Tips for Landing Your Dream Internship

Melanie Richard, Account Associate

1. Make a standout resume specific to the position you are applying for

Your resume should be crafted perfectly to highlight experience that is relevant to tasks that are in the internship description. In order to get an interview, your resume should be able to speak to who you are without you being present. Make sure your resume has an objective section that states your goal and make sure that the goal adheres exactly to your dream internship description. Also, make sure you have multiple people proofread and review your resume. Many employers say they will not hire someone who sends a resume with a typo, even if they are an excellent candidate.

2. Dress for success

When going to an interview, it is important to dress professionally in order to make a lasting impression. Even if you know that the company’s dress code allows jeans, still come dressed in at least business casual clothes. Make sure you’re wearing dress pants and a blouse or a knee length dress and a nice pair of shoes. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed!

3. Ask questions in your interview

Before going to your interview, you should have researched the company and have pre-written questions to show your interest in the company! Show that you are confident, enthusiastic and determined to put your best foot forward. It also doesn’t hurt to ask the interviewer about their experience and their company–people love to talk about themselves.

4. Write a handwritten thank you note

After your interview, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and make sure to reaffirm your enthusiasm for the internship position. In this day and age, it seems that everything is electronic. Sending a written thank you note in the mail adds a personal touch that can’t be achieved through an email. It also shows that you are putting in extra effort and paying attention to detail, which are qualities that employers look for.

5. Accept your dream internship!

If you know that this position is the right fit for you and that it will further your career goals, then say yes! An internship will give you valuable “real world” experience that will not only enhance your resume, but will also shape you into a confident young professional.

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5 Easy Ways to Limit Distractions and Boost Your Focus

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Rachel Aul, Account Associate

As a busy college student, it can be hard to sit down and get right to work – especially with all the notifications and alerts present in today’s media age. Here are some tips and tricks that should help when it’s time to buckle down and get to work.

1. Set reasonable expectations for yourself

Writing a to-do list of every task that needs done for the entire week is going to feel too overwhelming and impossible to complete. Instead, set reachable goals and provide yourself with enough time to reach those goals.

2. Silence your phone

It’s hard to stay focused when your phone is buzzing with notifications. Consider turning your phone on silent, and placing it within walking distance from where you are working. That way, you will be less tempted to reach for it.

3. Stop multitasking

Research continues to prove that humans can only focus on one task at a time. Devote your entire attention to a specific task before moving on to another.

4. Grab a snack before you start

Preparing for your study time will allow you to lessen your distractions. Make yourself a healthy snack, pour yourself a cup of coffee and set up your work area. By the time you’re all set up, you’ll be ready to go.

5. Take short breaks

If you find yourself burning out, take a short break. Go for a walk, doodle or listen to some music. Be sure to set a timer for your break so you don’t spend too much time unfocused.

The Importance of Research and Data Analysis

No Internship_ No worries.

Liam Datwani, Account Associate

Almost every company around the world is advertising in some way. This means that there are millions of different messages being pushed onto audiences around the world via TV, radio, paper, posters, social media, internet, and more. This huge amount of clutter has come to define the advertising and public relations industry. So, the question becomes: how do you reach the audience you desire as accurately and impactful as possible? This is where research and data analysis comes in.

Many individuals inside and outside of the advertising industry do not understand the importance of research and data for insights. Beyond the historiographical research into the companies and competitors, deeper research into consumer attitudes, values, and activities are extremely important. There are entire books dedicated to this topic, including the Advertising Education Foundations book. Ironically, the clutter of the advertising marketplace is perfect for collecting data and research into this field. There are many different measurements and tracking programs on the internet that can be used to collect data and research consumers to be more accurate.

This is the main reason that companies like Facebook and Google are secretive about their data collection- because it is sold to a number of different clients including advertisers. However, buying the data is not always necessary. A number of studies have found that social media has allowed companies to simply talk with clients and understand their value systems more easily. In fact, my friends and I have used social media to do surveys and interviews into the attitudes of different consumers. Along with the traditional tracking of product sales and the historiographical research into companies, social media research refines the consumer model.

Advertising is extremely complicated at times. It requires a bit of creativity, a bit of practicality, a bit of finance, and a bit of luck. The advertisers have to always be looking into things and trying to understand the consumer as much as they understand the products they are going to sell.

5 Snacks To Help Your Brain While Studying

brain fuel

Joey Nocera, Account Associate 

Being a college student can stress and exhaust the body. No matter what school, students can relate to staying up late to study for that big exam or staring at a computer for hours trying to finish a paper.

College students’ brains are constantly firing on all cylinders when learning new information. Students must remember the importance of taking care of their bodies just as much as caring about submitting that assignment before the due date.

Being physically active throughout the school day, getting enough of sleep every night and having three meals a day are essential for college students. These strategies help feed our body with the nutrients and energy needed to get through each day. And, it’s even more important to take care of the brain.

Research conducted by College America uncovered a number of ideal snack foods that help fuel the brain. These snacks are sure to give college students the “brain blast” needed to get through a long day filled with classes and studying.

1. Blueberries

Whether you like them frozen or fresh off the plant, blueberries are one of the best foods to fuel the brain. Known as a superfood, blueberries are filled with antioxidants that reduce inflammation, which is proven to advance brain degeneration.  

2. Avocados

Avocados provide the brain with a number of nutrients that keep the brain healthy and working efficiently. Rich in potassium, vitamin E and vitamin K, avocados lower the risk of having a stroke. In addition, avocados improve blood flow to the brain with the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

3. Eggs

A perfect way to start the morning, eggs are one of the best types of brain food. The yolk is rich in choline which helps strengthen the visual and verbal memory parts of the brain. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start the day off with some eggs and a side of avocado toast, giving the brain the power it needs to get through the day.    

4. Walnuts & Almonds

As strong source of vitamin E and omega 3, nuts are especially helpful in maintaining the brain and nervous system functions. The nutrients in nuts can even help prevent types of memory loss and cognitive decline.

5. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains nutrients such as cacao, iron, magnesium, and polyphenols. Not only are these nutrients filled with antioxidants, they also help blood flow to the brain. Though it may not be a world-famous Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, types of dark chocolate are considered to be one of the best types of brain food.

Next time you have a big exam to study for or a paper to write, consider eating these foods above!

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4 Resume Essentials That Will Help You Land Your Dream Job

Resume Rescue

Joana Pinzon-Coimbra, Account Executive

Resumes showcase a lot about who you are as an individual, and especially an employee. When writing a resume, you should think of it as a marketing tool to pitch yourself to potential employers. It’s a great way to “brag” about your skills and accomplishments. The point of a resume is to demonstrate your capabilities and show employers what makes you stand out from the rest of the applicants. When composting your resume, make sure to consider these essentials:

1. Use Action-oriented Language

Skills and achievements are best highlighted in a parallel structure. Action verbs and phrases should be included to present yourself as a “doer.” Make sure to avoid passive writing. Some examples of good action words are –– informed, developed, adapted, assisted, etc.

2. Include Transferable Skills

Employers look for someone with both technical/hard skills and soft skills. Soft skills include strong communication, adaptability and flexibility, work ethic, and more. These abilities can be used from one job to another and can make or break your chances of landing that position you want.

3. Showcase Your Strengths

Here’s your chance to shine! However, you need to make sure you don’t overdo it. Make sure to prioritize your advantages and qualifications. What have you done that has given you valuable experience that would help you be a great asset to any company? Any club involvements? Leadership positions? Internships or co-ops? Include all of that information in the sections that highlight your experience. But remember to keep it all in moderation. Your qualifications should be relevant to the job applied for so it all makes sense to the employer.

4. Visually Appealing

There are many resume templates to choose from. When writing your own, allow yourself to use formatting strategies that highlight rather clutter. Be consistent with the the font, sizes, capitalization, etc. Make sure the margins look appropriate and organized for the layout of your resume. The last thing to do is to print it out and confirm that everything looks the way you want it to. Printing the resume out and handing it to an employer, along with your cover letter, is the best way to guarantee that him/her will see it and consider you as an applicant. Although companies are now accepting electronically downloaded resumes, it still shows importance and prioritization when you go above and beyond expectations.

The 3 Keys to a Great Elevator Pitch

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Hannah Moran-Funwela, Account Executive

Interviewing season and networking events are upon us – and you never know when and where you’ll run into that perfect networking connection. So, having an elevator pitch in your arsenal is never a bad thing.

The perfect elevator pitch is composed of three parts:

  1. Who You Are

Are you a student or a recent grad? Is graduation steadily approaching or do you have time to spare? Is your goal an internship or full-time employment? Establishing these facts upfront is key, it will allow recruiters or networking connections know exactly where you stand.

  1. What You Bring to the Table

Your experiences have allowed you to hone your skills in your chosen field – but you need to convey that to a prospective employer in a short and concise manner. Get your foot in the door and save the detailed experience examples for the interview. Pick out key tasks you’ve done in your work that make you stand out, you excelled in or you thoroughly enjoyed! These are a good way for the receiver of your pitch to understand your strengths and interests.

  1. What Makes You Unique

The job market is a competitive one where standing out is a must – what makes you stand apart from the crowd? Find your unique selling point and capitalize on it. Your minor or favorite club may be the difference from you landing that interview or not. Use what makes you, you to your advantage.

4 Easy Steps to Help You Master Your Interview

4 Easy Steps to Help You Master Your Interview

By Kristin Carbone, Account Executive

Every interview is different and nerves build up, but it is important to go in feeling prepared and ready to put your all into it. Here are some tips to help you prepare for that big interview:

1. ) Research the company: Get on google and search the company. Read the mission statement, stalk your interviewer on LinkedIn and find those unique factors that make you want to spend your time there. It will help you become familiar with the practices of the company and you will be all the more knowledgeable!

2.) Rehearse sample questions: Rehearse, but don’t sound scripted. Grab your friends, call your parents and ask someone to go over questions with you. It is imperative to practice and have a general idea of what you may be asked. Go over the basic questions that everyone gets asked and don’t panic when one comes your way that you hadn’t prepped for – it’s all about being able to remain calm, cool and collected.

3.) Pick out your outfit: Make sure your clothes fit you, are clean, wrinkle-free and presentable. You want to make a good impression on your interviewer and look your best!

4.) Be yourself: Interviewing can be a grueling process and it is important that you remember to be yourself.

Bulking up the Resume – Without the Internship

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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.

Magazine Writing

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.

 

Audience Targeting in The Digital Age

1stparty-1080x628By 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.”

Sources:

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

 

By: Max Campbell, Account Executive

With my summer internship coming to a close in the next two weeks, I have had some time to reflect on the past year and how I ended up at a company that was nearly a perfect fit for me. To say the path here was easy or stress-free would be a bold-faced lie, but I can’t say I didn’t learn some things along the way that greatly benefited me for the future. With summer coming to an end, the job search is likely the last thing on student’s minds, but time flies at school and there is never a bad time to start looking ahead. Here are five tips to provide some guidance for rising sophomores and juniors who will be in the same position I was in a year ago.

There is never a bad time to start searching. When looking for jobs it doesn’t hurt to apply to as many as you possibly can. That means starting early. I dedicated about 15-20 minutes a day in the fall semester doing research on jobs and internships and applying to many as well. Even if you get the classic “Sorry, we are only looking to hire for the winter,” the worst thing you did was make a potential contact for a few months down the road.

Seek any and all guidance. It never hurts to ask for help. Whether it is from an older friend, a parent, a teacher, people are happy to lend a few minutes to give advice. No one is truly an expert on the job search, but getting many perspectives on a daunting task like finding a summer internship is extremely beneficial.

LinkedIn is your friend.When I started my job search I had no idea where to even look for internships. By using LinkedIn I was able to not only search for jobs anywhere, I was able to find people in advertising and set up calls for advice on how to go about the job search.

Be persistent. If you get into contact with a person from a company, do not be afraid to reach out to them with questions. You may feel as though you are being annoying, but most people will understand your position and will be willing to help. Don’t go overboard, but checking in once every month or two doesn’t hurt.

Never turn down an interview. You may apply to jobs and realize it is not the best situation for yourself. This doesn’t mean you should turn down an interview if given a chance. You may find out they have a different position open, or you may get helpful advice. The people interviewing you are giving you their time and attention, so having a conversation is worthwhile.

The job search is stressful, but by using these tips can help it feel less daunting. As for myself, I’ll be applying these as I search for a full-time position this year.

 

By Kendra Paro, Director of Business Affairs

Trying to equate past work experience to working in “corporate America” seemed like a daunting task. Previously, I had only worked jobs dealing with children and had no office experience –I had no idea how to navigate my way around a fortune 200 company for a whole summer. Here are a few things I’ve learned throughout my time at a big company:

Ask a lot of questions. In meetings, to your coworkers, in any situation you can, ask questions. It shows that you’re paying attention, eager to learn more and it helps you understand the way things at the company work.

Bring a pen and paper! If you don’t already, always keep a notebook in tow and write down as much as you can. You can reference something someone said, write down questions to ask later and keep yourself more organized. Try to take notes in a respectful way when someone is telling you something, but be sure to take notes that you’ll be able to understand later (or why take them at all?)

Build relationships. Just simply talking to other employees and finding things in common can go a long way. If you’re searching for a full-time position when you’re an intern, you want as many people as possible to vouch for you if warranted–even if it’s just to say that you’re an enjoyable person to be work with. Even if you do a great job and get amazing work done, it won’t matter unless the people you work with like and remember you.

Work hard. Even if in the end you did something wrong but it was noticed that you worked as hard as you could to get there, it will look positive. Don’t be on your phone throughout the day and don’t slack on your duties. People notice when you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be, and one bad interaction can last.

Fake it ‘til you make it. Let’s face it–in every job, there are going to be times when you have no idea what’s going on. I had many instances when meeting with high level employees or attending important meetings where clear expectations were not readily laid out. By simply observing people around you and acting like you know what you are doing, it can help others take you seriously as a professional instead of just an intern.

When you’re in a new environment surrounding by new people, it can be tough to navigate situations perfectly. Being in a big office as an intern might seem like you’re the lowest on the totem pole (which is true), but it’s not the worst thing in the world. Being an intern is a great excuse to not know what’s going on—and that’s totally okay. Use your status as an intern to learn as much as you can, ask hundreds of questions and be a little clueless at times.

By Sara Salter, Director of Consulting

This year is turning out to be a bust for many summer festivals. Karoondinha, a Centre Hall first-year festival slated to have many big names like Chance the Rapper, Paramore and John Legend, has been added to the list of unsuccessful festivals that have caught the attention of news outlets recently. A few months ago, we all witnessed the disaster that was Fyre Festival, as well as the cancelation of Canada’s Pemberton festival last month. Karoondinha, looking to be held late July at Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park, caused a PR storm when then they took down the festival’s website and deleted their Twitter account in late June.

The festival had lots of promise–co-founders Paul and Kaleena Rallis went to great lengths to ensure that the festival had an impressive lineup and ample marketing by hiring four different agencies to get the job done. So, what went wrong? It all comes down to low ticket sales and high costs.

Ticket sales were estimated to exceed 25,000 but drastically fell short where Rallis suggested they should have projected for 8,000 instead. It’s easy to see that this misstep in addition to the budget for marketing, nearly 20,000 per agency, as well as the cost to pay for the featured artists spelled doom for Karoondinha.

Crisis often brings out a brand’s true colors and from a PR standpoint that can make or break a consumer’s loyalty and prevent them from ever coming back. For a brand in its infancy, this was a blow to Karoondinha’s reputation. In the crises spectrum, the founders handled things decently as they collaborated with Eventbrite to refund everyone’s ticket purchases, apologized, and offered complete transparency when interviewed. They remained hopeful that maybe Karoondinha is just postponed – until when is still a mystery. Either way, it remains as a reminder that having big names doesn’t guarantee a festival’s success but rather a sustainable business model and proper PR management can make all the difference.