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 stepam87@uwosh.edu 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
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/melaniestepanek
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/melanie.stepanek

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