Going Abroad

Laura Gonzalez – Theta Class

Some of the best learning experiences and most rewarding memories come from exploring different cultures and meeting new people. There are so many different ways to communicate and engage with others and it’s important to take the time to learn how different people perceive and share different things.  When it comes to the communication fields, it’s key to understand that not everyone thinks and communicates the same and that that all backgrounds and beliefs should be respected and explored. A
great way to gain more experience with other cultures, not only in a casual but in a professional setting, is to intern or study abroad.


Many universities around the country have great programs to take courses in other countries and to even intern with companies around the globe and gain professional experience. There are also many independent companies who aid students with resources to study and intern abroad.  These are amazing opportunities to explore a new country, absorb a culture, and learn how interact with people from different

When looking at programs abroad, it’s important to conduct research on the countries available, the program requirements, the prices and living expenses before choosing one. The application process may take a few weeks and there is a lot of paperwork and planning that goes into it. Planning ahead, booking flights in time, and setting a budget are some great tools that will make the process much easier. Many university and study abroad programs offer scholarships and financial aid to students interested in this,
which should be thoroughly researched as well. It is a long process, but the experience is worth it in the end.

Because coming into a new country can be overwhelming and scary, it’s very important to go into the whole process with an open mind and eagerness to learn. The best way to learn about different cultures is to immerse yourself into it. Eat traditional food, walk around the city, meet local people, try to learn the language and engage with the people you meet. All this will make part of an experience you can take home and use it for the rest of your life and your career.

Learn about what people from other cultures do and understand why they do it. Being able to communicate and interact with a diverse group of people is a skill that will make you stand out during interviews, projects and jobs, and will open many more doors in different industries and places around the world. Take opportunities like studying or interning abroad to widen future possibilities and make you a versatile and well-versed professional. While you’re learning, you’ll be able to make connections and networks that will help you grow and explore even more.

Survival guide: Ad/PR majors at UCF

Amanda Herrera – Beta Class

One of the most satisfying moments for an aspiring Advertising and Publications major at the University of Central Florida is receiving that “congratulations” email from the NASC office, especially if you had to apply more than once before getting in. However, no fear, you’ve made it into the program and now have to figure out a way to successfully navigate through one of the most competitive communication programs in Florida. Although advice from your professors is necessary and valuable, this blog post will give you advice from the perspective of a fellow Ad/PR student. So here are the top three things you should know in order to survive your time as an Ad/PR major.

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The Intern

If there’s one thing you’ll continue to hear throughout your time at UCF it’s that interning is the key to success; and it’s true. Although I’d like to give credit to our wonderful professors for creating a curriculum that teaches us as much of the day-to-day in the field as it can, it’s not comparable to in-office experience. Nothing is going to better prepare you for what the day-to-day is like at a creative agency than actually spending days in an office. It’ll give you the opportunity to put what you’ve learned in class to work in a practical setting. Internships also allow you an opportunity to start getting comfortable with an office setting. Being in an office setting can be scary and intimidating, the more time you spend there, the less scary it’ll seem. Interning is one of the best ways to network in your field and it could lead to a full time job!

Seek Guidance, From Anyone

When first admitted to the major, you’re assigned an advisor who you’re supposed to consult with when you don’t know which class to take or if you should study abroad, etc. However, you’re not married to that one advisor. If there is a professor within Nicholson you feel has a better understanding of you as a student, go see them. I’ve gone to people other than my specified advisor, depending on what I need help with. Professors mean it when they say they like when students stop by their office hours. They’re professionals in their fields, as well as professors; trust them to be knowledgeable on our school and our industry. Turn to them when you need some advice.

Strength in Numbers

One of the great things of the Advertising and Public Relations industry is it’s understanding on the importance of networking. So network! There are so many clubs within UCF, some of which are in Nicholson. Being able to form bonds with other students within your major is helpful with keeping you on track. There is no better feeling during finals than knowing some of your closest friends are just as stress and unnerved as you are. Surround yourself with people who are just as dedicated and focused on their success as you are. Organizations like Quotes, AdClub and Zeta Phi Eta are all made up of members who have high standards for themselves within their fields. Having those people in your circle is never a bad thing.

Good luck to all you future and current Ad/PR majors!


Electronic Journalism in a Nutshell

Thalia Torres – Delta Class

With the world that we live in today, it’s easy to say you want to be the change you wish to see in the world. That’s what I said. That was the deciding factor in whether or not I was okay with listening to people doubt my career choices or the money I may or may not be making in the future. Journalism would be my way to have a voice, to be the change.

At UCF, I am a Journalism major in the Electronic track. What this means is, I ultimately would like to be a News Anchor. Studying Journalism at UCF opens the door to a lot of hands on experience that I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere else. Classes are relatively small which allows for more broadcasting gear practice (cameras, microphones and lights) and stronger bonds with peers. The largest class size I have ever had in my major was 22.

Before you decide that you want to dive deep into Broadcast Journalism it’s important to ask yourself if you are willing to live every day outside of your comfort zone. Every class, one after the other, increasingly tests how passionate I am for the field. Pulling gear out, interviewing and meeting new people, being the voice for those that feel like they don’t have one is what you should expect in Journalism.

Imagine having to interview a father that just lost his daughter in a drunk driving accident. I had to do that. I had to find a way to gather enough strength to pull myself together through all the sadness, while having enough empathy for the family to dissect the moments of such a hard time. This is something I would have never even considered doing before but is now a part of what I do on a regular basis for Journalism.

One of the best pieces of advice I could give for someone considering this field or just beginning, your professors should become your friends. In this industry, connections will make or break how far you can go in life. The professors want their students to visit them in their office hours to get their take on things or review something from class. A student that shows dedication is more likely to get the letter of recommendation or good word to a news station than someone that shows up to class and gets the A.

I’ve always said, where there is a will there is a way and Journalism embodies this saying. It will not be easy and nothing will be handed to you but when you are dedicated, passionate and willing to sacrifice for a field that you love is when you know Journalism is where you should be.


If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out and send me an email!

Using an Iphone for digital content creation

  Alexander Edwards – Beta Class

In our era of technology, it is becoming increasingly necessary for brands to have a powerful online presence. The bad news is that the business model used by companies is changing and if you can’t keep up you’ll see values going down. Fortune 500 companies and even the biggest privately held companies, like Cox Enterprises, are seeing the field change and are trying to keep up. Digital Talent Programs are helping to train employees and recruit talent for the digital world but what are smaller companies that can’t afford to make the jump yet supposed to do? The good news is the same technology causing the formulas to change is also providing tools to help you make that transition.

The phone you carry in your pocket can compete against a full digital production team. Below are are three ways you can capitalize on this for better digital content.

#1. Turn your phone into a broadcast studio

Create live broadcasts on your phone with Facebook Live, Periscope, or Instagram Stories. Record behind the scenes events and interesting activities to not only juice up your algorithms for reach (especially on Facebook) but to also provide a fantastic way to engage your audience. Many news brands use this technique to build relationships with their audience and show a behind the scenes aspect of the broadcast that they would otherwise not be able to see.


#2. Use layout apps

Download apps like “Layout” for Instagram to easily combine pictures into one image for posting. This saves time in editing software like Photoshop but allows you to change up you picture style. The application, “PicPlayPost” takes this to the next level by offering the ability to create video collages up to ten minutes long. For those looking to become more media rich and improve your SEO, posting video content like that is your objective.


#3. Film in slow motion

A slow motion camera can cost you over $1,000 but your phone is surprisingly powerful at it. Film in slow motion and edit the video to make slow-motion gifs for a more fascinating social media post. This is easier for those with an up to date IPhone but can also be done with Androids as well. I used this technique when marketing a new coffee machine available to our company’s clients. I first recorded the coffee pouring out of the machine in slow-motion with my phone and then cut it so it was a continuous slow-motion coffee pour that looped like a GIF. Not only did it tell the story I was looking for but it was also unlike the typical content our customers saw and became one of the most successful social media posts across our platforms.


Always remember that no matter what content you decide to create it should always answer the question, “What content can I provide that my consumers can’t get anywhere else?” Why follow our social media account when they can get the same content from somewhere else? With the powerful content creator that our phones have turned into, there is always a way to capture the moments that no one else can.

How one organization changed my life

Kylie Izquierdo – Gamma Class

Picture this: a small girl living in an even smaller world. She shut herself off to anyone she didn’t know and feared her own voice. She hid in the shadows of others just to get by. This girl was capable of so much, yet she let her severe shyness hold her back from experiencing all the world had to offer. But that girl doesn’t exist anymore … that girl was me.
Today, all those fears I once had are conquered. Now, I love talking to anyone and everyone. I live by the motto, “You never know what you can learn from a simple conversation with someone.” This inspires and motivates me to gain knowledge from others and not just have meaningless, small talk conversations. Conversations should be meaningful and important because there is so much to learn and you should always be hungry to keep learning.
I learned and conquered those fears because of one organization: Zeta Phi Eta.
Today, I appreciate communication and so many people take the simple art of talking for granted. Try to remember a day you spent without communicating to a single person and I bet you can’t because communication surrounds everyone’s day-to-day lives. Whether it is in person, online or even through texting, we as a society need to communicate. It is such a simple, yet vital skill to have. This skill is even listed on most job requirements: “Strong Oral and Written Communication.” We don’t think so much about it because we all communicate daily, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your communication skills. Just like any other skill, it needs practice. Communication is a key. You can either just hold it and do nothing with it or you can use it to unlock a whole world of opportunities.




Without Zeta, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today. In two semesters, I’ve had an internship and three job’s worth of experience in my field. This organization has pushed me closer to my dream career a little more everyday. Every single person in this organization has helped me grow to become the person I was meant to be. Not only have I grown socially, but academically and professionally too. I confidentially go on interviews, I have better studying habits and on top of that I have an even larger family and great support system.
Looking back, I regret all the time I wasted, but going forward I am very excited for all the new opportunities to come. It took me some time, but I finally have found my voice. Zeta Phi Eta has greatly impacted my life and it can change yours too. So, come find your voice at Zeta Phi Eta and see what the world has in store for you and all that you can accomplish.

Finding Who I Am Through Zeta

Amanda Herrera – Beta Class

Growing up in a strict, Hispanic household I was raised hearing one saying “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres,” which roughly translates into “Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are.” My abuela said it to me before every time I left the house, whether it was when I went to the movies or even when I just went to a friend’s house. I never understood what it meant, or why she said it so often, until I transferred to UCF with no family, no friends and no support system.

The decision to come to UCF wasn’t one I took lightly. I was leaving behind a group of people I knew, without question, had my best interest in mind. But I knew it was a decision I had to make. I needed to learn who I was without my wonderful, loud and overbearing family behind me.

What I didn’t realize was that I was so focused on leaving one support system behind, I didn’t realize I lacked a support system at UCF. I didn’t have anyone inside, or outside, my major to help me with class selections or to sit in the library and study with. I felt like I was going through college alone. I had no one in my corner caring about my personal growth or professional success.

Then I found Zeta Phi Eta.


Founder, Ryan Marshall, and Alpha class member, Miladin Balos, spoke about an organization that offered everything I was looking for. A group of people who were trying to be successful in their field and who offered each other a shoulder to lean on.

I figured I had nothing to lose by going to rush and learning about what Zeta Phi Eta represented. After the first night I was in love. I knew that Zeta was what I needed to help me take the steps to a successful career.

Deciding to go to the first night of rush for Zeta was a decision I would make over and over. They helped me gain professional confidence, which isn’t something I thought a college student could have. Zeta Phi Eta helped me with my resume, headshot, LinkedIn, elevator speech, conflict resolution, took me on tours and introduced me to the most dedicated individuals I’ve ever met. I finally understand what my grandmother meant with that saying. I have become who I am today because of the people I surrounded myself with yesterday. They push me to be my best everyday and are there for me when my best isn’t enough.

As a sister of Zeta Phi Eta, I now get to inspire that confidence in others. Seeing people come to rush doubting themselves and then seeing how confident they are in their abilities once they become brothers is what inspires me to work for the success of this fraternity.

If you’re reading this and are craving a connection with people that understand your drive to succeed, come meet me and my brothers; we understand the struggle to find your professional footing.

I made a choice a year and a half ago to step out of my comfort zone and go to to an event where I didn’t know anyone and it was the best decision I’ve made throughout my time at UCF.

Graduating Brothers

Blake Summerlin – Beta Class

The spring term is coming to an end, and it’s time to congratulate four of our active brothers on making through their college years! After semesters of hard work and perseverance these four ladies have earned their degrees and will be walking across the stage representing our letters. One founder, two alpha class brothers, and one beta brother will be joining our current alumni making seven well-rounded individuals out in the “real world”. We are so excited to see these four strong women conquer the communication field.

Maria Lumbi, a founder, served as CEO this past semester. Maria involved herself with the Graphic Design Student Association while at UCF during her 3 years here. Maria was the original CCO and then moved up to COO in fall 2015. She is receiving her B.F.A. in Art – Emerging Media, Graphic Design Track. While pursuing her degree she held internships with Feeding Children Everywhere, Fattmerchant, and the Orlando Science Center. Her plans after graduation include getting a job, staying close to her brothers here in Orlando, and building herself as a freelance designer.

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Christina Astore, Alpha class, involved herself with LEAD scholars and her on-campus job at the Recreation and Wellness Center during her 4 years at UCF. Christina was the fall 2015 CCO for Zeta. She is receiving her B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. While pursuing her degree she held internships with Bealls Inc. as an e-commerce intern and at IDEAS for US, a nonprofit focused on environmental studies. Christina started her own photography business when she was a freshman, and it has grown tremendously…check it out at http://greenbandproductions.com! Her post-grad life includes searching for a job with a cause-based production or publishing agency. She may potentially pursue campus recreation grad assistant positions in the future.

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Lauren Pierce, Alpha class, involved herself with the Society of Professional Journalists and Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society during her 4 years at UCF. She served as the social media director of Lambda Pi Eta. Lauren was on the networking committee for Zeta. She is receiving her B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Digital Media. While pursuing her degree she held internships with Bonnier Corporation and VS Media Group. Her plans after graduation include moving to South Carolina to be closer to her family and searching for positions in the communication field.

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Leika Drouillard, Beta class, involved herself with LEAD scholars, Active Minds, Knights for Israel, and on-campus housing during her 4 years at UCF. She served as an executive board member for both Active Minds and Knights for Israel. She served as a lead office assistant with housing. Leika was Perspective Parent for the Gamma class this past semester. She is receiving her B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. While pursuing her degree she held internships with Danika Daily PR, &Barr – An Advertising, Digital Media, and Public Relations Agency, and Rockaway PR. After graduation, she plans to work in the public relations field here in Orlando and hopefully travel all across America.


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On behalf of all of our brothers, we wish you all the best and know that you will always be a text or phone call away! Continue to shine like you all have here at UCF! Be sure to always Achieve with Wisdom, Integrity, and Love!