3 Tips for Success I learned From Watching Movies and T.V. Shows

1. House of Cards:

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Set a goal, plan all the way to the end, and put in the work necessary to make it happen.  Planning and work ethic are key factors in determining the level of success you can achieve. Whether your goal is to become the next President of the United States, or landing your dream job, or even just raising your cumulative college G.P.A. you need to put forth a game plan on how on you are going to bring your goals into fruition. It natural to get stressed and discouraged by certain situations; however it necessary to persevere until success is achieved. History books are filled with many examples ordinary people who became extremely successful and influential by goal setting and fighting through any obstacles that came their way in order to achieve their dream.

2. The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron:

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

Excellent teamwork is key to accomplishing big goals; the same truth applies to college students and super heroes.   According to Dr. Yunchen Morgan, a professor at LSU E.J. Ourso College of business, “The essence of a team is a  unit of individuals with the same goals , which results in team work being  more effective than individual work”. The more people involved with accomplishing a project helps to divide the work load among the group, therefore breaking down a major goal into smaller feasible tasks.  Rather than rely upon one perspective to solve a problem or come up with an idea, in a group people with different backgrounds and beliefs can collaborate ideas and find the best way to solve a problem. A team is only as strong as its weakest member, therefore each participate of a team should active and give their best effort. In my opinion, no one man can out perform and achieve more than a group with excellent teamwork.

3) Scandal:

Be the Olivia Pope of your job and earned the reputation for getting things done no matter what.

Leading by example is a must!  This is an essential part of being an effective leader because credibility and character speak louder words. If you are in position to lead, then you have reasonability to your organization and yourself to exactly that…lead.  A strong work ethic is not only vital to successful career, but it can also inspire your fellow colleagues to work harder and in turn create a highly productive work environment. You should strive to be confident, let your actions echo your words, and be the type the professional that walks into work and own it.

Mark Landry is our historian for the 2015-2016. While he does enjoy photography, he also likes movies, and, obviously, blog writing!


Things to do before summer ends

A month has passed. Before you know it you will be paying a fee-bill, purchasing books and kick-starting classes. Some people enjoyed the summer, some people worked the summer away and some people sat at home and did nothing productive. No matter how you spent your summer, you shouldn’t let it end without finishing some goals.

  • Establish school, career, and personal goals for the upcoming semester
  • Find or improve a talent
  • Help out others
  • Take a moment to get to know yourself
  • Start preparing for a difficult class
  • Practice writing
  • Find entertainment at places like amusement park, concert, or beach
  • Research jobs, companies, and internships
  • Observe a professionals journey to success

These goals were suggested to remind you to enjoy yourself and begin to transition into the school year slowly. The summer break does come to an end, and it’s important to spend your time wisely. Keep us updated with the hashtag #SummerPRSSA, and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Rodney Hebert is our seafood-loving fundraising director.

5 Common Misconceptions About Internships

  1. You are expected to know everything.

Don’t expect to have it all figured out. There will be a learning curve as there is with any job you enter into. No boss you have will expect you to know exactly what he or she wants right off the bat. Every company has their own style and way of doing things and you won’t know that until you start. They will not put a project in your lap on your first day and expect you to hit the ground running, no questions asked. This brings us to our next misconception:

  1. Your boss is too busy for your questions.

Your boss and coworkers are there to help you. It is always better to ask questions than to do something wrong and have to do it all over again. There truly is no such thing as a stupid question. If you are unsure of how you are supposed to do something, do not hesitate to ask. Internships were created to give students experience for when they enter the workforce. They are meant to refine your professional skills and improve you for the workforce.

  1. You were hired to make coffee runs and print copies.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to internships. Almost every television show and movie that features interns shows them running around filling coffee orders and picking up dry cleaning. This is definitely not the case in reality. You are there to improve your resume and help better the company. They hired you to be an asset to their success as a company or business and are expecting you to contribute your unique knowledge and experience to their team. Many of the tasks you are given will help to bolster your portfolio.

  1. Internships are only for later in college.

It seems that many believe that the ideal time for internships is between your junior and senior years of college because this is when you are at the peak of your education. However, there is no perfect time frame to complete an internship. You can never start too early. Even if the internship won’t count for college credit, it will still strengthen your resume and your command of your chosen profession. Any experience is better than none. Most people go into college unsure of where they want to end up in the work force and internships offer a perfect opportunity to try out different fields. As a public relations major, there are so many different types of PR to choose from; healthcare, nonprofit, corporate, and agency just to name a few.

  1. The best internships are paid.

While a paid internship might be ideal, unpaid internships can offer invaluable experience. Many students completely overlook unpaid internships because they are more worried about the paycheck than the experience. Some major corporations only offer unpaid internships. In some cases, it is worth it to take a cut in pay to receive a unique experience you wouldn’t get elsewhere. In the long run, any internship will benefit you as a professional. Do not be afraid of the unpaid internships. You may very well be getting better exposure to the real world than your peers with paid internships.

Marissa Adams is the PRSSA at LSU secretary for the 2015-2016 school year. She is currently studying Public Relations and enjoys hanging out on the beach.

What does it mean to be a leader?


A couple of weeks ago, I participated in LSU Campus Life’s Geaux Lead Retreat in Tall Timbers. I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up, but I was excited to meet other LSU students and learn what it means to be a leader.

The retreat consisted of around 30 LSU students who were sophomores, juniors, seniors, super seniors and graduates with many different majors. It was a great diverse environment to be in. The theme of the retreat was to “Capture Your Story.” I’ve learned that leaders often find it difficult to express who they are without fear of criticism or vulnerability. Many times our stories have been written for us, telling us who we are or who we should be. A prime example is if you won the science fair in 2nd grade, and you’re suddenly held to this story that you’ll be this greatest scientist.

In the four days of being in Tall Timbers, I have learned a tremendous amount of aspects about myself, my story and my LSU community. There is no perfect definition of leadership, but this is what we’ve come up with:

“Leadership is a process, incited and sustained by purpose, which forms interdependent relationships to affect positive change within a community.”

Everyone can be and is a leader without the official title. Leadership is not about you, it’s about making it right. It’s about being the cheap servant (doing work behind the scenes). The best part about being a leader is that there’s no one type of leader. We all have different strengths that should be utilized to our own advantage.

The retreat participants were required to take the StrengthsQuest. It asks you questions and statements that you prefer/agree with. At the end, it lists your top five strengths out of 37 possible strengths. Achiever, Positivity, Learner, Responsibility and Futuristic are my top five strengths. I encourage you to take the StrengthsQuest or any strengths questionnaire that will help you identify and understand this important aspect about yourself. We performed a lot of activities that allowed us to critically think about our strengths and learn how to apply them to our life on campus. The StrengthsQuest also gives you many “Ideas for Action” of how to apply your strengths.

I am an Achiever which means that I “have a great deal of stamina and work hard. [I] take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.” That statement is literally a summary of my freshman year at LSU.. Here are three ideas for action as an Achiever:

  • Select jobs that allow you to have the leeway to work as hard as you want and in which you are encouraged to measure your own productivity. You will feel challenged and alive in these environments.
  • Continue your education by attaining certifications in your area or specialty in addition to attending conferences and other programs. This will give you even more goals to achieve and will push your existing boundaries of accomplishment.
  • More work excites you. The prospect of what lies ahead is infinitely more motivating than what has been completed. Launch initiatives and new projects. Your seemingly endless reserve of energy will create enthusiasm and momentum.

As there is so much to leadership, I am even more motivated to bring everything that I’ve learned back on campus and PRSSA. As your 2015-16 PR Director, I will carry Kelsey’s torch and raise it to bigger flames. Please consider signing up for the Geaux Lead Retreat next year. It is four days of fun, knowledge, adventure and new friends. Geaux lead!


Darla Nguyen is the PR Director for the 2015-2016 year. A New Orleanian at heart, Darla loves crawfish, beignets, and all things NOLA.


5 Things I Learned At Leadership Rally

PRSSA President at Leadership Rally

Cacti can be leaders too!

Leadership Rally is a meeting of Chapter leaders, mostly presidents, from across the country. PRSSA hosts this meeting annually to train new leaders and connect them in a tight support network. From May 28 to May 31, I attended Rally and gathered some great knowledge that I aim to share with all of you. While at Rally, I also got to explore sunny Scottsdale, Ariz., and explore some new places.





  1. PRSSA is NOT a club.

It is the premiere pre-professional organization in the country. Several leaders reiterated this point throughout the Rally. Referring to PRSSA as a club undermines its prestige and importance. Keeping this in mind respects your efforts and the organization.

  1. Branding versus Authenticity

We hear so much about ‘personal branding’ that I fear we can be misled in the best way to brand ourselves. In the keynote speech from Julia Hood, executive vice president of marketing brands with Haymarket Media, we were reminded to forego a constructed brand for your authentic self, making the real YOU shine. I think this is something we all need to keep in mind.

  1. Have a plan and goals always.

Strategic planning can make all the difference in achieving success. Your executive board will be working hard all summer to prepare a solid plan for the upcoming year. We were given four tips to make our plans the most effective:

  • Be prepared: Have a contingency plan in place too.
  • Be united: Working as a team makes all the gears run more smoothly.
  • Plan in advance: Last minute rarely works out in your favor.
  • Plan should be comprehensive: Try to include every detail to minimize the occurrence of curveballs.

As we are taught in every PR class ever, evaluation serves as an important step in measuring success and preparing for the future. We cannot know if we did good work without evaluation. In order to keep everyone focused and on task, and to enable this evaluation in the end, set clear, solid goals.

  1. New Events and Other Fun Stuff

After hanging out with 100 other PRSSA student leaders, I accumulated a pretty good list of new activities and ideas for our chapter. So much great conversation flowed at restaurants, in the conference, on a mountainside and in hotel rooms. This connection is exactly why I am such a big fan of National Conference; there is just something powerful about having that link with everyone around you. Now, finally, you can talk about school and your passion without having to explain what PR even is.

  1. The desert is not this girl’s best friend.

I was born and raised in the South Louisiana humidity. It may not be the world’s best, but I have grown up with the swamps and green everywhere. While the world around me is lush and alive, Arizona is pretty much the opposite of that. As one friend said, “All the plants are trying to kill you.” The heat is incredible, the desert sights are incredible, and it was definitely an amazing experience. In the end, though, I need a bit more green in my life.



Tara Hebert is the PRSSA President for the 2015-2016 year, with her major in public relations. Besides writing for us, Tara enjoys food and travel blogging.

Mistakes You Might Be Making on LinkedIn

You’ve spell-checked everything. Twice. You have a professional portrait up, not just that nice selfie you took last week. Your job descriptions are in bullet points for easy reading. To top it all off, you’ve finally removed “Student” from your title. How are you not irresistible to employers yet?

You might be making these mistakes. While they may not totally rule you out from a job offer, they can make you harder to find, contact, or learn more about:

1. Not giving your LinkedIn profile a custom link.

Just as it is with websites and Twitter handles, it doesn’t look professional to have an array of characters where just your name suffices. It’s a lot easier for you to pass off your digital presence in all of its forms when all of the handles are the same.

For example, I can just tell someone to type in my name after twitter.com/, and linkedin.com/in/, and they can find me immediately. All they need to do is change the name of the website.

So, the fix for this is easy. Just click the gear next to your LinkedIn URL…


Then you’ll be redirected to a page where you can change your URL to something easier to remember.


Claiming your name is important, but you might want it to match the rest of your online accounts.

2. You don’t have a summary.

Less isn’t always more.

Summaries are an opportunity for you to explain why you’re on LinkedIn, what you’re looking for, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re passionate about.

It’s giving you a chance to show your voice.  Unlike your print résumé, there isn’t a one-page limit — and you don’t have to restrict everything to a bullet point.

So give visitors and potential employers a sense of who you are, what you’ve done and hope to do, and especially how you write. A strong two- or three-paragraph summary gives a good first impression of your storytelling and composition skills.

3. The link to your email address and website are nowhere to be found.

Think of LinkedIn as your hook.

Your line and sinker are your website and portfolio. Adding too much work to your LinkedIn makes it look cluttered and distracts your reader.

Think of your favorite stores. Several of them have social media accounts but most, if not all, always redirect you to more information on their website.

Make sure you give your LinkedIn profile visitor access to where they can contact you directly or know more. Clicking that “Contact Info” tab should give your visitor everything they need, from your Twitter to your portfolio.


LinkedIn is more than just a place to host where you’ve worked. As such, it’s important to make sure it’s easy to find and that it gives anyone who visits a reason to stay and learn more about you.

Hannah Alkadi is the Digital Media Director at PRSSA at LSU. She’s an advertising major who enjoys playing ukulele and learning languages in her spare time.


No Job, No Problem — Keep Productive During the Summer

So your spring semester job and/or internship hunt didn’t go as planned. You either got no response, or your interview didn’t land you the position.

It’s easy to feel like you’re not as successful as your classmates, but don’t forget that many successful people — like J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Jobs — were met with rejection.

Look at this break as an opportunity to practice and prepare for next time. Here are some things that you can do to put you on track, or even advance you further.

1. Scrub-a-dub-dub.

There’s a famous college student phrase that goes, “I need to update my résumé.”

How many times had you promised yourself that you would go through all of your professional materials, but then homework got in the way? Now’s your chance. Comb everything. Yes, I mean everything.

  • Your résumé: Do you still have positions from high school on there? Toss them out and replace them with more recent ones. Clubs, volunteering, and awards can make an appearance too. Above all, have someone look through it, like a career counselor.
  • Your portfolio: You may not think that you have a lot, but think harder. You’ve had a whole school year full of writing assignments — some of them can make great writing samples! If you have experience with a camera or with design programs, assemble those projects too.
  • Your social media accounts: Many employers eventually become your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and LinkedIn connections. Even before you get an interview, they’ll find your digital self and make sure everything is safe-for-work.

2. Practice.

We all get shy during interviews and presentations. Take some time every day to prepare for what another interview will be like. Look in the mirror and talk to yourself. Speak clearly. Establish eye contact. Film yourself and notice if you have any nervous ticks. This might be a little unusual to hear, but also practice your handshake: many employers say it can cement a decision on hiring someone.

If there are any skills that you want to pick up, by all means, use the time now. There are plenty of free resources to learn whatever your heart desires.

  • Mango Languages: Dust off your library card, you can keep up whatever language you’ve been learning, or wanted to learn, for free.
  • Treehouse: Coding is such a valuable asset to have and can help you in many fields.

3. Don’t stop believing!

Many companies still hire during the summer. Look all around you: your school’s internship database, your school’s career center, and online websites. LinkedIn is just one of many. There’s also SimplyHired, Indeed, Glassdoor, and several others to peruse through. If you don’t end up getting a summer job, don’t worry. You have all year, and the next, and the next, and the next… to find a position that you’ll be happy with.


So, dear reader, don’t lose faith. You can relax during the summer and prepare for the professional world — two for the price of none.


Hannah Alkadi is the Digital Media Director at PRSSA at LSU. She’s an advertising major who enjoys playing ukulele and learning languages in her spare time.


4 Things to Know Before Your First Twitter Chat

Twitter chats are a great way for PR students to learn more about the field outside the classroom. Here are four basic tips to get you engaged in a Twitter chat. You’ll learn a lot, meet cool people to follow, and also gain a few followers yourself. I’ll be using screenshots from my favorite Twitter chat, #LikeableChat.

  1. Know the format.

Twitter chats surround the chat moderator. The moderator will typically spur the chat with questions, like below.


“Q4” means “Question 4.” Answering the question with “A4” makes it easier for others to know what you are responding to.


  1. Engage with others.

It’s called a “chat” for a reason! Bounce ideas off other participants and respond to interesting points.


The point of Twitter chats is to learn something new, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

  1. Use the hashtag.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be very easy to leave the official chat hashtag off your tweets. Remember to not just use the hashtag in your answers, but also when you ask questions or respond to other participants.

  1. Follow new people.

Expand your network by following participants with thoughtful tweets in the chat. If you learn something new from someone in a Twitter chat, chances are you’ll continue learning new things from their day-to-day tweets.

Want to get started? Check out these chats this week:

#LikeableChat – Chat about social media management every Tuesday at 1 p.m. CT.

#BufferChat – Chat about social marketing every Wednesday at 11 a.m. CT.

#BrandChat – Chat about improving brands every Wednesday at 10 a.m. CT.


Danielle Kelley (@daniellenkelly) is a graduate student at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. She is the vice president of our chapter and is addicted to Dr. Pepper Icees.

3 Big Lessons I Learned After 6 Years at Manship

As the semester wraps up, it’s hard not to reflect on the successes and setbacks you’ve experienced along the way and how they’ve changed you.

Sarah Voelkel

Sarah Voelkel

In less than two weeks, I’ll be skipping across the stage at graduation to shake hands with Dean Ceppos and receive my master’s degree in strategic communication. To people sitting in the audience, this is a seemingly simple act. To me, this fleeting moment symbolizes 6 years of blood, sweat, tears and tenacity – minus the blood and sweat. I’ve come to realize that after the celebration is over and everyone goes home, it’s not the diploma that matters, but the experiences I’ve gained.

During my undergrad and graduate career, I’ve made more mistakes than I can count, but I also learned from all of them. Hundreds of tiny moments can make a big impact. So, before I say farewell to the Manship School, I’d like to share 3 lessons I’ve learned that can be applied to almost any area of life.

  1. Your comfort zone isn’t doing you any favors.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

I’ve learned that more often than not, staying in your comfort zone is hurting you, not helping you. You can conjure up one hundred reasons to limit yourself – or you can think of three solid reasons to march forward into the land of the unknown. Leaving the comfort of the expected is just as scary as it is necessary for professional and personal growth.

Pushing boundaries can be as simple as socializing with a group of people who are smarter than you or as intimidating as giving a TED Talk in front of hundreds of people for the first time.

Since most people are creatures of habit, I’ve learned that the best way to kick your comfort zone to the curb is by keeping diverse company. Surround yourself with people who are ridiculously smart. People who can teach you things that you may not realize you needed to be taught. People of different ages, different personalities, interests and careers can provide a fresh perspective, and more importantly, countless opportunities to grow and push the envelope.

  1. The best leaders are humble leaders.

“Humility is the mother of giants. One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.”

  • K. Chesterton

I’ve come to understand that pride and confidence exerted in small doses, when appropriate, is a good idea. But, usually it’s best to let your work ethic and talent speak for itself. This is because overconfidence can hinder your capacity to learn and grow in all aspects of life, especially as a person and in your chosen field. It’s all about striking a balance. It’s okay to acknowledge (at least to yourself) that you’re not the smartest person in the room. Put aside your pride to ask the question you’re afraid to ask. Only then, will you be open to learning as much as you possibly can.

Leaders who demonstrate humility tend to be more accepting of other people’s ideas and points of views. As a leader, it’s important to be decisive when a situation calls for you to think on your feet, but it’s even more important to not only listen to the input of others, but to value it, making their words feel heard and appreciated.

Be responsive to the needs of others, especially in a team environment, and you’ll reap long-term benefits. Admit mistakes when you make them. Owning up to your mishaps shows that you’re only human and want to correct the situation. People tend to jump at the chance to help others who want to help themselves.

Take every opportunity to learn from others to better yourself. Learn how to take constructive criticism with grace and acceptance to avoid becoming discouraged. It’s common for professors and bosses to practice different methods, while expecting different, sometimes even conflicting, results from you. Try to find a middle ground by learning from every low grade, comment, edit and red pen mark that you encounter, so you can eventually forge your own path.

  1. Tenacity + Grit x Resilience = Success

“I look forward to getting knocked down because it’s a chance to stand back up and show life the grit from which I’m made.”

– Chris Holmes

Grit can be defined as having “courage and resolve; strength of character,” despite unpleasant or harsh circumstances. Some synonyms for grit include raw endurance, perseverance, backbone, determination, spirit and passion.

Years ago I practiced gymnastics competitively and had to learn new skills on a 4-inch surface that, at the time, seemed life threatening and made my heart pound at the thought.

Fear is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. My gymnastics coach drilled that quote into my head hundreds of times. At the time, I used tenacity, grit and resilience to push through my fears so I could master new flips and twists that had once made me want to run screaming for the hills.

It wasn’t until grad school that I truly experienced the power of that formula again. During the last two years, my limits and mental capacity were continuously tested more than I thought possible. I also found myself in the fetal position more than I feel comfortable admitting. But, by pushing through the fear of failure and the unknown, I was able to resurface on the other side as a stronger person.

While I’ve always been a hard worker at my core, grad school has truly taught me how to persist under an overwhelming amount of self-doubt. And odds are, I’m better equipped to handle all the struggles life will continue to throw my way.

My advice is to learn how to overcome setbacks with a strong drive to seek solutions. Never give up on your goals and your dreams when the going gets tough. Persevere when all of the odds seem to be against you, because it is those moments in which you’re truly tested that carry the most weight.

“She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.”

– Beau Taplin

Whether you’re graduating, just starting college, or gaining entry-level experience so you can land your dream job, just remember to stay humble, push your limits, and that Tenacity + Grit x Resilience = Success.

Reflections from the Design Director of our PRogram: Taylor Trahan


Taylor Trahan. Photo by Taylor Hunter Photography

“Leaders don’t create followers. They create more leaders.” – Tom Peters

This quote perfectly sums up my last semester at LSU and in PRSSA. I hope what I am about to share applies to each and every one of the 2014-2015 members. This year is truly something to be proud of and here’s why.

It is not often that you come across a group of young people who are consistently passionate about one thing. So much so, that they are willing to dedicate their lives to working in it everyday. Yet week after week, PRSSA members dedicate time to this organization in one way or another. When we are not listening to industry leading professionals, contributing to Chapter publications, planning incredible events or donating our time to serve the community, we are in class learning more and more about the public relations field. It doesn’t seem like much until you think about the life of your typical PR student: type A, involved and committed all over the place. Many irons in the fire but they still manage to keep PRSSA burning brightly.

As the Design director for this year’s annual report, The PRogram, I was able to see first hand how incredible our members really are. Obviously this experience provided me with a solid addition to my portfolio and while that is awesome, it is not what I loved most about the project. As I was piecing together each graphic and article I was so proud to be a part of this organization. Nearly all of the content was created and written by active, general members. If that’s not enough of a testament to this group’s commitment, the fact that we were able to fill twenty pages with their successes should be. I was humbled as I worked to illustrate that success for us to show off. It also gave me this unique perspective (pun intended) to share with you all.

I started this off with a little quote that I think defines this year as a whole. Why? Much like The PRogram, this year was not the result of one person’s actions. It was a collective effort filled with hard work, dedication and skill. I’d be remiss not to thank our E-board. The ladies and gentleman (I see you, Matthew) who served in our executive positions this year were the epitome of leaders. They took their roles as a chance to empower each of us to do incredible things. It is because of their encouragement, guidance and trust in our abilities that we all accomplish so much this year – individually and as a collective body.

If you happen to be reading this and you are not affiliated with PRSSA at LSU, I encourage you to sign up. You will be surrounded by people who truly care about your success and who are constantly pushing you beyond your limits to achieve great things. I count my membership in PRSSA among my many blessings from my time at LSU. I know I speak for all of us headed out into the real world (still trying to figure out what that means, by the way) when I say that we are excited and heartbroken all at once. This organization has taught us and given us so much.

I have no doubts that PRSSA at LSU will continue to amaze. Keep up the hard work and never stop creating leaders.