, cares about its relationships with its consumers and various audiences. Like I said above, it could be as easy as handing out free coffee on a busy street. Giving back and showing you care can go a long ways in establishing beneficial long-term relationships with the public. The main goal of this strategy is creating brand loyalty and I don’t think there is a more effective way of doing so in today’s ever changing consumer market.

I think this strategy will continue to become more popular each and every year. Due to the high level of competitiveness between consumer brands right now, it’s important that brands look into new ways to differentiate themselves and take the extra step to enhance their reputations with the public. These “surprise and delight” experiences turn consumers into brand advocates and incentivize them to stay loyal to the brand you are representing. It’s time that all public relations practitioners adapt to this new wave of communication and understand its effectiveness as a practice.

Establishing your personal brand

In such a competitive industry that continues to grow each and every year, it’s essential that recent graduates find a way to differentiate themselves from the rest of their peers. It’s important for graduates about to join the work force to realize that there are thousands of other recent graduates out there that just graduated with the same major and similar level of experience. That’s why I believe it’s critical that students trying to find their niche within the field of public relations, develop their personal brand.

By personal brand, I mean creating consistency in how you convey yourself to the public through various digital platforms. Your personal brand can also be represented through many other ways such as your resume, business cards and how you carry yourself on a regular basis.  At least that’s how I’ve decided to brand myself. A major part of public relations is brand development and using reputation management to enhance the image of the organization you are serving to the public. So what’s a better way to show you have developed this expertise than perfecting how you brand yourself? By branding yourself, potential employers have a better idea of what they’re going to get out of you and how to effectively position you within the organization.

Social media is a very effective way of branding yourself. It allows you to show what your interests are and show what areas of PR you’re interested in. It also shows that you’re keeping up with industry trends and have done your research. I would suggest creating consistency in the content you post in your various platforms whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. When posting on social media platforms, it’s important that you’re always thinking about 1.) Is this content representing who I am and what I want to be seen as? and 2.) Is this further achieving my purpose and the personal brand I strive for?

Another great way to show off your personal brand is with your professional portfolio or website. It’s a great way to shop off your work, your experience, and just a little bit about yourself. This is a great opportunity to show that you have branded yourself and you are aware of the skills that you possess. It’s also a opportunity to demonstrate your exceptional writing abilities and further prove yourself as a strategic communicator. You can even create a blog section which will really show not only what aspects of public relations you’re interested in but also your cultural interests, hobbies and anything you’re interested in outside of the work place. Your employer wants to know what kind of accounts to put you in charge of? Why not look here….

Last but not least, I think your personal brand has a lot to do in general with how you carry yourself on a regular basis. Perfect your elevator pitch in a way that when someone asks “What do you do?” you know exactly what to say on the spot. This includes your experience, how it’s built you up to where you are now, the skills and expertise you currently possess, and your role within the industry. A way to really improve this is talking in the mirror and speaking with a friend who can give you advice along the way.

In this competitive industry, you have to know what you bring to the table. This will incentivize employers to hire you because they know what they’re going to get out of you and your value to them. You must uphold your brand as well when working with anyone involved in the industry at all times because you never know where your next opportunity lies. Your personal brand is your ideas, your language, as well as your body language.You can have all the digital media in the world, but it’s your personal brand and your first impression that will really portray who you are as a professional in the public relations industry.

Four trends of millenialls in 2016

Virtual Reality

In 2014, Google offered an amateur virtual reality viewer that uses your smartphone to create virtual environments. Virtual realities are opening avenues for software developers who want to expand beyond a product-focused industry. Virtual reality is no longer our fascinating future, it is happening now. As virtual reality products continue to develop, I think that brands will begin to use virtual reality to create consumer experiences for their people through the use of these products. Developer and consumer models are already being developed and introducing products and software for the wider public. Naturally, I believe the millennial generation will be attracted to the innovated and technological aspects of these virtual reality products and I think it will be a huge hit.

News Through Social Media

Millennials are overwhelmingly invested into the digital world. They are also invested in a dynamic way of life where they are always on the go and always shuffling between many things at once. A lot of millennials don’t have time to take an hour out of their day to watch the news on their television sets every morning. They like their information quick and easy to access. That is why a majority of millennials now receive most of their news through Twitter and Facebook. Smartphones have enabled us to receive our news much more efficiently and to be able to access our news from wherever in the world and whenever. I know this is especially true for me. In the morning when I wake up, I often check the news in my bed directly from my smartphone. Whereas, I probably wouldn’t be able to check the news every morning if I didn’t have Twitter to give me a quick update of everything I need to knowregarding what’s in the news for that short ten minutes while I lay in bed before I wake up in the morning. I also occasionally check my news while on my way to class or while I grab a coffee before work. Twitter and Facebook also have the ability to pull out relevant news to you by showing which news is trending and what news would be of interest to you. Millennials don’t want to see long and complex articles, they want short “get-to-the-point” information that tells them what they need to know right there in that moment.

Video Games

In an effort to maximize storage and create bigger games, many consoles are becoming cloud-based, which allows for boosted performance and new gaming effects. As new gaming consoles introduce more capabilities, video games have been quick to adapt. SuperData Research suggests consumers will spend $5.1 billion on virtual-reality gaming this year in both product and software. That’s a huge leap from $660 million spent in 2015.

Streaming Services

With the introduction of technologies, streaming services have emerged int the market as the greatest competitor to cable television. Due to the technological advances, easy accessibility and the efficiency of streaming services, a battle has sprung between these two powerhouses. It’s apparent that millennials are more attracted to these alternatives of cable television as these streaming services have reported substantially greater sales with people of younger generations. Sling TV and Sony Vue earned their fair share of the market among cable streaming services. In 2015, Sling TV was reportedly generating $5 million per month, passing the 250,000 user milestone. Streaming products such as the The Apple TV 2, Roku, and Amazon Fire, which are the hardware side of the streaming market, are showing great success as well.

Getting my feet wet in the public relations industry

It’s been a great term so far and I must say it’s been a blessing being a student in the School of Journalism and Communication. From internships to school work, it’s been a hell of a ride being a aspiring public relations practitioner in this day in age. Although many people speak out about their idea of millennials having less opportunities in the work force than generations before, I believe we can all still find our niche role in this society somewhere. After some soul searching and switching my major a few times over the last three years, I’m convinced I have found not only my role in this complex society but also my passion. It wasn’t until I took my first entry level public relations class that I fell in love with the public relations industry.

I was first introduced to the idea of public relations two years ago during a marketing internship in which I did a broad range of work, mostly case studies and campaign planning. At the time I was pretty unsure of what public relations is and had a hard time differentiating it from the other integrated departments at my internship site which is what lead me to taking my first course in public relations. I always thought I was a pretty decent writer and it was time to put my writing abilities to work. Just after the first few classes, I became instantly intrigued by the tactics that public relations firms use to help organizations communicate with their various public’s.

It was now time to further my knowledge of the field of public relations and get my foot in the door of the industry, hence the title of this post “getting my feet wet.” A few more journalism classes and BOOM, I was admitted into the School of Journalism and Communication. It was now time to really develop my skills as a public relations professional. After talking to some advisers and faculty, it became clear to me that I would need to develop and perfect two things if I wanted to succeed in the industry: a strong resume and a solid portfolio. How was I going to do that? Internships.

So that’s exactly what I did. I knew that if I wanted to develop a strong portfolio and resume, I would have to seek out any internship I can get. My approach was to start low on the totem pole and work my way up. I realized that no agency or firm was going to hire an intern with absolutely zero professional experience so I started reaching out to connections and looking at on-campus internships that in one way or another apply to the field of public relations.

As I started to develop a better platform of knowledge and expertise of the industry, I felt like I was finally in a good spot to start branding myself as a leader in the industry. This drove me to figure out my focus, that is “public relations account strategy.” I enjoy working with others and taking initiative. Also, I felt as if a strength of mine is bringing creative ideas to the table. The focus I decided on was perfect. I’m now working on polishing my portfolio and resume and I can’t take for granted the advice and insight I’ve received throughout the last few years that has pushed me to be where I am today. I feel like I’m now ready to take the industry by storm and I’m excited for what’s next to come!

Where I believe the industry is headed...

Today we live in a society that is constantly changing. In 1946, the first computer was invented. A little over 10 years later, we see the rise of computers being integrated into our society. Now it seems like we are seeing breakthroughs in the way we go about our every day lives each and every year. It’s hard to not take for granted the fact that we live in a society that is constantly pushing for innovation and change. Although, it’s apparent that many organizations out there are not efficient at adapting to these vast changes on a regular basis. I believe that’s what is keeping us public relations practitioners in business.

As our society innovates and new technology is developed, the power and reach of the media continues to grow. Some people used to think that the practice ofpublic relations is not effective and not a necessity for an organization. Over time, these people have been proven to be very wrong. Now there is not a large scale organization or corporation out there without some sort of public relations department integrated within it. As the media continues to grow, so does the public relations industry. Why is that you ask? It’s because the media creates a society where there is increased awareness by the people everywhere and everything is to be known. If your organization has a secret, people will most likely find out. This has lead to a over-reliance on public relations firms and agencies to protect images, reputations and what is seen by the media.

The media can either help you or destroy you. Public relations professionals control which one it’s going to be. As the reach and freedom of the media grows, I believe the need for crisis communication will also. I think we will start see more public relations professionals involved in the decision making and leadership structures of big companies. Overall, we will see more reliance on the public relations industry than ever before. There’s no longer any hidden secrets due to the power of the media.

As social media grows more and more, so so will the amount of scandals in the media. We’ll start to see more and better technology being used in general public relations practiceand innovation in the way things are done. Public relations professionals will need to adapt a faster changing society which will lead to more creativity in the way we implement strategy on a regular basis. I believe the industry is in a good spot right now and I’m excited to see it progress into the future!

My First Freelance Event

    This past month I threw my first ever event independent from another organization or business. I teamed up with one of my best friends from high school, Estuardo Perez, to throw a large scale event at a local campus bar, designed to give local businesses more exposure to the student community and bring the University of Oregon community together for a fun night we can all look back on. Estuardo and I had been talking about throwing an event like this our last year of college for the last three years so throwing this event had been in the back of our heads for awhile. We both have a lot of experience in the media industry and with event planning so we thought it would be effective to come together and use each others expertise to really plan something great. We decided to make the theme of the night a throwback music theme (90s and early 2000s) to really generate excitement on campus and mix up the music that is usually played at the local bar. We also noticed that Thursdays are the bar's slowest nights so we wanted to challenge ourselves to see if we can really make a difference in drink sales on a Thursday night. Although balancing the planning of the event along with other jobs and school was hard at times, the work and time we put into making this event happen was all worth it in the end.

   Making this event happen required us to create relationships with many different people that would help make the event go as efficiently as possible. First, we had to get the manager of the bar to agree to let us throw the event there. Then we had to seek out businesses with similar branding to sponsor and table at the event, in which they would hand out samples and free goodies to people as they came and went. Then we had to find a DJ that would put together a playlist based on the throwback theme and would perform at the event. We also had to work with the manager to come up with drink specials for the event that would tailor towards college students. The final and most important step of planning the event was promoting and marketing it to the community. We created a Facebook event page and used Instagram and Twitter platforms to promote the event. We also created a banner and placed flyers around campus, advertising the event.

    In conclusion, the event was a total success. With a zero dollar budget, it was amazing to see how it all worked out. We increased drink sales by 49% and the bar surpassed $9,900 in drink sales in one night. We were also able to facilitate four businesses to sponsor at the event and attract over 2,000 students to come to the event. It looked like everyone had a great time and we received great feedback following the event. Based on the success of our first event, Estuardo and I are excited to throw more big events as the year goes on and we plan on building on each one to make our events better and better each time. This has been a great experience for me and I hope to take what I've learned into my future career.

   

 

Ethos Magazine

    This fall I started working as a public relations representative for Ethos Magazine. Ethos Magazine is a nationally recognized, award-winning student publication that shares a multi-cultural spirit throughout and University and Eugene community. Ethos is defined as the fundamental characteristic of a spirit, people or culture. Throughout the publication you'll find stories ranging from Eugene restaurants to international human rights debates. Ethos Magazine offers ethical, journalistic story telling, beautiful photography and illustrations, innovative designs. Last year it won the 2014 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award and 2014 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award.

    When I first began working for Ethos, a large segment of the student community hadn't even heard of the magazine. For how great the magazine was and the amount of awards it had received, I was appalled by the lack of awareness for this magazine by the campus community. That's what drove me to want to become a public relations representative for Ethos Magazine. I wanted to expose everything that the magazine has to offer to the student community and promote it to the greater Eugene community as well.

     In order to see real results in awareness and readership, my team and I thought the most effective way to market the magazine would be to throw large-scale events throughout the year. These events would bring the community together and show involvement on campus. These events, along with social media promotion, would help reach our goal of exposing the magazine to the community and generating excitement on campus towards the release of the next issue of the magazine.

    The first event we threw was a total success. It was called "UO Campus Snowball" and it was an event centered around music, dance and a white Christmas theme. We were able to attract 12 different partnerships/sponsors for the event, in which student organizations could table at the event and engage with students through various games and activities. We also had over 15 different music and dance performances throughout the event in which we booked in advance. Throughout the day, we had over 100 people come and participate in the event as well. There's definitely some things we could have improved upon but we can definitely use some of those things to make our next event even better. Although, we are very happy with the results and I'm happy to be apart of such as great team.

Working at The Emerald Media Group

     This past summer and part of fall term, I worked as a account executive within the marketing and sales department of the Emerald Media Group. The Emerald Media Group is a modern college media company at the University of Oregon, which is divided into many different types of media outlets and departments. The Emerald Media Group also publishes the student publication at the University, known as the Daily Emerald. As an account executive, I worked directly under the VP of Sales and Marketing, along with four other account executives that are also students at the University. As a account executive, my primary role was to reach out to local businesses to sell a variety of different types of advertising and media work that the Emerald Media Group offers. The different facets of advertising that the Emerald offers and I was selling encompassed print, online, outdoor and even a mobile app. I also sold event planning, social media consulting, and web development services as well. 

    A typical day at the office consisted of reaching out to potential businesses either through phone or email from a list that I would strategically put together, to set up what we would call "discovery meetings" where we would meet with decision makers of businesses and figure out what their marketing goals and objectives were, along with their advertising budgets. After a "discovery meeting," I would put together a long term advertising campaign for them that was strategically tailored towards their goals, objectives, and budget. The key to being successful in this was not just coming up with a campaign that they thought would be effective but also being persistent as possible, showing great customer service, and establishing a beneficial client relationship. What I've learned is there really isn't any magic bullet to hit one target market, you're better off experimenting with a variety of different types of media throughout.

     All in all, this has been a great learning experience for me. I've learned how to create mutually beneficial relationships with clients, how to present something I believe in, and how to create strategic campaigns that will effectively create great results for my clients. Even though I'm not convinced that sales in something I want to do as a career, I know that I will be able to apply my experience to whatever I do in life or my field of work. I really enjoyed being able to give my own professional advice to my clients and see it all pay off in the end. The Emerald Media Group has served as a amazing bridge between going to school and entering the work force. I am absolutely blessed to have been able to receive the real world experience that I have gotten and learn as much as I did about the media industry. I'm excited for what's more to come!

TrackTown USA

    This Spring I began working for TrackTown USA, a non-profit organization committed to settling a standard of excellence in the sports of track and field and running by hosting premier events, creating a supportive environment for elite athletic performances, improving facilities and inspiring the next generation of track and field athletes and fans.

     The highlight of my internship was being able to engage with world class athletes at the Prefontaine Classic, the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships in which Oregon took the crown in both the mens and women's division and the USA Outdoor Championships. Working with a team of 3 other students from The University of Oregon, our job was to manage all of TrackTown USA's social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. My primary duty was to compile athlete quotes before, during, and after events in mixes zone; an area where the media is allowed to interview athletes after competition. After interviewing athletes, I would transcribe their responses and pull out quotes for TrackTown USA's website and social media platforms as well as other media outlets in which these flash quotes could be used publicly in the media.  

     This has been an awesome learning experience for me that I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire process. I love the culture and passion for TrackTown USA that exists in the small city of Eugene, Oregon and it's really cool seeing athletes from all other the country and overseas show the same level of appreciation. Working at Hayward Field has truly been a dream come true. I remember running track in high school and thinking about the magic that exists at Hayward Field and it's crazy that I'm now here as an influential component of the TrackTown USA team.

My First University Award

    I'm proud to say that I recently received a Centurion Award from the University of Oregon, which is an award given to 100 students from all classes for dedication and outstanding service as student leaders in the last year. My work as a student leader with the Student Alumni Association this past year has been an awesome experience for me and I'm so happy to have been given the opportunity to work with and meet such fascinating people. I can't take for granted the connections I've made with such influential individuals while being apart of  the executive team with the Student Alumni Association. The people I've met and worked with have shown me that the sky's the limit when it comes to working your way up in your desired career and this has motivated me to go above and beyond in the public relations industry. I know the student comunity at The University of Oregon will continue to prosper and excel in their fields of work and I'm excited for the future here at this University. I'm blessed to be apart of this amazing community here in Eugene, Oregon and to have been to make the great relationships I've made while I'm here. I know I will take the knowledge I've received and the experience I've had here and use it to be as influential as possible in the real world and uphold the standard as a University of Oregon alum. 

No Such Thing as Free Time

      This fall I started working as the Director of Volunteer Management and Engagement for the Student Alumni Association of my school. I must say that it has been quite a busy term trying to balance work, greek life, as well as school all at the same time. Although it's been a little overwhelming at times, I feel that I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't have something on my mind at all times. Staying active and productive is what keeps me sane on a regular basis. Working with the Student Alumni Association has been a tremendous experience. The people I've met, the hands i've shook and the things I've learned while working with this organization has made this experience completely worth it. I love working with the other directors on the leadership team and I feel like we've accomplished some really great things collaborating with one another after just a term. This year, we've reached over 6,000 members, which is the most amount of members the Student Alumni Association has had since it was established at the University of Oregon. That's something I'm very proud of and I know this year's benchmark will set the standard for years to come.

       So what do I do? I collaborate with the rest of the SAA leadership team to plan and implement opportunities to engage our undergraduate and graduate student members in opportunities to give back to the University and create engaged and connected alumni and advocates for the university while they are still students. I directly manage volunteers, working alongside them to further the mission of the SAA and ensure that they are comfortable with their tasks and are knowledgable about the goals of the SAA and how well they impact the university, as well as assist with reports on volunteer hours. I'm usually working out of the Ford Alumni Center on campus but occasionally I get to go out and work events with my volunteers, which is my favorite part of my job. That being said, I'm looking forward to what's to come throughout the year and enduring future success as a team. Some things I'm really excited for is being able to explore the state capitol at some point this year, attending conferences in Seattle and Portland next term, and even having the opportunity to visit Washington DC next year with the rest of the SAA leadership team!

Beta Theta Pi's 175th General Convention

      This summer I attended my fraternity's 175th general convention in the place it was founded; Miami University of Oxford, Ohio. It was truly a great experience and something I will never forget. I'm blessed with the opportunity to be able to meet the people I did and to see where it all started. When I was told that all travel expenses were going to be covered by the fraternity and that I would have the chance to travel to the mid west/east coast for the first time, I knew this opportunity was something I couldn't pass up. This four day experience consisted mostly of meetings and seminars, which felt pretty repetitive at times but I have to say I really learned a lot. 

      As part of the general convention experience, I was able to attend the Peter F. Greiner Leadership College which aims to provide undergraduates of Beta Theta Pi with leadership and personal development training. The curriculum also provided participants with time-tested concepts and skills that can be used in college and beyond. Though most of my time in Oxford, Ohio consisted of meetings and seminars we were also given leisure time in the evening to relax and meet other Betas in the town of Oxford. This is where I met most of my connections and received some of the best insight I have ever received and will use in the future. Some of the greatest highlights of my trip were meeting Erik Stolhanski from the movie Super Troopers and receiving a business card from the general president of the entire Beta Theta Pi organization after having a good talk with him at a bar. Though I've had my doubts about if you can really make future connections or not with a fraternity organization, I was completely blown away this weekend with how many people really genuilly  cared for others of the Beta Theta Pi organization. On the way back home, I met another older gentlemen at the airport who was a Beta and we literally talked for a whole two hours about each others lives. We exchanged information and I know he will be a connection I will always have and I'm sure he'll be calling me in the near future to check up on me and see how I'm doing. Meeting all kinds of people from all over the U.S. and even parts of Canada was quite a culture shock for me and I'm glad I was able to become acquainted with all these different people. I was pretty shocked to hear people from the South tell me I had an accent, which is something I've definitely never heard before. Anyways, I have to say that this was one of the best experiences I have ever had I'm sure I will be attending next year's convention in Orlando, Florida!

Life As a Summer Intern...

     This summer I decided to go back to my hometown Portland, Oregon for the summer to intern at a full service marketing firm called EYB Consulting. Though it's unpaid and very time consuming, the experience I'm receiving will definitely be worth it in the long run. Throughout the day, I'm usually sitting at my desk doing any brainstorming or busy work my boss asks me to do but occasionally I get to go out and sit in on the some of the CEO's meetings with clients and take notes. I've been doing my best to not take anything for granted and learn as much as possible while I can. Though this internship has showed me how low on the totem pole I really am, I've actually discovered that I do in fact have a good sense of creativity and really can bring good ideas to the table. I believe this internship will lead me to better things in the future in hopes of developing some expertise in the marketing/advertising industry. Overall, the whole internship process has been a great experience!

This Year's Philanthropy...

       After spending countless hours preparing for this year's philanthropy for my fraternity at the University of Oregon, I'm happy to say it was a total success! We ended up raising the most money out of all the fraternities on campus and I've never seen Joe Reams; the founder of the Brian Reams Foundation, so happy with the results. Everyone had a great time and the girls participating were more competitive than ever. Joe Reams is the father of a brother of a fraternity who passed away in 2007 after getting hit by a drunk driver when he was walking a girl home from the bar. He decided to create the "Brian Reams Foundation" in memory of Brian, which provides underprivileged kids with the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities and also spreads awareness towards the risks associated with drunk driving. Joe hopes to one day fulfill Brian's dream of creating a recreational center for underprivileged kids in his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho. Since Brian's death, we have really taken it upon ourselves as Brian's brothers to raise as much money for Brian's fathers foundation ever since.

       After doing a talent show philanthropy for the last 10 years, I decided to take a huge risk and mix it up by doing a powder puff football tournament for sororities around campus this year unlike what we've done in the past. Despite a lot of backlash from other members at first, the success of the event definitely proved them wrong. I'm happy to know that all the money went towards a great cause and I have to say that all the time and work I put into making this event successful was definitely worth it in the end!