Stand Out and Set Yourself Apart

29 10 2012

By: Barbara Benish (@NEWSPA)

Take the extra step. Run that extra mile. Do whatever it takes.

No matter how you phrase it, it’s clear that if you want to get a job or internship in today’s market, you need to stand out from the crowd.

But how do you do that? Well, that depends on you.

Spring 2012 alumna Patti Werner took that step when she applied to ModCloth last spring. “I found out about ModCloth in November 2010. I distinctively remember clicking on their Facebook ad, going to the website, and falling in love with it.”

Werner explains that she is a visual person, so she liked that the site was aesthetically pleasing. It was so pleasing that she constantly went back to visit the website and blog. The more she learned, the more she liked about the company.

So she started researching the company and learned that an internship was available for the summer. Coincidentally, the owner of Zimride, the business where her boyfriend was interning in California, knew the owner of ModCloth and agreed to hand Werner’s resume directly to the owners of the online clothing store.

But to make it even better, when she visited her boyfriend during spring break, ZimRide made arrangements that she could tour ModCloth. “Talk about crazy networking,” Werner said.

“All I had was graphic design posters, and they wanted writing samples, too,” Werner said. “So a friend and I came up with idea to copy their website and make it look like I was selling myself.”

That was just enough to get a response from ModCloth. In the end, she did not end up taking the internship at the online clothing store. The important thing is she got a response. She set herself apart from the competition.

She’s not the first to do that; and she certainly won’t be the last. The Internet is full of examples of recent graduates and seasoned professionals setting themselves apart. Here are some of my favorites:

  • —Develop your own PowerPoint presentation, upload it to and promote it through your networks and on your website. Slides can include information about your skills, projects you’ve completed, an endorsement from a manager, etc.
  • QR codes — Share a quick response (QR) code on your social networks to direct an employer back to your website.
  • Viral Videos or Develop a Video Resume to showcase your personality and skills to employers
  • Viral Video Resume

  • Pinterest Search “resume” on Pinterest and you’ll find thousands of hits.  You can pin pictures of the companies you’ve worked for, the school you’ve attended and places you’ve volunteered at.  This viral medium can provide a multi-dimensional representation and will set you far apart from the typical two-dimensional resume.

Example of “resume” Pinterest board collection

  • Be your own advertisement. When the 28-year-old copywriter Alec Brownstein wanted a new job, he did this using the tool Google Ad Words. He purchased his favorite creative directors’ names on Google Ad words assuming that they would Google themselves as often as the next person.  It turns out he was right. So anytime someone ran a search for one of those creative directors, this is what showed up on the screen: (Needless to say, he got job offers from two of those creative directors.)

“Hey, Gooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too”

So what are you waiting for?  It’s time for you to stand out from the crowd and land your dream job!


Vice President Joe Biden to Visit UWO on Friday

25 10 2012

Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States will be speaking at UW Oshkosh on Friday, October 26.

Photo Credit: ABC news

Where: Albee Hall and Pool on Algoma Blvd.

When: Friday, October 26

  • Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
  • Event starts at 10:45 a.m.

Important information: You MUST have a ticket if you plan on attending the event. Tickets are available at Reeve Union today (October 25) until 9 p.m.

Big Idea, Smaller Package

24 10 2012

By: Eli Drljaca (@elidrljaca)

Apple has captured our attention yet again with releasing the new iPad mini on October 23, 2012. The new iPad mini, although smaller than the regular iPad, shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s 53% lighter and 23% thinner than the regular iPad. It also has a smaller screen size of 7.9” compared to the regular iPad’s 9.7”.

So why do we care? UW Oshkosh Journalism is constantly examining the latest in technology.  As student use of tablets continues to rise, we want to know what the latest from Apple offers us in comparison to its competitors.

Jony Ive, lead designer of Apple, explains the iPad mini in this way, “What we did, was we went back to the very beginning and we took the time to design a product that was a concentration of, and not a reduction of, the original.”

The iPad mini starts at $329 for a 16GB WiFi-only model. Even though it’s cheaper than the regular iPad’s starting price, it’s still not as cheap as some Amazon or Google tablets. Since its cheaper than the regular iPad, the iPad mini may be the go-to choice for some of us college kids who don’t have the cash to just throw around.

The iPad mini is great because it has apps such as messages, Safari, calendar and even has a camera to do FaceTime. It’s perfect for college students trying to stay organized and chat with their buds about class.

Apple’s big step into the tablet marketing world is heating up the game. Their strategy is usually to sell their products at a higher cost, and then let the apps and iBooks cost less for the user while at the same time giving them a better experience and really letting their software do the talking. Google and Amazon do things differently, while their tablets costs may be cheaper, they charge more for the eBooks, applications and other advertisements. Check out this New York Times article for more information.

The iPad mini will hold its own as a competitor in the tablet word and the saying “great things come in small packages” is definitely true when it comes to the new iPad mini.

All of these new technologies can benefit students in countless ways. The question is, which one will be fully equipped with all of the tools we need to record, report and capture the world.

Internships at EAA are the Real Deal

12 10 2012

By: Barb Benish

I’ve worked for EAA AirVenture’s daily newspaper for 17 of the 18 years it’s been in existence. The one year I missed — its inaugural year — I had a baby instead.

After that many years you would think that working for a daily paper the one week that Oshkosh is inundated with hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts would become in some ways almost mundane or predictable. After all, you cover many of the same events, just with different people or planes.

Oh, there are the times you get the plum assignments. I’ve interviewed celebrities, such as Morgan Freeman, an actor known for such movies as “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Shawshank Redemption,” who just happens to be a pretty good pilot; Capt. Thomas Hudner, who received the Medal of Honor for crash-landing his plane to try to help his wingman, the Navy’s first African-American aviator; and retired NASA astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson, who flew five missions and spent more than 36 days in space, to name a few. I can’t lie. Those stories were a lot of fun.

But working for the 2012 annual fly-in and convention, however, was more rewarding than usual. That is because I worked alongside more UW-Oshkosh journalism alumni and students than ever before.


UW-Oshkosh journalism alumni working in the EAA AirVenture Today office included Meghan Plummer, assistant editor at EAA and a 2010 graduate, and Kelly Nelson, EAA managing editor and a 2005 alumna. Then there was me, of course, a 1993 graduate who works as a freelance writer and editor besides being a journalism instructor at UW-Oshkosh.

Students getting real-world experience — plus clips for their portfolios — included Sienna Kossman, Sonia Zimmerman and Katherine Pecora.

“I LOVED the experience!” said Zimmerman. “I met some wonderful people and gained knowledge that I would not have access to in the classroom. I feel very honored that I was able to be a part of the action.”

Kossman agreed. “My internship experience with the EAA publications department gave me insight into an area of journalism that I never considered being involved in and expanded my horizons in incredible ways,” she said. “Not only did I learn a lot about the field of aviation, but I also got to experience working in a magazine publication setting, working on a strictly web-content weekly newsletter and then, during AirVenture, a daily newspaper. The variety of skills I was able to expand on was incredible. I have now broadened my vision for future jobs after graduation and feel more prepared for some of my upcoming journalism classes. Additionally, the connections I made while working at EAA are also outstanding and irreplaceable.”

All these students get it. Yes, school is very important. But so is the experience you get with an internship. Besides interning at EAA this summer, this group continues to get real-world experience that will help them land permanent jobs once they leave Sage Hall. They are working for or interning at The Heckler, designing a monthly sport magazine read by fans across the United States; serving as Editor in Chief for The Advance-Titan; and more.

Employers are saying they are looking to hire students who have had two or three internships because they want people who have proven skills and who aren’t afraid to try something new. So what are you waiting for? Email me at to set up an appointment. I’d love to help you find an internship. And I look forward to working with some of you at EAA AirVenture 2013!

From left: Meghan Plummer, Sonia Zimmerman, Sienna Kossman, Kelly Nelson, Barbara Benish and Katherine Pecora pose outside the AirVenture Today offices.

Plagiarism in Social Media

7 10 2012

By Rachel Pritzl (@rachelpritzl) 

ImageSocial Media allows us to share articles, pictures, and videos by one click of the mouse.  Many social media sites make it easy for users to “share” something they like without giving proper recognition to the original author. “Plagiarism is going social, according to” writes Jenna Zwang.

What is Plagiarism? defines plagiarism as: “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author.”

In a Washington Post Article, it’s noted:

“One-third of all unoriginal content in student papers came from social networks, including Facebook and all of the various “content-sharing” sites where users post and share information, such as It’s an interesting finding, because typically, the content of those sites is unverified and unsourced. Users may say pretty much whatever they want, factual or not.”

After doing some research, I found that even on Twitter plagiarism has its own hashtag (#plagiarism). This allows people to constantly tweet about their anger with plagiarism and posting articles of known plagiarism.

This leads to the question: Should Facebook Provide Plagiarism Checking Tools?

An article written by Robert Creutz posted on iThenticate, a Professional Plagiarism Prevention site, addresses this question head on.

“The recent case of the ‘fake’ Martin Luther King Jr. quote is a perfect example of how ‘who said what’ is getting lost in the social shuffle. The quote spread rapidly across Facebook and Twitter in response to Osama Bin Laden’s death.  However, it turned out that the most relevant part of the quote was getting falsely attributed to Dr. King; it was actually a comment from a 24-year-old teacher that was fused into MLK’s quote and then injected into the social web.

As more and more information becomes a social commodity, we need to keep our eye on where that information originated.”

Many universities, including the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, are using sites like to do their best at limiting plagiarism. The growing rate of social media is making it difficult to keep up. However, the possibility of Facebook providing plagiarism checking tools will allow users to “share” the articles, pictures, and video and still give credit to the proper authors.