No Time to be Nervous

30 03 2010

Journalism student, Taylor KrentzBy Taylor Krentz

The Advance-Titan plays an important role at UW Oshkosh. The articles are chosen to provide the most relevance for each student. From U.S. Government regulations to the ever-popular Busted column, which serves as a helpful reminder for what not to do, each article has a purpose.

Until three weeks ago, the Advance-Titan was just a source of news for me. Then I saw an ad offering a job for students who wanted to get involved with the Advance-Titan. I applied and now am one of four sales representatives for its advertising department.

The first two weeks involved a lot of learning. I had to make sure I understood and remembered all the basics of ad sizes, prices and contracting before making my first sale. It was a lot to remember and I was nervous I would forget something important. The last thing I wanted to do was call a potential advertiser and sound like I didn’t know what I was doing.

After the second week I was assigned my first real task: a cold call. A woman called the Advance-Titan office looking to advertise and my manager thought I was ready to make the call. After mentally building myself up I dialed… only to reach the answering machine. Surprisingly, when I finally reached the woman, everything fell into place. With everything organized in front of me, I was able to professionally make a sale.

Although calling someone you’ve never met can be sort of scary, mastering the skill is essential for a future career in advertising. I’ll have to start conversations with important people who may be intimidating. If I want to be successful in my career I will need to task risks and make myself stand out. If I’m nervous, I need to get over it and adjust to become more comfortable in those situations.

Other students interested in advertising should consider working at the Advance-Titan or at least get an internship of some sort. You won’t know if it’s what you want to do unless you actually get to try it out. The experience has been valuable and I am thankful for the opportunity. I’m more confident, professional and experienced because of it.


Lessons from 1 Creative Way

18 03 2010

By Jessie Tadder

UW Oshkosh’s Advertising Club took a trip Friday, March 12 to Pewaukee’s DMC Advertising company, “an industry leader for multi-channel, results-driven marketing programs.” We arrived at 1 Creative Way around 10 a.m. to be greeted by a friendly atmosphere and people from whom we gained much knowledge.

DMC’s slogan is “No fluff. No ego. Just advertising that gets results.” For a company who takes the time to measure the results of all processes, this slogan is only fitting. We got to know DMC and the types of services they provide, along with a few members of its staff. Not only were we able to ask questions about the business itself, but the staff gave us helpful ideas as to where we should be in our student career and where to go from here.

A few helpful hints that any student could take away from DMC’s presentation are:

  • Remove any “stupidity” from your Social Media page(s)
  • Get Internships(s)
  • Ideation + Portfolio
  • Networking is essential

As students, we have probably heard about at least one or more of these helpful pieces of information from our professors and peers. However, the fact that DMC cared enough to mention them shows that they are of great importance. UWO Ad Club was able to take away many useful ideas from DMC, and we greatly appreciated the time they gave out of their work day to give us some real life experience

UW Oshkosh Ad Club

Writing for the Media: Not a Casting Call For Zombies

11 03 2010

By Professor Vince Filak

An experience is only as good as you decide to make it.

If there’s one lesson to learned from Journalism 221, Writing for the Media, that should be it. It’s my great hope you’ll learn more than that, but since my class is usually held at 8 a.m., it’s a required course and most people would rather gargle with gasoline and spit on a brush fire than deal with either of those things, we’ll consider one lesson a win.

Required classes are required for a reason. Someone, somewhere thinks you’ll need this information in order to succeed. If you think it stinks for you, imagine what it feels like being on my end of that. If I screw this up for you, you’ll be ill-prepared for the rest of your time in college. To that end, the pressure to get it right and keep it light is pretty intense.

The one thing that always makes a course worth taking is the people in the class. The best courses I’ve taken and the worst courses I’ve taken as a student are geared more toward how good or bad my fellow travelers were, as opposed to what time they were or how weird the professor was.

Granted, a good professor can make the difference, but we tend to feed off of your energy as much as you feed off ours. Thus, if you’re sitting there with your head on your desk, looking like an extra from a “Dawn of the Dead” film, we’re not going to be all jazzed about what we’re doing, either. The only difference is, we can’t put our head on the podium, sigh audibly and say, “This sucks. You guys are borrrrinnnng….”

The point is, an experience is only as good as you want it to be.  You can coast through a J-221 course with all the elegance of a mouth-breathing twerp who can’t make change for you at the Burger King drive through. However, if you decide to do that, keep in mind, you’re partially to blame for how poorly that class turns out. It is possible to laugh and learn, so give it a shot.

Besides, you’ve got to be there anyways.

Kate Unger: UWO Student to UWO Career

9 03 2010

By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)

Kate Unger’s life has gone full circle. Unger went from full-time University of Wisconsin Oshkosh college student, to working at other marketing firms and is back at UWO once again.  This time she is not the student position. Now she is in the role of teacher.

Unger graduated from UWO in 2006 with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising/Public Relations.   After completing school she went on to work at several other marketing firms, including Weidert Group Inc. in Appleton, Wis.

Her ties and connections with UWO and its Journalism Department helped her find her next job. Her former professor, Dr. Sara Steffes-Hansen, informed her about a marketing coordinator position at Oracular, a marketing firm in Oshkosh.

After working at Oracular, Unger is back at UWO working as the marketing manager for Reeve Union. Her job focuses on promoting events happening around campus, including new food venues and concerts.

Marketing isn’t Unger’s only field of interest. Recently she has become very involved in social media and Web 2.0.

“It’s the way marketing is going,” Unger said.  ”I get to see how real-time marketing happens.”

Unger feels that social media is becoming a huge piece of any marketing operation and that someday it will be the norm.

“It’s the instant gratification,” she said. “Instead of talking at coffee shops, we’re meeting online.”

She has several online endeavors going on. She is in charge of Reeve’s blog, where three student interns write about events going around campus and their personal student experiences

Unger also created her own blog called Baby & Briefcase.

“The biggest things in my life are my kids,” she said. “That defines who I am.”

Her blog documents her struggles of trying to be a dedicated employee while still being the best parent possible.

“I’m trying to balance these two things,” she said. “Writing is an outlet for me.”

Unger said that her classes were important, but her internships were priceless. She recommends that all current Journalism students take advantage of their time as students to participate in as many internships as possible.

“Corporate America is different from school,” she said. “Deadlines are real and time is money.”

Unger added that her experiences at UWO helped prepare her for a career in the real world and were vital to getting her where she is today.

Kate Unger can be found on Twitter at @UngerKate.

As the Snow Melts: A Social Media Beginning

4 03 2010

I always get a kick out of the crazy stuff that emerges from the melting snow banks in early spring. Yesterday I saw a shoe (…bet that was a cold walk home) and today I encountered a treasure trove of bottle caps. However, the best thing that is emerging this spring is not a piece of trivial debris; it is this blog.

Quickly, for those of you who don’t know me: I’m graduating this semester with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising. I’m currently an intern at Weidert Group Inc., in Appleton as well as the new Social Media Intern here at the Journalism Department. As a soon-to-be May graduate, I’ve been reflecting on my four years at UW Oshkosh. Although I’m lucky to have two great internships, in retrospect I can see a lot of things I wish I had done earlier. It is a competitive work environment right now. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in advertising, public relations, news, editorial or photography: you’re going to have to work a lot harder to get a job after graduation.

The goal of the Journalism Department Blog is to get you to see your education as an experience lived out beyond the borders of classroom walls. Internships are vital, especially since we are now competing with “entry-level” hires who have years of  work experience. This blog will help you by providing tips and steering you in the right direction to get internships early. Social networking has become a huge factor in each of our industries and is affecting the way we communicate and do our jobs. In some cases it is our job. We are expected to know and do so much before graduation it can get overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

Looking back, I wish I would have had a one-stop place to get all the information I needed for my career. Something that connected all the great resources on the Web into one coherent, interactive space and tied in valuable insights from area professionals who live out what we study to become each day. We’re trying to make that a reality with this blog.

In addition to the blog, we are incorporating other key social media tools into our space. Twitter, though intimidating at first, is a source of up-to-date industry news as well as a key networking tool. Facebook is a good way of communicating with each other. Part of our education is developing connections with our peers. We also have a LinkedIn presence to get you acquainted with how this powerful professional networking tool operates and connect with alumni. Links to our social media outlets can be found in the upper right corner of each page.

Regular blog updates will come from me, faculty, alumni and employers, but most importantly, we’d like to see them come from you.  If you’d like to write a guest blog, contact me at or any of my social media accounts (below) and we can arrange a topic. If you have any other tools or resources you use that aren’t currently on a resource page, please send them over.  To make this a success, We’ll need your help.

Melanie Stepanek
Twitter: @shmelanie