Volume 12, Issue 5 | January 1, 2018
Upcoming Dates
December 22-January 15
Christmas Break

January 16
Spring semester begins

January 20
Hoops Hysteria
More info here
What's Going on With
Students and Alumni?
Congratulations to University of Northwestern communication studies major Kayla Floyd on winning the hardware pictured for taking 3rd place at the Twin Cities Forensic League tournament at Normandale Community College on December 5, 2017.


Check out this article which mentions the influence that My Faith Votes, an organization established by University of Northwestern communication studies alumna Megan West Yates & husband Jason Yates had in President Donald J. Trump's decision to have the United States make good on the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.

Check out University of Northwestern media production alumni twins Kenny King IV & Danny King talking about their book and men's fashion in this issue of Star Tribune (BONUS VIDEO).

PR alumna Megan Fraboni was the guest speaker in Dr. Kaiser’s PR Principles & Concepts class on December 11. She discussed some elements of starting her own PR firm and generating business leads.

This spring, PR major Greta Elsholtz will be interning at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.

Congratulations to University of Northwestern PR major John Lockwood on landing an internship with the Minnesota Family Council, producing a video on 2018 precinct caucus participation. 

Kudos to University of Northwestern senior PR major Abby Herman on already landing a job for after graduation: lead assistant at Blush & Whim Wedding Planning & Event Design in the Twin Cities. Abby will be starting the position part-time until she graduates Fall 2018.

PR alumna, Tiffany Stubbs '16, recently landed a project manager position at Medtronic in Fridley.

Charity Hayden, PR '16, has been accepted to the University of Nations, media and discipleship training through a program called Youth With A Mission (YWAM). She will be going to Kona, Hawaii to get equipped to serve God and pursue continued education in social media management.
Faculty News
Rick Busch, our Photojournalism Workshop instructor, was recently awarded a $15,000 contract with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to produce video, still photography and graphics for the agency. Over recent years Rick has been developing clients in three markets: Law Enforcement, Health Care and Politics.
Here’s a link to a recent video for Hopkins Police:

Rick has served a dozen local law enforcement agencies, has produced video for Fairview and M Health, served the Heritage Foundation, Bachmann for President in 2012 and several local conservative candidates.

Rick also finds great satisfaction in serving non-profits and telling the delightful stories they have to share. Here’s a link to Bud’s Wish of a Lifetime story Rick produced for Sholom Homes:

"The most satisfying video I’ve produced was for the Dissability Ministry at my Church. The video shared a call for helpers to meet the needs of disabled folks at Bethlehem. The video showed on Sunday, and the following Wednesday I got a call telling me the video was very effective and that all of the disability needs at Church have been met.” That’s the power of effective communication, changing lives…Praise the Lord!
Department News
Spring 2018 courses you should take:

Note from the Chair
Master the Soft Skills
Spring is the time when many students seek summer internships, and seniors seek regular employment. It is a time of searching positions, networking online and in person, sending resumes and cover letters, completing applications, and doing interviews.
In school, students acquire the knowledge, gain the skills, and develop the abilities required to meet the requirements listed on internship and job postings. Not part of the regular academic curriculum are the "soft skills" that can give students an edge in interviews. 
What are these soft skills? They are points of personal refinement, etiquette, style, and social grace--the marks of a professional.
Soft skills become evident to hiring managers very early in the process. They include, for example, addressing a cover letter to the proper person (not to "To Whom It May Concern" or the like) and putting the cover letter and resume into PDF format, rather than leaving them in Microsoft Word. I recently heard of a PR agency hiring manager who automatically trashes any resume that doesn't arrive in PDF format.

The interview process for many jobs includes meeting with decision-makers over breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There is a reason why such meals occur: When an applicant is invited to meet over a meal, the applicant has probably all but landed the job--the meal is the final test of whether the applicant has the social graces of a professional. Unfortunately, there are numerous stories of students losing a job during that final test, for infractions like pushing peas onto a fork with a thumb, for chewing gum upon coming the table, and for grabbing another person's water glass. Learning dining etiquette at home, during nightly family dinners, was customary when most hiring managers (and professors) were growing up, but many young people haven't had that benefit and need to seek remedial education on it.

Communication theorist Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase "The medium is the message." The idea is that a medium itself conveys a message separate from the textual or verbal message being conveyed through that medium. A job applicant is a medium, conveying a desire to be hired, not only through written and spoken language, but also through personal presentation. People are media for the messages they convey. This video clip from the TV show Mad Men illustrates the point.

Thus, dressing professionally is another soft skill that top job and internship applicants have mastered. It is worth investing in an excellent interview outfit. What you wear doesn't have to be expensive--just nice, appropriate, professional, and in style. I won't go into details here, but I recommend referring to a book entitled “Letitia Baldrige's New Complete Guide to Executive Manners” for advice on attire. Baldrige, who died just a few years ago, was the social secretary to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and her book is the authoritative reference on business etiquette and style. It's sold here. Also, for the gentlemen: UNW Communication Department alumni Kenny and Danny King have a new book, “The Image Advantage: Maximize Your Most Overlooked Asset,” that provides great advice on attire and style, available online here,

It is also worth investing in a good haircut and manicure before an interview--for women and men. A student who interned for a hiring manager once reported to me that her boss would regularly reject candidates whose resumes were stellar and whose interviews went well. Why? The applicants had poorly manicured fingernails. The hiring manager figured that if applicants didn't pay attention to that detail, then they couldn't be trusted to pay attention to details on the job, either. 

An applicant who masters the soft skills will have a competitive edge.
Dr. Kent Kaiser

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