Monday, April 6, 2009

For the UC Students: The 10 Truisms

I was privileged to be the guest speaker at the annual public relations/journalism awards event for the Raymond Simon Institute for Public Relations at my alma mater, Utica College. That's "Uncle Ray" on the left. Known in the field as the father of public relations education, Uncle Ray founded the program in 1949 and while he no longer teaches, he's still a major influence on the program and on people like me, who were PR "Simonized" in college. I remain his Number One Fan.

Uncle Ray presented me with the Outstanding Public Relations/Journalism Alumna award for 2009. I was particularly touched by his obvious pride -- I am still the teacher's pet!

14 remarkable students won awards ($$!) that morning. I was able to get to know many of the the day before, as I taught two classes and met with several PRSSA members after class. I was blown away by their accomplishments and maturity. They inspired the advice I shared that morning -- and one of the parents attending asked me to post my remarks online. So, my new Facebook friends, here they are, my top 10 truisms for success:
  1. You have so much potential. Don’t limit yourself.
  2. You can do anything. Any – thing. You can always find your way around, over, or under an obstacle. Trust me on this.
  3. Set goals. Create a plan to meet those goals. Be flexible and revise as needed.
  4. Move away from home. Get a roommate to make it affordable. Get 2 roommates. Push yourself.
  5. Be positive and optimistic.
  6. Avoid negative or toxic people. They will suck the life out of you.
  7. Hang around with people who are already where you want to be. They will challenge you to achieve their level.
  8. Respect the secretaries. They are awesome people. And they can make or break you.
  9. Don’t burn bridges.
  10. Evaluate yourself according to your own values, not those of anyone else.
And one more for good measure: Thing big. B. I. G. BIG. If you always think small, you will only experience small accomplishments and will always wonder, “What if?”

Congratulations to all of you! You should be very proud of yourselves -- and how wonderful that the RSI has recognized and rewarded your hard work.

And remember . . . Facebook me!