It’s Common Sense… Graduate with Experience!

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At some point, every college student is faced with the existential realization that their time at UNCW will end and they will have to go into “the real world.” One of the most common problems graduates run into is finding a job without experience. It’s a never-ending cycle: you need experience to get a job and you need a job to get experience. Thankfully, there are several things you can do while you are still in college to get the experience you need to snag a job straight out of college.

Get an Internship

Taking an internship is one of the best things I ever did at UNCW. My internships encouraged me to pursue a career in Integrated Marketing Communication. Through my internships, I gained valuable experience and had the chance to learn what skills were in demand and what I should work on before I entered the job market. If you have a chance, try to get multiple internships while you are still a student. Seawork is always full opportunities. I got my first internship during my first semester of college. Since then, I have had two other internships and will graduate this year with over four years of experience in my field.

An internship is a great way to gain experience while connecting with potential employers. According to a 2016 report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), internship experiences significantly increase a student’s chance of being offered a job after college and receiving a higher starting salary. In addition, 46% of students who participated in an internship received a job offer.

Enroll in an Applied Learning Class

When it comes to experience, you couldn’t have picked a better school. UNCW places a strong emphasis on connecting its students with applied learning opportunities. Applied learning is the chance to take the theories, ideas, and skills one learns in the classroom and apply it to real life situations. Most upper-level communication studies courses place an emphasis on applied learning. For example, our IMC II class is helping UNCW research the impact crises have on its brand image. Experiences like these are great for your resume and provide valuable experience that is sure to impress employers.

Learn Something New

As communication studies majors, we are taught to be lifelong learners. The job market is constantly shifting and employers are always looking for new sets of skills. Learning something new can make you much more marketable in the job market. Instead of turning on Parks and Recreation or The Office, spend some time learning about SEO, Analytics, Facebook Ads, or other skills that are relevant to your field. Aren’t sure what to look for? Searching for jobs online is a great way to learn which skills are in demand and what you should be working on.

Don’t Stress

As a student, the idea of preparing to get a job can sometimes seem overwhelming. You may feel like you’ll never have enough skills or experience to achieve success. My advice is to take things one step at a time. Go on Seawork and apply for an internship, sign up for an upper-level communication studies class, look at WordPress tutorials on your phone between classes, or sign up for a (super inexpensive) Adwords or Analytics certification class at CIE. No matter what you do, there’s a job that can use your skills. Keep on learning and growing. You got this.

Photo from Memeful.com

-K. Layne Smith

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“Irmagerd!”

In case the hurricane comes or it doesn’t or it does or it doesn’t…here are some suggested ways you can be prepared according to credible social media sources such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

1)    First of all, check to see where the predictions are currently standing and how you should take precautions.

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2)    Whatever you do, DO NOT forget your charger if you do need to evacuate the area.

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3)    Make sure you tie your house down before you leave, because that is extremely important.

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4) If you are are not evacuating try to put some of your household appliances to use. Throw ice in your washer before the storm and use it as a cooler! The water drains out anyway, so that’s actually not a bad idea! Yes, thank you Pinterest. 

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5)  Place important documents, pictures, and books into your dishwasher to make sure they stay safe and dry.

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I think you are ready now! You know exactly where the storm is headed, you have your charger, hopefully you’re gathering tools to tie your house down, drying out your dishwasher, and loading your washer with ice and drinks! You have nothing to stress about. Just sit back and relax, right?

If you have noticed a pattern with some of the artifacts that have been presented on how you can prepare – it could be that you have seen them before, or that they are all a little humorous, but most importantly they all share a common factor being that they are all memes.

In just a short about of time with the announcement of the hurricanes, several memes have been surfacing the internet and have gone viral.

What makes a meme go viral?

Memes have become a cultural trend and something that have become a part of our popular culture over the several years. Most of the time they are humorous, it’s a visual (and pictures are worth a thousand words), and it’s almost like an inside joke. For example:

4824576Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 6.57.00 PMEasily the girl on most “Ermagerd” memes quickly became the girl who was posted on all of the “Irma Gerd” memes. If you didn’t know who she was you from her popularity on previously memes you may have thought they were still funny but not known who this girl was and why her face was the chosen one. I think it can now be declared the world’s favorite meme and hashtag paired with this storm.

There is a negative side to memes. Since they are such a huge part of our culture and entertainment they could be used as a method of persuasion. Although we want them to be harmless, as Dr. Deanna D sellnow stated at the Integrated Marketing Communication Conference, “some entertainments initial purpose was not made to be persuasive however because of that it could potentially be even more persuasive and compelling because we aren’t anticipating persuasion”. That seems to be a pattern with memes, as they are mostly made to be humorous some do become reality.

An example of this is with the memes dedicating their attention to the tracks of the hurricanes. As frustrating as it may be to not know where the hurricane could be headed it is better to be informed of what we do know as soon as possible, rather than waiting until is it 100% accurate and we have the potential of it being too late. After all, communication is key amiright? 

In all seriousness, stay safe during this storm and check credible news sources on how to prepare for the storm! But wait, there’s more….

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-Josie Edwards

 

Taking the Leap Proved to be Worth It

It’s safe to say that before I came to UNCW and became a communication studies major, I was living with my eyes closed. It’s hard to put into words just how thankful I am that I decided to attend UNCW, but I’ll give it my best shot.

I will start with the university as a whole.

Not only is it located in a beautiful place geographically, just look at the campus, but it is filled with people who are dedicated to getting the most out of every student. Transferring from a smaller school, I have to admit I was worried at first about becoming just another number lost in the crowd. I would soon realize that this was far from the case.

UNCW proved to be the perfect place to learn and grow

Not only did I feel right at home here, but my belief that the education I was going to receive would be superior, was confirmed.

As a transfer student going from already being a COM major, to PCOM, and forced to take public speaking, I was not exactly thrilled about my decision to attend UNCW my first semester.

Those initial feelings of doubt could not be farther from how I feel now.

After getting through the gateway courses, I started to realize how much being a COM major at UNCW had to offer. Taking courses outside of my focus such as interracial communication and political communication, combined with courses such as IMC I and Advertising II, helped me gain a broader perspective of the world and a better understanding of how everything is connected.

In addition to providing me with this broader and better understanding of the world, it also made me think more critically about it.

Everything is not always as it appears and it is important to understand how to think for yourself. Every course I have taken here has addressed this mindset, and is something that UNCW and the COM department should take great pride in.

Not every university prepares students equally

As a-soon-to be graduate from UNCW, I am more prepared to start my career than I could have ever imagined. I will be forever grateful for this, but I am more grateful for how prepared I will be to better myself in all aspects of my life.

My eyes are now open, and I will do my best to understand all I see.

Brian Clifford ’17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s to Being Thankful My Plan A Sucked.

My last blog post on here, wow. I can’t believe it’s over.

Alright, here we go-

I didn’t plan on going to UNCW; it just wasn’t my ‘Plan A’.

I didn’t plan on anything happening the way it did. But you know, life is funny like that.

My whole life, I had always lived by the beach. But my freshmen year of college at ECU made me feel completely landlocked, lost, and not at all satisfied with tailgates and purple/gold color coordination. The pirate’s life was in fact not for me. I was miserable, and sooo not into skipping class for football.

I didn’t have a Plan B, so I just went for it, and followed my way back to the coast and transferred.

I never really found my fit in the land of purple and gold. But when I came to UNCW, it felt like home. And the funniest thing about it? I’m here because my ‘Plan A’ failed miserably. I fell in love with my school, my major, and my new found home. And I was completely okay with skipping class for the beach.

I’ve taken in all that I can from the journey that has been the past 3 years. And I learned so much. I learned what a COM major at UNCW should learn, but I also learned 2 crucial life lessons from my college experience:

  1. Your plans will potentially suck and fail.
  2. Your failed plans will bring you to exactly where you need to be.

So here I am, right where I need to be, forever thankful that my ‘Plan A’ sucked.

UNCW will be my alma mater, and Wilmington will continue to be the place I call home. My personal and academic life plans failed for the better, and it all worked out just fine. I wish I could hug the whole university and all its’ students, faculty, and buildings because I will truly miss the Dub Life.

I hope those of you reading this take your time at UNCW and in Wilmington. It’s a beautiful little place in a wonderful city. I hope you don’t get discouraged when your plans fail you. Actually, you should plan for all of your plans to fail, even the most secure ones. And if your plan fails? Just ride the wave of it until you reach the shore you’re destined to land at.

It’ll be a hell of a ride, I promise.

Kayla Millie ’17

 

 

Tips for Your Linkedin Profile

Applying for jobs has many young adults worried. There are ways, however, to boost your chances of landing that job. Creating a Linkedin Profile is one way to show your professionalism and is a good way to network with countless other people, but you are probably thinking that many people have these profiles. How can you make yours stand out? We have some tips that you can use when crafting your profile.1217linkedin

  1. Join as Many Groups as You Can

Linkedin allows it users to connect with others and start groups. It is important to be in groups because the more groups you are in the more likely you will be found when searched by an employer. Be sure to only join groups that are relevant to the jobs you want to get. The more groups you are a part of the more times your name your will appear in front of someone looking to hire. You can really make yourself standout by leading a group too.

  1. Be Very Descriptive in Your Summary

The more descriptive you are in your summary the better your chances will be in attracting attention to your profile. This space allows you to tell what separates you from your peers. It is a good resource to share your story. Also, be sure to include many keywords in the “speciality” section so that when searched, your profile will show up sooner.  blog-cover-1024x587

3. Keep it Professional

Your Linkedin profile should be completely different than your Facebook profile. Linkedin is not a place to chat with your friends or create a profile to see how many shares or likes it can get. It is about networking and giving companies an online representation of who you are. Your profile needs to be organized. If your profile is a mess then whoever is looking at your page will assume that you are a mess too.

  1. Show off Your Worklinkedin2

Linkedin gives its users the opportunity to attach files or link websites in the profile. It is important to utilize this so that employers have a direct link to see the work you have done. Do not be afraid to show off your work and be proud of what you have done. Remember confidence is key. Make your profile a confident one.  

  1. Keep it as Updated as Possible

Your Linkedin profile should not be outdated. A profile is not created and then left to be alone. It should be in motion and kept up to date. Your profile needs to constantly be updated so that employers see all your experience. If you leave important information out then they will have no way of knowing of it. They can only see what you put out there. Adding that extra information could mean the difference between getting hired or getting overlooked. If you have experience then be sure to let them know. Do not limit yourself.

Let us know what you think of our tips and be sure to comment below if you have any of your own that you would like to share!

-Austin, Jonathan, & Kaela

Photo Sources

 http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/images/exclusive/1217linkedin.jpg

Seven Years of College Down the Drain

College. That place where mannequins come crashing through Friday night frat houses, and beer don’t cost nothing. Well, I may be thinking of Animal House, but college is like that, right? While my college experience was one of a kind, I cannot say that I have ever stolen a rump roast from the corner Piggly Wiggly. Or did I?

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It started like this, graduated high school with honors, got accepted into a quaint Christian college, and the rest is history. For most maybe, but not for me. While I pursued mechanical engineering and swam for the school swim team, I never felt like I was home. A semester in, I decided that college just was not for me, so I quit school to work night shift at Amazon. It was a smart plan until about a month in I realized that manual labor did not sound appeasing for the rest of my life. Jumping back into the college plan, I took some classes at the local community college to work my way back into higher education. After 3 semesters, I transferred to a place called UNCW. Although it was not my first choice at the time (#1 PSU), I welcomed the university with open arms.

Two and a half years later, and I cannot believe that I am about to leave my home away from home. Having such a negative experience starting college, I had given up on finding the school that I could call my own.  Somehow, whether it was within my major, or the various student groups I became involved with, I now dread the day when I have to leave this home of mine. This school has given me so many opportunities to improve and better my communication skills.

Looking forward I am excited to see where everything that I have learned, from my time at UNCW and within the COM major, will take me. Fingers crossed I end up in the brewing or automotive industry.

Cheers to us, the class of 2015!

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-Joseph Hines

A Symbol of Hope or Shopping?

Whether it be the NFL, Yoplait’s pink lids, or local breast cancer benefit events, like UNCW Communication Studies Society’s Rock for a Cure this Friday night, the color pink is plastered all over the nation during the month of October. As it stands, the pink ribbon is a universal symbol representing the fight against breast cancer. Over the past few years some critics have emerged saying this beacon of hope has merely become an annual marketing campaign. Nancy Stordahl, a blogger for the Huffington Post, criticizes the campaign and in 2012 she composed a list of the ten things she felt were wrong with the pink ribbon.

You can find the full article here, but there are two points in particular she relates back to marketing that raise an interesting discussion. The first is that the pink ribbon is being used to sell stuff and has lost its original purpose, a purpose to unite this country and show our commitment to finding a cure. Today, marketers are using the pink ribbon to tie the cause to the products they are trying to sell. Stordalh even calls breast cancer the “shopping disease.” Customers are no longer buying just the product but they are now buying into the pink ribbon and what it has traditionally stood for. The typeology approach to IMC acknowledges that companies have products that look like another company’s products and services. However, it also points out that the market depends on common interests between themselves and the people who can help their company thrive. While the number of pink ribbon branded products on the market may be alarming, maybe marketers are giving consumers what they want – a deeper connection to a brand that allows them to make a contribution to something that has seemingly impacted them both.

The second point Stardahl makes is that marketers are selling the idea of “selling good will.” If the consumer purchases a product that will lead to a company’s contribution, the consumer views this purchase as their contribution to the cause. This tactic allows corporations and organizations to sell more products and increase profits while enhancing their corporate social responsibility at the same time. In turn, consumers are able to buy into the commodity culture that surrounds the pink ribbon. They become part of the fight and part of the cure all while donning their pink ribbon branded merchandise.

Next time you have the opportunity to join the fight, think local and try to avoid the marketing tactic of “selling good will” and supporting the “shopping disease.” If what critics say is true, and the pink ribbon has lost its symbolism for hope, strength and a unified commitment to a cure, is it ethical for marketers to continue using this symbol on their products? Let us know what you think about the national attention that is brought to the pink ribbon. Do you think it has become a marketing tactic or does it still representation of the fight to find cure?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-stordahl/breast-cancer-pink-ribbons_b_1951319.html