That's a Wrap!

This is it. This December 14th will conclude my last full semester of graduate school. I chose to give myself some breathing room this semester and refrained from taking the comprehensive exam before I graduate in the spring. 

Although a lot of people are saying good bye to the academic writing, the posts to Blackboard Learn, and the three hour lectures, the learning process never stops. I have personally grown from lessons in PR that I’ve picked up outside of class. My highlight reel from the last four months includes lessons related to the Page Principles of PR.

Manage for tomorrow. 
I have to admit that I have had more stress in this semester than I am used to. For my final project in qualitative research, I’ve rewritten the proposal for my case study about three times now. The problem I was having was getting buy-in from an organization that would let me feature their strategic use of social media. I gave myself a personal deadline for this paper with enough time to switch things up if I didn’t get an interview. When I started dipping into this extra allowance of time, a contact I haven’t worked with for a few years came to the rescue. I’m happily coasting into this weekend with time to edit before turning in the final paper thanks to a connection I’ve kept and managing time wisely.

Conduct public relations as if the whole company depends on it. 
I will be a little vague with this story, but this year gave me the biggest PR challenge of my career yet. I learned the importance of keeping decorum, sticking to the facts, and focusing on the future.

Realize a company’s true character is expressed by its people. 
I have a ten year old car. I will have this ten year old car until she absolutely refuses to continue. This year, she’s gone through a lot. Her adventures this fall have taught me a lot about the promise that Denton, voted the best small town in the nation, lives up to the title.

  • Someone hit her in the parking lot and ran off. Denton’s community vendors do a lot to help out students. Kay’s Paint and Body has been in town for 50 years, and quickly scheduled me in at the lowest repair price I could find, and the repair took less than a day.
  • Her battery died on one of many road trips. Again we learned about the amazing network of Denton auto shops and their continued support of community. Express Care literally pushed my car to their shop a couple of years ago and they remain a favorite. 
  • She was towed after an illegal sign covered the actual warning sign. After some snarky remarks from the tow truck guys, we realized they weren’t from Denton. Tow truck companies might need a little help, but they too need a smile and a thank you.

Remain calm, patient and good-humored. 
As my classmate Sheila posts in her last blog of her graduate career, stress is high this semester. To end on a silly note, here are some of my favorite ways to combat stress:
Grad School Barbie
  • Keep up with news from the Smithsonian.
  • Follow up on Mattel’s new line of dolls: Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master’s Barbie (TM) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (TM).

And my favorite:
  • Reading about hyper reality in photography and innovation diffusion theory then putting it into practice with Instagram: 
Look how real he looks!

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