Networking Your Way to Your Dream Job…

3 03 2017

By Christina Basken (@ChristinaBasken)

Networking can be an excellent way to reach out, get your name out there, land your dream job and perhaps even come across an opportunity you’ve never even thought of exploring! A few of our journalism students have had great success with networking. Read about their stories, tips and advice here.

Mackenna Erdmann, a senior at UWO studying Public Relations and Journalism

Through networking, Erdmann has had the chance to work for exciting organizations such as 95.9 Kiss FM, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Walt Disney World Company, the CMA’s and the Green Bay Packers.

“One of the experiences that changed my life in many ways was GRAMMY Camp”, Erdmann said. “My mom heard about the opportunity and we put together an audition tape to submit. After weeks of waiting, I was chosen as one of 30 kids to participate in the week long camp in New York City. I spent time with industry professionals who opened my eyes to the entertainment industry as a whole and inspired me to work hard to get where I want to be. Among those people, I met my friend Josh who happened to be from Nashville. After telling him about my passion for singing and country music, he didn’t hesitate to invite me to work the CMA Awards. A couple years later, he called me and asked if I would come down for the week of the show. Without hesitation, I packed my bags and headed to Music City. The first year, I started out driving golf carts, but as I started talking with people and ‘selling myself,’ I was eventually moved inside where I work directly with all the country artists and talent who are a part of the show both during rehearsal week and the show itself. I moved my way up and this past November, I had the honor of working with Brad Paisley. If I hadn’t expanded my network both at GRAMMY Camp and the CMA’s, I would have never gotten the opportunity to do what I am doing today.”


“If I had to leave you with advice, it would be this: be comfortable being uncomfortable and get as much experience as you possibly can,” Erdmann said. “What I mean by ‘be comfortable being uncomfortable’ is there are going to be a lot of times where you may not feel comfortable talking to someone and trying to sell yourself. DO IT. You never know who you are talking to or where that conversation could go.”

Katie Biersach, a junior at UWO majoring in PR with a minor in RTF

Biersach has discovered many networking opportunities through PRSSA and at the National and Regional Conferences. Being a member of the chapter allows Biersach to take advantage of professional networking events and experiences with practitioners in the industry. She also has opportunities to network with students from across the world to learn about their chapters..


“Take a leap of faith and network with professionals on LinkedIn that work for companies that you want to intern or work at in the future,” Biersach said. “Take advantage of on-campus events to network with professionals. Join a club or organization relating to your major or minor and network with students in that group. Talk to your professors and ask for advice when applying for an internship. Do not be afraid to ask someone to take a second look at your application materials. Internships will not come to you. If you want the internship bad enough, you will do everything you can to make your application the best.”

Rachel Boudreau, a recent graduate from UWO majoring in Journalism with an emphasis in public relations “– now working as a content specialist at DealerSocket

Boudreau, on the other hand, has had many networking opportunities through being involved in her sorority. Taking leadership positions has allowed her to meet and network with campus professionals, and peers from across the country at conferences. She has also had networking opportunities through professors in her journalism classes, and with her involvement with PRSSA.

“These opportunities have influenced my career path because talking to people in a new area of PR that I haven’t yet explored, or talking to other motivated students, helps me become more motivated and curious about future career opportunities,” Boudreau said. “My experiences in college have given me a drive to always push forward and to forge my own path in my career.”


Boudreau states, “Get involved! I can’t express enough how important it is to be involved in a variety of organizations on campus, both within and outside of your major. Talk to classmates, professors, friends, family, everyone you possibly can about what you want to do with your life because you never know where an opportunity might pop up. Be open to trying new things. You might have an internship opportunity that you don’t think fits into exactly what you want to do, but never turn away an experience.”


How to find out about networking conferences going on around campus? Download the UWO Handshake app and get connected with clubs and organizations on campus! Also check out these great monthly networking conferences held at The Lambeau Field and Oshkosh area to interact with over 50 companies to land your dream job!


Display Your Best Self: PRSSA Holds LinkedIn Workshop

1 03 2017

By Ashley Larson (@aelarson6)

As a senior, the real world is right around the corner. With it comes the daunting task of job (or internship) hunting. Recently, PRSSA hosted Barb Benish and Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen, who gave a LinkedIn workshop about how to use this important networking platform along with one-on-one help for attendees. Students of all skill levels met to improve their profiles or, like me, get started on the networking site.

Dr. Hansen kicked the workshop off with a video explaining why students should make a LinkedIn profile. Turns out, it’s not just for well-connected CEOs! Building a strong profile now may help you land that awesome job right after graduation.

For new users, Benish built a profile from scratch and highlighted best practices along the way. Her first tip? Make sure you have a strong résumé! It makes creating your LinkedIn profile a piece of cake.

She also pointed out the importance of a good profile picture. LinkedIn users with a quality photo are 21 times more likely to be viewed and 36 times more likely to be messaged.

Your profile summary on LinkedIn is key, according to Benish, because it’s like your digital elevator pitch. Sell yourself! All it takes is a few short paragraphs and bullet points to highlight your skills, accomplishments and goals. Sprinkle in some personality and employers may be interested in hiring you.

Speaking of personality, remember to change the URL on your public profile to your name, if possible. This makes it shorter, neater and easier to remember.

Badges are another component of a strong LinkedIn profile. For example, New and Emerging Media students who take and pass the HubSpot inbound marketing certification exam can display a badge on their profile. PRSSA members can showcase their membership card on LinkedIn as well.

Another cool thing about LinkedIn is its portfolio capabilities. Upload your résumé. Share some writing samples or photographs. If you’re working on something awesome for class, work or your internship, add it to your profile.

As students, adding courses related to the field you want to work in is a great way to show prospective employers that you have practical knowledge.

Don’t forget to interact with other users! After all, LinkedIn is a social network. Endorsements from coworkers and supervisors show that you have skills. Connect with your professors and classmates—you never know what connections they may have.

Stressed out about advising? We can help!

21 02 2017

By Christina Basken (@ChristinaBasken)

Remember to sign up for journalism advisingSign up sheets will be posted on your adviser’s doors starting Monday, February 20 at 8 a.m. Not sure who your adviser is? Please check Titan Web.

All questions regarding signing up for both Summer & Fall 2017 classes can be taken care of during this appointment. Come to your appointment prepared with an updated copy of your STAR report.

Advising for Summer & Fall 2017 Journalism classes will be held:
90 credits and more/honor students: March 6, 7
60-89 credits: March 8, 9
45-59 credits: March 13

Students with fewer than 45 credits and/or GPA below 2.50 should make an appointment with Ms. Crystal Marschall, Journalism Adviser in UARC (Student Success Center)


Savvy LinkedIn Presence Lands Student A Cool Job Before Graduation

7 01 2017

By Jennifer Goldadestudio-session-017-1

I got a job! #hiredbeforegraduation

I am happy to say that I have accepted a full-time position as a content writer with Frazer Consultants in Middleton.

None of this would be possible without everything I have learned from the UW Oshkosh journalism department. The UWO journalism professors have taught me how to write and edit effectively in both traditional and digital formats.

This semester I am taking the New and Emerging Media course. We have created our own blogs, learned about search engine optimization and became inbound marketing certified for digital content through HubSpot, which is a new feature Dr. Sara Hansen added to the class this year.

After watching the HubSpot videos and passing the online exam, I now have an inbound marketing certification badge on my LinkedIn profile.


I created my LinkedIn profile last semester when I took the Professional Journalism Internship course with Instructor Barb Benish. We learned about the importance of having a professional online presence and creating an online portfolio.

We also learned how to prepare for an interview by researching the company and practicing interview questions. We participated in mock interviews with real employers for jobs in our field.

All of this information I learned were factors for me landing this job. I applied for it with my LinkedIn profile acting as my resume, so I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your LinkedIn profile accurate and up-to-date.

My online portfolio link is on my LinkedIn profile, so Frazer Consultants was able to see samples of my writing to show I have the skills listed on my LinkedIn profile. The fact I have an inbound marketing certification gave me an edge over other applicants.

I strongly recommend all journalism students take the New and Emerging Media and Professional Journalism Internship courses. All of the skills you learn will help you in your future endeavors and job applications, maybe even getting hired before graduation!

I am excited to start the next chapter of my life after graduation. The journalism department is like family, and I cannot thank my professors enough for their education and support.

J-Department To Celebrate Milestones for Fall 2016 Semester

7 12 2016

By Timothy R. Gleason, Ph.D., Chair

The Department of Journalism is marking several milestones for the semester as its holiday celebration approaches to recognize fall graduates. The celebration will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, in the Reading Room. Department Chair Dr. Tim Gleason shared some highlights for the semester:

Public relations major “turns one”

  • Our first year of the new Public Relations Major (previously an emphasis) has enhanced the visibility of our program, especially among freshmen. We’re enjoying meeting with these students as they explore this exciting major.
  • We happily welcomed a new assistant professor of public relations, Dr. Kristine Nicolini, to our faculty. Dr. Nicolini recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and brings significant professional and teaching experience. She’s already added some innovative approaches, such as panel teaching formats in Case Studies of Public Relations and CisionPoint PR software, in her first semester on the job.
  • Students in The Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA Chapter participated in the PRSSA National Conference in Indianapolis. They won the Star Chapter Award, and their advisor, Dr. Sara Hansen, won the national Outstanding Faculty Adviser Teahan Award.

Advertising advances with national program

  • Advertising students participated in the Insight+Interaction: Student Advertising Career Conference at the Chicago Portfolio School sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. Students attended sessions from industry speakers on branding to analytics, breakout sessions on job paths for different ad agency roles and a networking event with recruiters.
  • Ad Club hosted sessions to expand design skills and prepare students for the National Student Advertising Competition. The club hosted journalism alum Brody Karmenzind, an ad account manager at Facebook, at the Dec. 5 meeting.

Writing/editing and visual curriculum expanding… and more awards

  • Our growth with the Interactive Web Management interdisciplinary program contributed to an additional section of Writing for the Media for spring, as this is a core course for online content development.
  • Staff for the Advance-Titan traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the Associated Collegiate Press National Convention, where they won 9th place for Best Overall Website. Their adviser, Dr. Vince Filak, won the College Media Association’s Distinguished Newspaper Adviser of the Year for his work with the student newspaper.
  • Our Society of Professional Journalists Chapter continued its movie series and arranged for a well-attended tour of the Oshkosh Northwestern, where students met the editorial staff, including alumna Noell Dickmann. The chapter also won first place in the window–decorating competition that is part of homecoming.
  • Photo Club is beginning a rephotography project on campus. Members will be using old photos of campus for inspiration and to see how campus has changed.
  • The department welcomed Doug Sundin as an adjunct instructor for Media Photo I this fall. Mr. Sundin is the photography/videography services manager at University Marketing and Communications. Dr. Gleason will be returning to Media Photography I in Spring 2017.

Faculty and staff activities

  • Faculty members reported research relevant to the presidential campaign. Dr. Gleason and Dr. Hansen published an article about President Obama, visual rhetoric, and branding in the Howard Journal of Communications. Dr. Hansen and Dr. Shu-Yueh Lee presented research on the Donald Trump campaign at a national journalism conference in Minneapolis in August.
  • Nicolini presented two collaborative research projects at the National Communication Association convention in Philadelphia in November. The first study examined parental mediation and children’s media consumption behaviors. The second paper focused on the emerging transition from cross-cultural to inter-cultural communication.
  • Faculty members Timothy Gleason and Sara Hansen nominated Cindy Schultz for the University Staff Senate STAR award for service going above and beyond to the department. Schultz received the award in July 2016.
  • Cindy Schultz is active in CivilityWorks on campus. In the fall, she manages the Bare Essentials Campaign where campus is urged to donate clothing and food for St. Vincent DePaul and Oshkosh Area Food Pantry for back to school needs for the Oshkosh community. Additionally, she spearheads the Be The Change We Need loose change drive to collect funds for the Day by Day Warming Shelter. This year the campus community was able to raise over $437 that was matched by an anonymous donor from the greater Oshkosh community.

The Department of Journalism is thankful to be celebrating the wrap of another great year. Come celebrate with us, and congratulate our December graduates starting their new roles as media professionals. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season!

Using Social Media In Your Job Search

22 06 2016

By Jenna Nyberg

We’ve all Screenshot 2016-06-21 21.00.11heard it a hundred times: Be careful about what you post on your social media accounts. In this field more than most, the words you use and the habits you have on social media accounts might make or break your chance at employment. But instead of focusing on what not to do, let’s think about a few ways you can embrace social media to help score the job you want.

Know where to look.

A 2014 national survey by Jobvite found that the most popular social networks job recruiters are using to find employees are LinkedIn (94 percent), Facebook (65 percent) and Twitter (55 percent). In comparison, only 36 percent of job seekers are using LinkedIn to look for jobs. What does this mean? Get on LinkedIn! (And keep an eye out for job postings on Facebook and Twitter, too.)

Include social media links on your resume.

If this makes sense for the types of positions you’re applying for and if you feel confident about your presence on social media, go for it! Providing employers with these links will allow them to get a better idea of who you are, what your voice/writing style is like and how you interact online.

Update your profiles and settings.

According to the same Jobvite survey, 93 percent of recruiters looked at a candidate’s social profile, and 42 percent of the time the content they viewed led them to reconsider a candidate, both positively and negatively. With this in mind, think about maybe making some changes to your accounts, such as a more professional LinkedIn photo, stricter privacy settings on Facebook, appropriate and relevant tweets, etc.

Network your way into a job.

As I’m applying for jobs, I’m finding out that it really is “all about who you know.” Social media platforms are meant to help you make connections with people, so use them to your advantage. Whether it’s just letting people know you’re looking for jobs, connecting with people on LinkedIn or joining in on Twitter conversations, it’s important to get your name out there and on the radar of potential employers. When heading out on your next job hunt, keep in mind all of these ways that you can utilize social media to your advantage. It’s a great way to get ahead of the game!

Internship Spotlight: Creating Your Own Personal Brand

14 06 2016

By Catie Schultz (@CatieSchultz17)

As journalism students, we have it drilled into our heads very early in our courses how important it is to show your voice when creating content, however, it is even more imperative to focus on the creation of your own personal brand. But why is your personal brand so important? By setting the tone in creating your own personal brand, you are setting yourself apart from the competition. You also are creating better job opportunities by evolving your brand, developing better connections with people you work with as well as current and potential clients, generating industry recognition and so much more.

Hayley Rickmeier, a Public Relations and Journalism-Advertising major, wrote an internship newsletter article for Journalism 427: Professional Journalism Internship, outlining her insight on how to create your personal brand to prepare students for internships and life after graduation. Like many students, Hayley didn’t know what her personal brand was and expressed concern saying, “I am basically going to be the same as everyone else who graduates with the same degree. I don’t really know what will set me apart from them.”

To assist in trying to figure out where to start in developing your personal brand, Hayley thought of some great questions to consider. Use these questions to create responses about how you would answer. If you can answer all of these questions, you already have a great start in developing your personal brand.

  • What sets you apart from others and why are you unique?
  • What kind of situations do you excel in?
  • What area would you consider your absolute expertise?
  • What are some of your strongest personality traits?
  • What can you bring to the table in a future career of your choosing?

Another helpful way to gain insight is to ask people close to you about what you are great at. You can learn a lot about yourself by hearing what others think of your work ethic and personality. Paying attention to your social role also is helpful; an example of this would be if you are the person people always turn to for advice or for guidance during group projects, you are a natural leader.

As time goes by and you gain more experience, your personal brand will grow and change. As students, ours will be more goal-oriented until we gain professional experience, and that’s perfectly okay. Employers are looking for a brand that shows you know what you can bring to the table and that you are sure of your skills. For those of you interested in learning about how you can start your personal brand, The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand has excellent information and highlights many ways you can learn how to build and expand your personal brand.