“Waving Flag” Documentary Hopes to Alter Stereotypes

April 6, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Meredith Crawford
mcrawford@smu.edu

The Film's Director, Victor Adetiba, during a Q&A (PHOTO BY MEREDITH CRAWFORD / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The African Student Association hosted a pre-screening of a portion of the documentary “Waving Flag” on Thursday evening in the Hughes-Trigg Theatre.

The portion of the film presented was a series of interviews with both Nigerian immigrants and Nigerians who have lived their whole life in the United States.

“The initiative of this event was not only to reach out to SMU, but to DFW as well,” Audrey Addo, president of the ASA, said.

The interviews provided an insight into their experiences with stereotyping and misconceptions about living in the United States. The audience was very vocal during the film, laughing along with the funny stories and audibly expressing concern when the interviewees described the effects of stereotyping. According to the film, the stereotypes placed on them come not only from people, but also from the media.

The film’s director, Victor Adetiba, also known as Adetiba ‘Super-Director’, said that making this film was important because people always complain about what the media says about them, but no one ever does anything about it.

Adetiba said that some of the people in the film are family members or people he attends church with. Overall, he chose people whom he’s touched and that have an interesting story. He tried to draw from a wide variety of experiences.

Some of those interviewed in the film described their surprise when they arrived to the United States and how no one had told them how much hard work was required to succeed in the U.S.

“When I first came here everything was not what I expected,” David Solomon, the film’s producer, said. Solomon immigrated to the U.S. in 2003.

A question and answer panel and open-forum discussion with the audience followed the documentary. A variety of topics were discussed, from the problems in Nigeria to the strained relationship between Africans and African-Americans in the United States.

Adetiba hopes that this film will  inspire people to visit Nigeria and experience the country for themselves.

Professionals from PR Firm Advise Students on Breaking into the Industry

October 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Meredith Crawford
mcrawford@smu.edu

Three human resources and public relations professionals from Burson-Marsteller, a leading global communications and public relations firm, came to SMU for the “Breaking into the Industry” event on Monday afternoon to speak to students interested in public relations.

“When you think of public relations, what pops into your head?” Ashley Greene, U.S. recruiting manager, asked the students.

“Communicating a message,” answered Sydney Holt, senior and vice president of membership for the SMU Public Relations Student Society of America.

PRSSA and the SMU Division of Journalism hosted the event. In addition to Greene, the guest speakers from Burson-Marsteller were Scott Summerall, client executive, and Maggie Easterlin, client staff assistant.

The panel focused their discussion on ways for SMU graduates to stand out in the industry. Greene emphasized to the importance of finding a niche and communicating it clearly through a cover letter. She also stressed the importance of connections through social media.

Greene said that whenever she is interviewing applicants, she always checks for their LinkedIn profiles. She said it is good to see someone with a social media networking presence and who recognizes that PR also means branding yourself.

Easterlin, an SMU graduate, found a job at Burson-Marsteller through networking at a similar event when a Burson-Marsteller professional spoke to her sophomore year. She took a business card with her and when senior year arrived, met the speaker again, connected with him, and applied for a summer internship. She did not receive the internship, but surprisingly was offered a full-time job instead. Easterlin said that opportunity would have never presented itself if she hadn’t made those connections.

“I’m here to tell you that networking really does work,” Easterlin said.

Summerall talked about Easterlin’s interview and how her positivity and preparedness for the interview impressed him. Summerall said that Easterlin came to the interview with questions prepared to ask him, and that really took him by surprise.

“I didn’t even look at her resume,” Summerall said.

The internships offered through Burson-Marsteller are open to juniors, seniors, and post-graduate students. The panel noted that an internship with their company looks good on a resume because it is recognizable worldwide.

Burson-Marsteller has clients in all areas of business, including technology, healthcare, public affairs, and media. The companies they represent include The Coca-Cola Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Ford Motor Co.

During the Q&A portion of the event, Jordan Lee, a sophomore CCPA major and member of PRSSA, asked the panel how they stay on top of what is important to their clients.

“You have to learn to juggle, like the Bachelor,” Summerall said. “With clients though, not brides.”

Greene said that no day is ever the same; therefore it is important to research and prepare for changes when working in public relations.

At the end of the event, the students were given the opportunity to do some networking, connect one-on-one with the panel, and follow in Easterlin’s footsteps by picking up some business cards of their own.

“I thought the event was very informative,” Holt said. “With graduation approaching I am definitely starting to seek out all opportunities to help in my job search.”

VIDEO: DPD Adjusts to Stress of Economy

May 11, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Meredith Crawford
mcrawford@smu.edu

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