Get certified.

Are you college student looking to boost your resume? On a budget? Want to expand your expertise in advertising, public relations, or truly any communications of some sort? Trying to simply shine a little brighter amongst others when applying for a job? Look no further than a tool you probably use every single day…Google!

Google Partners have created a number of convenient, knowledgeable, and FREE online courses, which allow you to receive a certification in either Google Analytics, Adwords, or Search once you pass the course!  If that hasn’t sold you yet, the certification lasts up to two years!  Deciding that I wanted to vamp up my qualifications, I went ahead and chose to try and get my certification in Google Analytics, a service Google offers to track and report the flow of website traffic.

Thankfully, Google makes it pretty simple to follow along and gives great detail throughout the course with videos and short quizzes (so I’d suggest you take some notes!). Study up and pay close attention to the modules, then set aside 90 minutes to take the 70 questions exam that you’ll need to score at least an 80% to pass.  If you happen to be having a bad day and don’t pass, no worries.  You’ll be able to freshen up for a week before being able to take it again.  Luckily, I passed the first time and managed to get only two questions wrong!  Rock on! B)

analytics

Now that I’m certified, I’m interested to see where and when I’ll be able to apply this knowledge to my major; Advertising and Public Relations.  Being that analytics lets you see how much traffic is coming through your website, I’ve found it extremely fascinating to see how often my blog is being viewed and when the busiest times are on my WordPress.  I’m eager to continue writing on this blog.  I’ve already come up with plenty of different things I’d like to start and keep up with them consistently.

Reflecting over this semester, I’m very much grateful and humbled to have had such positive, influential, and motivating professors who truly care about my success.  I’ve grown so much more as a professional within this past semester; creating a portfolio, perfecting my resume, developing campaign planbooks, expanding my ability to design, strengthening my presenting skills, starting a blog, improving my understandings of technologies, and more.  Im ecstatic to see my continuous growth through future internships and jobs and truly watch my overall work and design evolve as I teeter through different obstacles throughout my career as a designer, social media manager, and advertising consultant.  This semester I truly blossomed in a field that I’ve just started to bud in.

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References:

Svendor, H. (2016, December 10). Google Analytics Results [Screenshot].

Svendor, H. (2016, December 10). Google Analytics Certificate [Screenshot].

Am I on the right path?

I was thrilled to be taking a trip downtown with the GVSU Advertising Club to take a tour of AUXILIARY Advertising & Design agency today, but was pretty upset to hear that the tour was being postponed. 😦  Looking at their website, I’m ecstatic that I’ll be able to tour their facility at a later date.  I’m fascinated by the work they’ve done and their overall take on design.  This semester I’ve started to invest myself in classes in ways I never have before.  Before deciding on an Ad/PR major, the goal was just to get a good grade..to pass the class.  Now I find myself really applying myself and trying to showcase a piece of who I am through each assignment I’m given.

aux-agency

Reference:

GVSU Advertising Club. (2016, December 8). Cancelled AUX tour [Screenshot].

Looking ahead to next semester (and even farther at the journey of my college career), I wanted to sit down with an advisor and make sure that I’m on the correct path to success for next semester and following school years to come.  I was lucky enough to score an appointment at the CLAS advising center minutes after finding out about the cancelled tour.  I met with my advisor, Doris, and discussed what my schedule should look like over the next few semesters in order to graduate in a timely manner.

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Reference:

Svendor, H. (2016, December 8). CLAS Advising Center [Photograph].

Being that I switched a year and a half into school, I’m a year behind.  After analyzing what classes I’ve taken and what I have left to take, I decided to switch my catalog year from 14-15 to 16-17 (I’m not really sure what this entails other than the fact that I have 3 less credits to take).  This will allow me to use a class I’ve already taken and apply it towards my major, as opposed to it being used as an elective.  I had picked up a minor in Marketing halfway through this semester but decided to drop it today and look into taking Marketing classes to apply as electives towards Ad/PR.  We discussed internships and ways for me to discover more interesting opportunities using Grand Valley’s resources.  I’ve already began to do some research on GVSU’s website and looking further into both the career fair and Laker Jobs.

Overall, I’m really proud of the progress that I made this semester moving forward in my field of study.  I was fortunate enough to create a PR campaign for a real-life client from Grand Rapids, expand my knowledge in graphic design and explore my creativity resulting in a portfolio to show future employers, joining the Advertising Club at GVSU, running the social media for my sorority along with being elected as the Public Relations Vice President of my sorority, and starting a blog that I hope to update regularly in the future.  I really ‘packaged’ myself this semester, and I’m ecstatic to see what’s to come.  I have a lot more to learn, but I’m very appreciative of the chances I’ve taken this year with Advertising.  And with that – my 2016 went out with a bang!  2017 is going to be a year full of self-reflecting, motivation, determination, and perseverance.

Resumes, Internships & Careers – Oh My!

10 DAYS until the semester is over.  MY GOODNESS.  With now (almost) two semesters of being an Advertising/Public Relations major under my belt, it’s now time to start thinking about internships and jobs in my field.  I decided to visit the career center, not only for an assignment, but to make sure that I’m on the right track and have an appropriate resume to prove to companies and employers that I have what they’re looking for.

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Reference:

Svendor, H. (2016, December 1st). Career Counselor [Photograph].

During my appointment, Mrs. Knapp and I reviewed some ways to make my resume shine!  Being that I’d like to show off my creative and intuitive side to companies, I put a splash a color in my resume that most people wouldn’t have from just any template they found off of Google.  Adding that touch of flair helps you stand our to different employers and gives them a better chance to remember you.  We discussed breaking up the sections that I currently have and breaking them into smaller sections to really focus what accomplishments I can show off in my different levels of experience.  I plan to retouch my resume over holiday break (when I have a little more time to actually breathe) and bring it back to Mrs. Knapp next semester.  It will give me the perfect amount of time to perfect it and strengthen my brand image as I embrace the second semester head on; looking for internships and jobs that will offer me a greater experience in my field.  The GVSU 2017 Career Fair is coming up in February and I’m eager to show employers what I could add to their team!

 

 

On the hunt

WOW.

This semester of school flew by quicker than a toupee in a hurricane.  With the first semester coming to a close, I’ve been finding positions and companies I could see myself working for in the near future.  My emphasis in Advertising drew me to find some internships/jobs that deal with promoting social media, creating content and graphic designs, presenting/brain storming ideas for a company/client, etc.  I’m looking forward to being submerged into the “Big Girl World”!! 🙂

While doing research, I noticed that all of my selected jobs included strong communication skills whether that be writing, presenting, or being able to work together with clients and other employees.  Most employers also want someone who is knowledgeable about Adobe software products along with Microsoft Office products and Google programs.  This semester has pushed me to learn more programs that companies frequently use, such as Google Analytics, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.  Not only have I had the chance to work with Adobe InDesign in my Technologies in Advertising class, but I’ve had plenty of experience through out my Basics of Graphic Design class. Below is an example of some of the social media content I’ve created using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign.

This is currently being used as the Facebook banner for my sorority’s page:

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Reference:

Svendor, H. (2016, November 30th). Gamma Phi Beta Facebook Cover Photo [JPEG Image].

Take a chance to look at some of the unique careers/internships that are available in just Michigan!

  1. Marketing and Communications Specialist with Arbor Circle in Grand Rapids, MI

Indeed Marketing and Communications Job Description

  • Working knowledge in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop / InDesign)
  • Microsoft Office & paid marketing channels and technologies
  • Content management systems (Drupal) & digital marketing.

 

2. Internet Marketing & Social Media Specialist with Unifirst in Taylor, MI

Internet Marketing & Social Media Specialist Job Description

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Google Adwords
  • Google Analytics
  • Search Local (Maps)
  • Social Media
  • WordPress blog

 

3. Social Media Content Creator with Leo Burnett Group in Troy, MI

Social Media Content Creator Job Description

  • “Maker” skillset including art direction, design, copywriting, photography, video editing, conceptual thinking
  • Digital animation and motion graphics skills
  • Proficient in Adobe creative suite

 

4. Internal Communications Internship with Steelcase in Grand Rapids, MI

Internal Communications Internship Job Description

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, including PowerPoint and Word.
  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Strong understanding of social media and intranet platforms.

 

5. Associate Digital & Social Media Strategist with Henry Ford Health System in Southfield, MI

Associate Digital & Social Media Strategist Job Description

  • Minimum of one year of combined digital/social media experience
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Experience with Google Analytics or other metrics platform certification preferred
  • Experience with creating reporting dashboards (iDashboard) preferred

A Splash on Personal Touch

 

It’s unbelievable to think that I’m putting together my own business card.  Am I really already an adult?  This assignment allowed me to create a personal business card for future networking events, career fairs, and other opportunities to get my name out there into the professional world.  I’m a very bright and outgoing person, so let me add a splash of color to your life (or your business)!  Whether it be a paint brush to a canvas or a paint brush in an Adobe program, I like to let my creativity come out and play.  When creating this card, I wanted to make sure I stand out yet make it still simple enough to not be too far out there.

My graphic design class has opened my horizons in different programs and has pushed my creativity through a handful of different mediums.  We created one-sided business cards in class, and this assignment helped perfect my card overall.  I created the personal brand logo by drawing mosaic tile-like patterns over a handwritten font and used vibrant watercolors to help portray a taste of my personality.  The simple typewriter font creates a more clean and professional look.

Being that this is my first full year taking classes related to my major, I’ve used this fall semester to really “package” and prepare to showcase myself to employers at the GVSU Career Fair in February and other networking events in the future.  The ultimate goal is to find an internship in my field that will provide me with an unforgettable hands-on experience that I can apply to future internships, jobs and careers and bettering my knowledge in the field of advertising and public relations.

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Reference
Svendor, H. (2016, November 12th). Adobe InDesign program preview [Screenshot].

Svendor, H. (2016, November 12th). Business card side 1 [Screenshot].

Svendor, H. (2016, November 12th). Business card side 2 [Screenshot].

Social Media Management

Last week I was introduced to the handy-dandy social media management tool Tweetdeck!  This tool allows you to manage your Twitter accounts by letting you schedule tweets for different days and times.  It is extremely easy to use, and I had a lot of fun scheduling the different tweets on my account.
I could see why a tool like Tweetdeck would be so useful for different businesses.  It would be a huge hassle if you were managing 10 different Facebook pages or Twitter accounts to keep up with posting every day, let alone every week.  This tool lets you map out posts so that it automatically posts when you want it to.   This makes it easier on the person managing the pages, and the followers like it because they continue to receive wanted information in a timely manner.  Overall, it is an incredibly useful tool that businesses should jump on board with if they haven’t set sail using Tweetdeck already.

 

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Reference
Svendor, H. (2016, November 3rd). Tweetdeck Scheduled Tweets [Screenshot].

 

Brand Yourself

For this assignment, I created an account with Brand Yourself to see how my digital presence is ranked on the search engine Google.  I was surprised to find out that my initial score was so incredibly low because specifically within the past couple of years I have been more careful with what I post on social media.  With BrandYourself, it scans risky posts that affiliate it with potentially damaging topics.  A lot of the posts were past posts, and it was interesting to see that those posts can still come up in searches and potentially damage your reputation.  In some cases, it grabbed posts that the site deemed to be dangerous but were instead mistakes based on words that have different synonyms or different meanings within the same word.

There are approximately 10 Svendor’s in the world so there are only 2 or 3 pages that come up when you search my name on Google.  BrandYourself gives you ability to rank those results as “positive”, “negative”, and “not me”.  Some results that came up included third-party sites that grabbed my profile information and captured the photos I have put online.  Depending on what the sites contained, I ranked the top 10 results to help boost what comes up on Google.  In addition, I saw that a few of my professional websites did not show up until the 3rd or 4th result on Google because they were not search engine optimized.  I have began to edit my professional links, which improved my score greatly.  In the near future I plan to optimize my other profiles and my blog to help boost my professional image.  I never knew search engine tools like Brand Yourself existed, but I highly encourage everyone check themselves out on this website, especially when getting ready to apply for jobs or internships!

I completed the following recommendations for improving my score:

  • Optimize the links you want people to find about you in Google – I optimized my Twitter, WordPress, and Linkedin pages.
  • Tagged the first 15 search results on Google for my name – I hit either positive, negative, or not me for every search result for the initial 35 results that came up for me.
  • Publish Brand Yourself profile – This will help me in the future to see who is googling my name and looking for my profile online.
  • Optimized a link for search engines – I optimized my Twitter and Linkedin pages to make them more search engine friendly.

screenshot-2016-10-24-15-53-30Reference
Svendor, H. (2016, October 27). Brand yourself initial score [Screenshot].

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Reference
Svendor, H. (2016, October 27). Brand yourself updated score [Screenshot].

Using social sites to boost sorority PR

 

For this project, my task was to utilize Google Adwords to help promote my blog.  Taking a couple of Ad/PR classes and joining the Advertising club have given me some exposure to Google Adwords, but I never had the chance to get hands-on experience with it until CAP 105. I’ve learned quite a bit about SEM/SEO and find great interest in the idea of discovering ways to boost a website’s hits. It was fun finding ways and alternate keywords that would best reach my target audience.

The Google Keyword Tool is a part of a much larger concept: search engine optimization (SEO).  This involves the process of optimizing your web page so that your site will have an increased chance of visibility on search engines, which in turn boosts the website visibility and ranking.  There is a lot to learn about SEO and keywords, and what it takes to make your website SEO friendly.

5 Terms to identify my blog:

“Advertising” = 100K-1M

“Graphic Design” = 100K-1M

“Gamma Phi Beta” = 10K-100K

“Trends” = 100K-1M

“Social Media” = 100K-1M

 

5 alternative terms Google Adwords suggested:

“Ads” = 1M-10M

“Editing Software” = 10K-100K

“Sorority” = 100K-1M

“App Advertising” = 1K-10K

“Social Sites” = 10K-100K

 

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Svendor, H. (2016, October 13).  GVSU Gamma Phi Beta [Screenshot].

 

By promoting different photos on Instagram, Gamma Phi can put out ads to help boost their image.

I used an editing software to put together our last CAP 105 video project, which in return I used for our social media sites.

I am extremely proud to say that I run my sorority social media pages.

App advertising is a new form of advertising.  It allows you to promote your business through different apps your target audience may use.

The Gamma Phi Beta social sites are tailored to fit the target audiences that are following that page.  Twitter is treated differently than Facebook, and the same goes for Instagram.

 

References:

Eta Delta Chapter,  (2016). Gamma Phi Beta at Grand Valley State University. Retrieved October 13, 2016, from Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/GammaPhiBetaGV/

Olenski, S (2014, March 26). 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In SEO. Retrieved October 13, 2016, from Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2014/03/26/7-reasons-why-your-business-should-invest-in-seo/#7118b1e81337

 

CAP 105: A Day in the Life of a Gamma Phi

Using Final Cut Pro (and yet slightly losing my insanity due to this program), I was able to create a video to showcase the Gamma Phi life during recruitment!  Below you will see the steps I took to create the video.  Starting with the storyboard, I was able to get an idea of what I envisioned my video to look like.  I then recreated that vision in Final Cut Pro (see image attachment below).  Finally, I uploaded the finished product to Vimeo.  Have a taste of the Gamma Phi life!  Enjoy!

 

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Photoshop Assignment

Svendor, H. S. (Photographer). (2016). My Love – Lola. [Photograph].

 

For my CAP 105 class, I was assigned the task of familiarizing myself with the program Adobe Photoshop.  Being an Advertising major, the ability to know graphic design and technology basics will give me a one-up in the APR field when it’s time to get started in my career.  We learned the basic skills of Photoshop; learning how to import and export images,  how to edit an image in different layers, how to blend, color correct, apply filters, etc.  I decided to remove an object from the original image and make it seem as if it were never there.

As shown above, in the first photo you’ll notice a giddy, little puppy (her name is Lola in case you were wondering!) sitting nicely waiting to play fetch with a golf ball.  I started by importing the photo into Photoshop.  I then duplicated that same photo – turning it into another layer.  I unlocked the original layer and traced the golf ball by using the ‘Magnetic Lasso’ tool.  After removing the selected area, I was able to toggle back to the second layer and use the stamp tool to select an area of the wood to recreate the wood grain effect.  I used a bit of the ‘Smudge’ and ‘Blur’ tool to blend in the outer areas of the spot.  Lastly, I finalized the photo by throwing a filter over called “Reduce Noise” along with adjusting some of the color.  I didn’t change much because I was already real content with the colors.

I found this assignment to be a fantastic way to really get used to working with Photoshop.  I will definitely be taking these tools to later projects I will work on – both academically and professionally.