PSU CEPE Blog

I’m Search Engine Optimized

IMG_1216 By: Sara Kirkpatrick

It’s a no-brainer that having a sense for digital media is becoming more and more of a necessity for the job market today. Companies expect students to have the ability to connect their brands on a wide variety of digital platforms. As students, we are faced with the challenge of developing an additional skill-set that may not be included in our required curriculum, but it could give us an edge over others when seeking employment.

I recently completed the Search Engine Optimization course offered through the Portland State Center for Executives and Professionals (CEPE); this course is one of six courses offered in the Digital Marketing Strategies Certificate Program. The course was taught by an Anvil Media integrated marketing expert Kent Lewis. His industry experience inspired the course material with real-life examples and up-to-date information.

I learned how to perform a basic SEO website audit, using the following check-list: Site Navigation Elements, Site Functionality, and eMarketing Components.

After completing this module, I ran the SEO audit on my current e-portfolio. The main purpose for the audit was to understand my lack of traffic to my external blog. The SEO audit led me to discover that my current links to my social media profiles were the cause behind the low traffic to my external blog. As a solution, I implemented an internal blog within the same platform as my e-portfolio and deleted my external blog. The audit has not only made my current blog easier to access, but also has highlighted my need for the usage of ‘Social Sharing Buttons’. According to Google Analytics, my site activity has increased traffic by 20%, and I have had positive responses to these very basic, but extremely effective site updates.

I am hoping that the implementation of these features will aid me in establishing a successful digital presence and capture the attention of potential employers.

I feel that this course is an essential tool for anyone interested in marketing / advertising / business sectors of any industry. More information about this program and other certificates offered through CEPE can be found here: http://www.pdx.edu/cepe/certificate-programs

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Summer Internship: Here I Come

Blogger Profile PictureBy: Sara Kirkpatrick

Did you know a career fair is one of the best resources a career-seeker has for finding employment and internship opportunities? Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most unattended events among university students. Why you ask? The answer is simple; students today aren’t motivated to attend.

This morning I RSVP’d for our upcoming Business Career and Internship Fair next Thursday, Jan. 28. This event will be my first on-campus networking opportunity, giving me access to professionals in the industry. Inspired by my passion for finding a summer internship for 2016, I decided to prepare myself for the event by completing the following:

  • Resume updates
  • Creating a website portfolio
  • Designing student business cards

Resume jpeg #2Resumes should be tailored and designed to target your specific companies. In order to follow this advice given by so many instructors, I created two separate resumes: one that demonstrated my professionalism- and another to demonstrate my creativity. In addition, I launched a personal student website hosted on www.wix.com, in order to give future employers a glimpse of my coursework projects. I added both of these on a business card, which I ordered from www.vistaprint.com. Take a look at my personal examples to get motivated.

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I also encourage each of you to consider these preparations, as well as attend these upcoming campus workshops.

  • Resume Reviews, Monday, January 251:00-5:00 pm in SBA 240
  • Professional Image, Tuesday, January 26, 4:30-5:30 pm in SBA 130
  • Mock Interviews, Wednesday, January 27, 9:00 am-4:00 pm in SBA 260 
PSU Digital Blog

Is your reliance on Digital Technology Costing you Career Opportunities?

Blogger Profile Picture  By: Sara Kirkpatrick

This past week I’ve attended a number of free campus workshops, all of which promoted face-to-face networking as a prime source to land jobs and internships.  As students, it is important to understand how to use digital media to accomplish these goals, it is equally important not to lose our basic face-to-face communication skills.

Practice your face-to-face communication:

  1. Treat your cellphone like an addiction- When spending time with peer(s), treat your cellphone like a cigarette; it’s a shameful addiction that we all have, and it is not socially accepted everywhere.
  1. Check your phone at the door- When hosting a dinner party, ask your guests to check their cellphones at the door, by placing them into a basket upon entry.
  1. No tech devices allowed- Host a “Y2K” event where no technology devices are permitted. Ask everyone to leave their cellphones and other mobile devices at home or in their car, prior to attending.
  1. First phone gets the check- When out to dinner, make a rule that whoever pulls out their phone first pays the check for everyone at the table.

As upcoming graduates in a competitive job market, we cannot afford to lack the knowledge on how to communicate without the use of technological devices.  Attend a campus workshop, and practice your face-to-face communication skills!

Upcoming free campus workshops: PSU Campus Events

PSU Fearless Blog

Have no fear, Fearless Fridays are here!

Blogger Profile Picture  By: Sara Kirkpatrick

As an up-and-coming professional, I’m constantly worried about my past getting in the way of my dream job. As students these fears are commonly expressed, but then quickly ignored; which is ironic because our past can be our strongest qualification. Our past, both good and bad, can lead to determining factors which help land us our dream job.

Last Friday, I was inspired by a Fearless Friday workshop, hosted by Business Associate Dean Erica Wagner: “How to turn your past into an asset.” The title for this workshop didn’t do it justice. I had no idea our own associate dean held such a genuine passion for our educational aspirations. She acknowledged students’ fears about the past with a sympathetic ear, and offered insightful, yet practical feedback.

After attending this session, I learned that our past shouldn’t be feared, but rather embraced. Wagner posed the question, “What’s your secret sauce?”  What are traits that draw people to you?  How has your past helped shape these traits? By answering these questions, students can overcome the fears that are keeping them from their dream jobs.

Takeaway Tips for Confronting your Past:

  • Don’t turn your weakness into a positive; be frank about them
  • Describe any personal growth you’ve experienced
  • Remember, everyone has a weakness – this makes you more relatable

I high recommend anyone who hasn’t attended a Fearless Friday to be fearless and attend an upcoming workshop. It was not only inspiring, but motivating and gave me insight to a different side of PSU.

See you at the next Fearless Friday: http://www.pdx.edu/events/calendar

PSU Social Profile Blog

What are your social media profiles saying about you?

Blogger Profile Picture

By: Sara Kirkpatrick

As I scroll through my social profiles, I see a Portland State University student, a dog lover, a movie buff, the love of pink, and so much more; I am bombarded with images of my favorite memes, and timelines of life events. As I look upon these profiles, I am reminded of my exterior presence – an image expressed through my daily interactions with the digital world around me – it is my voice when no sounds or words are spoken.

In this day and age of social media, the saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” has never held more truth. Our exterior image is spread virally through the universe of social platforms. Each day there are 1.3 billion active Facebook users, 500 million tweets, 60 million Instagram photos uploaded and 4 billion videos viewed on YouTube – which translates to 46,296 per second, according to Mary Catherine Wellons of CNBC.

Gone are the days of highly anticipated interviews to make an outstanding first impression. Leaving graduates today are faced with employers who are able to summarize their entire lifespans before they even meet.

As students we are the upcoming professionals, and it is our right and responsibility to project and control our representations within these social platforms.

Google yourself and see what the rest of the world sees.

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STUMPED in Stumptown…

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By: Sharon Nellist

Can you imagine going into your senior year and doubt the major that you have so painstakingly been working toward the last few years? Well, I certainly can. HELP!

My most recent thoughts: I am certain of the type of job I am looking for…. But will my current major get me there? Will my major hurt my chances of getting this job? Is it worth switching majors at this point? How much longer will it take? Ahh! I have to study more for that last final exam…

My mind is full.

Thankfully! I have the summer to figure this out.

And I know that I am not the only one…

Nearly 80% of new students heading for college are undeclared. About 50% of college students that have declared a major change their major, even two or three times!

Also, Portland State has great resources to help through this “traumatic” time…

What can I do with a degree in….?
Career Workshops, Classes & Events
Exploring PSU Majors Fair

What did or would you do in this situation?

Wish me luck!

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Planning Ahead

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By: Andreea Nica

I like to plan. Planning provides me security, a comfort that I’m on the right track. Or, at least it gives me the feeling I’m getting there.

When I began the doctoral program at PSU, I knew there was much work ahead, but surprisingly, it wasn’t the work that had me bogged down. Rather, it was the organization and execution of my five-year plan in the program. I had some vague ideas like any aspiring academic, such as publishing, conferences, teaching and research. But I soon realized that these vague notions of developing oneself as a scholar needed some filling in.

When did I want to publish? And with whom? How many conferences should I attend? What should I teach? What about funding? How many small research projects should I conduct? I needed more direction, and once I gained it from discussions with colleagues and professors inside and outside the department, I began filling in the details of my five-year plan. Excel came to my rescue. I began to organize my goals (brief statements, really) into an Excel document with proposed dates of completion, deadlines for funding opportunities, outcome goals and people I should talk further with regarding the respective goal.

While I am aware that plans change, organizing my time and goals in the graduate program has boosted my confidence and provided a clearer direction on what I want to achieve. I would recommend starting out with one- to two-year plans as they are easier to manage than longer-term plans. After all, many things can change over the course of four to five years.

Good luck planning!