We’re Moving!

Hello #PRpeeps!

We, at Ferris State PRSSA, have some very exciting news to share with our blog readers: we’re moving!

With the launch of our new website, http://www.ferrisprssa.com, we have decided to move our blog so you can keep up with our latest updates in once place.

Even though we will no longer be posting on our WordPress account, it will still be available for our readers to look back at our previous blog posts. All of our blogs from now on will be posted on our new website.

We are very excited about the launch of our new website, and we can’t wait for everyone to see it. So, head on over to www.ferrisprssa.com to check it out!

Sincerely,

Ferris State PRSSA

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Greetings from Vail, CO: Ashley Bradstreet’s Summer Internship

Who: Ashley Bradstreet

What: Bravo! Vail Music Festival (six week music festival located in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado) Marketing / PR internship

When: Summer 2015

Where: Vail, Colorado (“Like no place on Earth”)

Why: Unlimited concert access, amazing organization and free housing

How: Google searching, previous internship experience, awesome PR program at Ferris

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I guess it would be appropriate to begin with how I ended up in Vail, CO (1,500 miles away from home) working for a classical music festival (without any classical music/ arts experience). My internship search was unique to say the least. From an all-inclusive trip to Las Vegas to phone interviews in each US time zone, my journey to find the perfect summer job was long but exciting.

My two rules for applying for internships were: (1) Not in Michigan (2) Real PR work (not making copies and coffee). Born and raised in West Michigan, I wanted a taste of something new and to challenge myself personally and professionally. A strategic resume, flawless cover letter, and multiple interviews filled with well-thought out (and rehearsed) answers were all in the recipe for landing this position. After riskily declining other opportunities, I finally decided Bravo! Vail Music Festival was where I wanted to be.

Upon arriving in Vail, Colo., my fellow interns and I noted two key points: the awe-inspiring view of the mountains and the passionate team at Bravo! Vail.  From the river running through our backyard to the mountain views in every direction, we are constantly surrounded by picturesque natural landscapes.

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The Bravo! staff was extremely welcoming and was well prepared for our arrival.

The office space, originally home to an architectural firm, is a breeding ground for synergy.  There is never a lacking of energy—maybe it’s the office dogs that keep us in high-spirits but it could also be the high ceilings, earth-tone colors, industrial doors or the open layout of the office.

I quickly learned I was the baby of the group. My fellow interns ranged from 23-31 and at 21 years old and the only one still in school, I was slightly intimidated. Nonetheless, I was excited to be immersed in the arts culture to not only grow professionally, but also increase my appreciation for the arts.

My daily work varies, but some of the main projects for the summer are: blog management, webpage updates, marketing material distribution, composing E-blasts, press clipping and research of the festivals economic impact.

Currently, we are in the thick of the season with long days and a lot of coffee, but watching the concerts at the GRFA at the end of the night reminds us why we do what we do.

Sending good vibes and love to my PR peeps!

Cheers,

Ashley

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4 Reasons Every PR Student Should Study Abroad

Yes, I said it. Every PR student should spend an extended period of time (more than 2 weeks) immersing themselves in a foreign culture.

I started college with study abroad already on my mind. After debating several destinations and playing with several course-plans, I ended up choosing to complete my concentration (12 credits) in the capital of España. After two wonderful months exploring Madrid, I am preparing to head hack to Michigan next week.

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I’ve grown so much as a person this summer. The benefits I received from my studying abroad outweigh any up-front sticker cost. The experiences I’ve had in Spain and the rest of Europe will help me become a better public relations pro and help me immensely in my (international) job search.

Before I left Ferris I had a lot of conversations with my fellow PRSSA members about study abroad. Many were interested but were on the fence about leaving home. My best piece of advice? DO IT. Big Rapids will be there when you come home. You won’t regret it.

Still not convinced?

  1. Study abroad forces you out of your comfort zone.

As future PR pros, we need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Culture shock is real and for some it’s very difficult to overcome. The food will be different, the pace of life will be different, and the language might even be different. You learn to adapt to all the changes and you learn to embrace some of them. The more open you are to new things, the more successful you’ll be in the PR industry.

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  1. Study abroad gives you the opportunity to create a global network.

How many times have you heard the word networking? Networking is crucial in our industry. Study abroad provides you with endless opportunities to make friends from around the world. You never know when your new relationships will come in handy, even if it’s just to crash on their couch in NYC or grab dinner in Portugal. Having a global network future/current professionals from around the globe will put you one step ahead of the competition.

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  1. Study abroad teaches you to go with the flow.

Que sera sera. What will be, will be. Those of you that know me know that I am a type A, busy body, who is always adding things to my planner. Not in Spain! The Spanish have a very slow paced, relaxed lifestyle. I have learned to love Spanish time. In the States I’m always 10 minutes early, here 5 minutes late is still considered early.

I am constantly getting lost and struggling through Spanish conversations but I’ve learned to see the beauty in the struggle. No pasa nada. As future PR pros, we’ve already accepted our stressful fate but study abroad teaches you effective ways to cope with that stress and manage difficult situations.

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  1. Study abroad introduces you to a new culture (and hopefully a new language)

When I was picking my study abroad destination, I knew I wanted to spend time in a culture that was drastically different from the USA. I also wanted one where I could work on my Spanish language skills. Madrid filled both of my requirements. I assumed I would be fine with the little Spanish I remembered because everyone knows English right? WRONG. Madrileños (people of Madrid) who speak English are few and far between. On the brightside, it gives me the opportunity to work on my Spanish 24/7. If there’s a language barrier, your communication skills will get better (or you’ll just get really good at Spanglish). Spainiards appreciate downtime, like siestas, and treasure their meal time. Shops in Madrid close at 3 on Sundays and local ones will shut down during the afternoon. Each little cultural difference has opened my eyes to other ways to do things. It’s made me more conscious of myself and the world around me.

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Bonus: Travel now because you’ll probably be too busy/broke/tied-down after you graduate.

I might not get another chance in my life to avoid my responsibilities and live on my own in the center of Spain for two months. There might not be another time in my life when the biggest decision is deciding whether to spend a solo weekend in Porto, Portugal or run with the bulls in Pamplona with a group of new friends.

Thanks student loans for making my dreams come true, I owe you.

Disclaimer: travel isn’t as glamorous as it looks on Pinterest but in the end that just makes you a stronger person (and a better future PR pro). I’ve had to overcome so many obstacles in the past month but each one has taught me a valuable lesson.

So with that being said, I encourage all of you to study abroad during your college career. Keep your concentration open or pick up a minor/certificate. It’s easier than you might think.

I hope I inspired the wanderlust in some of you.

Much love to all my PRPeeps. Shoutout to everyone on internship or starting their first job (looking at you Tarah). Keep up all the hardwork this summer. You are all making me #PRProud!

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Meet The E-Board Series: Jordan House, Vice President of Client Relations

Well hello there! My name is Jordan House, pretty easy to remember right? This year, I am the Vice President of Client Relations, and the CEO of PRSSA’s student-run public relations firm, Rapid PR. Taking a step back, let me give you a little information to get to know me better!

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I am the youngest child of four, with two older brothers and an older sister in between. My loving parents have known and crushed on each other since they were children, and dated while my father attended Ferris State College way back in 1976! I’d love to say that I chose Ferris because my father went there, and I knew it would be a great choice, but then I wouldn’t be telling the whole truth.

Let me elaborate! While in high school, I began dating this handsome young fellow that enjoyed playing sports, football especially, and boy was he good. He was a year older than me and was offered an impressive scholarship to play football at Ferris State University. Hmm, Ferris eh? Well, I supposed I could give it a try; small class sizes, friendly and welcoming campus, and involved organizations pertaining to all majors, and the love of my life went there? Sign me up!

Now, I wanted to be a veterinarian and play with puppies all day long since I was approximately seven years old. After taking all of my general science courses at once first semester freshman year, I learned that science was not my strong suit. A few career tests later, public relations sort of stood out to me and I decided to give it a shot. Man was that a good decision!

As the VP of Client Relations, I’ve got some big plans for our chapter, and some of those plans have already been set into motion. With the development of the new website under way, and our student-run firm, Rapid PR, getting an official name and image, I can honestly say I am so excited and unbelievably nervous to see what this year has in store for us.

I’m always up to go see a football game, so if you ever need a tailgating companion or are just looking for a chat about some of the players and football gossip then hit me up! I’ll always be in the mood to talk about my favorite little nephews and niece, and will never be short on pictures- yes, I’m THAT aunt. If you ever have any puppy pictures or need a dog-sitter, you know how to find me.

I try to keep a good sense of humor with every situation in life, so don’t let a dry sarcastic joke rub you the wrong way. I’m always open to a conversation, and my goal is to be a valuable helping hand and resource within PRSSA, among the many other resources available to you! I’m looking forward to meeting any new members, and reconnecting with the current members after the summer is over, so get ready to rumble peeps, cause we have a University to conquer!
See you in the fall!

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Meet The E-Board Series: Megan Heck, Vice President of Administration and Finance

Hello, PR Peeps!

My name is Megan Heck, and I am the Vice President of Administration and Finance of Ferris State’s PRSSA Chapter. I am a senior majoring in the Public Relations and minoring in Integrated Marketing Communications.

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I am 21 years old, and I’m from Wyandotte, MI, a small town that is just south of Detroit. My family is very important to me; my parents are my backbone, I wouldn’t be where I am today without their love and support. Not many people know this, but I also have an older brother who is adopted from South Korea.

I spent two years at Henry Ford Community College after high school jumping from major to major every other semester. I struggled to find a program that I felt passionate about until I came across Ferris State’s Public Relations program. After reading more about it, I knew that I had found a perfect fit for me. Once I arrived on campus and attended a few of the PRSSA meetings, I knew I made a great decision, not only to help me grow personally but professionally as well.

I’m currently doing a virtual internship for a fashion blog called Sorority Fashion. I plan on pursuing my career in public relations within the Fashion Industry; I can’t wait to see what other opportunities this internship will lead me to.

I’m excited to get this year started and see our chapter grow!

A few of my favorite things…

Guilty Pleasure: Peanut M&M’s

Favorite TV show: Gossip Girl

Favorite Food: Sushi

Favorite animal: Husky puppies

Favorite Celebrity Couple: Eric and Jessie James Decker

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Meet The E-Board Series: Kate Bewak, Vice President of Campus & Community Outreach

Hello! My name is Kate Bewak and I am a senior here at Ferris State in the PR program. I love cats, pickles, coconut, and anything cheetah print. I have a cat named Tobey, who I love. I am interning at Ericsson this summer, a global telecommunications company, and I am working out of the Mountain View, California location. I transferred to Ferris State last year after attending Oakland Community College for two years.

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I joined PRSSA as a junior, which was kind of intimidating because I thought everyone had been in PRSSA since they were a freshman (which isn’t true). When I had finally decided that PR was the right program for me, I knew that I should join PRSSA. I remember my first day going in, there were so many people there and everyone was talking and all I could think was how I am going to fit in here. After attending the first couple meetings though I realized quickly how friendly everyone really was and how it was so easy to talk to them if I had questions, comments, or concerns.

Throughout the year I made sure I was a part of every event possible and went to every single event PRSSA was a part of or that would help me or the organization grow. And I think this was one of my favorite things, I am so glad that I made time to attend all these events because it helped me get to know fellow PRSSA members as well as learn and grow within myself. Since I am only away for college for two years I wanted to take advantage of as many things as I could. And that is my one advice to everyone in PRSSA, take advantage of your time here at Ferris. Go to events, make friends, live and learn through PRSSA.

I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoy being a member or Ferris State PRSSA. I can’t wait to see all the things we are going to do with PRSSA this year, and I can’t wait to meet new members, and bond with current members this year.

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Meet The E-Board Series: Scout Sparks, Vice President of Social Affairs

Hi everyone!

My name is Scout Sparks and I am the VP of Social Affairs for Ferris State’s PRSSA chapter. I am a junior majoring in the Human Resources Management program and I’m minoring in Public Relations and Spanish. This is my first year on our executive board and I’m so excited and eager for what this year has to bring! But first… Here’s a little bit about me!

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I’m from Fowlerville, Michigan, a small town about thirty minutes east of Lansing. I have the BEST parents EVER (yes Mom, I know you’re reading this) a brother, sister, and two step brothers. I played tennis throughout high school and spent most of my time with family, friends and my horses. I made the decision to attend Ferris State when I was a junior in high school. My older brother goes to Ferris as well… I’d like to think he was excited when I told him I was following him to college too, but I’m not so sure he was!

My first week as a freshman was tough. The hardest part was leaving behind my family and diving into college life. As a freshman I struggled with taking advantage of every opportunity presented in front of me. I made a few friends but mostly kept to myself, focused on my schoolwork and went home Every. Single. Weekend. of my freshman year. Little did I know how much I was missing out on! I was involved with PRSSA, and that was where I made all of my friends. PRSSA was where I began to grow into the person I am today.

As a sophomore, I chose to force myself to stay on campus more, talk to different people, stay on the weekends, and most importantly become more active as a member of PRSSA. Once these simple changes were implemented I noticed a change in myself. Today, I am able to talk confidently with others, I seek opportunities to grow as an individual and best of all, I have learned how to enjoy my time as a student at Ferris State University.

This year I hope to help the nervous and ambivalent new members, that I once was. My biggest goal is to make every new member of PRSSA feel as welcomed as I felt at my first meeting, just two short years ago.

Now for some fun facts!

  • I love Salt and Vinegar chips
  • I love Bob Seger
  • Everyone calls me Scooter, Scoot, Scoots (“shrugging” emoji)
  • I have Addison’s disease
  • I like reality TV
  • When I get stressed out, I go on a drive (I know that’s like a weird mom thing but it works, I swear) LOL
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