By Maddi Price, Account Associate
From the time we enter college, sometimes even before, we are expected to build a resume colored with a variety of experiences. But, sometimes things don’t go as planned and we find ourselves farther into our college career than we’d like without that internship experience.
Lucky for Penn State students, you can gain the experience you need to fill the gaps in your resume in ways other than an internship. This includes taking more communications-focused classes that actually help you take a step forward and better your career.
Here are some of my class recommendations!
Intro to Graphic Design
This class is a great way to learn basic skills in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. You will build a foundation to work with in the future and depending on your instructor, you’ll create pieces to start to build a portfolio to display your array of skills to a potential future employer.
Digital Media Trends
What you learn in this class is important to include during an interview, whether it be for an internship or a full-time job. This class allows you to get your Google Analytics certification for free and teaches the concepts behind Google Analytics, giving you a deeper understanding of one of the primary methods of tracking communications campaign success.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
This class is the follow up to Digital Media Trends and goes more in-depth on tracking online progress of a campaign, specifically in the realm of search engines like Google. The course provides in-depth experience with the largest online advertising platform—Google Adwords.
You will participate in a firm-based project that gives you the same experience of business consulting for a future advertising job.
Digital Public Relations
This class gives you multiple experiences to use on your resume. The content focuses on non-paid digital activities, most importantly social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+, and how these activities can be successfully integrated into a communications campaign.
First of all, you become Hootsuite certified, an online platform for scheduling social media posts. You also complete the Twitter Flight School, Twitter’s free online education program.
This class provides students real-world experience with a project in which you create and/or maintain a social media site of some kind and create an analysis of successes and downfalls throughout the process.
This class is very helpful if you have no experience in the world of magazines but think you may want to work for one in the future. The class teaches you how to freelance. You build a website, if you don’t already have one, and create posts to add to it. You pitch stories to real editors to try to have your work published, and if it works, you have published pieces to add to your portfolio. I would highly advise this class for students that know they won’t have an internship but need to continue working on a portfolio or a resume.
If many of the above classes seem to be of interest to you, I would advise adding the Digital Media Trends and Analytics, Minor to your Penn State degree. For more information on the classes, visit the Penn State Undergraduate Bulletin at bulletins.psu.edu.
By Lara Good
For a long time people have been concerned about how the digital platforms and tools reduce our personal privacy. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, are one key contributor to this.
We are the ones who share our information with Facebook because we want it to know us and we want our friends to know us. All of this information makes Facebook a powerful tool for brands to use to reach us. Advertisers on Facebook have the unique ability to target audiences based on all the known information we give them, and sometimes more.
Using targeting, brands and businesses make sure their messages are reaching the most valuable audience for them. The most common type of targeting that brands use is what Facebook business calls “core audiences.” These core audiences are described by their demographics (age, gender, relationship status, education etc.), locations, interests and even trackable behaviors (like purchases and device usage). This gives brands a great power to engage the “right” audience.
It is not just about privacy anymore; there is now a new part of the debate. There is controversy over how targeting is being used to exclude certain groups from specific brand messages.
A recent incident, Facebook Business had job ads that were instructed to only target male users. This has been described as gender discrimination. Targeting such as this can help keep women out of traditionally male dominated fields. Gender discrimination is only the beginning of the issue. Age is another piece of information that could be used to exclude and discriminate people.
The Lesson: There is nothing inherently wrong with targeting and many consumers appreciate having messages that are relevant to them. However, as marketers we need to be aware of the implications of our actions and our messages; just because a medium has a capability, it does not mean that we can ethically use it in every case. We have to be sure that with the rise of more powerful communication tools we are using these tools ethically. In the digital age, often times regulation has to play catch up, and if your brand is not careful it could become the example of “what not to do.”
Vanian, J. (2018, September 18). ACLU and Labor Group Allege Facebook’s Ad Targeting Discriminates By Gender. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from http://fortune.com/2018/09/18/facebook-gender-discrimination-aclu-ads/
Tobin, A., & Merrill, J. B. (2018, September 21). How some companies’ ads on Facebook exclude women applicants. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from https://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2018/09/facebook_ads_target_men.html