Author Archives: Lauren Kokoskie

Departing Thoughts

This internship has been an interesting experience for me. I have a passion for travel and international issues, so the internship seemed like a good fit. The Center for Global Studies was my first choice for the internships I applied to, so I was thrilled to have been offered the position. Because it was my first internship experience, I came in with little/no expectations.

I was immediacy immersed with tasks and had to ask for a lot of guidance initially, but as time went on I began to understand the position more and more. Recently, I decided to take matters into my own hands with our newsletter. In the beginning, the Newsletter task seemed very difficult to me because there were virtually no guidelines. After speaking with Sarah and Mary we agreed creating a Newsletter Guideline would be helpful for future interns. Using the Chicago Manuel of Style, I was able to create a detailed checklist of every aspect of the newsletter to make sure the newsletters would be consistent in the future. I hope this checklist makes the process of figuring out how to complete the newsletter in the future.

What I have discovered from this internship is I love working in collaborative environments. I also learned to work in collaborative environments you need to be open to others ideas, which I continued to exercise throughout the semester by constantly asking for feedback from other interns. I also learned love challenging myself in creative ways (i.e. the flyer, event planning). I would hope my future opportunities allow me to think outside the box. Overall, it was a great experience, I was able to meet my goal of getting hands-on Public Relations experience in the field and I can’t wait to see what other opportunities I encounter.

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I loved immersing myself in the event planning: me interacting with a participant during our World Stories Alive series

Penn State German Day: Seeing a New Point of View

This month’s most memorable learning experience to me was volunteering at Penn State German Day. When I was in high school, I remember attending German Day with my German class and favorite professor. It was always fun to get a day off of school to compete for prizes while participating in my favorite activity: learning German. As a high school student, I remember the activities always being fun and engaging, especially because of the prizes that could be won at the end. I also remember interacting with a lot of fun volunteers, who were all college students taking German, that seemed so old to me at the time.

It was interesting being on the other end and actually being the person I thought was once so old. Interacting with students who were just as excited about German as me was both fun and a learning experience. I found that when I was involved in something I was truly passionate about, I found myself more engaged in that activity. The best part of the experience was running into my high school German teacher, who was thrilled to learn I was pursuing German as a minor. Penn State has given me so many incredible opportunities to better myself in German, from the outstanding teachers to the numerous study abroad experiences they offer. I was proud to be apart of educating high school students about these opportunities as well. I hope I inspired them to pursue German in the future.

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Me volunteering at Penn State German Day

Looking for Improvement

This month my involvement was mostly with the “World Stories Alive” series. A series where we organize speakers to come in and read to children in a different language, sing a song, and make a craft. In the beginning of the month, I assisted with the Korean day. The event went really well, although, we decided some necessary improvements for the future would have to be made. The changes we had in mind were having a louder speaker and creating a craft that is easier for children. Some things that went well were the story itself and the speakers’ engagement while singing the songs with the kids.

Next weekend was my event, Turkish day. Before the event, I enjoyed creating the handout and was able to add elements of my own creativity in with the background images and color. Next, we had to decide on a craft. We eventually agreed to use last year’s craft, the evil eye, but I wanted to find a way to improve the craft so we didn’t run into any difficulty like last week. Because the craft required the children to cut felt, I cut holes in cardboard to create templates for the children to use.

The woman who was reading that day, Merve, was a Global Studies intern from last year, so I enjoyed talking to her. She was very good with kids, which made my job easier. Although attendance was low because the children’s department was closed today for renovations, I believe the children who were there got a lot out of the experience. They were able to sit on carpet squares instead of their parents’ laps so the whole experience was much easier for them to pay attention to. This tactic was better than the previous week, and we will continue to use the carpet squares because it will be easier for the kids to understand a difficult speaker if they are closer up in the future. We encouraged Merve to sing with the children like the speaker the previous week had done, which the children really enjoyed. The children also loved the craft, and the templates really improved their ability to design cut the felt.

Overall, even though attendance was low, the event went really well. I took things away from the previous week that I thought went well and what didn’t go well and applied them to my event. I also really enjoyed the experience of working with children and having the opportunity to combine my public relations skills with an event like this.

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Above is a participate with the completed evil eye craft and speaker Merve reading to other participants.

Learning the Ropes

Although I’ve only been working here for two weeks, I feel as though I’ve already gained a lot of career experience. When I said I loved adapting and challenging myself to new situations on my resume, it is clear to me how useful those qualities I have are impacting this internship.

I have had to already do an array of different things this semester, from press releases to organizing a newsletter. Because I am new to the field of public relations, this has all been very challenging for me. However, despite the challenges, I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed the work I have been doing, especially seeing the final products we create.

The hardest challenge I had to date was the Call for Papers flyer. It was challenging because there was a lot of necessary information that needed to go onto the flyer and I had a hard time weighing “visual appeal” and “not being too busy.”

I wanted the flyer to be aesthetically pleasing so I spent a long time finding an image I thought was interesting and professional. When I had thought I found the perfect image, I immediately went into action making it fit into the flyer. However, trial after trial, the image could not seem to work with the amount of content the flyer needed. The image was large and had too many components to fit with the style of the flyer. It became a flyer that was too overwhelming for someone to read.

Eventually, Sarah decided to take a different approach and try an image that was less distracting. The image conveyed the message of interconnectedness like mine did however, it did not take away from the content. In addition to the new image, the grey and black textboxes were taken out. These textboxes made the flyer look busier than it already was. By taking them out, even with the new image, the flyer looked cleaner and more professional.

The second and third additions to the flyer included changes to the font and adding a resource to the image. The reason for adding the resource is obvious: so the image wasn’t illegally copy written. However, the reason for the text change is a little less obvious. It was done was so that the flyer could have more visual appeal and allow the readers eye to be more inclined to look at different words on the poster.

The flyers purpose was to make people read it. With a flyer that had an image that was too distracting, too many dark colored boxes, and hard to read text, no one would read it. The current flyer looks clean, professional, and visually appealing. There is nothing distracting the text so the viewer is more likely to read it. In the future, I think I will not get so attached to an idea and not be afraid to try something new. When Sarah said the flyer was too distracting from the content, I should’ve immediately rethought the idea of the image and the flyer as a whole instead of trying to fix something that was obviously not going to get less “busy.” On future projects, I will set my own ideas aside and take advice better to create more professional content.

Even though the flyer was challenging, I enjoyed the process of working out the problems and trying to improve it. Other things in the internship have however gone more smoothly. The newsletter I organized was executed very well so I was happy to be reassured I had good organization and communication abilities. Even though the task had been described as “very tedious” to me, the other interns were relieved to hear I actually liked putting it together. Although this internship has been challenging so far, I love a good challenge and will continue to work my hardest to improve myself. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this semester and see how much I grow as a professional.

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My Version                                                                       Final Version