10 Reasons to Submit Work to the 2016 Superior Awards

Superior Awards 2016

The 2016 Superior Awards for Grand Valley Advertising and Public Relations majors, will be held on April 13, 2016 starting at 6:30pm. The event will be in the Eberhard Center on the GVSU Pew Campus.


Wondering why you would want to enter work to the Superior Awards? Well, here are ten great reasons why you should submit your 2015-16 projects:

1) Resume building:

The work you submit to this event is a great resumé builder because it displays the work you have completed in school. As a student who plan to enter the  Advertising and Public Relations industry, we have a lot of competition.  Most of the time employers look at your work as a judgement of your credibility as opposed to your grades. It will help to have a certificate of quality to accompany your project; it adds value to what you have done. Also it brings up a great talking point for interviews.

2) Networking with professionals:

At the 2016 Superior Awards event, there will be real world professionals from the Advertising and Public Relations industry. These individuals will be able to give you feedback on your work. The feedback and conversations you engage in at this event can help you get a foot in the door for future jobs and internships.

3) Portfolio building:

Your portfolio represents all your work and assignments you have done. Really, it is a professional representation of your professional abilities. When you have a certificate with a certain project, it helps add value and credibility that you are capable of handling the task in your career.

4) End of the year recognition/celebreation:

One of the main goals of the Superior Awards is to celebrate a job well done after a challenging school year. You have worked hard all year. This is your opportunity to get recognition from the people that count. Professionals and your fellow students will be there to congratulate you on all the hard work you have put in on your projects.

5) Your work is already done:

The beauty of the Superior Awards is that you don’t have to put in the time to put together a whole new project. You already did the hard part since you are simply entering work you have already completed throughout the 2015-16 school year. All you have to do is make a few tweaks if you want, write a mini summary, and submit the project to gvsuapr@gmail.com in s .zip file. Easy as that!

6) Showcasing your work:

This event helps showcase the work you have done and are proud of from your whole academic career. It is way better than just hanging it on the fridge!

7) Networking with students:

It allows you the opportunity to speak with other students about one another’s achievements and discuss professional opportunities and goals. These are going to be your co-workers in the future; you might as well get to know them now.

8) The sense of accomplishment:

This award will help you feel like all the schooling you have done has paid off, by giving you something tangible to display for your success. Good grades are great, but good grades plus professional recognition AND a certificate of achievement is way better. Right?

9) Attending a great event:

At the Superior Awards event there will be formal attire, hors d’oeuvres, professionals, and a keynote address. All those sharing the Advertising and Public Relations major will be culminated together for this fun occasion.

10) Standing out from the crowd:

This award will help you stand out among the competition in job interviews and help you stand out among other schools with similar highly accredited programs. I know you are all rockstars…let’s make sure everyone else knows too.


I could go on, but hopefully that is enough to convince you. This truly will be a great event and it designed specifically to benefit YOU! Don’t forget that submissions for this year’s Superior Awards are due April 1. There will also be a work-in meeting to answer all your questions and help you get prepared on March 30 in KC RM 2266 from 9-10.

For more information  and to get a 2016 guidebook click here. Now, get out there and get submitting that superior work!

Post by: Sophie Klimkiewicz

Sophie Klimkiewicz is going on her second year as an Account Associate at GrandPR. She is currently a senior with an Advertising and Public Relation major and an emphasis on Advertising. Sophie has background knowledge in Public Relations from working on campus at the Career Center and Sports Marketing Department. She enjoys seeking opportunities within her major and conquers the challenges that life throws at her. Sophie values learning and challenging herself to be successful.

Pearls from Pros

Pearls From Pros

  • Hear the story of how one student’s question led to an amazing internship with a high fashion NYC firm.
  • Hear the story of how attending a Super Bowl party led to a job with a top PR company.
  • Hear 8 more success stories from GV grads working in GR communications/marketing companies.

Wed, March 30 6:30-7:30 University Club, Pop Up Pedagogy – Pearls from Pros

 Atikh Bana – Open Systems Technologies; Lindsey VanDenBoom – Perrin Brewery; Natalie Topalian – The Image Shoppe; Dave Nitkiewicz – Experience GR; Dianne Teal, Cody Christoffersen, Patrick Vanderkolk – AUX Inc; Rick Iseppi – Extra Credit Projects; Joe Buckemeyer – Town Square Media, and Michelle Lund – Wolverine World Wide want to share their stories and help you with your career search and strategy.

Your Advertising and Public Relations Major brings this presentation to you as part of the Pop Up Pedagogy Speaker Series Winter 2016. Show up early to get a comfortable seat.

Get involved with GrandPR

Get Involved with GrandPR

What is the best thing about Grand Valley’s Advertising and Public Relations program? In my opinion GrandPR, but I might be a little bit biased. Student-run PR firms were introduced nearly 40 years ago, but didn’t really become the focal point of extra-curricular activities until about 10 years ago. What was the deciding factor to give real life clients to a group of college students? One word: experience.

With the semester coming to an end and graduation nearing, this is the prime time to start thinking about applying to GrandPR. Applications opened on Monday, March 21 so as you read this blog and think if you should do it, I will give you five reasons why your answer should be yes.

First, GrandPR is a great resume and portfolio builder. Our student-run PR firm is a perfect way to get your feet wet in the world of PR and in an agency setting. If you’re not sure what route you want to take or what part of PR you like the most, the only way you will figure it out is if you get some experience. Then when it comes time to interview for jobs, you are able to reflect on the real work you did for the firm. You’ll even leave each semester with a portfolio piece so you can show prospective employers that too.

Second, you are able to work with real clients. How many college students can say that they have worked with a real client outside of class? Probably not many, but with GrandPR it gives you the ability to interact, collaborate and produce work for a client. This is important because it will give you a taste of the professionalism that is needed when interacting with clients.

Third, it provides an experiential curriculum. We are fortunate enough to have Grand Valley provide the professors that have real world knowledge. The things you are taught in class, you are able to bring to GrandPR, an internship and a full time job. GrandPR is a great way to put what you learned to the test and see where your skills match.

Fourth, it gives you a chance to be a leader. I went from an Account Associate on the GrandPR staff to CEO in a semester. This taught me the importance leadership. I not only had to figure out how to run a PR firm, but I also had to figure out the type of leader I wanted to be in a management position. Without GrandPR, I wouldn’t have been lucky enough to have this leadership experience so early on in my career. GrandPR is full of leadership opportunities, from Account Executive positions to Executive Board positions, there are many chances for you to be a leader within the firm.

Last, interpersonal skills and by that I mean professional ones. I like to tell people that what you get out of GrandPR is what you put into it. By doing this, you will learn so much more than you ever thought you could. Being apart of GrandPR has taught me communication skills with a client, time management skills, organization as well as management and collaboration skills. By learning these early on, it will set you apart from the rest of the pack because you know how to act in a professional environment. Your future employer will find that very valuable.

Okay, okay now that I am off my soapbox I will leave you with one last word of advice. Don’t be afraid, take a chance to see what you are capable of because I am telling you it is more than you can ever imagine. Being apart of organizations like GrandPR, PRSSA and Ad Club will let you peak into the real world and help you find who you want to be as a professional. If you don’t believe me, here is a whole study done by the Journal of Public Relations Education  that will prove all of my points.

If you have any questions about GrandPR, PRSSA or just PR in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My contact info is on our website grand-pr.org.

Post by: Eleanor O’Hara

Eleanor O’Hara is a senior at GVSU majoring in advertising and public relations and minoring in business. She looks forward to growing her PR leadership and project management skills this year as CEO of GrandPR and a board member of GVSU’s PRSSA chapter. Eleanor’s professional experiences include interning with the American Diabetes Association in Chicago and 834 Design & Marketing in Grand Rapids. After graduation, she hopes to enter a Chicago PR agency and become an Account Executive. In her spare time, Eleanor loves to bake yummy treats, hangout with her friends and family, and watch reruns of One Tree Hill and Grey’s Anatomy.

I am Grand Valley and GrandPR


Many students at GVSU use the #LakerForaLifetime on their social media posts that usually includes a picture with the famous T-Hass or Louie the Laker, the Mac Bridge, Blue Arch, Clock Tower and etc. Most of these can almost be known as the “landmarks” or “symbols” of Grand Valley. Or maybe one sees #LakerForaLifetime as a traditional experience they have with Grand Valley, like surviving the cold snow apocalypse and embracing the perfect Lake Michigan beach weather or wearing the free GVSU lanyards the first week as a freshman realizing later that it only notifies upperclassmen about your class status (we all did it, it’s okay).

For many students at GVSU, all of the above is what Laker for a Lifetime means. But that’s not exactly what Laker for a Lifetime represents. The Laker Leadership Programs (LLP) on campus has been working on a way for over 10 years to help build what being a GVSU student is all about. They started this program called “I am Grand Valley” to recognize student leaders. To me, I think being both a Laker for a Lifetime and I am Grand Valley is essentially the same thing. But the only difference is everyone who wants to be a Laker for a Lifetime can be a Laker for a Lifetime. To be nominated for I am Grand Valley is a huge honor and it means that you are known for going above and beyond and making a difference in and outside of the GVSU community.


In the APR program, part of the mission is to educate students who are conscious of their beneficial role is society. I am very happy to announce that I, and among many others in the APR program, was nominated for I am Grand Valley. Including many of my colleagues in GrandPR- the nationally affiliated student run non-profit firm here at GVSU. Working with all of them has been an inspiration and seeing us come together (as students) and work together as a real firm would is absolutely amazing. Being a part of GrandPR these past two years (not to mention my last two years) at Grand Valley has taught me so many insightful tips that I will use every day after graduation and in society. GrandPR has helped bring me from being a Laker for a Lifetime to being I am Grand Valley.

And I know, not every one received an award, but that doesn’t mean give up hope. Everyone can keep pushing and one day receive an award or even be that proud shining leader (that I know everyone is) with or without the paper certificate. To me, we are all Grand Valley.

GrandPR has supported me, they have built me, and they have helped transform me be the young professional I am today.

Here is to you GrandPR, recipient or not, We are Grand Valley.


For more information about the I Am Grand Valley Program click here.

Post by: Rachel Beatty

Rachel Anne Beatty is a full time student at Grand Valley State University, majoring in Public Relations and Advertising with a double minor in Psychology and Studio art. Her drive for success is fueled by her passion to work in community relations and help under-privileged children. Rachel is very active on campus in Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), GrandPR, and Phi Sigma Sigma. Previously in GrandPR Rachel served as an Account Associate for the Women’s Resource Center. Outside of school Rachel volunteers her time by serving on the JBoard of directors for the BISSELL Pet Foundation and spending her time at the local Kids Food Basket in Grand Rapids. She also works part time as the Second Assistant Manager at Yankee Candle in Byron Center. In her free time she enjoys a good match in tennis, spending time with family, painting, and practicing her culinary skills in the kitchen. Rachel’s top five strengths, according to the Clifton StrengthsFinder are Ideator, Developer, Relator, Indivualization, and Activator.


GVSU APR Alumna Wins ADDY Recognition

GVSU Alumna Wins ADDY

Each year, the American Advertising Federation of West Michigan (AAFWMI or AdFed) hosts the ADDYs–an award ceremony that recognizes the excellent work of students and professionals in advertising from West Michigan.  This year’s ceremony was held on the 4th and 5th floors of the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (UICA) in downtown Grand Rapids.

Part of the ADDYs is the Silver Medal Award, which was established in 1959 and is bestowed to outstanding members of the advertising community.  This year, GVAPR alumnus Amy Hallochak was honored with a Silver Medal Award.  She graduated from Grand Valley last Spring with a B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations as well as Film and Video Production. She currently works as an Assistant Account Executive at Doner in Southfield, Michigan.

Amy’s Twitter: @hearAMYRoar

Coverage of ADDYs: https://grandvalleyadclub.wordpress.com/blog/

AdFed website: http://aafwmi.org/

Why APR?

Why APR Blog Header

When you hit a crossroad where your passion is also your talent, it is sweet, blissful liberation. I’ve gone my entire life participating in activities that I enjoyed that were merely hobbies, nothing that I could pursue as a career and could only brag about occasionally. I skated by in high school and had yet to turn heads of professors in college. Everyone’s mile long Facebook statuses about their third marathon or their acceptance into law school swam around me. With only one semester to go, it is baffling to hear that professionals don’t think we’re prepared for the brutal real world, with all respect. These particular professionals are the ones that have been looking out for us since day one and have continued to push us; ensured us that we are less moronic than we claim; believed that hand holding in this industry would lead you down into a deep trench where digging yourself out is impossible.

They have told us straight up to lose our sensitive and “take everything personally” minds and have encouraged our new-found skill of being resourceful. I have been able to find role models, mentors, and manage good grades because everything just clicks. I CAN be successful simply because all of this makes sense to me. This is why I chose this industry.

It took me until senior year of high school to come out of my shell only to crawl back in when I joined the ocean that is Grand Valley. Professors found insult in my constant declaration of “I’m just a general com studies major.” I somehow found myself in COM 295 during my first semester of college. Half of the class announced that they were Ad/PR majors. I had no idea what that meant, but these students showed the most intelligence, will, and initiative. I thought that it was something I should be a part of.
I never would have found my knack for leadership and contribution if I didn’t change my major on a whim. The best part is that in my three years of being in this program, although hitting many bumps, my accomplishments have outweighed the negatives. Everything keeps confirming that I have been exactly where I need to be even with my continuous doubts (I just have a personal vendetta out for myself). When something seems to be too good to be true, there’s no way that it could be happening to me, right?

Who ever thought I would be excited to trudge around campus in the cold and snow just to discuss and meet with clients in my capstone class? Who ever thought that the word “capstone” wouldn’t terrify me, but feel nearly therapeutic? I have chosen an industry that has given me skills to pursue a career anywhere I want. At least that’s what it feels like. It has given me confidence to welcome any challenge. Even through the hellfire that is the final semester of senior year, and the terror of graduating and becoming a “real adult”, I find peace in knowing that the steps I have taken through college have prepared me.

I have chosen and stuck with APR for a floor length list of reasons. Without the aid and opportunities of GrandPR, PRSSA, and professors that have encouraged and shown interest, I would honestly still be the little freshman who was moved to tears during orientation with the pressure of choosing a major. Taking risks has never been my thing, but it has created a great story for my journey of passion. The idea of working for the rest of my life used to make my anxiety skyrocket, but loving what I do makes me excited for what’s next.


Lindsay PC
Lindsay is a senior at Grand Valley majoring in advertising and public relations and minoring in psychology. She currently holds the position as an associate at 834 Design & Marketing and serves as the Vice President of Grand Valley Dance Troupe.  She also is the media director of GrandPR, a student-run PR firm. Lindsay enjoys watching reruns of The Office, discovering new ways to actually enjoy a cup of coffee, and everything hockey related.