Finding My Way at the Modern Media Conference

As a senior at Oglethorpe, my current goals involve deciding where I want to go with my life, which paths I wish to embark upon and which journeys I will undertake.  Ironically, on a physical plane, my navigational abilities are not exactly “present.”  Maps and signs befuddle me, as do landmarks, and I can find myself getting lost in ways that are so bizarre as to be impressive… from a certain angle, that is.  While my “impressive” skills at getting lost were no different at Georgia State’s Modern Media Conference (it took me half an hour to find the cafeteria), in a deeper sense, there was some direction to be found—the type of direction that every college senior ultimately desires.

Debra Bryant '12 and Marisa Manuel '13 at the conference

I chose to attend Georgia State’s conference because of my editor position with The Tower literary magazine, as well as my internship with Oglethorpe’s Pegasus Creative (the University Communication department’s newly-launched student communications agency that gives us the opportunity to gain real world experience in a collaborative team environment).  The conference, held September 28-29, was packed with more than 20 guest speakers from major media outlets such as CNN, ESPN, WSB-TV, HLN, and WXIA.   I was accompanied by Director of Communications Renee Vary, Assistant Director Debbie Aiken ’12, and Pegasus Creative’s Web Content Development Intern Debra Bryant ’12 (who also came on behalf of The Nightcap, the Evening Degree Program’s newsletter.)

The four of us had numerous lectures to choose from, some headed by photojournalists, others by newspaper editors, and a few by the professors at Georgia State themselves. The variety of seminars offered went far beyond what I had anticipated, and I used up an entire booklet taking notes on what was discussed.

Throughout the course of the day, I was able to attend five sessions, ranging from a passionate lecture called “Get to the Damn Point!” (something which I have admittedly not done yet—read on!) to an informative presentation on what makes student government an exciting body to report on. (As a member of our school’s SGA, this was especially topical for me!).  Journalist and Editor Michael Koretzky ended the conference with several stories concerning his own experiences in the professional world; he encouraged the audience to “be fired for the right reason,” before recounting several situations in which he was fired for just that.

So, what is the “darn” point of me writing this?  Well, there are several points I wish to share with you—I had fun, I learned a lot, and I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.  Is this where I want to go with my life?  Do I want to work in PR, journalism, broadcasting, or some other form of media?  I don’t know, but I now see them as options, which puts me a step closer to finding my way than I was before.

Career Services Expands Resources, Opportunities

Do you know about all the career resources offered at Oglethorpe’s Career Center? The Center helps both students and alumni with career development and planning through self-evaluation, the exploration  and pursuit of career interests, and by offering opportunities like one-on-one appointments, job seminars, educational programs and recruitment events.  Now, Career Services has its sights set on expanding internships opportunities for current students.

Director of Career Services Caroline Weimar was recently joined by Robin Brandt, who assumed the brand new position of Director of Experiential Learning. Robin is focusing on developing and expanding opportunities for OU students to participate in internships, with the goal to significantly increase the overall number of students who benefit from the practical, hands-on experience that internships offer. She recently convened a steering committee of OU students who will help support and advise the Career Center in its ongoing efforts to increase OU students’ participating in internships.

“Internships can be a beneficial experience for students of any major,” said Brandt. “They help formulate career goals, gain valuable work experience and enhance marketable skills. Internships also help establish reference and networking contacts and can possibly open doors to full-time employment. Some positions even qualify for academic credit.”

When it comes to finding internship positions, Brandt advises students to do research on their own, along with using the resources available through the Career Center, such as Career Connect. Center staff offer professional advice on writing resumes and cover letters and holds mock practice interviews. OU students also are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to meet face-to-face with potential employers during on-campus Career Fairs.  The recent Nonprofit Career Fair brought more than 35 potential nonprofit employers to campus. View photos from the event here.  Throughout the year, students also can look forward to guest speakers and panel discussion series with professionals from various fields, as well as another career fair scheduled for spring 2012.

For more information about Career Services or internship opportunities visit the Career Center office in Emerson Student Center or email careerservices@oglethorpe.edu.

Photos: (top) Robin Brandt meets with an OU student in the Career Center; (middle) Caroline Weimar consults on career planning; (bottom) Snapshots from the recent Nonprofit Career Fair.