Writing Samples

 

"I currently am using my voice writing for my university blog: PSU Chronicles."

What are your social media profiles saying about you? | 01 

As I scroll through my social profiles, I see a Portland State University student, a dog lover, a movie buff, the love of pink, and so much more; I am bombarded with images of my favorite memes, and timelines of life events. As I look upon these profiles, I am reminded of my exterior presence – an image expressed through my daily interactions with the digital world around me – it is my voice when no sounds or words are spoken.

 

In this day and age of social media, the saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” has never held more truth. Our exterior image is spread virally through the universe of social platforms. Each day there are 1.3 billion active Facebook users, 500 million tweets, 60 million Instagram photos uploaded and 4 billion videos viewed on YouTube – which translates to 46,296 per second, according to Mary Catherine Wellons of CNBC.

 

Gone are the days of highly anticipated interviews to make an outstanding first impression. Leaving graduates today are faced with employers who are able to summarize their entire lifespans before they even meet.

 

As students we are the upcoming professionals, and it is our right and responsibility to project and control our representations within these social platforms.

Google yourself and see what the rest of the world sees.

 

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Have no fear, Fearless Fridays are here. | 02 

As an up-and-coming professional, I’m constantly worried about my past getting in the way of my dream job. As students these fears are commonly expressed, but then quickly ignored; which is ironic because our past can be our strongest qualification. Our past, both good and bad, can lead to determining factors which help land us our dream job.

 

Last Friday, I was inspired by a Fearless Friday workshop, hosted by Business Associate Dean Erica Wagner: “How to turn your past into an asset.” The title for this workshop didn’t do it justice. I had no idea our own associate dean held such a genuine passion for our educational aspirations. She acknowledged students’ fears about the past with a sympathetic ear, and offered insightful, yet practical feedback.

 

After attending this session, I learned that our past shouldn’t be feared, but rather embraced. Wagner posed the question, “What’s your secret sauce?”  What are traits that draw people to you?  How has your past helped shape these traits? By answering these questions, students can overcome the fears that are keeping them from their dream jobs.

Takeaway Tips for Confronting your Past:

 

  • Don’t turn your weakness into a positive; be frank about them

  • Describe any personal growth you’ve experienced

  • Remember, everyone has a weakness – this makes you more relatable

 

I high recommend anyone who hasn’t attended a Fearless Friday to be fearless and attend an upcoming workshop. It was not only inspiring, but motivating and gave me insight to a different side of PSU.

 

See you at the next Fearless! 

 

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Is your reliance on Digital Technology Costing you Career Opportunities? | 03

This past week I’ve attended a number of free campus workshops, all of which promoted face-to-face networking as a prime source to land jobs and internships.  As students, it is important to understand how to use digital media to accomplish these goals, it is equally important not to lose our basic face-to-face communication skills.

Practice your face-to-face communication: 

 

  1. Treat your cellphone like an addiction- When spending time with peer(s), treat your cellphone like a cigarette; it’s a shameful addiction that we all have, and it is not socially accepted everywhere. 

  2. Check your phone at the door- When hosting a dinner party, ask your guests to check their cellphones at the door, by placing them into a basket upon entry.

  3. No tech devices allowed- Host a “Y2K” event where no technology devices are permitted. Ask everyone to leave their cellphones and other mobile devices at home or in their car, prior to attending.

  4. First phone gets the check- When out to dinner, make a rule that whoever pulls out their phone first pays the check for everyone at the table.

 

As upcoming graduates in a competitive job market, we cannot afford to lack the knowledge on how to communicate without the use of technological devices.  Attend a campus workshop, and practice your face-to-face communication skills!

 

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Summer Internship: Here I Come | 04 

Did you know a career fair is one of the best resources a career-seeker has for finding employment and internship opportunities? Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most unattended events among university students. Why you ask? The answer is simple; students today aren’t motivated to attend.

 

This morning I RSVP’d for our upcoming Business Career and Internship Fair next Thursday, Jan. 28. This event will be my first on-campus networking opportunity, giving me access to professionals in the industry. Inspired by my passion for finding a summer internship for 2016, I decided to prepare myself for the event by completing the following:

 

  • Resume updates 

  • Creating a website portfolio 

  • Designing student business cards

 

Resumes should be tailored and designed to target your specific companies. In order to follow this advice given by so many instructors, I created two separate resumes: one that demonstrated my professionalism- and another to demonstrate my creativity. In addition, I launched a personal student website hosted on www.wix.com, in order to give future employers a glimpse of my coursework projects. I added both of these on a business card, which I ordered from www.vistaprint.com. Take a look at my personal examples to get motivated.

 

I also encourage each of you to consider these preparations, as well as attend these upcoming campus workshops.

 

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Sara Kirkpatrick Portland, Oregon Digital Marketer

I am certified in digital media strategy, social media marketing, analytics & content development.

 

Available February 2018.  

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