My Journey as an Intern Reporter

30 06 2014

By: Nicole Kiefert (@nicole_kiefert)

In high school I was the photographer of our school newspaper. Here at UW Oshkosh, I’m a copy editor for the Advance-Titan. So having no experience of “writing” at a newspaper before, I was amazed when the managing editor of my hometown paper called to offer me a reporting intern position for the summer.

I walked into the newsroom on my first day completely nervous and extremely unsure. The interview process was rough and rather intimidating. I wasn’t sure if this job was something I wanted yet. The whole job was intimidating. Having the responsibility of researching and interviewing and meeting deadlines kind of scared me.

After I was assigned my desk, introduced to everyone and given my first two story assignments, I had this overwhelming urge to prove myself. I wanted to show myself, my boss and the people I interviewed, who perhaps weren’t sure I could do it, that I most definitely could.

I never realized how stressful it could be when proving yourself relied so much on other people. Other people calling you back, other people giving you good quotes or stories, other people editing your pages correctly.

But I must have done something right because when I turned in my first story it ran a day early on the front page. My very first article ever written was published on the front page of a newspaper. It’s so surreal. I couldn’t stop staring at it. That’s my name and those are my words and here they are for all of Washington County to read.

Of course not all of my stories will turn out this way. But for my very first story to be almost exactly the same as I wrote it, and prominent on the first page – it was amazing.

Hopefully I can get back on the front page someday, but for now I’m just content to be published. I’m proud to have been given such a great opportunity and I can’t wait to keep seeing my name in a byline.

Summer Internship at Pandora, Week 1

15 06 2014

Thanks to Brody Karmenzind for taking the time to write up this blog on his first week as an intern at Pandora in California. You can see more of his marketing wisdom at his blog and follow his summer at Pandora on his Instagram account. 

Week One with Pandora: Brody Karmenzind

I have officially been with Pandora one week and I am already overloaded with awesome things to mention in this post. I could probably write a novel about my experiences thus far. However, I hope to give you insights into the real scale of Pandora, the coolest parts of working at Pandora as well as what my summer will look like.

Pandora, so what?

I didn’t realize how big Pandora really was before my orientation. To give you a snapshot Pandora has 80 million unique listeners, 1.2 billion thumb interactions and 168 million stations created a month. In fact, right now Pandora is the second most used application on mobile devices in the U.S. When looking at mobile advertisers the only publishers ahead of Pandora in terms of size are Facebook, Twitter and Google, which is mind blowing.

Week one.

To say the least, this has probably been the most exciting week of my life. The only way I could organize the unlimited things to talk about is by giving a quick Top 10 List of my favorite aspects similar to how Buzzfeed approaches articles. Here are the top 10 coolest parts of my first week at Pandora:

1. Free trip to California. The first three days as an intern at Pandora you are flown out to the headquarters in Oakland. The company covered the flight and hotel in downtown San Francisco, and gave us a few hundred dollars for traveling. We also were paid for the time it took to travel. I arrived Sunday morning so I had the entire day to explore San Francisco before work the next day.

2. The other interns are awesome. It was amazing meeting all of the other interns. Being surrounded by students from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other big schools was really interesting. I’m not going to lie, we all went out a few times together in those few days and had a blast.

3. Pandora swag. Pandora hooks you up with branded “swag” starting on your first day. I walked away from orientation with Pandora shirts, a Pandora Timbuk2 laptop bag and Pandora iPhone case among others.

4. Pandora One. Yes, you get ad free radio if you were wondering.

5. Amazing work environment. Pandora has the best work environment I could have imagined. There are no offices at Pandora because everyone works in open rooms with desks arranged in pods. Everyone works in teams and collaborates on projects. Also, as you expected, there is usually music playing or you can use headphones and listen to music.

6. Benefits even for interns. Besides the great hourly wage, interns actually get a few of the benefits that full-time employees get. For instance, we get to start a 401K, which I never considered before. We also get 20 hours of paid volunteer time that I will be spending at a Ronald McDonald house this summer. Also, we get an account with AnyPerk that allows great employee specific discounts for food, travel, entertainment and fitness.

7. Free food and drinks! Every office has a kitchen stocked full of a huge variety of snacks from organic protein bars, to fresh avocados as well as junk food like candy and chips. The drink selection is also ridiculous with choices such as Starbucks frappuccinos, Red Bull, Gatorade and soda. The best part is that all of it is free and restocked every day.

8. Great company culture. The company has a “work hard, play hard” atmosphere. Everyone works in a high-caliber way on the job, but is also ready to go out and get to a concert or bar after work or just drink a few beers and play some ping-pong in the office after a long day. It’s amazing to experience a company culture like Pandora’s because I worked for a virtual company in my previous internship.

9. Continued Education. Pandora is all about investing in its employees and one way is through a ton of extra training options. Employees have access to Lynda and other similar tools. Also, within the first week I have participated in team trainings on advanced protocols in programs like Microsoft Excel to increase knowledge for daily software use. Pandora is always building you up in small ways everyday.

10. Clubs! I saved the best for last. Pandora lets employees have company-sponsored clubs similar to a university club. There are hundreds of awesome clubs to join with purposes ranging from videogames to sight-seeing to even Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Needless to say, I am the newest member to the BJJ club!

 My Summer Outlook:

I’m looking forward to the rest of my summer as I work with my assigned mentor learning how to develop and pitch, and report on digital and audio advertising campaigns to national clients. Special thanks to the Department of Journalism for being awesome and giving me the correct skills to be part of changing the history of radio.

 Follow the rest of my summer via Instagram:

Want to be certified in Principles of Public Relations?

10 06 2014

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

The journalism department’s public relations emphasis now has the ability to give students a chance to gain recognition for their knowledge in PR.

Three 2014 UW Oshkosh journalism graduates and PRSSA members, Hilary Stoeberl, Neal Corby and Kaitlynn Sablich, took and passed an exam awarding them with public relations certificates. We now want to spread the word about the exam and encourage more students to become certified.

What is this exam, and how do you sign up? The information below will give you enough direction so you too can be certified in principles of public relations.


In 2013, the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations was approved by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), one of the largest PR and communication entities for professionals in the United States. The certificate is an introductory step to receiving the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential, a certification for practitioners who have mastered strategic communications.

Who can take the exam?

To be eligible, students must:

What is on the exam?

The exam consists of the basic knowledge of public relations principles with an emphasis on the four-step process of public relations and ethics. The pie chart below gives a more detailed description of what you can expect to find.


How can you sign up?

Once your application has been processed, instructions will be sent via email. The faculty coordinator for UW Oshkosh, Dr. Julie Henderson, collects the applications and payments from students and sends to the accreditation manager for processing; each semester has a due date and can be found on the UAB website.

Why should you take it?

The UAB is coordinating a marketing campaign with employers of new public relations graduates to make them aware of the certificate and what it means in their hiring process.

This is a way to showcase your knowledge and abilities, and to be someone who stands out.

“Taking this test sets you apart from other young professionals by showing you take advantage of every further learning tool available to you. It also shows your excitement and dedication to the PR profession,” Stoeberl said.

For more information, contact Dr. Henderson or go to

PRSSA PopJeopardy Campaign

15 05 2014

Every year the UW Oshkosh Public Relations Student Society of America takes part in the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition. The competition asks students to research, plan, execute and evaluate a public relations campaign for a real client. PRSSA chapters across the nation compete to accomplish whatever goal the chosen client specifies.

To pick clients, organizations place bids to be part of the competition. This year the case study’s company was PopMoney and the goal specified was to raise awareness for the PopMoney brand.

PopMoney is a personal payment service from Fiserv. It allows people who use the service to safely send or receive money from their bank account by using an email address or phone number.

The Oshkosh PRSSA chapter chose to raise brand awareness by putting together an event called “PopJeopardy.”

Hillary Stoeberl, president of the Oshkosh chapter, said the event involved using the word “pop.”

“It was a Jeopardy game that took place in the Titan Underground with questions related to all things ‘pop’: pop soda, pop culture, pop music, PopMoney.”

Stoeberl said to help raise awareness while keeping the event fun, the group members handed out more information about PopMoney throughout the event.

“Each team also walked away with some information sheets about what PopMoney is and how the company’s services can benefit students,” she said.

Stoeberl said her favorite part of the campaign was the journey.

“We learned a lot about pulling off a full PR campaign and event, as well as about our client and mobile banking,” Stoeberl said.

Stoeberl said she would “definitely participate in the competition again.”

For more information about the Bateman Case Study Competition, visit the competition website.

If this competition sounds like something you would be interested in, be sure to sign up for PRSSA at UWO. Meetings will resume in the fall.

Dress to Impress For Interviews

14 05 2014

Bailey Azarian is a student in Barb Benish’s Internship class and had an internship as a Social Media Intern at the Career Services where she iss responsible for managing all of the social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. She also promotes and markets career events and writes weekly blogs.

Bailey also works as a Marketing Intern at the Alumni Welcome & Conference Center. She has been helping find and create different marketing strategies to promote the event and conference space of the AWCC to the public.

As a part of the Internship class, students are required to write a newsletter and here is one of the stories prepared for the project. 


Dress to Impress by Bailey Azarian

What you wear to your next job interview or networking event might be more important than you think. Why? Whether you like it or not, your appearance is the first thing people notice about you. For hiring managers, a first impression plays a huge part in his or her decision whether to hire you or not.

Dressing appropriately also gives you the confidence you need to impress interviewers with your personality. Make sure the first impression you create at an interview is a positive and professional one.  A job interview is not the time to be concerned with making an individual statement. Base your attire on the company’s culture and your possible responsibilities.

Professional interview attire will differ for men and women, but in most cases, conservative should be the word you remember when searching for the perfect outfit.

The most traditional option for women’s interview attire is a black skirt suit. Pants suits are also acceptable, as are suits of other neutral colors.

Interview attire for men is a full suit with matching jacket and pants. A crisp, collared shirt should be worn with a black belt and tie. Shoes should be a complementary color

Also avoid wearing blingy, shiny or lacey fabric; khaki, skinny or capri pants; shorts; tight skirts or skirts shorter than knee length; low cut and sleeveless blouses or dresses; large jewelry; bulky purses; and sandals, wedges or heels that are taller than 2.5 inches. Here’s more on how to make the best impression:

Women’s Interview Attire:

  • Suit (Navy, black or dark gray)
  • Suit skirt that is knee length or longer
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neutral pantyhose
  • Closed-toe shoe with conservative heels
  • Minimal makeup and perfume

Men’s Interview Attire:

  • Dark shoes
  • Pressed, collared shirt with plain (solid, stripe, or simple pattern) tie
  • Dark socks
  • Belt or shoes of matching color, typically black
  • Minimal cologne, if any

In the business world, the way employees look says a lot about the company they work for. The image you present is molded by the impressions all of us give when interacting with company representatives, visitors, other members of the public, and even with one another. So make sure the image you present is the one that will get you hired.


Questions You Should Ask at the End of an Interview

13 05 2014

Aly’ssa Peterson is a student in Barb Benish’s Internship class and had an internship at Integrated Marketing and Communications Department in Dempsey as a Website Specialist where her primary job was to write content for the web. She developed new content or revised old content on websites and acted as project manager, which required her to meet with clients, discuss what they wanted on their websites and execute the sites those clients’ desires. Aside from writing, Aly’ssa made wireframes for the websites and followed up with the design and IT teams to make sure the website was looking good and working properly. She also took photos for the University’s Instagram account.

Aly’ssa also worked as a Social Media Organizer at the Center for Suicide Awareness based out of Kaukauna. She used to tweet facts about suicide, inspirational quotes and photos. She eventually veered from that and is now writing content for blast emails and designing posters for future events to bring awareness to the Center.
As a part of the Internship class, students are required to write a newsletter and here is one of the stories Aly’ssa prepared for the project.


Questions You Should Ask at the End of an Interview by Aly’ssa Peterson

Employers are almost always going to ask you if you have any questions at the end of an interview. Believe it or not, how you answer that question is still part of the interview.

It’s important to ask questions at the end of an interview because it shows you were listening during the interview, and it show you care about the position with the employer.

What are some questions you should ask? This is completely up to you because it varies depending on the position and employer. The questions you ask say a lot about you. They also give the interviewer an idea of who you are and if you will fit in with the company. Plus, now it’s your turn to make the interviewer think.

Stumped on which questions to ask? Don’t worry. Here are some examples of questions you could ask at the end of an interview that will engage interaction between you and the interviewer.

As an employee, how can I exceed your expectations?

This question shows you want this position. You want to do everything possible to excel in your position, and you will go over and beyond to work hard and achieve the company’s goal for the position. This question also makes the interviewer think, and any time you can make an interviewer think to answer a question, it usually shows you asked the right question.

What are you short- and long-term goals for this position?

This question shows your interest in the position you are applying for and how you, as an employee, can make a difference. This question also gives the interviewer a chance to explain, in detail, exactly what they are looking for when filling this position and how this position can aid with the growth of the company. This question is a win-win for both you and the interviewer.

Do you see any particular reason(s) why I wouldn’t be qualified for the job?

This is a forward question, but go ahead and ask. This question will give you an idea of how you did during your interview. You will get a better understanding from the interviewer if you are able to fulfill the position with the expectations that he or she has for this position. Plus, you will get a better idea if the interviewer likes you or not.

What do you like most about working here?

This question gives the interviewer a chance to talk about him or herself, and shows that you want to know more about the person you’ve been interacting with for the past 40 minutes. Asking this question also gives you insight into what goes on inside the company and what the environment and atmosphere is like in the workplace.

6.5 Ways to Make Your Blog Suck Less

12 05 2014

Brody Karmenzind is a student in Barb Benish’s Internship class and has had an internship at JJ Keller in Neenah where he executed tasks such as data entry and market research coding within Silverpop email marketing system, Google Analytics and Excel.

He also had an internship in Appleton at Stellar Blue Technologies. Here he develops and executes mobile advertising campaigns, contributes to content marketing initiatives, manages social media platforms through Sprout Social, writes ebooks, website content, meta data, blog posts and press releases and creates promotional and tutorial videos.
Brody has the opportunity to work at Pandora in Chicago. There he develops ad media plans for clients with big data and then reports the results.
As a part of the Internship class, the students are put together a newsletter with helpful information and here is Brody’s piece.


6.5 Ways to Make Your Blog Suck Less by Brody Karmenzind

There are over a million blogs on the Internet and a lot of them suck. “How can I get my blog to not suck?” people may ask. The answer is by developing a blog that has a quality SEO plan for organic searches, intriguing content so the bounce rate is low and time on page is high and to create a pathway for engagement within each post. Seems complicated right? Well it isn’t! It’s much easier than one would think. Just follow these blogging practices to ignite the flame of success.

1. Keep your writing concise

Being short and sweet is the key to blogging. People don’t want to read a “Lord of the Rings” length blog post when they are searching the Internet. They want extremely easy to consume information that solves their problems.

2. Get chunky!

Dividing up your text with multiple sub headers, bullet points and other media is a great way to break up the text within each blog post. When visitors’ eyes saccade they can easily recognize differences or things that “pop.” It’s key to take advantage of this within each post so readers can easily scan and obtain a general idea of what your post is about at a rapid pace.

3. Forget SEO and worry about content

Mockingbird, the latest update to Google’s search engine algorithm, cares less about keywords and more about the quality of content. OAO or online audience optimization is slowly replacing SEO or search engine optimization. Essentially it considers how long people stay on the page, what their bounce rate and engagement level is, etc. rather than just what keywords you have. Content will forever be king.

4. You need some cool stuff…

People like stuff that is cool, end of story. Make sense? Add awesome stuff to your blog like images, videos, links, maps, infographics, slideshows, polls, etc. to spice it up! It’s really important to have more than just text on your blog post to increase the aesthetic appeal.

5. Dont hav Typo’s

Havng typos in yur blog blog post will only ruin the credibilility of your blg (See what I mean?). One easy way to ensure fewer mistakes is to read each sentence out loud starting with the last sentence and working backwards. You may be surprised how many more errors you catch!

6. Call to actions

At the end of every post use any type of call to action or engagement creating device. Engagement is an important part of blogging and it helps you interact with your visitors while also increasing time on page and lowering your bounce rate. Examples of engaging devices include interesting questions, polls, social media sharing options, etc.

6.5 Have interesting post titles

Were you curious what the half of a way to improve your blogging was? I was curious too when writing this article! Make sure your blog titles are very eye catching with multiple adjectives or adverbs to stand out to people mindlessly looking at search engines or RSS feeds.

There are a thousand more tips for blogging; however, these cover the basics. Remember, just have fun with your blog, be creative, and people will come! Writing a blog can be a very rewarding thing for one’s personal or professional life, so keep it that way. May the blogging begin!


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