Author Archives: Samantha Severo

Livin on a prayer, baby

Livin on a prayer, baby

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So, it’s senior year, half end of the first semester and it’s finals time… can you say stressed out? It is just that time of year where the work piles up and the weather gets gloomy. Everyone goes through it no matter how old you are or where you are.

I always say that Mount Union is in such a perfect location because it is so easy for me to just escape for a while. I was able to take a couple of nice trips home lately to just relax and take my mind off everything before I had to crack down and get my work done. Everyone needs to get away once in a while. My home is only an hour away from school … not too far, not too close.

Finals are right around the corner and the end of the semester is near. Can you believe the year is half way over?! Unbelievable. Cue: Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer.

It is starting to get very surreal. My last Thanksgiving break, my last Christmas break… Crazy.

Luckily, a lot of the projects I have been working on lately have been super fun. I’ll be sure to post a blog letting you know what I’ve been up to. See, being a communication major does have its perks!

A day of public relations

A day of public relations

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Every year, the Cleveland chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) hosts Student Day.

This is usually a conference of sort where students from all over Northeast Ohio get to listen to panels of speakers, get resume tips and advice from professionals, etc…

I have attended Student Day the past two years and both times have been great experiences.

A group of public relations students and I got up super early on a Friday to make a trip up to Cleveland State University to attend the event. We were served a nice breakfast and then took a few hours to listen to different panels of professionals from the field.

These people had nothing but great advice for us. Whether it was concerning our resumes and the importance of networking or how to handle interviews, we learned it all.

It is really great receiving advice from all these different people, especially because it is in our preferred field. You know, at school, we go to class, listen to speakers and read articles. Everywhere we look there is different advice, and hearing from these people was so beneficial because they are the people I want to work for someday. I was able to get a close look as to what they are looking for in a potential hire.

In college, we’re presented with SO many opportunities like Student Day. I know that other departments, not just communication, have opportunities like this. If you read my previous posts, you would have learned about my trip to New York City where professionals from that industry told me what they think we should do to be professional. Students absolutely need to take advantage of these events because they can learn so much and get a lot of good advice.

I talked earlier about the importance of networking … think of all the professionals that students are able to meet during these events. Like I said, I hope to work for these people someday, so what better way to get my foot in the door than to meet them in this kind of atmosphere?

Elections 2011

Elections 2011

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Another one of my favorite things to do with WRMU is to participate in election coverage.

Every second Tuesday of November, members of the WRMU news team heads to Canton to broadcast election coverage live on-air at the Stark County Board of Elections.

Of course, it is probably way more exciting to be a part of this during a presidential election, but regardless of what is being voted on, it is still a great learning experience! You don’t even need to be interested in politics to enjoy being there.

Results start pouring in around 8 p.m. or so (the time varies every year), and we collect the information along with various other media outlets from the Stark County area.

It is fun because we are right there with other media outlets – newspapers, websites, radio stations, etc.

Election coverage … just another thing I love about WRMU :]

Our field trip to NYC

Our field trip to NYC

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Last Wednesday, I took a trip with some of my fellow sport  business students to New York City for a long, but exciting day.

Aside from being able to take in all of the amazingness NYC has to offer, we were all able to learn from professionals about how to become successful.

If you are about to stop reading this because you’re not a sport business major — don’t. The advice and expertise gained on this trip can apply for any student, any major or anyone who just wants to hear some good tips.

After landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York, we hopped in some cabs and headed over to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. We were greeted by Katie Mahon, the director of ticket sales. She took us on a tour around the ballpark where she explained some of the field’s high selling points. During our tour, we noticed that every TV in the park had “NY Mets welcome Mount Union students” on their screens. Talk about a warm welcome! Mahon wrapped up our tour and took us to one of the park’s suites where there was a beautiful breakfast waiting for us including fresh fruit, bagels, pastries and, of course, a lot of coffee.

It was in the suite that we met with Leigh Castrogine, the vice president of ticket sales and services. Castrogine and Mahon had some other employees from their departments there to give us advice on how they all got to be where they are today.

While Mount Union is always pounding the importance of internships and experience into our heads, it is always nice to hear it coming from professionals in the businesses we would like to get in. They could not stress enough that it was so important to fill our resumes with experience. Coming in at a close second, the Mets preach that networking is a huge factor to being successful. This goes along with the cliche; it is all about who you know.

Some other advice the Mets gave us was the importance of learning. They said to read books, talk to people and find out how other industries work. No matter what your career path, you can learn from other industries.

The speakers we heard from at Citi Field were all about passion. They said that once you lose your inner passion, you are on the wrong track. You have to work hard and prove yourself all while finding and following your passion. These are all very important tips on how to make yourself stand out.

“If you want something, no one is going to just give it to you,” said Castrogine. “You’ve got to ask for it.”

After our meeting with the Mets, we got in the car and went straight to Madison Square Garden(MSG) where we met with Adam Campbell, the director of inside sales and season subscriptions.

Campbell gave us an inside tour of MSG including the new renovations of the arena, the fabulous suites and, yes, the seats that are courtside.

It was no surprise that Campbell discussed the important of internships. He believes, however, that the purpose of an internship isn’t to find what you want to do, it is to eliminate what you don’t want to do.

He believes also that the willingness to learn complements a hard worker.

“Treat your internship as an X-month long internship,” said Campbell. “Always have your game-face on.”

Campbell talked next about what to look for in a job and in an employer.

“No matter what job you take, make sure you work for good people, people who care about you and your success.”

Campbell’s opinions on networking went hand in hand with the Mets’ views, however he contradicted one part.

“It is not about who you know,” Campbell stated. “It is about who knows you.”

When we were finished up at Madison Square Garden, we had about an hour to kill before we had to be at the National Hockey League (NHL) offices. This meant we had a short amount of time to wander around Times Square. We all went our separate ways to get some shopping and eating done. My group and I found a cute little pizza shop down the street from the heart of Times Square and we all picked up some delicious slices of pizza. We got it to go, however, because we wanted to make sure to eat our lunch on the bleachers in Times Square. Gotta get the whole NY experience, right?

The hour seemed to fly by and before we knew it we had to get to the NHL offices.

We were introduced to Nicole Allison from the Club Consulting and Services Department. She brought in Kelly Patterson, the manager of consumer products and retail, and Scott Jablonski, the director of club and financial reporting to help teach us more about the NHL.

They explained to us the differences of working for an actual team versus working for a whole league. In a job like this, they said, you have to look at it as any other business; it has the same functions as a business that has nothing to do with sports.

They taught us what kinds of fans the league has compared to other leagues and how they use these facts to be successful. This was all pretty cool because you never really realize or pay attention to the business side of sports. Especially in a league, you can’t pick a favorite team because you have to be fair to all and your job gets difficult because you can’t control the outcome of the games.

Of course, they all had advice for us on how to be successful. Jablonski was a big supporter in being a hard worker right from the get go. ”The biggest question you can ask yourself is, ‘What can you do on day one?’”

He also was a firm believer in the networking aspect.

“Everyone knows somebody,” Jablonski stated. “Everyone started out at the bottom and worked their way to the top.”

After the NHL offices, we had another hour or so to walk around Rockefeller Center and enjoy the scenery. That time went quickly once again and soon we were on the subway on our way to the Bronx to visit Yankee Stadium.

We were greeted nicely by Dan Rosenthal, the manager of inside sales for the Yankees. He took us on a great tour of the stadium. We were able to see the amazing suites, the awesome VIP areas and all of the history throughout the ballpark.

Rosenthal had nothing but great advice to give us. He, too, was a firm believer in networking.

“Build relationships and connections with people,” he said.

He knows that it is important to know your limits and what will make you successful.

“Put yourself in the best position to succeed,” Rosenthal said. “Go to a culture and place where you can grow your career.”

To have such an important role in such a great organization like the Yankees, Rosenthal has to know what it takes to land a job  like that. He told us the five things that he thinks makes a god worker.

First, you must have a tremendous work ethic. Second, you must be passionate about your craft. Next, you must be open to learning and be obsessed with wanting to get better. You must also have a positive attitude that is contagious. Lastly, you must be a leader by example — be someone who does something little that leads to something big.

Khaled Hosseini comes to Mount

Khaled Hosseini comes to Mount

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Every year, Mount Union holds the Schooler Lecture, which is basically a large event in which a famous person comes and speaks to the community. Some examples of speakers who have came in the past would be Gerald R. Ford, Henry Kissinger, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sandra Day O’Connor, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Desmond Tutu and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Yea, and those are only some examples.

Usually we have to wait until the spring to attend the Schooler Lecture, but for some reason this year it took place in the fall. This year’s speaker was Khaled Hosseini, author of Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

I have attended the past four Schooler Lectures as a student (Fareed Zakaria, Greg Mortenson, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Khaled Hosseini) and have enjoyed them all very much. They’re always great because they all have such good things to say and there is always so much variety. I don’t really remember what Zakaria spoke of, give me a break, it has been a while! But I do remember Mortenson speaking about his work as a humanitarian and his acts to bring education to poor countries. And, Tyson was amazing. If you want to read the little article I wrote for our newspaper about his lecture, visit http://umudynamo.com/?p=1026.

Well, as you may or may not know from reading my recent posts, I am heavily involved in the radio station at Mount Union. As a part of the station, we get to get “media” privileges.  Every year we attend the media press conference where we get to ask the speakers any questions we like, we attend the event dinner before the lecture which is always VERY fancy and we sit at the media table and of course we sit in the media section at the lecture where we take notes and make some stories for the radio station. The past two years I have produced stories for our newspaper that summarizes the speech.

Attending these press conferences and being a part of the media really inspires me. I couldn’t be more happy with my choice to major in communication and to get involved with all the media outlets on campus. I really have gained so much experience and couldn’t appreciate it anymore.

Check out our podcasts from WRMU at http://www.mountunion.edu/best-selling-author-discusses-life-and-books.
Check out my Dynamo article at http://umudynamo.com/?p=1543.

WRMU: More than just our music

WRMU: More than just our music

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Over the past few months, I’ve noticed myself blogging more and more about WRMU. What can I say? It is the organization I am most involved in and it is the one I chose to put my heart into the most.

When people come to our campus and see we have a radio station, I hear a lot of “How cool!” comments. Heck yea it is cool! How many other schools can you go to where you can have your very own radio show during your freshman year? How many other opportunities will you have to be a live on-air DJ?

As if that isn’t appealing enough, I can say with confidence that WRMU is more than just a radio station.

RECAP: I joined WRMU’s staff as a freshman knowing I wanted to pursue communication. Mind you, I was only a freshman, and here is what I was able to do:

  • conduct interviews regarding the 2008 presidential election
  • be on-air and give listeners up to date voting results during said election
  • create fliers and promotional items to spread the word about the station
  • attend a Cavs came and represent WRMU
  • broadcast live from various events such as Relay For Life
  • and more… (it was a few years ago, of course it is a little blurry!)

So, after a year of participating in various events, I fell in love with the station and applied to be a director — a (paid) work-study job where we work on the internal part of WRMU.

My sophomore year, I was named sponsorship director and I was in charge of finding sponsors for our radio station and its airtime. I learned a lot about sponsorship, but it wasn’t really my strong suit, which is why the next year I applied to be the public relations director.

Since then, I have had many public relations duties that I absolutely love doing. I love finding new ways to promote the station, raise awareness and do other activities on behalf of WRMU.

OK, so now you know that people actually work at the station and have fun doing so… but, is there more? You bet.

As a staff, we LOVE doing things outside of the station. Our directors have our business meetings at restaurants to get out of the office; we do live remotes (broadcasts) at various locations in the community, which often result in us just having fun; we go on trips; we have fun at football games where we broadcast the game; and so much more!

  • A few weeks ago, as a staff, WRMU volunteered at an animal sanctuary in Salem, OH called Alchemy Acres. We spent the day playing with the animals at the shelter, and it inspired us so much that we organized a campaign to raise supplies to donate to Alchemy.
  • We also participate in different campus events where we try to win money and accept donations to donate to our charity, the Alliance Food Pantry.
  • This past weekend, we traveled to Hartville, OH and did a live broadcast from Maize Valley, where they were having a breast cancer awareness weekend. Aside from our broadcast, we were able to enjoy Maize Valley’s activities.
  • For the past three years, my best friend Shannon (who also works at the station) and I went to Stark County Board of Elections and broadcasted each year’s election results live as they came in — we were right next to real media outlets as they were receiving the information with us!
  • Mount Union holds the Schooler Lecture every year where famous speakers come to speak to the community. Since the WRMU is media, we are able to not only attend and record the lecture, but we are able to attend the media press conference before the lecture as well as be a part of the fancy dinner beforehand.

These are just some examples of what WRMU does on and off campus. So, next time you think of WRMU and think of music, know that there is so much more than just music!

The “I” Word

The “I” Word

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Once you take your first class at Mount Union, you will start hearing the “I” word all the time. Professors will pound this word into your head so much that it may seem intimidating. You will hear upper classmen using this word on a normal basis, and it might add a lot of pressure to your mind at first…

What is this “I” word? INTERNSHIPS.

Mount really encourages its students to take part in at least one internship during their four years here. Students can take one for credit or just for experience for their resume, and they can be paid or on a volunteer basis. Internships are easy to find – nowadays almost every business out there will hire an intern. To find the perfect internship, students can talk to their professors, other faculty members, look online and ask family members.

Let me be the first to tell you: internships aren’t intimidating. Sure, you should really have one (or more) by the time you graduate from Mount, but the opportunities are unbelievable. Even if you get an unpaid internship, who cares? You are getting experience that most people will never get!

I’ll tell you a few places where some of my peers landed awesome internships (feel free to look them up!):

  • Akron Aeros
  • Alliance Community Hospital
  • American Eagle
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Fahlgren Mortine
  • Hermes
  • Mahoning Valley Scrappers
  • NBA
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Q104
  • Q92
  • Sports Time Ohio (STO)

Does this list appeal to you at all? Let me just remind you that this is only one small list of examples of where Mount students have interned.

Internships are the resume builders that are going to help you land the perfect job when you graduate. Another great thing, if you start the search early in your college career, you get your foot in the door and the chances of you being hired at that business are high.

So don’t ever be intimidated when you hear the “I” word; just know that it can be the one of the best experiences of your college career.

Fall break!

Fall break!

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I think that in every one of my posts, I make some sort of comment about how fast time is flying by. Well, guess what … I am going to make another comment right now. Can you believe it is already the end of October?! Hello, where does time go?

Fall break has already came and went in the blink of an eye. It feels like just yesterday that I was counting down the days until I went home and visited my family, and here I am, back in action at school.

Fall break was absolutely perfect. Here at Mount we get off classes Friday and Monday, and it usually falls smack dab in the middle of October. It really is the perfect amount of time off. I was able to take the short trip home to Cleveland, visit with most of my family members, relax and get some errands done.

I can’t stress enough how perfectly located Mount Union is. Like I just said, I live up in Cleveland and it is such a perfect distance. It takes me a little bit more than an hour to get there — not too long of a drive, not too short (Goldilocks style). It is just right. I was out and about in Cleveland this past weekend and I ran into numerous Mount friends at the mall and out at night, therefore backing up my statement that it is the perfect distance away.

Also, my boyfriend and I took the short trip to Pittsburgh over fall break as well. See, if you get bored with Cleveland (like that is possible!), it is a little bit longer of a drive to get to Pittsburgh. We had a great time there and it was nice to get away for the little break.

If you’re not one that likes to leave campus on breaks such as these, I know quite a few people who stayed here over fall break and just enjoyed having time off from class. There are so many fun activities to do around the Alliance area and its surrounding communities such as shopping, fall farms with pumpkin patches and hayrides, movies and so much more.

Remember what I said about opportunities?!

Remember what I said about opportunities?!

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So in most of my previous blog posts, I have mentioned that “Wow, Mount hooked me up with this internship,” or “Hey, I was on Fox 8 news all because of Mount,” and so on and so forth …

Well, those opportunities did not stop there!!!

This past weekend, Friday afternoon in fact, I checked my email and had a message from one of my favorite professors, Harry Paidas. He told me that they needed someone to do some sideline reporting for the homecoming football game… better yet, it was going to be broadcasted on SPORTS TIME OHIO (STO)!!!

If you have read my posts before, you know how I love sports, Cleveland sports, media, etc. This was right up my alley and SUCH A GREAT OPPORTUNITY!

I called him right away and told him I was more than willing.

So, after going on a nice little shopping spree to find the right outfit (of course), I prepared myself for my STO debut. (Ignoring the couple of times I made it on there over the summer through my Indians job… I made a fool of myself every time!)

Saturday morning started out like any home football game morning. I got some things ready for WRMU and worked the pregame festivities that WRMU puts on every game. As it became closer and closer to game time, I became more and more nervous.

Soon I was in the media van, getting my interview questions ready as well as learning all the quick and easy-to-learn rules for the day. I was given my STO microphone as well as my headset and was off to do my sideline reporting.

My first time on camera I was so nervous! I probably spoke faster than I ever have before, and I would be shocked if someone told me that he or she couldn’t tell I was shaking…

After the first quarter, I interviewed President Dr. Richard Giese, and at halftime I interviewed Anne Graffice (the director of alumni relations and university activities). After the third quarter I interviewed Mount Union’s wrestling coaches, and at the end of the game I interviewed the star of the game, Jasper Collins.

While it was beyond obvious that I was only a beginner, it was so much fun and so very exciting. I would definitely do it again.

I think about it and I would not have this opportunity anywhere else. I owe it all to my professors (especially Harry Paidas, for thinking of me for that opportunity) and the Office of Sports Information here at Mount. If I had never been involved at our TV studio here on campus, where I have conducted several interviews in the past (including one with Pierre Garcon, while he was here during the off season from the Colts), I would have never been presented with this opportunity.

On the grind

On the grind

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Hello readers :]

I haven’t posted a blog since July, which seems like just yesterday! I can’t believe this Saturday is already October 1.

School started and got rolling as quickly as usual with tests, papers, projects and meetings.

The year is going quite well (as expected). I’ve been keeping myself busy with the school newspaper, The Dynamo, the campus radio station, WRMU and our chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), among other things.

While all of that sounds like a huge workload — especially on top of classes — it really is not. I enjoy being involved in these great organizations on campus. They all have given me great hands-on experiences that I can include on my resume. With graduation coming so soon (in 8 months to be exact), all of these experiences are really helping me prepare for the job search and the real world. Mount Union does a great job helping students find and pursue their interests.

Throughout this semester, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on the organizations I am involved with and what we do!