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Senior Year: One semester down, one to go.

December 5, 2008

As this leg of my education comes to a close, it’s time to reflect.  My first semester of my senior year.  I was under the impression that senior year would be a cake walk, and it has been quite the opposite.  But, all that aside, I have learned a tremendous amount this semester, both in the classroom and beyond.

In my PR Research class, I successfully moderated a focus group to gain insight to my fellow students’ awareness of the USF Federal Credit Union.  I say successfully because the building didn’t burn down, nobody died, and there was pizza.  In all reality – the success of my focus group will remain a mystery, since most of the kids that participated didn’t say much and nodded or shook their heads a lot.  That made for an interesting transcript.  I say successful because despite the boring topic, people still showed up.  I say successful because I learned about focus groups, and learned that I’m not really into moderating them, at least not for something like a credit union.

In my PR Issues class, I wrote a strategic plan.  I created, from start to finish, a strategic plan for a fictional case, and it was amazing.  I presented a case study on Margaret Sanger and her creation of Planned Parenthood and managed to exit that classroom alive after speaking on such a polarized issue.

In my PR Writing class, I started a blog, which has now morphed itself into what I have here.  I also mastered Facebooking without getting in trouble.  And I fine-tuned my media alerts and press releases in the process.  I think I gained more experience in multi-tasking and social media in that class than I did traditional writing experience.

Outside of the classroom, the most beneficial thing I did this semester was attend PRSSA’s National Conference in Detroit in October.  There, I met Penelope Trunk, who has since become a mentor of mine, and has helped me get the ball rolling on my career.

I have learned a great deal from my internship at Moffitt and after speaking with my supervisors today, we have extended my internship to go through graduation for sure, if not more after that.  I really like it here, and the experience so far has been invaluable.  I was putting everything I’ve written on my flash drive and I’m impressed with the quality and how it’s improving with each new release I create.

Next semester?  Advanced PR.  PR Design.  My internship for credit, a directed reading on social media and my last two requirements for graduation will round out my schedule.  I am excited, but nervous.  I am looking forward to SXSW and all of the opportunities that conference will bring.  I look forward to diving into social media and really getting into it and understanding it.

Until further notice, I am sleeping in, staying up late and working as much as possible so I can have lots and lots of money for SXSW.

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