From Stress to Success

I can’t believe we are half way through the term! Time has been flying by and my days as a college student and PDXSX intern are numbered.  This experience has been eye-opening, enlightening and lesson-filled.

So far, my greatest difficulty has been adjusting my work habits. I am learning that the ‘real world’ is much different from the university environment.  As a student, you start the beginning of the term with the all mighty syllabus. Every assignment is laid out in full detail, complete with due dates. This gives you the glorious ability to plan, outline your schedule and prioritize. This structure worked out well for me. I have always been a planner; I need time to organize my thoughts before I can put them down on paper.

Things weren’t so simple when I got to my internship. I have had numerous tasks and assignments in the past five weeks but one of my main responsibilities has been writing articles for my organization’s statewide and local newsletters.  You never know what’s coming until you walk in the door.

I found this really stressful and worried that I was not completing my assignments as fast I should be.  Of course the stress caused me to over analyze every word I wrote and ultimately made me lose confidence in myself and my writing abilities. NOT GOOD!

ImageWorking in the public relations field is much different than studying it. Initially, I was intimidated by this but I quickly realized that the only thing that was preventing me from doing great work was my own fear and self-doubt. I simply needed to adjust my work habits, stop doubting myself and get the assignments done.

Going from student to practitioner is a big transition but as I continue on my PDXSX journey, I have gained confidence that I am ready to make that next step.

My new motto for success:   Work hard, stay confident, and keep improving!

PS – I’ve just started reading “They Don’t Teach Corporate in College.”  It’s great so far, I highly recommend checking it out!

Shannon Sloan

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8 Responses to From Stress to Success

  1. McKenzie Ingram says:

    Shannon – Don’t lose confidence! From the last few weeks that I’ve had the chance to work with you in the PDXSX, I know that you are a diligent, hard-working, extremely smart girl. You’ve got all the necessary skills to succeed in your internship, and a great education to back it up. You’re bound to make a few mistakes along the way, but we (both!) gotta remember that this is our first real-world experience, and we’re not supposed to know everything yet. I’ve had the same hiccups, where I’ve doubted myself and my value at my internship, but if we keep putting our all into our time at our internship, I’m sure that we (and our bosses) will see just how good of a job we’ve done. 🙂

    (Thanks for letting me ramble, I’m not sure if that was more helpful for you or for me haha.)

  2. Shannon, I think you’ve hit on the key purpose and value in having an internship like we do with the PDXSX program. I think that most students have to figure this out the hard way, when they’re already working for their first employer. The wise faculty and staff at the SOJC knew better. These internships aren’t just great resume builders, they make the transition to post-grad life so much easier! As the book title alludes, they really don’t teach corporate in college, and while all our experiences working with campus publications and student run agencies were great practice runs, there’s nothing like being in a real office with the professionals. Have a great second half of your experience!

  3. wilsonemily says:

    I can definitely relate to the challenges of transitioning from a classroom + syllabus to a working environment, because it’s not easy and no one really tells you that in a classroom! It’s great that you stepped up your confidence to succeed and overcome the initial intimidation of working in-and not just studying-the world of journalism! And that’s the great thing about an internship like this; it definitely preps you for the real-world outside of college! I think you’re more than ready to take on post-grad life!

    Good luck!

  4. PDXSX says:

    Well done, Shannon! So glad to hear you’ve honed your skills and personality to take on random tasks on any given day – unfortunately, you’ll never get a syllabus again.

  5. zolfaghari says:

    Shannon, it’s all about optimism with these things! If you can keep that mindset and stay persistent, you’ll be just fine and I’m sure you’ll be rewarded for it one way or another. I’m happy to hear that you’re receiving a good amount of work. That’s all practice and experience for when you have landed an official gig in the future. Best of luck!

  6. Alysha Beck says:

    It’s also very busy and fast-paced at my internship, and at first I was pretty overwhelmed. But one thing that has helped me organize all my daily tasks and responsibilities is the mighty to-do list. As a student I also liked having a syllabus with everything laid out for me so I could schedule and plan things. But life isn’t so planned out in the journalism industry, and I quickly learned that to stay on top of my deadlines I would have to keep a list of things I needed to get done. I find that I don’t forget assignments this way, and I love getting to cross things off the list. 🙂

  7. Sounds like your internship is serving its purpose perfectly in helping you adjust to actually working in the PR industry rather than simply learning about it. I can relate with you about being unsure of deadlines. Even when asking when certain assignments are supposed to be completed and getting general time frames took some getting used to after four years of clear deadlines for just about everything we did. Good luck with the rest of your internship, keep up the good work!
    Also, I just ordered They Don’t Teach Corporate In Collage from my library and I’m glad to hear it’s good!

  8. Shannon McGuire says:

    I really liked your post. I know how you feel. The adjustment was tough for me too. I was sick a couple days two weeks ago and I couldn’t decide if I should go into the office or not. This would’ve been a simple decision at school, skip class, make up the work at home. I ended up working it out by coming in in the morning to hand off my work to one of the producers. But the nice thing about work life is when you come home from work, you don’t have any homework to do (usually lol). Congrats on your internship and good luck with the rest of it!

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