Dear You,

Some college journalism/liberal arts and science students incorrectly assume that Career Centers at their universities can’t help them.

Though, yes, it is true that business and engineering students may have an easier time of finding organizations that fit their interest recruiting at career fairs, with a little research and perserverance, J-school and liberal arts students can have the same success.

I have attended Career Showcase, the CRC’s semesterly career fair, each year I’ve attended UF. Though my experience was more as an observer as a freshman, it has given me good practice interviewing with employers, learning professionalism and navigating the fair, which has made my experience as a senior more fruitful.

With each passing semester, my resume has improved and lengthened, and visits to the CRC for resume critiques, employer mock interviews and discussions with advisers has worked to my advantage. 

For students not sold on a career in the field of journalism or undecided about what to do after graduating, the key to finding something you’ll excel in and selling yourself to employers is transferable skills. They know that you can probably write well or speak well, but how does that help them?

Can you manage content on a Web site? Do you have management experience or professional experience? Can you speak well in front of people? Are you familiar with social networking/new media tools? Are you proficient in Adobe products – InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator? Are you amiable, easy to work with?

What do you bring to the table?

I knew walking on the UF campus that I didn’t want to work in the field of journalism, but I also knew I wanted to apply the technical skills I learned in the College of Journalism and Communications in my career somehow.

To supplement my academic curriculum, I took courses in education, participated in leadership and extracurricular activities and got meaningful, professional experience through part-time employment at the Career Resource Center.

Unlike most part-time jobs  on campus, I got the opportunity to do real work – developing content, organizing campaigns and working directly with full-time staff members. I’ve done a little bit of everything – management, content development, editing and design. 

Over the past three years, I’ve been encouraged to take initiative in my position, increased my responsibilities and been promoted from intern to PR specialist – all while working with professionals who were able to assist me through all phases of the career-decision making process.

And with time, I’ve realized that the skill sets I’ve developed and used in public relations can be applied to management, human resources, community relations and other fields. 

My resume and interviews reflect that and showcase the projects I’ve worked on, technical skills I’ve utilized and skill sets I’ve developed.

I’m not majoring in business, but I have a diverse collegiate experience an unique abilities, which set me apart from my peers.

Don’t be discouraged and think you’re not recruitable if you’re not graduating from a business college. Walk into your career center and learn how to spruce up your resume to best reflect you and what you’re capable of. Take advantage of opportunities to network with employers – ask questions and find out what they’re looking for in their candidates. J-schoolers, you know how to write, so present a flawlessly edited resume and cover letter. Present yourself well.

Career Centers are probably the most untapped resources on college campuses today. Take the time to do a little research, ask questions and invest in your future.

If you don’t, why would anyone else want to?

MissFits.

To view profiles of students of various majors who have had success utilizing the Career Resource Center at the University of Florida, click here.

Advertisements

Dear You,

I came across an interesting blog post noted on Twitter earlier today with recommendations for college grads hoping to enter the workforce.

I thought it would be useful to pass along – from David Griner, a social media strategist for Luckie & Companie. Thanks to Heather Huhuman for the tweet. Check it out, here.

Clean it up!

MissFits

Dear  You,

Kenneth Knight, multimedia coordinator for the Tampa Tribune, spoke to our editing class today about his position and experiences, giving a sobering dose of reality to graduating journalism hopefuls about the economy and the state of the news industry.

Knight, with a background in broadcast media from Alabama, if I remember correctly, worked at the Tribune in varying capacities over the past decade and a half or so, working in print, online and multimedia.

Having a firm handle on writing skills is definitely a must, Knight said, but graduating students should have working knowledge and even specialize in new media tools and social networking, too. With layoffs happening every day – literally, college grads need a skill set that will separate them from the competition, which include recently laid off, seasoned journos.

The economy is pushing news organizations to cut staff left and right, requiring more of those who are employed. This means that you’ve got to be skilled at more than writing out of necessity. News organizations are pooling resources to create a seamless product across various platforms. Pick up that extra multimedia class now while you can. It may make all the difference in what you can offer an employer and what they can offer you.

I guess news isn’t for everyone, though, because when I heard a possible starting salary of $25,000, my jaw dropped. College students in the first or second year – think about the industry you’re entering, and realize that there’s a good chance you probably won’t get rich doing it.

Journalism is one of those things you’ve got to love, and if you do, it’ll be well worth it.

MissFits

Dear You,

Thought this Webinar by Lindsay Olson, a PR and marketing recruiter,  might be helpful, per my last post. It addresses the good and bad of social networking, things to look out for and things to avoid. Check it out here and find out more about how to clean up YourSpace on the Internet.

Doesn’t hurt to take a look.

MissFits

And P.S. – Share with friends. They’ll thank you later.

Dear You,

Exploring the Twittterworld, I came across an interesting diagram relating social media to the human anatomy. For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter, here’s a quick rundown. Twitter is a messaging service, that allows users to tell others what they’re doing over multiple networks and devices. It’s a social networking tool that’s asks one question, “What are you doing?”  to which users must post an answer, called a “tweet,”  of 140 characters or less. It’s kind of like an AIM status, except anyone on Twitter can see it. Tweeters can follow each other and respond to tweets or even message each other directly.

Anyhoo, back to the diagram, which I give full credit to Hutch Carpenter, a senior product manager at Connectbeam. (Find out more about him here.) When you use social media, what do you use it for? Keeping up with friends? Chatting? Business? You’ll see an incomplete list below of where to go to get what you want from social media below.

Where are you on this list? What do you use social media for?

Enjoy,

MissFits

 

Social Media and You

Ideas, opinion, information:

  • FriendFeed
  • Twitter

Share photos, videos

  • Flickr
  • SmugMug
  • Zoomr
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • FriendFeed

Music you like:

  • Last.fm

Chit chat

  • Twitter

What are you feeling?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

What are you doing?

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • FriendFeed
  • Upcoming

What are you eating?

  • Twitter

Where are you?

  • Brightkite
  • Twitter deas, opinion, information:
  • FriendFeed
  • Twitter

Share photos, videos

  • Flickr
  • SmugMug
  • Zoomr
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • FriendFeed

Music you like:

  • Last.fm

Chit chat

  • Twitter

What are you feeling?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

What are you doing?

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • FriendFeed
  • Upcoming

What are you eating?

  • Twitter

Where are you?

  • Brightkite
  • Twitter

Dear You,

I wrote about professionalism on the Internet a bit ago – reiterating that it’s important that we, as young professionals, don’t let the marvels of new technology get the best of us. Having Web presence is important and critical in some industries, but it’s important to keep it all in perspective and make sure that we put our best foot, or face, forward.

That being said, I found an interesting article about the good and bad in Facebook, tweeted on Twitter earlier today. Read it here.

This article does a great job of putting social media in perspective. Start thinking about Facebook as an interactive, in-depth resume, that almost anyone can access – your parents, employers, family members, spouses.

Your contact information, people you associate with, organizations you’ve been involved in and pictures of you and those closest to you are visible to anyone who can access your profile. What image do you portray? Are you a professional during the day and a party girl doing keg stands at night?

Think twice when posting information on Facebook. Be aware that once your info is out there – IT’S OUT THERE! Keep tabs on your friends, their notes on your wall, their statuses and pictures you may be tagged in. Facebook is a great utility, but when used inappropriately, it can and will work against you.

Find out how someone lost a job over an innocent tweet here. Discretion, people! Let’s use a little common sense, please. Ladies wouldn’t wear an immodest blouse to dinner with grandparents, so why post pictures on the Internet to the world that you wouldn’t want granny to see?

This post title talks about Facebook, but I’m cautioning you about all types of social media.

Think before you ink!

MissFits

Dear You,

I’ve been reading the work of a few literary journalists – Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote, Lillian Ross, for one of my classes, and I decided to take a shot at some literary journalism of my own. I recounted an interview that I saw of Guitar Red, a homeless blues guitarist in Atlanta, Georgia, a few weeks ago. Guitar Red has a record deal! Don’t I wish I could be so lucky! His managers called up their University of Florida interns to come up for the weekend to record a show, a music video and interviews with some of the artists, and I got to tag along.

Since the opportunity was so unique, I figured it might be a good time to take a stab at literary journalism – telling a story/painting a picture completely based on facts. One of the literary journalists I’m reading now, Carlos Frias, wrote a book – Take Me With You, recounting his first trip to Cuba when Castro stepped down. He was sent on assignment by the Palm Beach Post, but the 5-part series he wrote turned into a book, a very good book, at that!

 I felt like I was there with him, walking the streets of Cuba, eating an “everything pizza,” because his writing was so colorful and detailed. I have no idea how to capture such a real picture in my writing. Carlos has also written a piece on our Tebow, right after the Championship win, which also seemed too real! His language is so AHH! It’s awesome!

As I started to write my own piece, I started thinking about these questions. How do you define literary journalism? How do you keep journalists accountable and make sure that they are accurate in their reporting? It’s an interesting phenomenon.

If I describe an event from my point of view or perspective, then it is the truth – it’s my truth, but I guess it could be different from someone standing on the other side of the room who saw a little more or a little less than what I did. Maybe if someone knows the background story to an event, the truth would be even more different for him/her. This new wave of modern journalism has such potential, but must really be approached with caution because there’s so much wiggle room.

Here goes, I tried.

MissFits

A Portrait of Guitar Red

Shrimp tails flower the grass in a park in Decatur, Georgia.

            An apparently homeless man sits on top of a picnic table with a wide, gap-toothed smile and a guitar, strumming its strings for the world to hear. The container of half-eaten shrimp sits next to him. With an old, worn scarf for a shoulder strap, college interns and his manager for an audience, Guitar Red plays.

            Some passersby stop to listen from a distance; others keep walking, looking back over their shoulders to get another look at the homeless man and the camera crew filming him.

            Red sits atop the table, playing soulfully for his audience, looking directly into the camera and speaking to his manager, Ben Rowell, who directed the interview. Rowell and his wife, Kim, own the record label Backspace Records and produce Red’s music.

“Gui-tar Red, that’s what they call me!” he yells, laughing into the camera. His laugh comes from deep within his belly, and it echoes throughout the entire park. It’s contagious.

You can’t help but smile at the older-looking man, clad in a red-checkered flannel shirt, blue pants, socks that ride half-way up his leg and worn shoes. He looks happy and at home holding his guitar, like a child snuggles a comfort blanket.

Every now and then, Red’s boisterous laugh and booming voice quiets, and he just plays, rocking back and forth, back and forth, to the rhythm of his songs.

“I wrote this one for my family,” Red says. Closing his eyes, he starts silently, rocking, playing a soulful, sobering blues melody. “Each string on the guitar is for my family, so I think of ‘em when I play,” he whispers, reminiscing, tears in his eyes. His family is all gone now.

            “I got my stuff to work on,” Red screams through his tears. “But cain’t nobody say that Guitar Red ain’t a good person.” Pushing his glasses up his nose bridge, Red strikes the chords on his instrument to a more jovial tune.

            Tears gone, he grins, laughing again.

Dear You,

I will admit – I do use Facebook, and I do have a MySpace account, as I’m sure you do, too. Right? They’re both great for keeping in touch with old friends and family members and getting the 411 on people you know, but I am concerned that these social networking tools are getting out of hand and can harm aspiring professionals if they’re not careful. CORRECTION: Aspiring professionals can harm themselves with these social networking tools if they’re not careful.

Yes, there are a few basic rules for safely using the Internet that would, of course, be applied while using these sites, but I think that users are more dangerous to themselves than cybersphere. Most people – I’ll stop using “young” because any and everyone uses these things now, are probably unaware of how many people can access their social network profiles. And we all know that some of the things up on Facebook aren’t things we’d want to pull up in front of our parents or grandparents, let alone let a potential employer . And that’s just it! Employers CAN, DO and WILL see the profiles of potential candidates.

It’s not uncommon for organizations to do research on potential candidates using these social networking sites. I mean, what better way to get to know someone you are considering hiring than by checking out the place they spend a whole bunch of time. Let’s be honest – we all probably spend way too much time on Facebook writing on each others walls from our Blackberrys and letting the world know what we’re doing in our statuses.

It stinks for people who have incriminating pictures and colorful language strewn about their pages, but I must admit, it’s a smart move for employers because it’s 1. cheap, actually FREE 2. anonymous and 3. relatively easy to do.

Honestly, why not err on the side of caution here, people? Or, better yet, why not err at all? We know what the right thing to do is! I don’t know how many classes and seminars I’ve been to that politely remind people to be mindful of the images and persona they portray of themselves on the Internet. When submitting an application for an leadership organization, I was asked to bring a print out of my Facebook profile.

A few rules of thumb for maintaining professionalism on the Internet.
1. If you wouldn’t want your parents/grandparents to see it, don’t post it.
2. Ask, “What would my professor/mentor/etc. think if they saw this picture?”
3. Consider the first impression you’re leaving on people who have never met you before.
4. Be careful of who you “befriend.” There are crazies out there, and spammers, too.
5. Erase friends crazy, inappropriate and offensive comments from your walls, or consider deleting them altogether if it’s too much to manage.
6. Don’t post pictures of you doing illegal activities.
7. Be considerate and do not purposefully offend others with ignorant pictures, posts, etc.

Some of this, to me at least, seems pretty basic to Internet safety, but even more so to social networking safety. I’m not saying you have to be Simple Sally, by any means, express yourself, but do consider what your Internet image says about you as a person and professional. Click here to find out more about how to use Facebook professionally.

It’s a small world after all…

MissFits

Dear You,

We were talking about careers in journalism in my Mass Media class and this question was posed: “Do we really need journalists anymore since anyone can write ‘news’ on the Internet?”

I guess that would depend on your definition of news and your ability to decipher credible information from an eccentric rant. Now more than ever it is crucial for journalists to recognize and live up to the responsibility they have as conduits of truth for the public. The average Joe Schmoe’t going to know how to correctly interview subjects, properly use AP style, site appropriately or distinguish between hard news and editorializing. As great as citizen journalism is, I think it’s important that professionals do their job.

As we get more and more dependent on online journalism for it’s ease of access, I think that there is something about having an actual newspaper in hand that people won’t easily let go of. The world is becoming digitized, and I think people will want to hold on to the age-old custom  of reading a paper, not a computer screen, to get news.

There’s something to say for online journalism, don’t get me wrong. It’s amazing, convenient and useful to have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips, but there will always be room for print and a NEED for real journalists.

Don’t start excavating yet!

MissFits

Dear You,

Somewhere it says that men are supposed to seek after women. I think that’s why guys ask girls out on dates, and why guys ask girls for their numbers – not the other way around. It’s funny to hear women saying that they’re looking for the “man of their dreams,” when really, we, as women, are not supposed to be looking anywhere. If we’re not in the right spot when our guy is looking for us, then we’re going to miss out and be “Boo-less” (without a Boo).

In my own life, anytime I went looking for love, I never found it. Instead, I almost always got my heart broken or ended up doing something I had no business doing. It was only when I was still that he came to me.  Notice I said, “he came to me.” I wasn’t looking; he was. It started out completely platonic. I actually had no interest in him whatsoever, but he had seen from a distance the intentions of my heart, (and by that, I mean that he saw me just being me) and he pursued me.

I really think God has a sense of humor, because in our situation, God used my fiance to witness to someone who hurt me, relieve anger from my heart and introduce us to each other – all in about a week. And while the situation was far less than ideal, He was conditioning me for my husband, and conditioning my husband for me.

The things we go through in life all have relevance, and they will all come back to us at some point in time. Mistakes that I’ve made in the past are bright red stop signs for me now. Do I have a few bruises? Yes. Would I make the same mistake again? No, but I also don’t regret some of the places I’ve been.  Why? Because without those things of the past, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Don’t get me wrong, the past does come up and does hurt in our relationship sometimes, but without our pasts we wouldn’t have a FUTURE with each other.

It doesn’t always seem like God’s plan is our plan, and it isn’t always fun being on the path that He puts us on. But you are where you are for a reason. You just might not find out why for a while, and when you do, you might not like the reason why. But it is all intentional. Trust Him.

If you are where He planned for you to be, things will happen according to HIS plan – not yours. Sit tight, ladies, your Forever-Friend will find you. Patience is a virtue!

Places, everyone!

MissFits

del.icio.us

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE and WHOSE WE ARE.

This Month

December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Follow me on Tw!tter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.