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Misconceptions About Asking for Help

Lauren Blackwell

As a prospective PR professional you are used to helping other people. It is your job to let people come to you with their problems, and you’re going to build them a plan to fix those problems. Whether that is working with a client to help them gain more social media traction, helping create content for them or helping to form strategies, you are the answer that company needs. You are the answer to their plea for help.

Now, what about you? Who is the answer to your plea for help? If you relate to the average college student, then you might not have one. In August of 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that fewer than 1 in 5 college students ask their professors for help during their office hours. So let's change that.

When you being to think about it you need to realize that everyone has been in a situation much like your own. You probably feel like you are drowning in assignments, club meetings, your job and extracurricular activities. Next, you throw in your attempt to keep a social life and you might find yourself struggling to keep your head above water. Beginning to ask for help before you reach this point is a process, so to being Let’s debunk a few of the most common misconceptions about asking for help.

You are not bothering other people by asking for help.

Your time in college is a time for you to grow. You are learning about life all while doing your best to plan for your future profession. That’s stressful, but you’re not alone in this process. You’re surrounded by people who have already been through that stage in their lives! Your professors, mentors, and other professionals are there to help you. They are there for you! So when you go to them with your questions, it is important to remember that you are not bothering anyone by asking for help.

You are not coming off as incompetent by asking for help.

There are times in your life when you need help with your heavy workload. When meeting deadlines become difficult for you, do not be afraid to take a step back and remove yourself from that situation until you are ready to reenter. If you need to sit out of your club meetings for a few weeks, or even a semester, do that. Ask for help from your fellow members. Chances are there is someone there that just might be able to take that on for you. Realizing that you are in need of help and making that known to others does not make you incompetent.

You are not any less successful because you asked for help.

Chances are, you do not know everything about public relations or any other area of study. You may need help better understanding a topic, or you may need help with organization. Asking for help in developing these skills is not a sign of weakness. Asking for help will help to make you the most successful person and professional you can be. Asking for help does not make you any less successful. Even professionals seek help from their own advisors.

The bigger picture here is your future. Why struggle through something by yourself when you can work it out with someone who has most likely gone through a similar situation? So take the step to help move yourself forwards towards your future. Now is the time to make mistakes. Now is the time to learn new skills, and NOW is the time to ask for help.

How To Search For Internships Like A Pro.

Lauren Blackwell

Finding a summer internship can be really intimidating. You start with good intentions but after an hour of scouring the web and realizing that each internship needs a separate cover letter, your resume hasn’t been updated in three years, and you don’t even know what Linkedin is you give up and decide to watch Stranger Things on Netflix for the third time. Trust me, I’ve been there. But I am here, three internships under my belt, to tell you that IT'S GOING TO BE ALRIGHT. So grab a snack, we’re going to get through this together.

Make a  Spreadsheet

Staying organized during your internship search is crucial to your success. By creating a spreadsheet you’ll have a color-coordinated, organized document that you can refer to from start to finish. You can make your spreadsheet however you would like but I suggest that you include the internship name, website, application status, interview dates, and location. You can also add relevant contact information or notes you make along the way.

When I was applying for my internships last year I also used color coordination: Yellow for in-progress, Red for declined, and Green for accepted. Having a visual guide helped me track my progress and stay motivated to finish my applications.

No Connection Is Too Small

If you don’t currently have a Linkedin account, make one ASAP. Actually open a new tab on your computer and make one RIGHT NOW. Start by adding your old bosses, professors/ teachers, community members, and friends. Add anyone and everyone to your network, the more the merrier. Once you’ve added your connections spruce up that profile. Some tips: add more information about your work experience, add community service, if you’ve written anything on the internet INCLUDE IT, and finally DO NOT use a selfie as your profile picture. At the very least put on a nice shirt and have your friend take your picture in front of a blank wall. Presentation matters and Linkedin is a digital job fair.

Brainstorm

Before you even start your internship search sit down and have a chat with yourself. What do you want out of this internship? What are your career goals? Do you have any dream companies you absolutely need to work for? What does your dream internship look like? Once you have a clear picture of what you want, you’ll be able to search for internships that fit your criteria. Having a clear picture doesn’t mean you can’t search outside of the box OR apply for internships you would have never considered. I applied for my internship last summer on a whim and it ended up being an incredible experience from start to finish.

Use Your Resources

The University and PRSSA have some incredible resources just waiting to be utilized. PRSSA has internship search that can be utilized. The University also offers free resume and cover letter advice at the Nevada Career Studio. You can drop in at any time and get advice on your job search, help writing that resume you’ve been neglecting. Trained career mentors can help you through every part of the application process. The Career Studio also offers an incredible job search tool with opportunities from across the globe. Finally, there are also plenty of sites out there some of my faves include; Indeed, Internship Queen, Linkedin Jobs, and Glassdoor.

Finally, don’t stress out. If you stay organized and work hard good things WILL happen to you, trust me.

How to Create your Perfect Instagram

Lauren Blackwell

Let’s face it, Instagram is not what it used to be. Most people don’t post memes or random challenges anymore. Nowadays it’s all about your theme. When you hear the word “aesthetic” or “theme” don’t immediately go to the sandy bikini pictures in the Maldives and stress yourself out because you’re just in college and can’t even afford a movie ticket, lean more towards the idea of constancy.

As much as people don’t want to admit it, you are your social media. Despite there being more behind the pictures and posts, this is your business card. How you promote yourself, is how others are going to perceive you. Your theme is pretty much the personality but more put together, hopefully.

1.      The first basic step is to find style. Whatever you like try to incorporate it in an aesthetically pleasing way. Think okay, what is my personal style? Think of it like what do I wear? Am I grungy, girly, or boho. Then you can pick key colors that fit that style. If you like neutrals, you can stick with a black and white theme or key colors that you like. I personally love pastel colors, so my theme consists of soft pinks, creamy whites, and pale muted colors. I still like for my feed to be vibrant, light and welcoming.

2.      You can get great quality photos with your phone. You don’t need a fancy DSLR camera and ring lights when you have everything in your pocket. Natural lighting is your friend so go outside or get in front of your window and start snapping.

3.       This one is more advanced and is definitely not needed but adds some amazing interest to your Instagram. Your layout can add interesting dimension to the overall look and theme. Some layouts are diagonal, tiles, and line by line. Here is a great article to teach you how to have an amazing layout.

4.      If you like to edit your photos, stick with the same filter or presets. This is so important because if you use different filters and presets for all of your photos there will essentially be no consistency of actual theme on your Instagram. If everything looks different, then it isn’t a theme

5.      These next two tips are so simple but some of the most important. Always crop your photos the same way, whether it be square, rectangular or the crisp white border, keep it consistent. The same thing goes for the color. Keep the same 2-3 colors in your pictures to really make your feed look cohesive. This goes hand and hand with tip 4. This is because if there is no consistency to your theme, then you have no theme. Plain and simple.

6.      Lastly, is to know when to post what picture. At this point you have an idea of what you want your theme to look like, what colors you want to incorporate and ways to filter and crop your pictures. Now you need to decide which picture to post and when to post it. This isn’t when to post it to get the most likes, but where to place it. SO, if you have multiple photos that were taken in the same outfit that you want to post, spread them out so it looks more balanced. Save your pictures and reincorporate the ones you have not posted yet.

Take your time to create what you truly love. Inspire others and be inspired. I hope these tips and tricks helped you find a way to make your perfect Instagram feed.

Happy posting!