Posts tagged job

The Hofstra PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference

By Jessica Avenia

Check out Jessica’s previous post about networking at the Hofstra PRSSA ‘Welcome to NY’ Mixer

We are constantly reminded about the importance of interning while at school and I agree; students should always look for opportunities to grow and better themselves professionally. I also believe students should be encouraged to join professional organizations just as much as they are encouraged to look for internships. Recently, I attended the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Regional Conference at Hofstra University, and I hope my experience will inspire students to find additional ways to be involved outside of the classroom, aside from getting an internship.

The PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference was an all-day event with the first workshop starting at 9:00 a.m. and the conference wrapping up around 5:00 p.m. To kick-off the weekend, the Welcome to New York Networking Mixer was well-attended the night prior. Several workshops were held throughout the day featuring panelists from various industries, including fashion, technology, entertainment, travel and tourism, international, nonprofit and more. There was definitely something there for everyone!

I chose to attend Live from NY! Entertainment PR in the City; Eat, Sleep and Travel: PR in the Food and Travel Industry; and Como se Dice PR? workshops. I was most excited about the travel PR workshop because I plan to work in the travel and tourism industry. I did, however, discover a new interest by attending the Como se Dice PR workshop. Despite being fluent in Spanish, it had never occurred to me to pursue a career in this fast-growing market, which shows how joining a professional organization and attending events like this one can help you define your interests and guide you towards the right career path.

All the panelists offered great insight on their industry, their own perspective on how to break in and many helpful PR tips. In addition to all the amazing panelists, the luncheon was accompanied by an encouraging keynote speech delivered by Edelman Vice President Ashley Chauvin. Mrs. Chauvin addressed the changing landscape of the PR industry, and stressed the idea that to be a great PR practitioner we must learn to be great storytellers—we must be aware of our surroundings and capture the moments that make a story connect with our audience.

Overall, my experience at the Hofstra PRSSA Regional Conference inspired me to work harder by meeting successful individuals who did more than just go to class when they were in my position. I’ve learned that it is important to stay connected and join professional groups that will support your career goals.

Dial ‘1’ for a Guide to Working the Phones

By Dan Schaefer

Riiiiiiing.

I stopped in my tracks and glared at the blinking device sitting to my left, its red, ominous light daring me to pick it up. It was silent for a moment. I wished the person on the other line realized they had dialed the wrong number and hung up.

Riiiiiiing.

Nope. The noise was no different to me than the classic sound of a haunting church bell from a horror movie.

I had received a very thorough, simple, and helpful training session on how to work the office phone system just hours earlier. Still, there’s a big difference between training and being thrown into a situation for the first time. A police officer’s first call. An actor’s first performance. An athlete’s first professional game. A public relations intern’s first time answering the office phone.

“Zimmerman/Edelson, this is Dan,” I whispered. “Yeah, is Robert available?” said the voice on the other end.

“Robert…Robert as in Robert Zimmerman, Robert?” I said, desperately hoping I hadn’t said the wrong name. I mean, in fairness to me, it was my first day at Zimmerman/Edelson, and the two founders first names were Robert and Ron. Pretty easy to mix-up.

“Yes…this is his father,” said the voice. “Please hold,” I answered.

I glanced over at Robert’s desk. Empty. Thinking back to my training, I had 30 seconds to get Robert on the phone. The clock was ticking, and knowing that someone was probably listening to some mundane hold music only added to the pressure. I mean nobody likes listening to that stuff.

After asking several people in the room where he was, I saw him through the window of the back office on what looked like was an important call. The door was shut and he had his back to the window. The idea of barging in on one of Robert Zimmerman’s important phone calls was not something I was hoping to do my first day. I somewhat expected someone to shout “Dead man walking!” as I nervously moved towards the door.

“Robert? Your father is on line one,” I said as I poked my head through the door. “I’m already on with him,” he answered as he moved the phone away from his face.

It took me a second to realize that in the half of a minute I was dealing with the call, it had already been taken care of. This gave me confidence.

For the rest of the day, I didn’t think of the phone like a time bomb. Rather, I looked at it as an opportunity to gain more experience. I found that in many cases the person on the other line needed something very simple.

I took messages for other employees and began to decipher their hand gestures when they were already on other calls. I transferred people to voicemail. I even went on the overhead intercom to announce someone was on the phone for an employee upstairs.

One of the first things I was taught at Zimmerman/Edelson was the fact that handling business through the phone in a professional and efficient way is key. Yet, I guarantee you will never see “How to Answer a Phone at your PR Internship” marked on any of your class syllabi as a topic of discussion. That’s because it’s just a small part of adjusting from being a student to an intern or even a professional, something I’ve just begun.

5 Tips to Ace Any Job Interview

By: Allie Giordano

1. Research the company before the interview. It’s so important to make sure you know the company’s core values and most important clients before you go into the interview.  Always be prepared to answer questions about the company. If you are not asked these questions, you can still refer to the interviewing company’s recent worjakek as a way to demonstrate your familiarity with the organization and your attention to detail.

2. Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview. There is no downside to being extra prepared. Maybe more than one person will be interviewing you, or perhaps the interviewer did not bother to print one out. It’s always better to go home with a stack of unused documents than to not have the one you need. Also: Make sure all papers are in a folder so they don’t get crumpled up.

3. Dress for success. In general, you should know where you’re applying to, and dress accordingly. You’re not going to dress the same for an interview with a financial institution as you would for one with a gardening organization, for example. But in any instance, it’s better to be overdressed then under dressed. Business casual is the way to go.

4. Arrive five to ten minutes early for the interview.  Always give yourself a little extra time in case your train is delayed or you can’t find the office right away.

5. Always have a question prepared to ask the person who interviews you. You will sound more engaged and interested if you ask a question about the company, particularly as it pertains to the position for which you are applying.