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Posts Tagged ‘pr’

Caught In The Middle

I think the hardest part about having creative freedom is deciding which direction you want to take it in. For me, I have a passion for so many things that are all so different from each other, that I end up sort of caught in the middle of it all. I am, however, one of the lucky ones – I have known since my freshman year of high school, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My heavy involvement in Associated Student Body and holding various leadership positions dates all the way back to my elementary school days. I have always been a people person, I have always been self-motivated, and I have always loved getting involved in anything and everything. It seems only natural for me to go into a field where I wouldn’t spend the rest of my life sitting behind a screen, in a six by six feet cube of solitude.

But the biggest question I get asked when I tell people I’m a PR major (aside from what exactly is public relations) is what I want to do with public relations. Though I know for sure I want to work along the lines of integrated marketing communications or as a social media coordinator, I have no preference of what “field” I want to work in. It’s not that I am unsure or confused, it’s just that I love so many different things and I want to dabble in all of them. For starters, music is one of my biggest passions. I can honestly say that I love all types of music, with my iTunes playlist ranging from metal to classical to country to mainstream pop. When I started writing music at the bright, young age of ten, it opened doors for me and allowed me to express myself in ways I never did before. I love working at the annual Vans Warped Tour and street teaming for my favorite bands, and would love to some day work in PR for the music industry but there are still many other fields for me to explore.

Sports have also always been a huge part of my life. I was an extremely active child and when it comes to sports, you name it – I’ve played it. My life has constantly been rolling and on the go (which probably correlates to me being a gym rat to this day) and I enjoy both watching and participating in anything involving athleticism. My greatest love of all: baseball, more importantly the San Francisco Giants. I still remember the first time I stepped foot into AT&T Park (formerly known as Pac Bell Park). The smell of fresh garlic fries wafting in the atmosphere. Thousands of people decked out in black and orange gear. Popcorn, hot dogs, cracker jacks and the exaggerated r’s when they called out “churros!” lingered in the air, as I, seven years old at the time, took it all in and fell in love with America’s favorite past time. To work for and represent my team, the team that sparked my love for the sport would be the greatest job of all time – and yet, I honestly don’t know if even that could satisfy my all dreams and desires.

There are still so many other things that I want to work in: fashion, food, literature, film and media. The list is just forever ongoing. I can only hope that I am lucky enough to get the opportunities to explore them all! I guess only time will tell now but either way, any job that I acquire can only contribute to my happiness and once again assure me that I have chosen the right career path to walk upon for the rest of my life.

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  As I sit here typing, I am just exhausted beyond belief. This past week has been hectic – I’ve had classes all day every day, on top of that it was also Panhellenic Recruitment, which meant that I was running straight from a long day of classes to chat up dozens of girls in order to find the right group of women to invite into our sisterhood (more on that later). After days of smiling, singing and making small talk, the last thing on my mind was my blog entry for class. Now I have been pondering over the subject of the post for a while now and am struggling severely. I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve really only met for one lecture so far and haven’t covered specific topics in depth or that my brain is just slowly shutting down in exhaustion from the week’s events. Either way, I’ve settled on the topic of standardized tests – more specifically, the GSP.

  Growing up, we accepted standardized tests as part of our annual routine. Each year, our student council, teachers, faculties, and principals would go all out to rally us and get us excited for the STAR tests. We were constantly reminded that it was extremely important that we perform well on said tests so that the state could assess our educational progress. We were constantly reminded that it was crucial we tried our best in order to accurately present the knowledge that we have gained and yet, we were also constantly reminded that the scores we received would not reflect our grades. That was the part that never made any sense to me. If this was a test that was so crucial in our education, why is it that we cannot study for it nor does it affect our grades or student standings? As I got older, the truth dawned on me – these standardized tests are not about the students, they were for the schools, to make sure they were doing their jobs in educating us.

  When my dreadful STAR testing days came to an end, I came face to face with even more important standardized tests: SAT’s and ACT’s. Again, these were tests that are supposed to be a proper assessment of my intelligence but will not be reflected in my grades. Instead, these tests were going to determine where I would be able to pursue my higher education, tests that would determine where I would be able to start the rest of my life. With the SAT’s I learned another thing about standardized tests: when all subjects are compressed into a single-day, time constrained test, I fail miserably. I have been an A’s and B’s student all my life with a GPA of 3.9 and yet, when it came to the SAT’s, I received a less than desirable 1730 out of 2400. A 1730 out of 2400 results in a 72%, deeming me as a student whose intellectual performance fares at the lower end of most average students. After many disappointments in my failed SAT attempts, I opted for the ACT’s which in turn better reflected my actual performance as a student.

  Now after suffering 12 years of standardized testing, that never truly reflected my talents, I finally breathe a sigh of relief thinking my score of 32 on the ACT’s has landed me in the perfect university where I can focus solely on my career path to becoming a public relations specialist. But wait – I was wrong. The Journalism and Media Studies Department slaps the GSP (Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation) test in my face and I have unknowingly walked into what would be the most challenging standardized test of my life. The name itself sounds so simple – grammar, spelling and punctuation – all elementary things that I have been practicing in my writing (or so I thought) until I actually came face to face with the exam. I realized a little too late that it has been years since I had been taught the fundamentals of grammar, spelling and punctuation. As I sat with that blue booklet in front of me, I found myself reading and re-reading sentences over and over again, attempting to pick out the correct answer whilst reminding myself not to over-edit (something I am frequently guilty of). When the results came out, I was terrified and then, my fear was realized: a 75, just 5 points short of passing the exam. What does this mean for me? Well, I have 2 more tries to triumph over this test (which just so happens to have a pass rate of 20% or less), and if I don’t pass I will have to change my major completely (which means for me, changing my entire life). You see, writing’s always been my passion, the one thing I’ve always been good at (or so I’ve been told) and now, I am being told that my 10 year plan, which I constructed my freshman year of high school, may quite well be flushed down the toilet. At this point, I am sick of being the victim of standardized tests. The GSP by no means assesses my capabilities as a writer nor does it actually correlate to my GSP skills. My writing is not free of errors by any means, but it’s nothing that minor edits cannot fix. My point being that in the entirety of our lives, learning abilities and testing have always been lumped into the same group and yet, these tests are not individualized to fit every student’s testing needs (like my inability to keep from over-editing). It is utterly frustrating to know that my future lies in the hands of a test booklet, rather than my actual abilities as a writer.

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