Success and motivation
Lists of advice's abound. My twitter feed devoted to strategic communication fills up daily with professionals sharing their five best tips to write a news release, practitioners recommending 10 ideal ways to engage followers on social media, or professors pushing forward 7 best approaches to a job interview.
Yet, rarely do I find a students perspective, a PR student, a communication major. So to palliate this weakness and to offer a fresh point of view, I have asked several of my past undergraduate students, all within a few months of graduating, to address the topics of success and motivation.
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Voila, their top 5.
1-Public relations = relationships
I invest in my relationships in spare time. Whether tweeting, sending cards or hello emails, I think you have to connect with people. And not from a place of "What internships do you have available?" But instead, what are you working on, telling me more about this and how did you get involved with XYZ.
You have to have a support system of people who want the best for you but more importantly, understand you at your core.
2-Focus on developing your knowledge
Ask questions. Ask the professor, ask the guest speakers, and especially ask the clients during the planning portion of the campaign. You will be noticed, and one question for a client could provide the answer that makes or breaks a campaign.
Stay current and do research. If you want to do communication for fashion, know fashion. Same for politics, business, or any other field.
I believe waking up early and really trying to stay on top of current events through various News outlets/ Twitter gives me an advantage to others who do not know what is going on in the world
3-A bit of RR never hurts: Rest and refocus
A lot of my fellow students feel the pressure to never slow down, but it's better to take some time every now and then instead of burning out. When I don't have time for a break and need to keep going, I try to focus on my long term goals (political communication in D.C.) and how the work I'm doing now will get me there. I have a sweatshirt that says, "A woman's place is in the House and the Senate." I wear that when I need an extra pick-me-up.
Hold sleep as a high priority, keep up with reading and note taking, attend class, make time for myself/ relax in the morning.
I find motivation in knowing I should always give 110% no matter how tired/ exhausted I am it always feels better knowing I gave it my all. If I get really frustrated, I just take a break and do something I enjoy to refocus (like cooking, exercising or watching an episode of my favorite tv show).
4-Brush aside your apprehension
Take (calculated) risks. Talk to people who may seem threatening due to their knowledge or status, apply for that internship even if you are doubtful about being selected, take a class that you wouldn't normally take.
I remind myself that starting is the hardest part. I focus and get it done.
5-Listen to Beyonc.
Im drawn to things that feature strong, successful, assertive females. I listen to Beyonce because she represents the epitome of success in the pop music industry. I watch the show Scandal, because it's characters are dedicated to their careers and stop at nothing to achieve success. I'm inspired by the movie The Devil Wears Prada because Miranda (Meryl Streep) is tough-as-nails and completely dedicated to her work."
Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication at the University of Louisville, recently presented her Spring students with a panel. Not an ensemble of professionals and practitioners from the industry, but students who had previously completed her class. This idea of mutual emulation from peers fits perfectly with the Millennial Generation and the ideas of building communities and groups.
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