Making the Most Out of Summer Internships

banner-1080x658.jpg

Julia Pozzuto, Account Associate

Internships can be intimidating. For some of us, it’s our third summer as an intern and for some of us it is our first. We’ve perfected our resumes, nailed our interviews, and turned down offers from other companies. Now, it is time to step into your position and make the most out of it for yourself and the company for which you are working. The spring semester is quickly approaching its finale which means the doors are opening to summers of opportunities.

Make Connections

It may seem obvious, but the reason that we are in these intern positions is to learn and to make connections with individuals who have more experience and more knowledge in the field than we do. It is so important to step outside of your comfort zone and make a full effort to get to know everyone in the office. You never know how one’s experiences may have shaped their career and how that expertise could shape yours now, even if their field of studies looked much different than yours.

Ask Questions

You are there to learn. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and making sure you are getting the most out of each project you complete. In one of my interviews, I asked my interviewers what they thought made the difference between a good intern and a great intern. They told me that a great intern was one who went above and beyond and was always asking for help because they had that desire in them to learn.

Focus on Building Relationships

While it is important to get to know as many people as possible, it is also just as important to make solid, deep relationships with individuals who you can learn a lot from will prove beneficial in the long run as you will always have someone to turn to in a time of need, in a time of advice, or anything in between. Whether or not you come back to work for this company, relationships like this will last and ensure that you always have an outlet if you need one.

 

Create a Positive First Impression

Some people may argue that first impressions are the most important move in any situation. Creating that reliable impression will ensure that your educators trust you and can rely on you for anything that they may need this summer. After your first impression is made, make an effort to uphold the personality and work ethic of the individual who stepped foot into that office on the first day of the job.

Be Reliable

Don’t miss deadlines and don’t be late for work in the morning. It is the little things that your employer may notice about your work ethic and professional personality. Make an effort to get reports and projects in on time and make sure your work is thorough and well done.

End on a High Note

When the summer comes to an end, make sure you express your gratitude for the opportunity to learn all that you have in your time spent there. Connect with your coworkers on LinkedIn to ensure that they will see the successes of your upcoming year and be proud of their influence on the professional that you have become.

Advertisements

This Bud’s For 3 – Ad Response

This-Buds-For-3.jpg

Cailyn McCutcheon, Account Executive

Budweiser recently made an emotional splash. This past week, Budweiser released an advertisement featuring Dwayne Wade as he bids farewell to his NBA career. The advertisement capitalized on how Wade has used his success to give back to his fans who are struggling to overcome obstacles of life. For this past season, Wade has captured cameras on the court by switching jerseys with other players; it’s been coined his final season statement. In this advertisement, in the same spirit, the fans approach Wade on the court and offer him a sentimental article of their clothing.

Wade first meets a woman whose brother died in the Parkland High School shooting. At one point, Wade wore the name of her brother on his shoes in his honor. One by one, several others approach Wade: a woman that went to school only because Wade paid her tuition, a struggling man who got back on track with Wade’s life story, and a woman that used a contribution by Wade to take her family on a shopping spree after her house burnt down in a fire right before Christmas.

Finally, Jolinda Wade walks out onto the court, presenting him with her pastor robes. Wade grew up in Chicago, and as one of four children himself, his mother sent him to live with his father while she fought to overcome her drug addiction, constricting the ability to create a stable home life. Wade visited his mother while she spent time in prison, never giving up on her in overcoming addiction, and healing her with his endless love. When she became clean, he purchased her a church where she currently resides as the pastor.

Despite the fact that I am not a fan of basketball, this advertisement moved me to tears. Until that moment, I was unaware of what deep connections Wade has forged with his fans and his family. I found this to be a highly strategic choice by Budweiser as it solidifies the idea of NBA athletes in the profession for more than stardom and money.

In reading about the advertisement, I questioned the connection between Budweiser and the NBA. Do they sponsor the league? I found that Budweiser has sponsored the NBA since 1998 which is why the brand can use NBA trademarks, but interestingly, a recent deal between Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Budweiser, and the players unions of both the MLB and the NBA is what fueled the creation of the campaign. This deal is historically significant as many pro sports leagues have been reluctant to promote content that connects alcohol consumption and athletic superiority. This advertisement is not to be missed as an exceptional piece of art from the brand.

To watch this moving advertisement, click this link: https://bit.ly/2Z0h6kV

A Little Bit About Entertainment PR

dublin-O2-concerts-01.jpg

Natalie DeSouza, Account Executive

One of the most popular and fastest growing sectors of the public relations field is that of entertainment public relations. Below are a few facts and FAQs about entertainment PR for those interested in it as a possible career route:

What is Entertainment PR?

A lot of the time, it entails the branding and press release of celebrities, bands, or entertainment companies and agencies. The clients are those directly involved in the entertainment industry and you will often have to deal with securing events and media scheduling, as well as handling business affairs.

What Other Responsibilities Are Required To Be In This Field?

Some of them entail:

  • Pitching media stories and arranging interviews
  • Sitting in on interviews with clients
  • Collaborating with the team and coming up with new stories for the agency’s clients
  • Working closely with publicists
  • Generating positive press coverage for clients by developing relationships with journalists and coming up with relevant story pitches.
  • Working closely with and helping the social media manager

What Skills Does It Take To Be An Entertainment PR Specialist?

Great Communication Skills (Obviously)

Working with a celebrity means you will have to speak and write very often because the public follows your client and unlike smaller businesses or corporations, every aspect of your client’s life is looked at. No potential client will want a poor communicator spearheading their public image.

Good Relationship Skills

In the entertainment industry, having people skills and building good relationships is one of the most important aspects. Trust and mutual respect for everyone you deal with in regards to your client will help you build good publicity and help with media releases in the press with journalists.

Get Social PR Right

The social media industry continues to rise each year. It is important to stay up with the times and promote media releases, events, and conferences because it has been proven that the younger generation is starting to get most of their news from social media platforms.

Use Your Backbone!

The entertainment industry is demanding and will demand hard conversations at times. You have to be always ready and have a good crisis communications plan. Try to stay one step ahead of the media.

There are many opportunities to work in the entertainment industry whether it is as a publicist, PR specialist, or social media manager. Do your research and find which sector of PR will be right for you!

Why It’s Good to Play the Communications Field

Communications.jpg

Erin Campbell, Account Associate

As a communications major, you are exposed to a variety of classes and resources. Some of these may be different from your specific area of study, but may be beneficial to expanding your skill set. Take advantage of this! You never know what may come of it.

Discover your other strengths and weaknesses.

There are plenty of students who only focus on their major and do not explore outside of it. By branching out and getting involved in clubs that specialize in different areas of communications you can broaden your general skill set. You also may be introduced to new things you might excel at, as well as things that might be harder for you. It is important to challenge yourself and stay humble. Not everything will be easy.

There may be aspects you like or dislike more than you previously thought.

Do what you love, right? That is a great motto to live by, if you know what you like! The only way to figure that out is by getting out there and discovering that for yourself. Another extremely common and recurring event in college is studying something you think you are very interested in and then going somewhere or doing something that introduces you to something new that you enjoy even more. For instance, if you’re a journalism major and really enjoy writing, but then you take a PR class and find out your interests align better with public relations, this may be the path to go down.

You may come across the right person, company, or connection that will put you in the right place.

There is a common saying that “it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.” Connecting with other communications students or professionals who come to different clubs you expand your network. You never know when you will meet someone who might just be able to land that perfect job.

The College Admissions Scandal from a PR Standpoint

n-COLLEGE-ACCEPTANCE-628x314.jpg

Olivia Rooney, Account Executive

The college admissions scandal has shocked the nation and not just due to the celebrities involved but for the implications on the everyday parent, high schooler or college student. Deemed by the ongoing media storm as the largest college cheating scheme, this scandal has been met with intense scrutiny and outrage from the public, demanding serious repercussions for the accused.  However, for many college students, the scandal lacks real shock value because it is assumed that universities have always prioritized factors other than academic ability to receive admission. Meanwhile, others believe the scam tarnishes the value of their degrees in the eyes of prospective employers. Overall, the scandal contributes to skepticism around the admissions process being fixed in favor of wealthier students. But in the long run, does the scandal have any lasting reputation damage for schools or the accused?

From a PR standpoint, the Ivy Leagues’ elite status will carry them through the scandal, allowing them to suffer little to no reputation damage compared to other universities. Other schools will not take their place as the premier colleges of the United States. The goal for such universities is not concerned with appealing to the masses but instead to the elite and financially equipped students. Prestige and exclusivity will remain synonymous to the Ivy reputation.

Regardless of this, the loss of public trust in the college admissions system still begs for an actionable response from universities. Transparency, accountability, and credibility are critical to restore trust. First steps must consist of the colleges in question spearheading investigations into the accusations. In addition, universities must ensure similar abuses will not happen again by creating initiatives toward a more credible admissions oversight process. As for smaller and mid-tier schools that may not be directly involved, they have the opportunity to demonstrate their own proactive measures regarding fairness as well as capitalizing on the elites’ missteps.

As for the celebrities that launched the scandal into the mainstream, they have remained silent. While their legal teams are most likely the ones who insisted that the parents stay quiet, silence typically leads people to speculate and draw their own conclusions. When they do respond, it’s best to approach with the angle that a parent would do anything for their child. Many parents can relate to this sentiment, which may allow some parents empathize. Along with this strategy, these parents must also hold themselves accountable while remaining sincere with their apology.

Despite the breadth of the scandal, rich-kid Olivia Jade Giannulli and company’s social following has skyrocketed. Although Olivia was pulled from her brand deals and is being bullied by thousands online, the world is eagerly waiting for the post that breaks her social hiatus. Any publicity is good publicity, right? Olivia will land on her feet in the foreseeable future.

All in all, another pay-to-play scandal isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Moving forward, all parties should practice transparency and show they have at least learned something from all of this. The news cycle is fast, so this storm too shall pass once the media finds something more intriguing to report on.

Resume Tips

Business-Man-Interviewer-Looking-Skeptical-While-Listening-To-An-Asian-Female-Interview

Austin Buoye, Account Associate

Creating a resume is something that every college student must do, especially when it comes time to apply for internships and jobs. A resume should be a collection of all of your work experience, achievements and skills that make you an appealing candidate for the job that you are applying for. Your resume is the first impression you are leaving on a company and because of that, it has to be perfect. Here are some tips to help you put together the best resume possible and help you land the job or interview of your dreams.

Tip 1: Read, Re-Read and Read Again

It is absolutely essential to make sure that you have no grammar or spelling errors anywhere on your resume. This is the first point of contact between you and the company you applied to. If they notice that there are grammar errors, it is easy for them to assume that you did not care enough about the position to proofread your work. It shows a lack of professionalism and puts you at a disadvantage right off the bat. A well proofread resume shows you care and that you take the job seriously.

Tip 2: Word Choice

Word choice is something that takes your resume up a few notches and can be the difference between being remembered and being forgotten by a recruiter. Your resume should highlight different things you have done that show why you are an ideal candidate for the job. One way to really bolster your resume and highlight what you have done is to use descriptive verbs. This enhances the resume and gives it a very professional tone. An example of this would be to replace the words “I helped” with “I facilitated”. This is not lying or stretching the truth, but it is enhancing the sentence and thus enhancing the recruiter’s idea of what you are capable of and their idea of what kind of experience you have.

Tip 3: Don’t Lie

Lying on a resume is a bad idea for many reasons. One reason being that if you seem qualified for the job, you are most likely going to be called in for an interview. When that interview comes around and you are face to face with the person who will potentially hire you, you need to be able to elaborate on your resume. The resume is a brief summary of what you have done but the majority of companies will want more detail about what it is you have accomplished in your past. If you lie and cannot elaborate on any of your points, all credibility is lost. Beyond this, if you lied about a skill, you will be expected to know what you are doing when you start working. If you said on your resume you know Microsoft Excel and you do not, you are going to look terrible on the first day of work when you’re constantly asking for help. Honesty is the always the best policy, especially when you are creating a resume.

Tip 4: Order From Most Relevant to Least Relevant

Make sure you have your most relevant experience at the top of your resume and least relevant at the bottom. An example would be putting HVC at the top of your resume if applying for an Ad/PR job. It shows you have experience and know what you are doing. Something more suited for the bottom would be being in a fraternity, sorority. This is still good to include as it does provide value, however a recruiter might not care as much about that as they would about HVC or something similar. They will always see the first thing listed but might not pay much attention to the bottom.

End of the Semester Stress Management

Depression Screening

Abigail Shucker, Account Associate

The 2019 spring semester is coming to an end, whether we like it or not. Finals week, also known as the most stressful time of the year, is right around the corner. Letting the stress take over is unhealthy, but also avoidable. The following simple tips will help you clear your head, relax, and have the right mindset as you take on the busiest time of year.

Get Enough Sleep

This one may sound self-explanatory, but it’s not as obvious as you may think. College students tend to think that they can fully function on 4 hours of sleep with no repercussions, which isn’t the case. Sleep is one of the most important things that help keep our bodies moving and functioning to the best of their abilities. According to the University of Georgia Health Center, research indicates that insufficient sleep impacts students’ health, moods, and GPA. With that being said, manage your time wisely and make sure you get in your 8 hours to be able to perform to the best of your ability!

Get Active!  

I know, I hate running too. But, plenty of studies have shown that exercise or any sort of physical activity produces endorphins, natural painkillers, and increase your overall mood. In turn, exercise will improve your ability to sleep and overall will help reduce your stress. Personally, when I’m super stressed or in the wrong mindset, I love to go to the gym, turn my music up all the way, and get in a good sweat. After I finish a good workout, my head is clear and I’m ready to take on the challenges that I face. I encourage you to give it a try. Even if you hate the gym, go for a walk, play some racquetball with your friends at the Intramural Building, or go to one of the fitness classes that are complimentary for students.

Time Management & Planning

One of the most important things to do in order to manage your stress and be productive is to manage your time and use it wisely. Using resources such as a planner, google and outlook calendars (or even the Apple calendar that is preinstalled on your iPhone) are all great tools to help with planning your time and being productive.

How the NBA’s Smart Jersey Can Revolutionize Sports Marketing

Sports Marketing Blog.png

Trey Newcomb, Account Associate

The National Basketball Association (NBA) recently unveiled a prototype for a smart jersey that they claim will be the “jersey of the future”. The prototype was first released to the public in February by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The player name and number on the prototype can be changed with the click of a button from a tablet or other smart device. For example, if the back of the jersey displayed the name “James” and the number “23,” within seconds the jersey can be manipulated from a smart tablet to display the name “Harden” and the number “13.”  While many NBA fans (including myself) were completely awed by this, it only took a little while for me to think about the endless possibilities that this presents to advertising and marketing companies. Prior to the 2017-18 season, the NBA began allowing jersey-patch sponsors and today nearly every team in the NBA has a jersey patch with a sponsor. The NBA is leaning towards more and more in-game advertising and marketing.

If and when the NBA actually does implement the smart jersey, the door is wide open for marketing possibilities. First, the possibility for teams to have rotating sponsor patches. Similar to an electronic sign on the side of a highway, the sponsor patch on the jersey can rotate based on time intervals, or points in the game. Furthermore, breaks in gameplay can bring an entire new form of advertising. The smart jerseys will, theoretically, have the ability to display graphic content like advertisements. While this concept is still a good distance away in the future, it is certainly not too early to start thinking about the possibilities. While a Nike sneaker advertisement featuring LeBron James may have a great impact in a magazine, it is hard to imagine that anything would be able to beat a Nike sneaker advertisement on LeBron’s jersey following a captivating slam dunk.

Furthermore, one can only imagine the effect these jerseys will have on children. I certainly would have been captivated by a jerseys advertising display when I was a young fan at a game. The beauty that these jerseys can bring to advertising companies is that the attention of the viewer is already on the players. Unlike a commercial, the uphill battle of gaining the attention of the audience is gone. When all eyes are already on the players, the advertisement just has to be shown to be seen.  All in all, the NBA smart jerseys bring a fresh, fun, and innovative concept that has the potential to change sports marketing across every major sports league, and perhaps even college sports. The once futuristic idea is not as far off as it seems, and we could very well see sports jerseys play a huge role in advertising, marketing, and perhaps even public relations.

How to Run a Food Instagram for a Restaurant

1500x1124.jpeg.e7ada38071a14b76ac0e4de427d2cffb

Natalie DeSouza, Account Executive

As PR/AD majors, running social media for the businesses we work on is one of the highly popular jobs that is done for clients. However, a restaurant or bakery Instagram will be a lot different than a finance business. This semester, my team and I have the opportunity to work with the Waffle Shop downtown and through our research and current experience with running their Instagram we set up a few tips on how to run a food Instagram whether you’re a foodie yourself or if it’s for a restaurant!

Focus on food photography.

Although it might be tempting to put pictures of recipes and workers, the main aspect that catches someone’s eye is the actual photography of the food. Hone in on your own photography style that you envision for your blog or your restaurant. Look at others for examples and focus on the different aspects such as lighting, saturation, and shadows. Learn from the pros and create a list of food Instagram pages that inspire you!

Write a text, not a caption.

No one wants to see a super professional caption under a scrumptious picture of a waffle or pancakes. Start a conversation with your followers and appeal to the setting. If it is St. Patrick’s day make a caption relating to that and convincing your audience why they should come on down to your restaurant that day.

Customize your hashtags for each post and tag within the picture.

Although they can be tedious to make, hashtags are what ultimately gets you on the feed and searches of people looking at food pages and helps you gain new followers. Make sure the hashtags apply to your picture. Just think of all the times you’ve searched up a certain hashtag or have seen new things show up on your discover feed, it is a perfect opportunity to reach new audiences.

Follow other food accounts and like their pictures.

The food audience on Instagram is a community! If you are a local restaurant and follow other local restaurant pages it will be nice to collaborate or support each other because then customers from either place can start going to the other local food places that are supported by the ones they like.

Post at strategic times.

If your account is a business account on Instagram, it is easy to see when your followers are most engaged and you can set up notes that will help you learn when to post to get the most interactions. There are also apps you can get that automatically post at a certain time of day for you if you’re busy with work.

Run contests.

One way to get the most interaction is to do a food giveaway or contest. One example could be if a person comments on a certain post and follows the account they have a chance to win a free dinner. This is a great way to gain new followers as a business especially if you collaborate with another business or food blogger that can help promote it even more. Hold photo challenges as well.

IMG_3138

Check out @thewaffleshoppsu on Instagram!

Upcoming Spring Graduates – Here’s What You Should Be Doing

Tips for Spring Grad Prep.png

Cailyn McCutcheon, Account Executive

For students, the fall semester of senior year can be a time of football games, bonfires and enjoying much needed connection with friends. For communications majors like myself, the fall semester also includes the dreaded job search anxiety as classmates in business, engineering and technology majors are securing full-time positions while the communications positions are far from opening. If you’re like me, I can’t sit still and just let another friend that has graduated, tell me to wait until March or April to start applying to jobs. Here are some of my tips for what you can be doing now to benefit you when applying to jobs later.

Find out what didn’t work, and why.

We’re the go-getters, the overachievers, the “I applied to 25 internships last summer.” However, for some of those internships, your application was off, your qualifications were inadequate or the interview didn’t go just right. I advise using this time to review what internships you applied for in the past and reflecting on what possibly went wrong. I suggest making an excel spreadsheet listing the companies you have applied for, when you applied and if you did or did not hear back. Include any other details about the process that might sway you to apply again or perhaps decide to delete that company from your list all together.

Schedule an appointment with an advisor – even though you know what they’re going to say.

Career advisors are going to advise that you’re early, but that’s okay. It’s better to be early than late. Start talking to your advisor now, letting them know your interests and your past experiences. I suggest at least one appointment with an advisor in the fall semester and one appointment in the spring semester. Building a genuine bond with a career advisor is only going to help him or her learn who you are and what type of position might suit you best. I can infer that no advisor will be overly inclined to help a student visiting for the first time in April.

Start talking. Start networking.

Once you have acknowledged and accepted that most jobs you are finding are looking for December graduates or alumni, or interns for the summer, reach out to your connections anyway. Now is the time to connect with a friend from your major that landed an incredible job and find out how they did it. Go on LinkedIn and stalk the people holding the titles you want and ask if they would like to chat for 20-30 minutes on the phone about how they came into their roles. If you live close to the office, invite them to grab a coffee. These informal conversations are highly beneficial, so when that job application does go live, you already know more about the company than other applicants and the company might already know about you.

Putting in the work now will only pay off in the spring!

Tips for Preparing for a Future in Advertising/PR While Still in College

No Internship_ No worries. (4).pngJessica Mancuso, Account Associate

College is time where we are able to make use of our passions by applying them to a future career. I am writing to share my experience. I am passionate about a lot of things, and was undecided for at least two years, trying to figure out what really interested me and challenged me. After some time, I came to the conclusion that my calling was “Advertising.” As a senior, I have been able to gain experience as I search for jobs that allow me to wake up every morning loving what I do. If you’re like me and need some help preparing for your future in the advertising industry, I encourage you to read further to hopefully get ahead!

Tip #1: Get involved on campus

I know that everyone says this, but Penn State has a lot of opportunities to prepare you for the future. For example, Happy Valley Communications is a great point to add on a resume because it is a one-of-a-kind experience that you’re likely not able to get anywhere else. As a member of HVC, I’ve been able to learn a lot about being an Account Associate. I have spent time creating promotional posts with real-life clients. There are a multitude of other clubs, like the AD/PR Club, the American Advertising Federation, Public Relations Student Society of America, and more that can help you see if this field is the right one for you. What’s great is that you’re also able to make connections with members who could help connect you to the right people when you are looking for a job. Furthermore, there are various clubs that need people with a passion for Advertising/PR to get involved. I am on a PR Committee for Penn State THON, and my job is to spread THON’s mission campus-wide and nation-wide. Our field is super important, and being able to apply my passion with my interests is truly a gift. I know that every club needs someone to promote them, so don’t be afraid to reach out and see if you can help out in any way.

Tip #2: Internships, internships, internships.

The best way to get experience is to apply yourself in the field. Internships have not only taught me so many skills that I will be able to use throughout my career, but they have also taught me what type of work environment I would like to be a part of and what really excites me. I wish someone had encouraged me to apply for an internship earlier in my college career because you can never get enough knowledge from actual firms in the real world. Even if the internship is unpaid, it is worth it for the opportunity to experience the job.

Tip #3: LinkedIn is your friend

LinkedIn is one of the most important social media platforms today. LinkedIn has allowed me to connect with a wide span of people who are high up in their role at companies that I am interested in. It never hurts to send them a quick message asking them for tips or if there are any positions available that they could keep you informed of. I cannot tell you how many connections I now have from people who are willing to look over my resume and help me excel when it comes to job searching. Connection is a big part of this industry, and LinkedIn has made it so much simpler! There are always workshops throughout the semester, so if you’re ready to make yourself look professional and build your “brand” — yourself — then I strongly encourage you attend one of these workshops.

Tip #4: Utilize your social media abilities

In the world we live in now, social media plays a large role in how we communicate with one another. I think that getting ahead of the game and getting familiar with different platforms will help you in the long run. In interviews, I have been asked a number of times if I have ever used a certain social media platform. Sometimes, job requirements want you to be familiar with certain platforms. Take time out of your busy schedule to play around with InDesign, to scroll through Instagram and practice scheduling on HootSuite so when your employer asks you if you’ve ever used one of these platforms to promote a message, you can honestly say you have.

Tip #5: The Career Placement Office is a Safe Place

I could not tell you where I would be without this office. I love bragging about how helpful the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communication’s Career Placement Office is when it comes to being a resource for all of its students. Without Bob Martin’s daily e-mails of new jobs looking for Penn State students ending up in my inbox, I would never have known of all of these opportunities. Their door is always open if you ever have a question for them about future careers and with resume help. They are so experienced and understand the advertising job-searching process very well, so do not hesitate to seek their guidance! All of the Penn State alumni that I have connected with on LinkedIn always give me the same tip: Talk to someone in the Career Placement Office to help you pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for. I, along with many others, could not thank them enough for their help and what they do. We are super fortunate!

Overall, you’re going to find your place in the advertising industry. I hope that my tips make you feel less anxious if you felt lost and needed some advice. Get ahead of the game and start selling yourself! There is so much opportunity around you here at Penn State, so I could not stress to you enough how important it is to apply yourself now, and find your niche. You never know where you’ll end up because of it.

What to Get a College Student for Christmas

No Internship_ No worries. (3).pngCat Simms, Account Associate

‘Tis the season to be jolly! It is officially November, which means that Christmas will be here before we know it. All of the stores have changed their main displays from pumpkins to ornaments, and in the upcoming days, Christmas music will play on every radio station. Trying to shop for a college student can be a difficult task, but here are some items you can’t go wrong with.

1. Personalized Coffee Mug 

What better way to keep your college student warm, cozy, and caffeinated than by giving them a personalized coffee mug! This gift is simple with a personal touch, and is sure to make your college student smile. Cost: $10-20

2. Fleece Throw Blanket 

On the topic of staying warm and cozy, a fleece throw blanket is sure to keep your college student warm on those cold, snowy nights. Plus, they’re super cozy to cuddle with while watching classic Christmas movies! Cost: Ranges from $5-30

3. A Netflix Subscription 

Every college student spends a lot of their time watching Netflix, but this amount of time doubles or even triples when the temperatures drop outside. Most college students have a Netflix Subscription, so they would be sure to appreciate any help paying for the next year of access. Cost: About $130

4. Fit Bit 

January is the most common time college students decide to start getting back in the gym. The perfect way to support them is to buy them a Fit Bit, which can track their heart rate, calories, steps and more. New year, new me! Cost: $125

5. Yankee Candles 

What better way to spread holiday cheer than filling your college student’s apartment with the smell of a classic Yankee Candle! Bonus points if you get one from the ‘Festive Fragrances’ section. Cost: $20-30

6. Amazon Echo Dot 

The Amazon Echo Dot functions as an alarm to wake your college student up in time for class, updates on the weather so they know if they need to bundle up to go outside, and allows them to make hands-free phone calls while they’re studying. Cost: $30

7. A Gift Card 

If you truly can’t decide what to get, a gift card is the way to go. Some safe stores to get the gift card from are Amazon, Target, Walmart or their favorite clothing store. Cost: Up to you!