Graduation, Orientation and Week One

Hello all,

I apologize to all who have been checking for information and have been coming up with my post from back in May. This past two months have been absolutely crazy and I have much to tell you. From now on there will be one to two posts a week about my experiences and the classes/activities I am participating in here at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

I graduated from Curry College on May 15th, 2011, Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Communication and a concentration in Public Relations. I will miss Curry, but the experiences that I had in the two years I spent there will never be forgotten. I spent a week in Boston with Michael to tie up some loose ends and say goodbye to the city that I have fallen in love with. I hope to be back for a longer period of time in the future.

*this is my father, mother, and I*

Being home has been great; going through the amount of crap I had accumulated in two years while in Massachusetts is another story. I have basically spent the end of May and June overhauling my room, as I will be living at home for the next year while at Newhouse. The wallpaper and carpet may be the same, but I can tell my tastes have changed. I threw out/donated so much that I am actually ok with the fact that so much has disappeared.

I visited Boston for a weekend in June, and drove back to Syracuse with Michael in tow. Time for my graduation party! On Saturday, June 25th, 2011, my family met at Parisa, (which is a small restaurant in Downtown Syracuse), and had a lovely family style dinner of ribeye, chicken parmesan, stuffed haddock, caprese salad, hummus dip and so much more. Two lovely cakes were made, one for myself and one for Michael. In the end it was a lovely evening had by all and it was time for Michael to go home the next day. I miss him a substantial amount, but I know that he understands my reasons for being at home and in the PR program as Newhouse. I also know that he is learning about himself back in Boston and growing just like I am.

*The party at Parisa in Downtown Syracuse*

*My grandmother, myself, and my aunt*

*Myself, my uncle, my cousin, and my aunt*

*Myself, my mom and my dad*

*Michael and I*

*My cake*

Emails began coming in from professors with syllabi as well a pre-reading for us to finish before bootcamp began. I am a very big believer in taking notes, especially with the first couple chapters of a textbook, as those are the chapters that become the foundation for everything else you learn in the future. My introduction to Public Relations reading was 64 pages and I hand wrote 48 pages of notes. Disclaimer: I do have fairly large handwriting. Anything I found important I quoted, and anything I felt I would need to remember or wanted to discuss became a part of my notebook. I was very glad that I did this.

When Tuesday, July 5th rolled around I was very anxious both positively and negatively to begin this 13 month program. When they said bootcamp was hard, they WEREN’T kidding. Though I know things are bound to get harder (and we are in a 6 week intensive period), I feel that I have been able to keep myself on task. TIME MANAGEMENT is going to be my best friend in this program. Though I know I can handle it, I wonder whether it might become harder for me to stay enthusiastic. This first week has already proved to me that I really am passionate about the field of Public Relations and that I want to do anything possible to be successful in my endeavors.

Orientation consisted of picture taking for the photo directory, receiving of a Newhouse bright orange water bottle, a brand spankin’ new ipod touch (Newhouse etched in the back), and a folder with pages and pages of information. We then headed up to a computer lab where we needed to take a survey on how we discovered the SU programs as well as how we were feeling about the workload ahead, etc. Waiting for about 200 people to get through this takes sometime, so I caught up with some of my PR mates and then headed into the Herg Auditorium for Graduate Convocation as well as a trivia game about SU and my hometown Syracuse, NY. Convocation was short and sweet consisting of a speech by the dean and the head of the Newhouse school as well as a former alumni. Then came the trivia, I ended up winning a t-shirt by naming four museums in the area, though I felt like I cheated since I’ve lived here my entire life, and I’ve been just about everywhere you can go in this wonderful town.

Let me tell you: Syracuse University gives away more FREE food than I could ever ask for in my life. I had lunch on Tuesday, Breaksfast, Lunch AND Dinner on Wednesday, Lunch on Thursday and Breakfast on Friday. I guess they think luring graduate students in with food works (and I suppose it does). *13 lbs down on Weight Watchers, so I had some self control*

On Tuesday we had a very short meeting with Dr. Wrigley (the head of the PR dept.) to talk about the curriculum and how the next couple days would be working, since everything was totally discombobulated. We ended at around 2 and I headed on my merry way home to relax and begin thinking about my planner.

The next day on Wednesday we did a PR workshop all day from 9-3 learning about the program, reviewing curriculum, icebreakers, talking about goals, and being reassured that we aren’t going to die and that we will SUCCEED in this program. Dr. Wrigley when asked, stated, that no one has ever failed or dropped out the program. I am going to assume that if I was accepted in the first place, I am strong enough and smart enough to make it and succeed in obtaining an internship or even a job in the summer. *I sure hope so*

Wednesday night I had my first official class (which from now on sessions 2-6 will be on Tuesday nights). Introduction to Public Relations. Something I know that I can handle was an awesome way for me to start off this learning experience. We spoke of what Public Relations is in general and how that will be affecting both the Public Relations and Public Diplomacy Students. This is a dinner class every week where Professor Kucharavy (who I think is going to be a great person to get to know) brings a different type of food. We started out with pizza, so it made the atmosphere a very relaxed one, which I think all of us anxious students needed. We watched multiple videos on Public Relations and what other schools believed the practice and study of Public Relations should entail. I enjoyed being able to speak up about things I knew and prior internship experiences I had had in the field. It made me realize though I think I have little experience, there’s more to what I’ve done than meets the eye, which makes me proud.

Thursday started the most information overload that I have had yet to date here in the PR program. Thursday morning I acquainted myself with the library, finding out that each level has its own theme (books, dvds, etc.) and finished my first essay for SU, which was a reflection paper for my Intro to PR class. I then headed to the open house the Career Development Center was having to learn about their services and learn where within Newhouse 3 they were located. Very interesting to meet the people who work there. Reminds me a lot of the career center at Curry, but about 5 times bigger. I will be taking a “Job Hunt Marathon Worshop” from 1-3 on Saturday, July 30th. Once I finish this workshop, I will have access to their database of “The Newhouse Mafia” aka Newhouse Orange Alum and internships within the Syracuse area. After this wonderful lunch hour I headed to my first graphics lecture from 1-5 pm . Now, I am used to 2.5 hour classes once a week at Curry, but this is 4 hours (with 2 breaks) but multiple times per week. The first week schedule is all messed up but I will end up having blocks of time like this 3-4 times a week. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I realized how intense this class was and what I was getting myself into. All the professors introduced themselves (as for the lab portion of the class there is six sections). I have Professor Caloia, who made her name in technical design (electric and hardware items mostly). She seems like an awesome professor and I am very excited to be learning from her.  We had an entire lesson on originality in our work from one of professors, who has spent a large amount of her research on how some “artists” steal others works and claim them as their own. It was a very interesting hour of guessing which was homage, rip off, or multiple other types of copyright tactics.

On Friday we were asked to come in to class at 9 instead of 10 since we needed to get some extra presentations done. The morning on Friday spanned from 9-12 with two presentations, one on design in general and the other based solely on Typography, the art form we will be learning for the next 6 weeks. Renee is a two hour long presentation on the reading we had been assigned the night before, and then spoke a lot about letter press and how the idea of creating these different typefaces came about.

If you get a chance PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO:

*this video was show in our class and it probably the best example of typography I can give*

*listen closely*

After our hour lunch break we split into our labs. I am in the newest lab created with Newhouse 3. I have big bright windows with sunshine coming in for inspiration and tours go by on the 2nd level so we can wave from down below. I thank God that I took classes in InDesign and Photoshop at Curry, otherwise I would be one scared little graduate student right now. Our first assignment (due next friday) is a wordmark resume. We are creating a name logo for ourselves and then placing our resume in a designed resume form. Everything will be black and white. I have had multiple sessions this week on what the content of my resume should be and how to build upon it in the coming year. I have learned a lot but will be making an appointment with the Career Development Center tomorrow (Monday) to figure out whether I have the correct information.

I will post any projects that we are required to post to the GRA617 blog here as well so all of you can see what we are doing. We did two short projects on Friday before they allowed us to leave. An expressive type project where we choose three words and then show the word through the visual design we created. So for example, one of my words was expand; so from left to right the letters got larger, like they were expanding. The second short project was the Facebook cd cover challenge. You randomly search wikipedia for a “band name”, quotations page for the last five words of a quote, and then flickr for a random photo. You are to place these all together in a cohesive fashion so it might actually reflect a band if that was truly their new album. I currently have that posted on Facebook, but will update those projects tomorrow from the computer lab at school, since I used typefaces that only the SU computers have. (An alum donated a large amount of money for all the font programs you could possibly think of; so we have more combinations than ever thought possible. (Curry College, when I become majorly successful I plan on donating a HUGE amount of money to give you these tools *I hope*)

Our weekend assignment was a scavenger hunt to find characters (letters) in everyday house hold items and out on the streets. We paired up and were to find the 26 letters of the alphabet, numbers 1-9, !, &, $. It wasn’t easy, but being in groups of two split the work. When we posted the blog entries this afternoon we all stated that we had been seeing numbers and letters all weekend. It really was an experience to create different numbers and letters out of everyday objects. If interested in seeing our finished list of photos here’s the link:

We also had to create a phrase using every day household items or be creative as possible. Brenden (my partner) and I decided to do “Keep Calm and Carry On”. An old british saying during WW2 to bring up the morale of the British incase of an invasion. An original poster was discovered in the past couple years, and for this program it truly has become my mantra. Here are the images we came up with:

So with everything completed and homework ready for my first news writing class tomorrow, I’m feeling like a schedule is finally coming together. I had some reading to do, had to chose a hard and a soft news story to bring into class, and then chose a company, organization and event for my media kit that I will be creating in the next 5 weeks. (THANK YOU PROFESSOR KIRK HAZLETT FOR KICKING MY BUTT IN PR TECHNIQUES; I would be clueless right now without that knowledge). I have chosen Ben and Jerry’s to partner with Habitat for Humanity and they will be sponsoring an event to build homes and schools for families in the countries that provide Ben and Jerry’s with their fair trade products for their wholesome ice cream (Ghana and Uganda are at the top of the list).

I feel like the few days that I have graced the halls of Newhouse 1,2 and 3 I have already gained a large amount of knowledge. Though I am still nervous and anxious for whats to come, I have been reaffirmed that I made an awesome choice coming home for a year and that Public Relations truly is the field I want to be a part of.

Questions or Comments are greatly appreciated. This blog is a learning experience for me. Comment Away!

P.S. Thanks for reading my chapter long blog. It means a lot.


5 thoughts on “Graduation, Orientation and Week One

  1. Great…and realistic…post! I look forward to reliving my Defense Information School public affairs “bootcamp” through your vivid description of your own “adventures”!

    Keep up the good work…I’m proud of all that you HAVE accomplished and WILL accomplish!!

  2. This page had a lot of interesting information on it. You know I have been to this site over and over now, off and on. I have yet to make a comment, so I thought I’d drop you a line 🙂 I really appreciate the work you do on here… always providing great content! This one’s going to facebook!

  3. Very interesting information! I have been reading on here for awhile off and on, and I finally wanted to make my first comment and reveal myself 😉 I really like some of the news I’ve seen here.

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