It is Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with You!) and it is also the final day of my junior year of undergrad. I have had a lot of growth and many new experiences in the last year. To be honest, it is a little difficult to remember them all!
This past fall, I began my role as the Lead Scholar of Social Justice Education at IUPUI, which was a brand new position for me and a new role within the program itself. All of the Social Justice Scholars actually gave a presentation today on the work that we have done in the last year, so that video will be out soon in case anyone was wanting to know more about what the program and my fellow scholars do.
As Lead Scholar, I have vastly expanded my portfolio of promotional materials and designs. I have a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator and have done a few projects in Adobe InDesign as well. I maintained the SJEd social media accounts (Go follow us!) this last year, which lead to a large increase in follower engagement on all platforms. I also obtained nearly new 200 Facebook followers through a campaign that I orchestrated in the fall. The campaign in total reached over 3,000 people, so literally thousands of people around the city of Indianapolis know about the awesome work that we are doing in the IUPUI community. I am happy to say that I will be returning as Lead Scholar for next year’s cohort, and I am doing a little bit of promotional work for the program and it’s division over the summer, too.
In addition to my work with Social Justice Education, I became more heavily involved in the university’s chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America this last year. I served the as the chapter’s special events coordinator this spring, and am pleased to say that I will serve as the Vice President of the chapter for the 2018-2019 school year. My experience working with this organization and networking with other public relations geeks has already helped my career progress, and I know that taking on the role of VP this fall will push that even further. I am super excited to be able to put my stamp on PRSSA, because I think it’s important to support my fellow future PR specialists.
My spring internship with nonprofit Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis has also ended, which was a very bittersweet moment for me this week. If you’d like to read about my time with the organization, you can check out the final thoughts blog that has been posted on their website or view my personal copy of it here. Overall, working for an organization who’s mission is something that I so strongly believe in was a fantastic experience. It made me realize that I would definitely like to continue to be involved in the nonprofit sector as I move forward, though in what capacity I am not exactly sure.
I don’t yet know what my final grades for this spring semester are, but I feel good about the work that I have done academically in the last year. As I get closer to graduation, it has become increasingly more obvious to me that my energy is best used by putting it towards professional and personal pursuits that prepare me for future jobs. That does not always mean that I have to put my academics first. That realization was a radical one for me, having been a straight A, school-oriented person for the majority of my life.
I approached my junior year very differently than the last two that I have spent at IUPUI. I emphasized to myself that a good GPA and all A’s is ultimately not that important in the grand scheme of things, and took a more relaxed approach. That is not to say I didn’t work hard or do well in my classes – I still put in a great deal of effort. However, I decreased my anxiety by letting myself have breaks and by knowing my own limitations when it came to getting schoolwork done. In all, this change of mindset has helped me feel healthier mentally and enjoy college more.
All of that being said, I am looking forward to this summer and to what my senior year has in store for me. Like all college students on the verge of entering the “real world”, I do get worried from time to time how smoothly that transition will go. My confidence in myself does waver every now and then, and in those moments I am fortunate enough to have a strong support system of people in my life to lean on. Not to mention, I will have left IUPUI with at least five internships under my belt, so I feel pretty prepared for whatever job the public relations industry might have in store for me!
As always, I will keep this blog updated as I move into my new summertime routine and begin my two new internship positions in downtown Indy. For now, I am going to take a week off and do whatever I want to do with absolutely zero deadlines looming in the distance.