I really need to not take breaks of several months at a time. So, I’ll be honest I had high hopes for this blog last semester, I really did. But, alas, life comes along to push you around like it always does. Last semester at school was without a doubt the busiest and most challenging semester I’ve ever had in my life. While I definitely grew as a person, a student, and a future PR practitioner (hint hint to anyone that wants to offer me a job) I had absolutely no time for any sort of fun. I’ll try to turn this post into a bit of a reflection then. This way I get to knock out multiple birds with one stone. I get to explain my absence to all of my (0 currently) worried and dedicated readers, talk about some awesome stuff that I got to experience, and put a year in review type of deal since it is still January and I can still do that.
So without further ado, let’s hop into my hectic Junior Fall semester at Purdue. It was certainly a productive one. On top of a full course load, I got my first ever internship working with a marketing agency, I coached a speech team to their 3rd title in a row, I worked my first semester at the pool in my position as a Head Guard Lead, and I joined the PRSSA and did some insanely exciting stuff with them. I had a lot on my plate for sure, but I have to admit, it sure was a delicious plate.
Interning at Find8 Digital Marketing (I got to take an elevator to get to the office, how legit is that?)
This was huge for me. My first internship. At a marketing agency. I have to admit I was insanely proud of myself for just how grown up I felt for this accomplishment. I was about to spend the next four months pulling out all of my hair which had turned completely gray (what’s hyperbole?), but I was still excited. I got hired as a social media intern, basically creating content for the Facebook pages of clients. I started off with six clients and then was bumped up to nine after the first month. I about choked. Creating 2 posts a week, plus one on holidays for nine (ten if I finished early and helped with some slack) every week for 16 weeks on top of everything else that I was doing burnt me out very very fast. It was, however, a great experience. I finally got a taste of what this world was like. My clients spanned a wide array of fields from local businesses to state and even one national client. Overall, I got invaluable experience in my field, but more importantly, I met some incredibly kind, talented, and wonderful people at Find8 that I’ll never forget.
East Tipp Trojans Speech Team: Reigning Champions
Out of all of everything that I did in the fall, this has to be the one that I’m the most proud of and excited about to be completely honest.
A little bit of background, East Tipp is a middle school in the Lafayette area that I actually went to ages ago. I was even on the Speech Team when I went there, all 3 years. It’s what sparked my passion for speech and communication. Looking back, my time on Speech Team were by far my fondest memories from middle school (I know, middle school is a drag for everyone so what kind of comparison is that; I mean it though, I really genuinely loved it). So, I decided I wanted to give back. I wanted to put my experiences and education to use, maybe inspire some other kids like Mr. Rice (the head coach) inspired me.
So, I shot Mr. Rice an email, and asked him if he could use an assistant coach, and just like that, meet Brock Martin: Assistant Coach for the East Tipp Trojans Speech Team. Maybe it doesn’t sound as cool as it would if it were, like Purdue’s basketball team (#5 in the nation at the time of this writing- Boiler Up!). Regardless, I was proud to be their coach. I was proud to be a part of something that meant so much to me.
It was an awesome season. The kids took a little bit to warm up to the weird guy with a beard that just showed up to practice one day. I took a little bit to warm up to being called Mr. Martin. But let me tell you something- THESE KIDS ROCK. Rock the socks, man. They’re all such good kids, with so much talent. All so eager to learn and take on any challenges. There were plenty of days where coming into that practice completely changed my day and my mood. Watching them listen to me and take my advice and improve every week, and seeing them so excited honestly gave me strength in some seriously difficult lifing (can I make that a word? Verb form of life- lifing? Like people have done with adulting).
One other thing. They dominated the season too. Undefeated. For the third year in a row they became county champions, and I got to be a part of it. Wow. Seriously what an experience.
Work at the pool
This one isn’t nearly exciting so I’ll keep it brief. Most things stayed about the same around the pool. A major task was given to me though. My boss wanted me to start a series of Professional Development sessions with all of the leadership staff, about 30 people, to give them life skills that they can take with them. Which was an awesome idea, and I was pumped to do it. Piling them on to my work load though maybe wasn’t such a great idea though. Each of these sessions had to be an hour long, and be interactive and engaging. I also needed to create a quiz of some sort to track how effective they were (thanks Kahoot!). Stressful, yes: but at least now I’m well versed in Conflict Resolution, Leadership qualities, and interviewing skills.
Finally, the PRSSA
All throughout all of my schooling, extracurriculars just were not my thing. Other than speech team, and 2 years of middle school wrestling (the latter of which I was extraordinarily bad at) I was never really in anything. No sports, no clubs, no organizations. Up until this year of college when I loaded it all on. PRSSA was one of these things that I could load on, and it seemed like it would be a good way to get a leg ahead in my field.
While it wasn’t nearly as much of a time commitment as everything else I was doing, it did lead to some pretty cool stuff. The biggest of which would have to be the Half Day With a Pro event that they did. Basically we all got to go and spend half a day with a pro at an organization in the corporate, agency, or nonprofit sector. I chose corporate. I was not disappointed. Seeing their global headquarters in Indianapolis was awe inspiring, and it cemented everything that I’m currently working on and towards. I guess in a way, it made everything real. Seeing how nice the offices of their communications employees are, and what their schedules and daily lives are like made this image that I had of myself real. Not so much about money or nice shiny stuff, more in the way that it legitimized the field to me, and showed me that I could be a part of it. Main takeaway: Inspiration. A boat load of it.
Welp. That’s about as brief of a recap as I can come up with. My life was hectic to say the least in the fall, but it was also incredibly productive and rewarding. Oh, and I also got the best grades that I’ve ever gotten, so yeah. This semester should be notedly less crazy. I have an internship at the CoRec as a social media manager, which is a position (and a department really) that has never existed before. So I get to work with two other people to completely build something from the ground up, which I think is super cool. One might even say, super duper cool. Aside from that, it’s just the usual work and school.
My goal is to get at least one of these posts out every week. I haven’t decided on exactly how I’m going to do these, or a schedule for it, but I’m going to try really hard not to forget about you, okay? I’ll be back soon. Promise. I’m going to shoot to get the next post up by Friday night. That’s my goal for this week. Until next time!