I believe in the importance of setting goals, always looking at the big picture and trying new things on a regular basis. I think it’s a combination of these values that is driving me to move to Australia after I graduate this year.
I had the opportunity to study abroad in Australia for a semester and returning there has been on mind ever since. I loved the culture, people and lifestyle. I know that I really only got a small taste of that during my four months there.
When I was younger I refused to leave my mother’s side and now here I am ready to graduate, pack up and move thousands and miles away from home. My time at college has been part of a transformation and amazing journey, but the best part is I know I’m only getting started. I have many more jobs and careers ahead of me, communities to join, and networks to build.
A wise professor taught me that people often say “life is short” and seem to adopt a seize the day attitude when in reality, life is quite long. We have time to complete or attempt the tasks we set out to accomplish. My international move has less to do with being spontaneous and more to do with looking at the bigger picture of my life. A few years of my life living in another country might seem like a big deal, but really it’s not long at all. I may end up living many places in my life.
I never want to stop learning and experiencing new things. I think that curiosity keeps us sharp, and empowers us. Mahatma Gandhi said “Learn as if you were going to live forever, live as if you were going to die tomorrow.” I can’t think of a more appropriate quote to reflect on as my senior year comes to an end.
I look forward to having more updates to share with you soon.
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Last week was our Otterbein Cardinal Career Luncheon. It’s a networking lunch that alumni relations and career services sponsor each year for junior and seniors. I had a chance to sit and talk with public relations and marketing pro Crystal Olig from Oxiem. She is an excellent role model and has some great insights on our generation. I wanted to share some of the advice I gathered from our talk.
1. Try to be honest when you run into with someone. The nature of business is that you may have to see former clients, or perhaps a potential client that didn’t sign with your agency. Smile and be courteous, but also be honest. Don’t be silly and pretend you don’t remember them. Wish them the best of luck in their future business and remain genuine.
2. Ask for business card from everyone. This was Crystal’s advice especially for large networking events and conferences. Even if someone is about to turn their shoulder and exit the conversation, ask for that business card before they go. You will surprise people when you follow up later, because not everyone takes that extra step.
3. Never turn down an invitation to a networking event when you are new somewhere. Crystal relocated to Columbus earlier last year and worked to make connections and start meeting locals. Unless you are unavailable that night make an effort to take all invites to network and get out. She joked that you should take invites from boring people too because they might have really fun friends you can meet.
4. Find some newsletter publications that relate to your career field or goals. I subscribe to blogs and follow articles shared on by my network on Twitter, but I don’t currently subscribe to any newsletters. I thought this was a smart tip for students looking to learn and a good way to stay current on trends from a reliable source.
You can learn more about Crystal by following her on Twitter or check out her site whY genY. This post is my version of a Gen Y thank you note to her.
cc license, brtsergio
This quarter I’m taking a class from the English department called “Digital Essay.” It is focused on the art of digital storytelling. We write essays, record our voices and then pair it with video, pictures, music and sounds. I know that the digital storytelling is often associated with non-profits because it a powerful yet low budget communication tool. In our case we don’t necessarily have to tell a story. Our digital essays can be on any topic. We create three pieces throughout the quarter and then a final edited video to share in a public viewing.
As a communications major I was attracted to this class for obvious reasons. It is a new way to showcase my work and I can use social media to share that work with my friends and network. However, I’ve also been quite anxious about the class. While I do enjoy writing I don’t usually identify as a writer the same way many English majors or poets might. I don’t typically write in self-reflection or share too much of my personal life in my public writing. I would consider that to be unprofessional and unwise as a soon-to-be PR graduate. However, I think this class will challenge me to dig a little deeper than just showing a few pretty photographs and sharing a short story from my childhood.
I want my first essay to be about travel and how that changed my outlook on the world. A bit cliché but it is still a meaningful topic to me. I look forward to sharing my work here. If you’ve ever made your own digital story or essay, please leave a comment with a link.
If you are still scratching your head trying to figure out what a digital story is, visit the Center for Digital Storytelling and watch a few. I’m sharing Untitled by Nancy Palate tomorrow because I found it especially beautiful.
In my persuasion class this quarter we read a novel by Neil Postman called Amusing Ourselves to Death. It examines how television has shaped society and affected our outlook. The book was written in 1985. I won’t lie, when I realized this I was automatically uninterested in Postman’s message. I was annoyed that my class wasn’t focusing on up and coming trends or reading novels that explored the digital age of communication. Television felt like a topic of past.
It took me awhile to accept the fact I would be reading the book and writing a final report whether I wanted to or not. When I finally opened my mind to the ideas of Postman I was quite surprised. I was able to relate the book to my life and found some comparisons I had definitely not expected. Let me share one of my favorite passages from the book:
The telegraph is suited only to the flashing of messages, each to be quickly replaced by a more up-to-date message. Facts push other facts into and then out of consciousness at speeds that neither permit nor require evaluation.
The telegraph introduced a kind of public conversation whose form had starting characteristics: Its language was the language of headlines–sensational, fragmented, impersonal. News took the form of slogans, to be noted with excitement, to be forgotten with dispatch. Its language was also entirely discontinuous. One message had no connection to that which preceded or followed it. Each “headline” stood alone as its own context.
Wow…this was supposed to be a description of the telegraph? I could have sworn this was the bio written for everyone’s favorite micoblogging site, Twitter. My silly, little, undergrad mind was amazed. It feels like the modes of communication and technology change every day, but perhaps certain ideas change less than I think.
I’m in the middle of reading Chris Brogan’s book Trust Agents, and was able to pull some of his thoughts into my report. Two novels with connecting ideas and 25 years between them, I love that. I like making those connections, realizing the value of my education in my classes and seeing how I can apply it.
If you haven’t read Amusing Oursevles to Death, I recommend it. If you have read it, what did you think?
Let me start by saying I love Otterbein. I really do and my last four years have been great. At the same time I wonder how choosing a small, liberal arts college in the suburbs, with a dry campus created a very different experience for me compared to others.
This past weekend my friends and I won tickets to the Ohio State vs. New Mexico football game. It was my first time going to an OSU game and being in the horseshoe. It was a lot of fun and most of the time I couldn’t believe I was watching college football. While students do attend Otterbein games, we definitely don’t have anything like the ‘Buckeye Bounce’ before kickoffs or a t-shirt cannon. The sporting events are free for students. You just show someone at the gate your ID card.
After the game we got our costumes ready for Short North’s Highball Halloween. Our plan was to park at my friend’s brother’s house and head a few blocks down from south campus. We thought we might come back to the house afterwards too since they were having people over. When we got back from highball the house was packed. You couldn’t walk across the room and people were lined up outside trying to get in. Everyone who actually lived there was outside watching who entered.
It took me and my friends about two minutes to look around and decide to peace out. We packed up and went back to Westerville. We made a few jokes on the ride home about not being hardcore enough to party at OSU but felt no regret. I still wonder what my life would have been like at a big school, but for now I’m still happy to consider myself an Otterbein nerd.
One of my favorite volunteer projects to organize with Circle K is a “rake and run.” We borrow the school van and drive around Westerville looking for random front yards still covered with leaves. I’ve been told some Circle K clubs rake the leaves when no one is home and then leave a note at the door. We like to ask the homeowners for permission first, but most are extremely grateful for the offer. Typically there is a reason the yard hasn’t been taken care of – perhaps they are elderly, living alone, very busy or have something else holding them back.
Part of the reason I like rake and runs so much is the instant feedback and gratitude from those you are helping. It generates such a genuine response. Let’s face it, how often does someone knock on your door and ask to do a few hours of yard work free of charge? We are not interested in donations, delivering a message or handing out literature. It is just a random act of kindness, helping out a stranger, no strings attached. The women we met this week probably thanked us ten times. There were four of us working and it took about an hour and a half to finish the front yard. Meaning it would have taken this woman living alone at least six hours to finish the job on her own, maybe more.
Another gratifying part of this project is the effect is has on the students volunteering. I took three sophomore with me who have been involved with Circle K since last year. There was a moment where one girl stopped, looked at me, and said, “I’m glad I don’t have to do this alone.” It was really powerful, because I think she realized the impact of her actions on someone else. It was also a great reminder of why we choose to serve others.
You don’t have to be a volunteer extraordinaire to rake leaves. It’s easy, but sometimes a simple good deed can be really meaningful.