Thursday, May 14, 2015

Alas, a College Graduate!

Just three days ago, I graduated college. It seems unreal at this point as it has not fully sunk in. The last semester of my senior year was a huge struggle as I could not find enough time to get everything done that I felt I needed to. I had do my homework, complete my senior capstone projects, study for exams, uphold my leadership positions and attend campus event, all while trying to maintain relationships with the people I care about.

People always warn you about how difficult the real world is and that you should soak up the time you have in college while you are there, but they never warn you about your last semester when everyone around you is on edge and it seems like you are constantly drowning, trying to stay afloat.

There were weeks when everything seemed to be piling up and that I wouldn't be able to get everything done, but I am here to tell you - I always did! At times, college was a very bumpy ride, but I gained many valuable skills I can now take with me to into the real world.

For me, the real world starts tomorrow as I move to the city. As a girl who grew up in a very small town, this will all be very new to me. Luckily I have a very close friend who will be joining me in the city. I cannot wait for the adventures to come! I am very excited for the next chapter in my life!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Favorite Chapter

If you have read my previous blogs, you already know I have been reading social media related books and writing blogs about them. The most recent book was "Measure What Matters" by Katie Delahaye Paine. I just recently finished this book and I can safely say I would recommend it to someone in a related field.

This book is a key tool for measuring important your customers, social media, engagement and key relationships. Each of these different aspects of an organization are important in their own way and they should each be effectively measured.

I would have to say Chapter 14 was my favorite chapter. I may be partial at this point in time because the chapter is about higher education and I am interning at ONU right now, but it is still a very good read. The chapter maps out five steps that help make measuring easier in higher education. The five steps include:

  1. Identify and Prioritize Your Audiences
  2. Define Your Objectives and Get Everyone on the Same Page
  3. Establish a Benchmark
  4. Pick a Measurement Tool and Collect Data
  5. Analyze the Data, Glean Insight, Make Changes and Measure Again
In one of my recent blogs, I explained why it is necessary for higher education institutions to participate in a rebranding process. The same goes for higher education measurement. The higher education world is becoming more competitive than it has been in the past. In order for institutions to deliver a high performance, they need to measure their audiences, what their audiences are talking about, and what their audiences want.

Now that you have  a sneak peek into "Measure What Matters," I suggest you get your own copy and read the book. You will not regret the decision.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Caution: Foul Language

This video is full of little girls swearing to emphasize a point. These girls are standing up for feminism. They want to get the point across to people that girls are not treated equally. The way these girls try to get this point across is very unique and maybe even controversial.

When I first saw this video I started to cringe before I even realized what the girls were talking about. I could not understand why parents of children this young would allow their little girls to speak the way they are in this video, but then I began to listen to their message.

For as long as I can remember, my mom has felt strongly about men and women being treated equally. She has always told me I can do anything a boy can. I firmly feel her teachings have made me a stronger person.

The young boy in this video says it best when he explains calling a boy a girl is a diss to girls. The saying makes it seem like it is a bad thing to be a girl. Young girls should not grow up thinking it is bad to be a girl. They should be raised knowing they can accomplish anything as long as they put their mind to the task.

The video also provides solid facts about women being paid less and treated differently just because of their gender. Times are changing and girls are becoming more equal than in the past, but there are still problems and discriminations that need fixed.

This video may be controversial and entirely inappropriate, but the message these girls get across is an important one. Stand up for feminism!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Is Branding for Higher Education Necessary

Ohio Northern University (ONU) is currently going through a rebranding process. Because I work in the communication and marketing department at ONU, I have seen most rebranding materials first hand. I have also been working on an assignment that requires me to study if the rebranding process is necessary in higher education.

There are many aspects that make up an organization's brand. There is content such as the logo, the website and print material. The location of the organization is also part of its brand. The way people talk about an organization constructs the brand.

The purpose for higher education rebranding is the increased competition among institutions. Increased tuition and competition for students has caused universities to have a need for their own identity. The rebranding process will help them achieve this identity. Rebranding will help universities stand out in a crowd therefor increasing student admission rates.

During a rebranding process, many people share their opinion; some opinions are negative, some are positive. It is impossible for an organization to please everyone with their brand.

Overall, through my research and my internship with ONU, I have found rebranding to be extremely necessary. Rebranding can help an organization more than it can hurt one; as long as it is done correctly.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

An Unforgettable Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I appreciate this holiday more than others because it is a day to stop and be thankful for the rich life God has given to us. I enjoyed a slightly different Thanksgiving this year.

Every year for as long as I can remember, I spent Thanksgiving at my grandparent's house on my dad's side of the family. We always gather to eat, play games and give thanks. This year though, I flew to Atlanta, Georgia to spend the holiday with my grandparent's on my mom's side of the family. My holiday was spent with my grandparents and one cousin.

Although there were only four of us for dinner, my grandmother still prepared a feast! She prepped turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn, pumpkin pie, carrot cake and cookies. I definitely had a stomach ache after enjoying all of the delicious food.

My entire Thanksgiving break was spent wisely. The beginning of my break was spent visiting family at home before I left for Georgia. In Georgia I have gotten to relax more than I would have at home and I was also able to get some homework done. My grandpa and cousin and I went to the new Hunger Games movie today and spent Black Friday shopping until we dropped.

The Georgia weather has been very enjoyable. Although it may not be 70 degrees outside, the weather is still sunny and in the 50s. I have really enjoyed myself over this Thanksgiving break. I am sad to leave Georgia tomorrow morning, but I have had a blast. This vacation made for an unforgettable Thanksgiving.

My cousin, my grandfather, me and my grandmother

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Measuring a Crisis

Chapter 11 in "Measuring What Matters" explains how to measure a crisis. The chapter explains the only reason an organization exists is because society allows it to exist. It also touches on how important it is to follow social media during a crisis to see what is being said about how your organization is handling the crisis and to speak to your audiences about what is happening.

Recently, Trine University had an incident where they found a suspicious package in one of the academic buildings. Luckily, my mom is the spokesperson for the university so I got to hear some of the steps they took during the incident.

One of the first steps taken was briefing my mom, the spokesperson, on the situation at hand before the media and law enforcements arrived. They then decided to evacuate the building and let everyone know why classes were cancelled until further notice. The explosive ordinance technicians (or bomb squad) were then called in to search the package for any explosives. The package was cleared and opened and ended up being a puzzle.

During this whole crisis situation, the crisis team was checking social media and posting updates to their key audiences. The team took the steps explained in this chapter and everything turned out alright.

Although this crisis did not end up being a real crisis, Trine University took the correct measures to make sure they were prepared for the worst. Some people joked about the situation, but after Trine University measured what everyone was saying, it was apparent everyone appreciated how well the university handled the "crisis."

This goes to show the authors of "Measure What Matters" really do know what they are talking about.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Proud to be a Polar Bear

After attending Ohio Northern University (ONU) for almost four years now, I have learned specific things I like about the university and specific things I do not like about the university. I chose three major things for each category.

Things I like about ONU:
  1. I love how small the campus is at ONU. The small town of Ada that the university sits in is also very appealing to me. This is because I grew up in a very small town. I enjoy going places on campus and knowing almost everyone there. As I have grown and become a senior, I know less people on campus, but being in a sorority helps.
  2. I love how ONU provides me with the option of being in a sorority . I have met many wonderful girls I would have never met if it weren't for me joining a sorority. Our sorority also has socials with fraternities so I have met many men I would not have met if I were not in a sorority.
  3. I love the layout of the ONU library. If you walk into the library, you are greeted by the friendly faces of the workers and study groups studying on the first floor. If you go up one floor, you see many people with headphones and some study rooms for you and a group to study in. On the third floor, you will not hear a peep out of anyone. The library gets quieter with each floor. I appreciate these options because everyone studies differently.
Things I dislike about ONU:
  1. I dislike the food at ONU. McIntosh is good for a week or two and then it gets old. The same food choices repeat and most of the food is not even real food. I do not consider powdered eggs to be a delightful source of protein. If the campus provided more food options or less pricey options, I would be a little bit happier.
  2. I dislike the showers in the freshman dorms at ONU. I came to ONU from a home that my mom always kept very clean. When I moved into the freshman dorms and saw the dirty showers, I was slightly disturbed. I know the showers were cleaned on weekends, which I truly appreciate, but when Mud Volleyball is going on and you have 50 muddy girls showering in those showers, you do not have the option of getting clean.
  3. I dislike how some majors are favored over other majors. I take GREAT pride in being a part of the public relations department at ONU and I do not feel the department gets enough recognition for what it does. Our PRSSA Chapter has won many awards and represented ONU in a very positive light over the years. This definitely goes unnoticed though because we came back to school for another semester this year and our budget was cut in half. I wish public relations was appreciated more on this campus.
There are minor things I would change about this school but I am sure everyone feels that way about things at their school. Overall, Ohio Northern University is a phenomenal school. I am getting an amazing education, I have been provided with connections all over the United States and I am leaving with lasting friendships. When it comes down to it, I am proud to be a polar bear!