Join us for a coffee on the 7th of August at the Tav

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All of us in the PURE committee were once First Year Uni students, and we still remember how daunting those first weeks, and even months, were. How were you meant to get to know anyone in your classes when everyone took off as soon as the tutorials finished, and how could you attend all the great events when you had no one to go with?

The PURE committee have therefore decided to create an event especially for this particular reason – a coffee catch-up for all the new First Year students who have joined the PR programme at Murdoch this year! This is your chance to meet us in the committee and get a face to the name – we are happy to be your mentors and answer any questions you might have about PURE, the PR programme or Murdoch University (Or chat about other, less serious topics). And even if you don’t really care about these things you should still come – it is a great opportunity to speak to your class mates outside of the tutorials over a coffee or tea. And it is all FREE!

Drop by and say hi (you are welcome to come even if you are not in your first year, as long as you are a PR student keen for some networking – Thursday at the tavern is where you should be!). We are all really down to earth people and we want to get to know you!

Fear of the unknown – it can be your worst enemy OR your greatest companion.

This was my dilemma when I decided that it was high time I bit the bullet and finally accepted my offer for University. After 6 years out of school and earning a full-time income that allowed me the social and financial freedom that I love, I still couldn’t help but feel my professional life was lacking. I wanted a career, not just a job. This is easier said than done of course, as there are many sacrifices that I needed to make in order to get the career ball rolling.

Still, it was very daunting making the big decision to return to student life! I had so many thoughts and emotions running through my mind; will I be able to do it? How will I survive on part-time wages again? What are the people going to be like? Am I going to make new friends? Is the social scene really all it’s cracked up to be? Am I scared? Excited? Nervous? If I’m honest, it was all of the above.

Regardless of the mile-a-minute thought process, I can say with complete confidence that returning to my studies was one of the BEST decisions I had ever made (and for those who know me, you’ll be surprised to hear the social scene has had no influence whatsoever on this)! I have discovered things about myself that I never thought possible and in the process found that all the thoughts and emotions bubbling beneath the surface for so many years (that had not been fully appreciated until very recently) were now able to be put to good use. My passions and life experiences have allowed me the opportunity to tackle my fear of the unknown and allowed me to take that giant leap of faith that is slowly (but, surely) paving the path towards a career, not just a mind-numbing office job, but a fulfilling career that will take me to new heights and allow me to challenge myself on a daily basis!

For anyone who is considering going down the mature aged pathway, my greatest piece of advice to you would be to JUST DO IT. In 2011 41% of students were aged 25-64 years, so whether you are 25 or 45, age is irrelevant when it comes to beginning that next chapter in your academic life. Your fellow students are friendly, lecturers are your greatest ally and the friends and networks you create are priceless. Personally I feel that beginning my studies at a later stage has made me a better student, not only do I appreciate my time and experiences at University but it has made me a more attentive, driven student who strives for nothing but the best in my work and grades (and even then that’s not always good enough). Having tackled my fear of the unknown, I hope this final thought can help you do the same!

Fear and anxiety many times indicates that we are moving in a positive direction, out of the safe confines of our comfort zone, and in the direction of our true purpose.”
― 
Charles F. Glassman

Lynsey Brady

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Third Year Uni Student to Daunting Working Reality.

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We all remember the feelings we got when we began our first year at uni. We were nervous and stressed, we were thinking to ourselves whether we were doing the right course or the right thing, and we were wondering if we would make good long lasting friends. To be honest, the experience was stressful and daunting.

Your first year in Uni is all about finding your footing, getting a lay of land and finding your way. Second year you are settled, you have your courses down, your friends are rocking and you feel like you are living the high life (obviously discounting the added stress of exams and assignments… that’s a given). Then it’s all over before it even starts and you are facing the daunting realisation that you are about to finish uni and have to start looking for a real job. All of a sudden you are out in the real world – dealing with reality on your own, with no backup.

This is where the stress kicks in again; you need to have your future sorted. Trust me, I know how it goes; I went through it not to long ago. I started my final year of uni in a panic, I thought to myself “Oh my gosh! I don’t have any PR experience, I haven’t had an internship and what if I don’t get a job – I don’t want to leave yet”. Honestly though, it’s not as bad as it seems to be, that I am 100 percent sure of.

To ensure that you will find a job opportunity when you graduate or a possible work experience there a few things that you should keep in mind. I’m not one of your parents so I wont lecture you on how to do it and when, I am just simply trying to take the stress off your shoulders a little bit, as I know that it can be scary stepping out into the reality and the world unknown.

Here we go:

  • Making connections is key – communication with unit coordinators and friends are ways to find out about internships. Do as many as you can and make your choices as diverse as you can. Building your portfolio is kind of essential, it’s what makes you stand out from everyone else. Make it known to employees that you are hardworking and willing to face a challenge. The second they see diversity in your resume you will have them hooked and an interview will be on its way. Yay you’re halfway there!
  • It’s all about networking and who you know. If you meet someone who works in the same field you hope to get into one day JOT THEIR NAME DOWN and make sure they remember you! Communication is key!
  • Join Committees – it’s an amazing way to gain experience and make fabulous friends. I know I did and sometimes I even wish I joined and became a part of my little committee family earlier. The more experience you have the better! It wont be stressful to leave uni if you know your resume is of standard, and that comes from all the internships or committees you are a part of – it will show that you have the experience required. But in saying that, don’t let the stress get to you. I know it’s easier said then done, I still feel anxious about leaving uni this year, but after gaining some experience and sorting my resume out, I am more at ease.

Reality may be scary at first, just like uni, but, it’s all about baby steps.

Renae Cummins

The #LikeAGirl campaign reminds me of why I find PR so fascinating

Some of you might have already seen it, heard of it or spoken about it, I admit that I might be a little slow to jump on the bandwagon on this one, but I have just discovered this amazing video which is part of a campaign run by Always (feminine hygiene product brand for you who are not familiar with it). I think it came out last month and it is going viral as we speak with the hashtag #LikeAGirl. Always have teamed up with the award-winning film maker Lauren Greenfield to illustrate the decrease in self confidence that many young women go through around puberty and how sayings such as “run like a girl, or hit like a girl” may affect this. Most of us can relate to hearing and even using these expressions as insults, however in this video, the viewer get asked the question why ”run like a girl” can’t also mean win the race?

This campaign does remind me of others such as the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign and other branded female empowerment campaigns, it is nothing new with other words and some people might hate the concept. You might argue that these brands try to exploit real issues for their own revenue. However, I am a sucker for it.

I am usually a little reluctant to watch videos online as when they finish I feel like I have just wasted two or three minutes of my life, most of them are utterly boring. However this one made me smile, and then it made me a little sad and worried to be honest. Because it is happening all around me and it is so common that I don’t’ even notice when “like a girl” is used as something often silly and negative. After watching the video I felt determined to make this change.

When this determination took over I managed to stop for a second and realize what was going on, and I thought to myself “This is really clever”. Always managed to get me just where they wanted me. On their website Always write “We’re kicking off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing – Join the movement”. This is great PR work! Just that thing, “Join the movement”. They make me want to take part of this epic battle as they call it. So I do have to admit, Always have managed to get me so touched by their work that yes, I will go on twitter and use the hashtag, and maybe even buy their brand over other brands from now on. The best thing is that they managed to do this without showing a single product in the video, and this is where PR comes in. They got me because they made me believe that they are a good company, sincerely concerned about young girls confidence. (I told you – I am a sucker for it). Campaigns like this do remind me of why I find PR so fascinating. What do we do and how do we do it to get people to love our brand? Great campaign, great PR work Always.

Jenny Ljunggren 

Find balance when you don’t have time – HELP?

Have any of you had a meltdown lately? Like, a full-blown, crying, shaking, hysterical meltdown for absolutely no reason at all? I have. I got home one Friday afternoon, went straight to my bed, buried my head in my pillow and proceeded to break down. When my partner came in asking what was wrong, I actually didn’t know. When I told him this, he laughed “how do you not know why you’re crying?” (obviously impossible for a male to understand). I just felt so completely overwhelmed and devoid of all energy that all I could fathom doing for the foreseeable future was crying.

The truth is, I was exhausted. Just plain exhausted. 16 weeks of uni, 2 jobs, a committee and sporting commitments later, I had absolutely nothing left in the tank. Expecting sympathy, I whimpered about my plight to my partner, only to be told, “you do this to yourself”. Do I? I guess I do.

I wonder how many other uni students, or professionals are out there feeling the same thing from time to time? The thing is, people are always saying that you need to find the balance between working hard and having fun, but I CANNOT imagine happily giving up any of my commitments for ‘relaxation’ time. I suppose that’s the downfall of an overachiever. And let’s be honest, who even knows what ‘relaxing’ is anymore?

Here’s an interesting fact: In the ten years from 1986 to 1996 work-life balance was mentioned in the media 32 times. In 2007 alone it was mentioned 1674 times.

They say that the happiest people are those who don’t have a care in the world. But please, as if they’re not bored. I know I would be. If I’m not challenging myself in some way, my day just seems pointless.

The most frustrating times in my life have been those when I have had nothing to do, no commitments, and nowhere to be. I remember having a similar meltdown after I graduated year 12, petrified of ‘treading water’ (as I call it) for six months before enlisting in the Navy. I. Hate. Doing. Nothing. And more than that, I hate not being in control.

Most of the time I am highly organised. I keep a religious diary – three, in fact (if you don’t count the calendar hanging on my office wall). I have a schedule on my tablet, in my phone, and a hard copy in my bag. But I do have a tendency to allow the lines between my commitments blur. Like right now, for example, I’m writing this blog while I’m sitting at my intern desk. What this means is if at any time I am unsure of what I need to do, I have the answer within reach.

However, I don’t see anywhere in my diary to do things I enjoy to wind down. There’s isn’t any time for sitting in front of the sewing machine, or creating some artwork for our house. But when I have 25 hours worth of things to fit into 24 hour cycles, there really isn’t room. Especially when all I want to do at the end of the day is curl up with my partner on the couch, shut my eyes, and let him tell me all about his day.

Look, I know the solution to my problem is pretty common sense. Prioritise. Blah. Blah. Blah. And I think I do that pretty well. But whilst I am very good at compartmentalising my life physically, I’m not very good at doing it emotionally. And that is something I’m going to have to learn…

…When I have the time. Which I don’t.

Kayla WebbtEREUy1vSfuSu8LzTop3_IMG_2538

Up and Running!

PURE is excited to announce that our WordPress blog is up and running! We are going to be posting exciting content all the time about PR news, personal interests and works, research, and other stories. We hope that you’ll start to look forward to hearing what our students have to say as they begin to demonstrate their Public Relations and writing skills.