Friday, May 20, 2011


22 days to graduation. Mr. Anxiety is creeping in like a plague. At first he would just kind of poke me every now and then, then at two months out he would randomly punch me. Now I'm being attacked daily. I tried to tell him to go away and he responded with, "Get a job loser."

I might be a complete nerd, but I actually have a working spreadsheet in Google Docs of every job I've applied to, when I applied, when the application deadline is, and if the employer has responded yet. The list is growing daily which makes me feel productive on one hand, and like I'm shooting aimlessly in the dark on the other. I do feel much better every time I add another line to the list-- it's the only thing that makes my daily beating subside a little.

Although stress is running extremely high right now, I know everything will turn out even if it's not within my ideal time frame. And I cannot wait until I'm finally there! All anxiety aside I am seriously excited to graduate and love the prospect of going out into the real world and doing what I enjoy most. There are so many things I would like to do; I'm curious to see where I end up. It could be public relations, marketing, social media, event planning, writing, or something I don't even expect. I keep visualizing myself starting my new job and looking back at the months I was freaking out and thinking, that was such a small span of time compared to the big picture, and it all turned out to be okay. It may be a couple of weeks, a month, or even a few months after graduation, but I will continue working hard so I will get to where I want to be. The emotional roller coaster that comes with the coming weeks will only make beginning my career that much sweeter.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Just Facebook Me"

In my Communication Industry Research Methods course we're working on an assignment on quantitative research design. We are to work in small groups to explore survey and sampling methods using a research question relevant to OSU students' social media use. Our group has decided to look at the correlation between a student's time spent utilizing social media and time spent on face-to-face interaction. We are hypothesizing that as social media time increases, face-to-face time will decrease. We have created a 20-question survey using Zoomerang that will be sent out to OSU students via Facebook or email.

Many of the questions are obvious ones regarding hours spent per week using social media and having face-to-face interaction with friends, and the same question for weekends. We also asked if students have ever created a friendship/relationship via Facebook, if they've used social media to collaborate on group projects instead of meeting in person, and what mode of communication they use to communicate with friends (email, phone call, text message or social media).
Once all of the responses are in (20-40 students) we will analyze the data to determine the descriptive results, such as frequency and percentage, and also will report the correlation or inference statistics if applicable.

So how does this affect social interaction, particularly that of Gen Y? Personally I know I put off visits to friends who are not in Columbus much longer than I would if I did not have access to them via social media. We keep in touch fairly regularly on Facebook, so there's no fear of losing contact. Because I came into social media during my senior year of high school, I'm not sure how contact with friends may have changed or ceased when I moved away for college had I not used it. However, looking at my parents (part of Gen X) I see that they lost contact with nearly all people from their high school save for a select few. For Gen X it is a unique situation though, because through watching their children and other gen-Yers utilize social media to keep in touch with people, many of them have started to create social media accounts. So though they lost contact because of a lack of social media, they are now reconnected with old friends and acquaintences. After my mom had me log onto my Facebook on several occasions so she could try to find people to see what they were up to, I created an account for her so she could reconnect with people and actually interact with them. While updates on classmates and family members previously has been held to class reunions and family gatherings, gen-Xers are now finding this can be done online in a more impersonal but easy way.

I think gen-Yers see social media in a different and generally more positive way than gen-Xers because we grew up with it and are used to the way it works. Does this go beyond the regular interaction we have with friends and even bleed into class reunion attendance? For me, I don't think attending my 5 year reunion is necessary because I still see all the people I want to see, and for anyone I've missed I can always contact them via Facebook. I know what most of the people I graduated with are doing because keeping up is as easy as reading my news feed. Did more gen-Xers attend their 5 year reunion than gen-Yers? What about 10 year reunions?
Social media also creates a mode of communication that is easier and less intimidating for more superficial relationships. Though it may reduce face-to-face interaction in deeper relationships which is widely viewed as negative, it increases interaction in brief acquantences and networking. There are people I may have never interacted with that I can follow, correspond and network with, and establish connections to via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Cbusr and other sites. I would never ask an industry expert, speaker, or well known person for their phone number, but I can find them on LinkedIn and establish a connection with them. This is a great way to re-introduce yourself, thank someone, or even just to create name recognition for yourself. I think professional use of social media is an invaluable tool for college students to take advantage of during school to establish a substantial network that can be drawn upon when it comes time to search for a job. It also allows individuals to create a personal brand for themselves so they are more than a resume and cover letter when going into an interview.

I'll post my group's findings once we've conducted our survey and anaylze the results. I definitely think there will be a correlation between time spent utilizing social media and time spent on face-to-face interaction, and am interested to see how much of a difference there is.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inside My Head: Pet Peeves and Little Things I Love

Things that make me cringe:
  • Spit
  • Soaking wet bath mats (I know it's weird)
  • People jiggling their leg/desk
  • Gum being chomped on
  • People texting in the middle of a conversation
  • Love-professing/spiteful Facebook statuses
  • Misuse of their and there; too, two and too; less and fewer; good and well (What? I'm a Comm major and an English minor.)
  • Shuffling feet (especially in Uggs)
  • Incessantly flushing toilets
  • People talking on their cell phones in a public bathroom stall
  • When people put the roll of toilet paper on backwards
  • This 5 Hour Energy Commercial
  • Using eating utensils like a shovel

Things that make me smile:
  • City skylines
  • Friendly people
  • Perky employees
  • A good photograph
  • A random sweet note, text or post
  • Sunny days
  • My boyfriend's dimples
  • Spur of the moment adventures
  • Seeing a friend I haven't seen in a while
  • A big hug
  • The perfect quote
  • A burst of energy during a run
  • Going to sleep during a storm
  • Elderly people waving at every car that goes by from their porch or mailbox
  • Getting an A on an assignment
  • Grandparents signing their name after a Facebook post
  • Being sang to
  • Decorating the Christmas tree to the Rat Pack or Bing Crosby
  • Walks around town
  • Ice cream cones
  • Old fashion shops, decor, objects and accessories
  • A really good meal
  • A dance in the living room
  • Sun tea
  • Throwing the helicopter seeds from Oak trees up in the air
  • Making black raspberry pie from scratch
  • Family picnics
  • Waking up thinking I need to go to work and realizing it's the weekend
  • A pretty sunrise/sunset
  • A new journal
  • Campfires & making s'mores
  • Fascinating architecture and interior design

I'm sure there are more. I'll edit as they come up. :) Please feel free to add your own to comments!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Imprezing Employers

My boyfriend was at a tech startup conference the other day where he learned of Prezi, "the zooming presentation editor". I watched some of the sample presentations on the website and I've been playing around with it for days now. This is a great way to spice up any kind of presentation whether it be for school or business, and it's great for unconventional portfolios and resumes as well. I'm currently working on creating a combination resume/portfolio in hopes of standing out from the crowd when applying to jobs. Graduation is five and a half weeks (WEEKS!) away so I've been racking my brain for creative ways to enter the competitive race for employment. Being a communication major looking for a career in public relations, marketing, event planning, or a related field, I though using a new and creative avenue would be appropriate.

This is a great tool for sales pitches for businesses. I'm sure clients see paper and PowerPoint pitches constantly, so seeing something fresh and eye-catching would be a relief. It also discourages those who tend to be text-happy with their presentations, because it's really all about the graphics and short snippets of information. Videos may be embedded as well. Check it out and see what you can do for upcoming presentations, applications and pitches. Here's an example of one that explains how to convert an existing PowerPoint presentation into Prezi: Turn a PowerPoint to Prezi. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Not Failure, Opportunity

A great deal of Easter weekend was devoted to the application for 10X, a competition through ONE Fund offering money and mentoring to tech startups. The Metropreneur explains the competition in more detail. The project team matched the set of criteria and could answer all of the questions thoroughly, so this seemed like the defining moment that was going to kick start the business. Not only did the ten chosen teams receive $20,000 in funding and a summer full of mentoring and aid from professionals, but they also had the chance to be placed in front of a panel of angel investors at the end of the summer. This was it-- this is what the team had been waiting for to really get the ball rolling. Everyone read the questions multiple times and had several brainstorming sessions before finally tackling every single question and getting the answers (in 125 words or less) to be concise and meaningful. This went on for about seven hours on Saturday and for another five hours on Sunday. Everyone was trying to get inside the heads of the judges and the mission of the competition to answer to the best of their abilities. After thorough editing the final submission went through with about half an hour to spare.

And so we wait...

The answer came through surprising soon. Less than four days after the submission the rejection letter came explaining the competitiveness of the competition-- of the 120 worldwide submissions just 25 were chosen. Luckily even to those not chosen advice is offered by the local experts, so the team is waiting to hear back from them to see what they need to improve or change. This was a major disappointment and blow to the team's steam, but everyone is trying to look at it as an opportunity. This apparently isn't the road the business is meant to take, and another one with come that better fits its needs and goals. It is extremely disheartening to put your heart and soul into something you're really passionate about only to be rejected, but it's no reason to quit or even slow down. Will it be a harder and longer road? Yes, but this gives the company a chance to regroup, find out what needs to be done, and find the opportunity that will lead to success.

While the engineers are working to improve the prototype and prepare for alpha testing, those on the business side are continuing to crunch numbers to prove the product is definitely a great investment. Also, we've created a spreadsheet to compile a running list of any personal contacts, educators, local experts, mentors and investors we can think of so we can get as much advice and guidance as possible. Though the 10X program would have been a huge asset, we're doing the best we can to attain some of the benefits of the program ourselves. We're continuing to look for networking and funding opportunities for tech startups to get the business of the ground.