Senior Blog Series: Carman Plank

By: Carman Plank

10 days. 10 days is all that is left of my college career. There is only 10 days before I walk gracefully (who am I kidding? I’ll probably trip) across that stage. And as these days have begun to dwindle down, I have realized just how hard it is going to be for me to say goodbye to this school, everything I have been involved in, and of course the plenty of people I have met.

As I go to close this chapter of my life, I must remember that with every goodbye comes lessons that have been learned along the way. Here are a few that I have learned:

College is a place to recreate yourself.

In high school, I had an amazing group of friends. However, outside of that group of friends, I was known as the “smart girl.” That’s all that most of my 2,000 student high school knew about me. They didn’t know my personality. They didn’t know my heart and soul. They only knew that I was good at taking tests and I got good grades. I wanted to change that when I got to college. I wanted to be known for the entire person that I am. Remember, that college is the place where you can recreate yourself. It’s the place where you can truly become a better person and show a new set of people what you are made of. Don’t lose your true self in the process, but you are able to create yourself.

 GET INVOLVED.

Anyone that knows me is aware that the one piece of advice that I always give people when they are freshmen is to GET INVOLVED. There is nothing that will teach you more in college than the experiences outside of the classroom, and inside of your organizations. Find something you are passionate about and run with it. It will help you in the long run.

College brings you lifetime friends.

You are here for four years. It’s inevitable that heartbreak, loss and struggle will ensue at some point. When it does, lean on those friends that you have built that bond with. The ones that will be there, no matter what. College will inevitably bring people into your life that will be around for you when it seems like the whole world is crashing down. Don’t let those people go.

Don’t take classes so seriously.

So before anyone gets any misconceptions about this one, I am not telling you to not try hard in your classes. I am simply saying that college isn’t all about classes. Through my four years, I have leaned just as much, if not more, from my experiences outside of the classroom as I have from the ones inside of it. Your life is not defined by what kind of grades you receive. And yes, if you are struggling in a class and having multiple mental breakdowns for it, it is okay: Cs really do get degrees.

I could go on for days about everything that I have learned these past four years at Ferris, but I don’t want to bore you. When I came here as a timid little freshman four years ago, I couldn’t imagine the sassy, strong person that I have become. I can’t thank my organizations, especially PRSSA, for everything that they have given me. Just know that Ferris will forever remain in your blood, as it will remain in mine. Ferris will always be home to me, because: Once a Bulldog. Always a Bulldog.

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Senior Blog Series: Ashley Bradstreet

By: Ashley Bradstreet

August 27, 2012 was not only my first experience with PRSSA, but also the day I was reassured coming to Ferris was the right decision.

Ashley

As I near the end of my third year of college, it’s hard to believe I only have one semester before it’s all over.   Initially, I wrote about some of my (self-proclaimed) profound and unique experiences.  However, my fellow PR seniors are sharing such thoughtful and insightful tips for our younger peers; I realized they say it way better than I can so instead I’m going to write:

The 19 things that go through your mind when trying to write about your college experience

-I’m going to sign up for the latest possible publishing date

-But I said I wasn’t going to procrastinate this semester

-Whatever, I’m busy this week

-I should read everyone else’s blog. It’s research, not cheating

-Gosh, why is everyone so good at writing?

-What happened to that blog I wrote in PREL341? (eww 341)

-Wow, that blog was terribly cliché and had so many passive sentences

– Maybe someone will switch publishing dates with me so I can just write it this weekend

-I should work in a paradigm shift. Wuddup PREL440

-(Google Search) How to write a blog?

-I don’t have a single creative bone in my body

-Initiate incubation

– I’ve been in the IRC for 3 hours and gotten nothing done.

-The Starbucks guy is handing out free samples, but he’s not looking at me.

-I could totally write a blog about how much I’ll miss chillin’ in the IRC

-Graduation is kind of sad

-Wait, why are I acting like I’m graduating?

-I’m not even a senior.

-Can I push my senior blog to December?

Unlike this blog, I took my time at Ferris rather seriously and looking back there are two, somewhat contradictory, pieces of advice I’d give:

  1. Work hard
  2. Don’t spend all weekend in FLITE.

Seek out opportunities and step out of your comfort zone, but keep it in perceptive and enjoy the moments you have. Sometimes, it feels like you have little control over what you have to do.  Thankfully, your work ethic and attitude is completely yours to determine.  Despite the importance of success and excellence, it’s critical to remember never take life or yourself too seriously.

sh

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Senior Blog Series: Kaitlyn Baase

kaitlynLately, I feel like every senior in the entire world has been super nostalgic talking about his or her experiences in college. So far, college has been the best experience of my life, and I want to make sure I remember it as that, not as me being sad because I’m about to leave. If you know me, you know that I like to (try) and be funny. So I tried to compile a list of super funny, yet really random thoughts I have had about college. I’m sure that the majority of #PRpeeps at Ferris have thought the same things ;)

  1. Am I really moving two hours away from home where I don’t know a single soul?!

Yes, Kaitlyn. You really are going to move that far away and know no one. It’s really scary (especially when you get to campus and find out you don’t have a roommate anymore), but you will survive. Just open your door in your dorm room and go to events. Life will be fine.

  1. What even is PR?

Did you know I picked my major out of a book? I had no idea what public relations was when I started college. But from the looks of it, it seems like I get to make blogs and paper airplanes in class, so I’ll stick with it. NOTE: I realize now that PR is way more than making paper airplanes in PREL 101, but that wouldn’t make a funny story, would it?

  1. You wish you had my PR buddy

My PR buddy I had freshman year was the best. She took me under her wing and made sure that I was adjusting comfortably to life at Ferris. I mean, the girl took me to Zumba every Tuesday and Thursday my freshman year and has talked me through EVERY SINGLE important life event, how much better can PR buddies get?! So shout out to Samantha Bankey: Thanks for making me the fearless human being I am today.

  1. I like PRSSA. I should get more involved

Getting involved in PRSSA was the best decision I’ve made throughout college. I love everything about PRSSA, from the meetings every Thursday to hanging out with my #PRpeeps. Thank you all for letting me talk for hours about PRSSA and putting up with my craziness during meetings!

  1. PREL 341: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

That class almost killed me. But I (barely) survived and learned so much about public relations. An hour ago, I just cranked out a press release for work in under 20 minutes. Thanks, PREL 341, for that one!

  1. Living in BR for a summer is the best thing I’ve ever done

I spent my last summer of college staying in Big Rapids and I highly recommend it to everyone. I got to ride my bike all over town, go tubing every weekend, and experience the pure beauty of Big Rapids when it is not overly infested with college students.

  1. Senior Year is kind of scary

It’s pretty horrifying when all of a sudden you are writing your senior blog for PRSSA, have your campaign due for PREL 455 in less than 24 hours, and are in the process of training someone to take over your position as PRSSA President. Where did the time go?! Why can’t I graduate NEXT year?!

  1. Finding a job is really scary

The moment where you realize you have to apply for a REAL job is kind of horrifying. It’s a weird feeling to realize that you will no longer spend your days at school, but working at a job. Trying to figure out where to begin can be extremely overwhelming. At the end of the day, I realized that you just have to breathe, remember that everything happens for a reason and never give up on the job hunt, no matter how stressful it may be.

  1. I’m graduating in three weeks. WHAT?!

This is the best/worst feeling in the entire world. I am so excited to graduate and see where my future is going to take me, but I am dreading the day I have to say goodbye to all of my friends, peers and classmates at Ferris State University. It seems like just yesterday my parents dropped me off at Vandercook Hall, and now I’m preparing to walk across the stage.

On an ending note, I have loved everything about my time at Ferris State University. Thank you to everyone for making these past four years the best time of my life! You are the reason the sun shines in my life.

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Senior Blog Series: Shelby Austin

By: Shelby Austin

I’m sitting at Biggby putting the final touches on my capstone campaign, writing my senior blog, preparing for my final PR presentation, and researching jobs. Where has the time gone?

Three short years ago, I started my college career as a music industry management major. Although I am thankful for the lifelong friends and experiences that MIM provided me with, I am also incredibly happy I discovered public relations through Dr. Bishop’s intro to PR course.

Unfortunately, my time in PRSSA was too short. Three semesters was not nearly enough time to spend with this incredible group of talented individuals.

The past year in PRSSA has been a year I will never forget. I had the opportunity to serve with five incredible girls on the executive board as Vice President of Internal Relations, organize several PRSSA “firsts,” and oversee an extremely hard working internal relations team.

It’s hard to believe that I have my final PR presentation on Wednesday and that I am attending senior send off as a senior next Thursday. It’s even harder to believe that in less than a month, I will walk across the stage to get my diploma with the other PR seniors that have become family in such a short time.

The thought of leaving Big Rapids makes me happier than one could imagine, but the thought of leaving my PRSSA family makes my heart heavy. I am eager to start the next chapter of my life, but I will miss hanging out in IRC 107 every Thursday, especially on ThurZadays.

Current PR students don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. At times, the program will push you to your limits but never underestimate yourself. Also, try not stress yourself out too much. Find the balance between being a Kyle Bergman and a Tarah Bourke.

I look forward to attending the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta with the chapter in November. The future of PRSSA is bright and I am eager to serve as a mentor to members and watch the chapter grow.

With that being said, shout out to Dr. Bishop, my fellow PR seniors, and coffee for helping me reach my full potential in PR!

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Senior Blog Series: Life Lessons I Learned Along The Way

By: Tarah Bourke

Tarah

Graduation is just around the corner and I could not be more excited for the next stage of my life. I do have to admit, though, I will miss my time at Ferris. This school has given me a lot- an excellent education, experience that has taught me even more beyond the classroom, mentors to guide me along the way, friends that have stolen my heart and memories that will last a lifetime. I’m sorry, I know it sounds cheesy, but I have truly loved my four years at Ferris.

I have learned a lot of life lessons along the way. All I can say to you younger PRSSA members is take advantage of what the seniors have to say. Learn from our mistakes and maybe what we managed to do right in our time here. You only have four years at Ferris State. Make sure they’re good ones.

Know when to relax.

This was something that I’m not sure I ever really mastered in college. I’m a nerd that really likes to be involved. All I have to say to you other nerds out there is that if you put in the hard work you will reap the rewards later. But, make sure you’re taking time out of your life to have a little fun too. You only get four years in college and you don’t want to only remember how stressed out you were.

Study abroad.

If I could go back, I would have studied abroad for an entire summer and not just four weeks. But even in that short amount of time, I cannot begin to tell you how much I grew as an individual. I learned to be independent, self-sufficient, appreciative of other cultures and see the world on a much larger scale. I know most people can’t afford it. Don’t worry, I couldn’t either- I used student loans. But, find a way and go experience what the rest of the world has to offer outside of Big Rapids.

Take advantage of every opportunity.

I have taken advantage of almost every opportunity that has come my way since starting at Ferris State as a freshman. Each and every experience, whether it was getting involved with an organization, taking on a new job or putting in the hours at an unpaid internship has given me invaluable life lessons and experience that I could not have attained in the classroom. Always consider what comes your way – you never know where those opportunities may lead you.

Find your passion.

Seizing opportunities leads me to my next point. Find whatever it is that you’re passionate about, and make it your career. If you don’t love what you do, then you’re not living. If you don’t know what it is you’re passionate about, then start taking advantage of every opportunity. I never dreamed that I would be going into nonprofit PR, but after my internship with Kids’ Food Basket I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I want to make a difference in someone’s life. That’s something that I’m passionate about. Now, go find yours.

Trust the journey.

If you’re close with me you know this is my life mantra. But it took me a long time to get here. We all want answers and we all want a plan. The unknown is scary. Graduation is scary. But, somewhere along the way you have to learn to trust that everything is going to work out and fall into place. Has it ever not before? So, if you don’t know what life has planned for you, that’s alright. Just trust the journey.

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How to Get the Most out of College

By: Kaitlyn ‘KP’ Patrick

Leadership, Leadership, Leadership. We hear about it all the time. It is something we see in others and it sometimes fires our own ambitions or it is something we take on naturally because it seems to be programmed into our brains. However, I feel both of those are true for myself.

As an aspiring PR busy-body, I am inspired by others’ passion and involvement. Those individuals make me become a more well-rounded leader because I am open to exploring different avenues. This has been recognized by my colleagues and it has inspired many others to become more involved. I naturally have taken on leadership roles since I was a freshman in college and it has truly shaped me into the young woman I am today. It has led to countless opportunities I never would have experienced if I didn’t expand my horizons. I am here to tell you, YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!

There is something for everyone: going Greek, playing an intramural/club sport, joining an organization that’s based off your major, or creating your own. Every university has a “student friendly” center that allows you to find these opportunities, which generally leads to networking opportunities. “

Network, Network, Network. This is another concept that is drilled into our heads that is vital in our area of expertise. These people [professionals, professors, bloggers, etc.] are right; GET MOTIVATED AND GET INVOLVED! Don’t know how? Let me break this down for you:

1. Do your research.
Universities have a hub of some sort that will have a collective database that holds all the student organizations. Look into them, read about them, Wikipedia them, contact the presidents, etc. Search what interest you may have and see if there is an organization that is compatible with them.

2. Attend campus events.
Attend an event and talk to the people that coordinated it. This will help you get a feel of what organization on campus do and if that is something that interests you. Read those campus flyers as you pass through the quad or the different collegiate buildings. They may have a student organization flyer that interests you. After all, that’s how I went Greek: I saw the recruitment flyer, wrote down the dates and thought “maybe this will help me meet people” and it did. (Side note: if you’re nervous, take a friend. They’re supportive and more than willing to go 99% of the time).

3. Step outside your comfort zone.
Everyone has one. Be outgoing, throw your smile and people, and introduce yourself. This is where those elevator speeches and thirty-second “self-sell” speeches come in handy. As you’re talking to those people that coordinated an event, ask when their student organization meetings are and go to them. Then ask yourself, “is this something I can invest my time in?” If so, stay!

4. “Love what you do”
Ferris’ entire PR program is built around this motto. We learn it, love it, breathe it and be it. If you love the organization you’re involved in it will take you places. You will gain experience, friendships and those networking opportunities. It will not feel like a chore or “just something to have on your resume”; it will truly be worth your while. Think of it as an investment.
For Ferris students, you can find more information via our Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services at www.ferris.edu/careerservices or check out your OrgSync by using your search bar.

Hope this helps you #PRpeeps and Bulldogs out there. Happy findings!

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FSU PRSSA Takes on Chicago

By: Katie Thornsberry

Last weekend, members of our PRSSA chapter headed to Chicago for a regional conference. The theme was “The Loop Chicago: Divergent” separating us into factions, like the movie, according to our interests with the types of PR industries we are interested in.

Regionals

FRIDAY:

Before the conference, members that had arrived in Chicago got separated into their factions and headed off on agency tours and a scavenger hunt in the windy city. Our chapter, along with other chapters in the region, either went to Fleishman-Hillard and Ketchum, Golin Global, or Comcast Sports Broadcasting Network. We all got to see into the agency side of PR (in pretty amazing firms if I may add) and ask professionals any questions we had. The scavenger hunt took us to some major tourist attractions in the city, including The Bean and Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.

At the end of Friday, we all headed to Edelman (another incredible firm) to participate in a case study and be judged by professionals on the staff there. They presented the case to rebrand Starbucks to get away from the girly, basic image, and appeal to more men and diverse people. We got into groups, brainstormed, worked with many people that we had just met for the first time and came up with some pretty great ideas.

SATURDAY:

The conference began with many incredible professionals in the public relations world speaking to us. The first panel we were presented was Advertising vs. PR. We heard professionals from different agencies and advertising firms give advice and answer questions. The main points I learned from this panel was that it’s more about understanding and working together than public relations and advertising “versing” each other. Also, Kathleen Henson, owner of Henson PR Consulting, brought up an amazing piece of advice that stuck with me: “Act like you can.” If you are hesitant to begin a new task, or don’t believe in yourself to do something, just act like you can do it. You’ll prove to yourself what you are capable of and grow as a professional and person.

For the remaining segments, we broke off into seminars of the different PR industries that interested us. First, we either listened to professionals from entertainment PR or fashion PR. For the next groups, it was either political or nonprofit. We all had a chance to discover the different sides of PR and form an idea of what we could see ourselves doing in the future.

Lastly, we all came back together to listen to Maureen Bausch, the CEO of the 2018 Super Bowl. We heard her story of how she started her PR career at the Mall of America before it opened and handled their crisis of the negative comments it was receiving. She helped to turn the negativity around and make it known as the major tourist attraction it is today. She touched on how to have brand protection and continue growth so things won’t get boring and sales won’t die down. She showed anything is possible when you work to achieve it and you may fulfill dreams you didn’t even know existed. She did begin as a fourth grade teacher after all, and now is the CEO of a major sporting event!

Overall, it was an amazing weekend exploring Chi-town, spending a little too much money on souvenirs, making new connections, learning more about the industries, and bonding with our PR peeps.  We all learned some great advice and have amazing memories to carry with us from this trip!

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