Tag Archives: college

A college career in review

By: Anissa Gabbara

College is one big ol’ emotional roller coaster, and as a senior, I can testify to that. I can probably speak for all seniors when I say that the past four years have been a combination of excitement for the future and fear of the unknown. But despite the emotional roller coaster, I’m happy to say that I’ve had a successful college career, even when there were a few bumps in the road.

Before transferring to Eastern Michigan University, I started my college journey at Schoolcraft College. I decided to major in business, with no particular reason or goal in mind. I knew what I loved at heart, which was music and entertainment, but at the time, I didn’t know what major would best suit those passions. Business seemed like the “safe choice.” I thought, “Maybe I can just start my own music business.”

One business class later, I knew it wasn’t for me. Being the creative person I am, I couldn’t stand to sit through another business class, but little did I know, my future career was right in front of me. At the time, I worked in the Communication Arts Department as the Department Head Dr. Taylor’s assistant. Dr. Taylor’s personality was larger than life. She was quite the opposite of me, as I am more introverted, and she could talk to anyone she walked passed without hesitation. She was the epitome of professional. She taught me the skills to become a better communicator, professional and leader. She was my first mentor and it was because of her that I started to gain an interest in the world of communications.

This newfound interest led me to my ultimate decision to major in public relations. It was my love for the arts, strong writing and communication skills and creative heart that led me to believe PR was the right choice.

sdc pic

Photo Credit: EMU PRSSA Facebook

My journey in the PR program was not perfect, though. There were times when I questioned whether I had made the right choice, like when I was unable to get into the introduction course and thrown into an advanced course without having any prior knowledge or experience in the field. However, that didn’t stop me. I worked harder than ever to get through that course and my grade reflected it. I knew I was going to be OK.

undergraduate symposium

Courtesy Photo

My confidence and self-belief led me to priceless opportunities, and I started to take more risks and get more involved on campus. Toward the end of my junior year, I ran for the PRSSA E-board and became vice president of public relations. The experience I gained as an E-board member was invaluable, as I gained leadership skills and valuable connections with professionals within the field. I also had the pleasure of presenting research with my peers at EMU’s 36th Annual Undergraduate Symposium. On that same day, I received an email from the promotions manager at Fox 2 News for an interview and eventually secured my first internship as their creative services intern. This past November, I was honored to have received the most prestigious and highly competitive award that a PR student could earn in the state of Michigan, and that is the Donald P. Durocher Memorial Scholarship. This was a major accomplishment and I am very proud of myself for it. These are just a few of the many memories I will take with me upon graduation.

fox 2 pic

Courtesy Photo

prsa detroit meeting

Photo Credit: PRSA Detroit

College can be a nightmare at times, but one day you’ll reminisce about some of the good things, like when you won that big scholarship, or when you secured your dream internship. College is bittersweet to say the least and while I look forward to moving on, I’ll never forget the amazing opportunities that college has granted me. Now it’s on to the next phase.

Anissa Gabbara is a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying public relations with a double minor in communications and marketing. She currently serves as the vice president of public relations on EMU PRSSA’s E-board. She has an interest in celebrity PR and hopes to one day work with some of the biggest names and corporations in the entertainment world. She plans to hone her craft while becoming a valuable source of information to others. You can follow her on Twitter @AnissaGabbara.  


How to prepare for the fall

By: Irene Pool

With fall right around the corner, we have to start preparing for the transition to different routines. No more shorts, crop tops, flip-flops, summer night drives or weekend beach visits. Instead we start preparing for football games, sweater weather and pumpkin spiced lattes!

But have you ever wondered if your professional behavior changes along with the seasons? The start of fall means the start of classes, start of a new schedule at work or even a new internship opportunity.


How are you going to stay connected with friends from back home after you moved to school? Will you be able to attend that Friday night football game when you have a five page paper due next week? With the start of something new, you have to learn how to have balance. Enjoy a late night out with friends, but don’t completely forget about your duties as either a student or employee.

Staying connected

Being involved in something new allows you to go out and connect with different people. It’s okay to post that selfie with a group of friends and your school mascot, or your first day on the job. Allowing others to see what you are up to gives them an opportunity to still feel connected with you.

You also shouldn’t forget to follow that certain organization on campus that catches your eye or that new potential customer. Reach out to new opportunities and see what others are up to. Connecting is always a key aspect of meeting new people.

Having Fun

New experiences are all about enjoying your time. Step out of your bubble and see what the world has to offer. Don’t just stay in one routine, mix it up every semester. That allows you to connect with new people and maybe even expand your resume.

Irene Pool is a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in public relations and minoring in communications. This is her first year in EMU’s PRSSA chapter. She was drawn to social media because she likes being able to connect with others in many different ways. Irene is an outgoing person who enjoys learning something new every day. She loves finding the beauty in the world and facing new challenges.


How to organize your to-do list

By: Rachel Dwornick

Many times schoolwork, life, and our job become overwhelming in college. According to the College Stress and Mental Health Poll , 85 percent of students feel stressed daily (source). Here are five tips to organize your to-do list and hopefully relieve some stress.

1. Make a list

First and foremost just grab a piece of paper and make a list. Write everything down you have to do that day or that week. That way you can see all you have to do.

2. Prioritize

Next grab a new piece of paper and prioritize your list. Write out your tasks in order from most to least important. This will allow you to see what requires your attention first.

3. Time requirement

The next step is to figure out how much time each task will take. Write the time requirement of each task next to that task so that way you can track how much time you allotted and how much time the task actually took. Don’t worry too much, though, if you go over time on some tasks. There will be tasks that also take less time than you allotted.

4. Find balance

Find a balance between each task. Don’t complete all your long/hard tasks one after the other. Balance some hard/long tasks with some shorter/easier tasks. That way you don’t feel overwhelmed or stressed.

 5. Plan a break

One of the most important steps: plan a break in your to-do list. We need breaks to just de-stress and let our mind rest. Even grabbing a cup of coffee or a 15 minute break will help. Plus a break will allow you to come back to the task and have a fresh start.

After completing these five steps you may want to write out your list again on a blank sheet of paper and make any changes you wrote down.


Is your college student stressed? Probably.
Energy, Time, Priority, Work/Life: 4 New Ways to Organize Your To-Do List

Rachel Dwornick is a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying public relations with a minor in communications. She holds the position of Member Relations in PRSSA and is an active member of Alpha Xi Delta. Follow her on Twitter at @racheldwornick.

Pregame for Spring Break

Many spring breaks have gone by leaving me wondering “what did I even do this week?” Don’t get stuck with that thought.

Whether you plan on staying home or going beyond the state lines, you can keep yourself busy.

Make goals for yourself. Don’t begin each day thinking about your plans. Try to plan out pieces of the week before you get to the points of boredom. Strategizing your week off of school can really help you stay out of the rut that leaves you sitting on the couch, stuffing your face and watching Netflix.

Some things that you can add to your strategic list of things to do can include the following:

  • Catch up with friends
  • Reach out to professionals in the area
  • Scope out the job market
  • Try out new restaurants
  • Do some early spring cleaning
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Read a new book
  • Get caught up on the current news
  • Begin a good habit
  • Adjust your sleep schedule
  • Be artistic and craft

A week may seem like a short amount of time or a long amount of time depending on what you do with it. If you decide to try out something new or quit something, then you have almost an entire week to have it take effect. Nothing is going to hold until you make that commitment so why not plan to do it over spring break? Get to thinking about things you can add to your list.

If it varies from this one then comment below with your ideas!

Raven Gardiner
VP of Member Relations

How to be prepared for an internship

You’ve put together the perfect resume, aced the interview, and landed yourself a great internship. Getting the internship is just the beginning, and the first day could be circuital when giving off a lasting impression. So what’s next? It’s time to get prepared!

Source: Times Union

Source: Times Union

Before your first day make sure you know the company like the back of your hand, and more importantly, know their clients. Knowledge in the company will show you are interested in their business, and learning about their clients will get you up to speed about who they’re doing business with. Go online and search the company website, if this information is not available – look to Google, or simply ask who their top clients are. Get familiar with these clients and take notes; you never know when you’ll have a great idea.

Second, have the right technology. Some internships allow you to use their computer and phone, but others ask that you bring your own. Make sure your laptop has the capabilities necessary for high volume work, and has the tools to get the work done; such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Don’t forget to bring your charger and an empty USB drive as well.

Last, pack your lunch. This might seem like a no-brainer, and while some of your co-workers might leave for lunch, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have time to do so as well. Work can pile up quickly, so make sure you have enough snacks to make it through the day.

Leah Rodriguez
Vice President of Public Relations

How to be a great PR student

Summer is in full swing. For some students that means summertime classes, while for others it means working. For public relations students, you don’t need a specific time of year to think about how to be a better PR student. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your college education.

Stay up to date:

Being in public relations involves a lot more than just being able to communicate. Enhance your classroom work by also staying up to date on the latest trends in public relations and in social media.

Classroom work is important, but so are the areas of public relations that are beyond the classroom.

Source: Tegile

Source: Tegile

Do the homework:

Okay, yes, that seems obvious. If you don’t keep up on the work assigned, you miss out on valuable information that you may need for both assessments and your future life as a practitioner. While it is easy to slack off or try to do minimal amounts of work, it is advantageous for a student to go above and beyond in the classroom in order to learn as much as possible to help them be successful outside of the classroom.


There is a lot to learn from other people. Try chatting with your classmates about the material or assignments, or form a study group. Varying perspectives on the material can broaden your learning horizons and open up doors that you may have never even noticed before.

Do what works for you:

For some people, writing a paper at two in the morning right before it is due works. But if that doesn’t work for you, do something that does. Do your outside of class work at a time and place that motivates you to do your best work and accomplish tasks at a reasonable pace.

Ask questions:

Your professors want to help you. Ask them questions, participate in class and visit their office hours. Being engaged and interested in the material will help you as a student absorb more information, maximizing your learning potential.


Whether you are taking classes this summer or not, keep these tips in mind as you continue your public relations studies. Staying on top of your studies and challenging yourself to do as well as possible will help you get the most out of your college education. Being successful and learning as much as possible during your college career will also help you in your future public relations career.

Andrea Mellendorf
Chief Financial Officer

What I wish I knew then (Part One)

As I inch closer and closer to graduation, I can’t help but think of the things I wasn’t informed of as a freshman that would have greatly helped me throughout my college career at Eastern Michigan University.

When you dedicate your time and, hopefully, all of your effort to an institution for a long period of time, there are definitely things you should know.

Your professors are your friend. Many are under the impression that their professors are against them from the moment the syllabus is handed out in class. This is not true – everything they are doing is to help and prepare you for the real world. Professors have office hours for a reason, so utilize them for any and all of your needs in your class.

Ask and answer questions and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Although your professors might not always have the time to work with you one-on-one during class, they are ready and able to clarify anything that’s unclear during class. You’re most likely not the only confused student. Trust me!

Source: AmSurg Blog

Source: AmSurg Blog

Snag and professional and personal mentor. The key to mentors is finding them early. Especially those that are for professional purposes as they usually have a certain number in their head of the number of students they’re willing to take on as mentees. They don’t want to overwhelm themselves and the number is usually just a few.

Mentors are an excellent source of information to help you navigate through the professional world. They help with everything related to what you need to know to be successful. They have experience and you need experience. Get it? They can usually relate to what you’re going through, and can give you great advice.

Your personal mentor can be even more beneficial to you if they attended the same university that you did. They will have tricks and tips to make your college experience a good one. I would advise (for both professional and personal mentors) to picks someone with similar interests as you do. Also, make sure they are reliable and dependable. If you keep the communication between the two of you, prepare yourself for a beautiful and fulfilling mentor-mentee relationship.

The financial aid office is not personal enemy number one. Most people look at the financial aid office as the worst place on campus. They’re known to be slow and not very helpful, but here’s a quick lesson: if you treat them like they’re important to you, they’ll reciprocate.

Try to stay away from smacking your gum, using profanity, or doing anything else that may cause annoyance while visiting financial aid. Let them know you take your business seriously and they’ll be a lot easier to work with.

Check back soon for part two!

Misha Byrd
Vice President of Member Relations