Get free Schlotzsky’s for a year!

As a college student, it is hard to pay for luxurious meals. Most of the time you are eating Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now Schlotzsky’s has announced a guest appreciation day when they will be giving away free Schlotzsky’s for a year! There is a catch: you must be one of the first 100 guests to purchase a 6-pack of Cinnabon Classic Rolls. You will then receive a redemption card for a free small Original sandwich per week for 52 consecutive weeks.

This opportunity is only available at Schlotzsky/Cinnabon locations and, fortunately, we have one! The Texarkana store is located at 3652 Richmond Road near the Walmart.

I participated in this promotion when the location first opened and I didn’t regret it. It is definitely worth the price of a 6 pack of Cinnabon Classic Rolls. I saved so much money that I was able to try all of the soups and anything else I wanted. I recommend waking up early so you are ensured that you are one of the first 100 guests that receive one. Also, be sure to bring a lawn chair and some headphones so you can wait comfortably.

To find out more and RSVP, click the picture.

 

College Student Discounts

Between paying for tuition, books, the dining hall, and a dorm room your budget probably seems a little slim. What if I told you there are tons of discounts you can get just for being in college? From everyday essentials to specialty items, these companies want to treat you to savings created specifically for college students.

Also, don’t forget to pick up a personal discount card designed for Texas A&M University-Texarkana at the front desk of the University Center. It has great deals for businesses in the area.

FITNESS

Anytime Fitness

  • One Week Free Trial

Legends – State Line Texarkana

  • One Week Free Trial

Sportsplex By Health Care Express 

  • $42 Student Rate

FOOD

Chick-Fil-A

  • Free Drink with Student I.D.

Chipotle

  • Free Drink with Student I.D.

Gusano’s – Texarkana

  • Show Student I.D. and Discount Card for 10%.

Subway

  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off

Taste & See

  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off

Twisted Fork – Texarkana

  • 25% off All Pizzas with school discount card.

Waffle House

  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off

General 

Amazon Prime for Students

  • 6 Months Free
  • 50% off Prime Membership After Trial
  • ALL Prime Benefits including FREE 2-Day Shipping
  • Added College Deals

FedEx Student Discount Club – With Student ID

  • 20% Off Envelope Shipments
  • 30% Off Package Shipments
  • Available at FedEx Stations

Sam’s Club

  • Offers Student Membership and Benefits
  • See Local Club

UPS – Richmond Texarkana

  • 10% Off Printing Services

MUSIC

Spotify Premium For Students

  • $4.99 a Month
  • Includes FREE access to Hulu.

Services

Geico

  • Students can save up to 15% on select coverages with a minimum of a B average.

Nationwide Insurance

  • Drivers up to 24 years in age can get discounts with a minimum of a B average.

State Farm

  • Offers up to 25% off insurance for students in good standing.

TECHNOLOGY

Adobe Creative Cloud

  • 60% Off Creative Cloud Application Bundle
    • Includes PhotoShop, Lightroom, AdobeXD, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Pro, 20+ Desktop and Mobile Apps, Free Tutorials, Regular Upgrades

Apple Electronics – https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop 

  • Student Pricing available for current and newly registered college students.

How Do I Look?

I stood in front of the closet with my arms folded and let out a long sigh. I do not usually put extra time and effort into planning my outfits, but this was a special occasion. I was going to a communications conference that Saturday and had no idea what I was going to wear. When I asked my mom, she told me to dress business-casual. I looked on Pinterest for outfit ideas, confused when I saw outfits that I had always been advised against. I had always been told to stick to neutral colors, but the outfits I saw had a mix of colors and patterns. This was when I noticed that the rules had changed.

Business-casual is a new term in fashion, only dating back to around the 1980s. It was used in companies where the employees did not spend as much time in front of consumers and spent more time in the office. It became a way of expressing yourself and still maintaining a professional attitude without the formality. What is business-casual?

Robert Johnson, executive team leader of human resources at Target in Texarkana, said “Business casual for me would be a nice pair of jeans, a nice polo shirt. For ladies, there are several variations of blouses and shirts that are definitely appropriate for an interview. When I dress business casual, I wear a long-sleeved button-up and slacks or khakis.”

For men, this is a simple take on business casual that is always acceptable. The look is easy to replicate and there are many different variations to it to make it more unique. 

Business casual has changed over time and pieces considered unacceptable like jeans or sneakers can be dressed up to look more professional. Overall, business casual is a step above what you would wear on a typical day, but not fancy enough to be formal. Blazers and sports jackets can pair with chinos, khakis, or nice jeans. When choosing a pair of jeans, it is best to stay away from overly distressed jeans and wear a dark pair.

It is also important to remember that business casual depends on the workplace or the event. When going to an interview Johnson said you should present yourself at your best.

“I’ve been doing this for several years, and you can tell when a person is presenting themselves to the best of their ability or not. I say this because you could have someone from a scheduled interview come in whatever they were wearing that morning. Their tennis shoes are not laced up or tied and you can tell if they could have done better than that,” said Johnson.

The dress code at Target is more relaxed than other businesses and it is not a deal-breaker for you to come into an interview with jeans. However, there are times to keep jeans in the closet. If possible, it is best to overdress a little for an interview than underdress. The interviewer will be able to tell if you have spent time on your appearance and it will make a good impression on them.

Women have a variety of clothing options to choose from, which is part of what made my outfit decision for the event difficult. I did not know if I should wear a skirt, dress, blouse, heels, pants, or flats. In Vanessa Rodriguez’s article, “What is Business Casual Attire for Women? Outfit Tips, Advice & Ideas,” she writes a list of tips to help women pick the right outfits. One of the safest options is khakis or dark pants with a button-down shirt. Sweaters are also a very good choice.

An important tip for women to remember is to pay attention to the types of shirts and skirts or dresses they wear. It is considered inappropriate for cleavage to be visible. If a blouse is a little sheer, make sure to wear a camisole underneath. Skirts and dresses should stay at knee length or longer. Clothes that are too tight also can send the wrong message to a potential employer or business connection.

With many options out there, the most important idea to remember is that there is no simple answer for what to wear. Your outfit will depend on the environment and the nature of the event. No matter what, take your time to pick the outfit that makes the best impression.

CommNEXT 2017

On Saturday, October 21st, Mass Communication Majors from our campus had an opportunity to attend the CommNEXT Conference in Shreveport. With Innovative Communications on the rise, it is important that young professionals stay up to date with the latest trends in the Communications Field. Successful individuals with skills in Public Relations, Social Media, Journalism, and film attended to speak and share their stories. This included Key Note Speaker Tracey Altman, one of the founders of “Holy Guacamole.”

The conference started out with lunch and “Guacamole Taught Me Everything I Know About Marketing.” Attendees were given Tracey Altman’s top ten list of tips and lessons she learned while building her brand “Holy Guacamole,” and how to apply them to their future careers. These included:

  1. Agencies are Partners, Not Vendors
  2. Think Outside the Box
  3. Consumer Counts – If you target everyone, you target no one.
  4. Social Media is About Quality, Not Quantity
  5. Business Marketing v.s. Marketing Business
  6. Know Your Brand Voice – Mandates Consistency
  7. Read
  8. MISTAKES ARE GOOD
  9. Be an Intentional Consumer – Shop like you target.
  10. Love What You Do – Intrigue=Love=Energy=Passion

She emphasized that mistakes are inevitable and everyone in these fields will make them. Attendees were left not only with yummy samples, but with the question, “What is a mistake you have made and how have you learned from it?”

After the Key Note Speaker, there were 3 different breakout session times for students to attend, and learn about topics and fields they were interested in. The sessions A&M Students attended were “Tear Down that Wall,” “How Social Media Has Changed Journalism/The Impact of Social Media on P.R.,” and “Break the Creative Bank.”

“Tear Down That Wall” was led by Scott Anderson, Executive Editor of the Bossier Press Tribune. Due to social media, the job market for journalism in the news room has dropped significantly. He emphasized that the industry now sees everyone as storytellers, and that  Journalists need P.R. Professionals just as badly as P.R. Professionals need the journalists. A worker from “The Times” was in the room and she said “We used to have 35 on staff, and now we have 10. Where we used to have 7 photographers, we now have one.” This shows how much of a need there is for the bridge between P.R. and Journalism.

“How Social Media Has Changed Journalism” and “The Impact of Social Media on P.R.” was a session split with two speakers. Dr. Pickens, the Chair of Communications and General Studies for SUSLA was the first speaker. She focused on Citizen Journalism and how we now live in a “see it, snap it, send it world.” With social media becoming more and more popular, everyone has the opportunity to be their own journalist at the touch of a button. She encouraged the idea that not all information is necessarily news and you need to fact check the sources you view. Dr. Joa, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at LSUS talked about social media and P.R. She talked about why it is important for business professionals to know the importance of what is trending on social media, and the particular important of hashtags. She also talked about how use network analysis and ethnography to build campaign effectiveness.

“Breaking the Creative Bank” was the personal favorite breakout session of our students. It was hosted by Jazmin Jernigan, a former communications student who is now a successful freelancer and owns Aesthetic Innovations, LLC. She spoke about the pros and cons of not only starting out as a freelancer, but what it takes to be successful with your career. Her 6 Successful habits included:

  1. Creative Value
  2. Honor Your Time and Talent
  3. Educate Your Clients
  4. Find Balance
  5. Partner and Collaborate with Competition on Bigger Projects
  6. Break the Starving Stereotype

She stressed that as a freelancer, more often than not, your home becomes you workspace, and the biggest challenge is learning how to be productive but also find balance. Aspiring freelancers should “Find their niche.” What is it about your services that will make you stand out? She said “You want to bring a unique presence in a saturated market.” Jazmin also warned that starting out is hard, but in the long run, it can be worth it if you stay committed to what you are pursuing.

The conference closed with speaker Gregory Kallemburg, founder of the Film Prize Foundation. He talked about how important it is to invest in and build your local community.

The day was long, but very productive. With opportunity  to meet professionals from all over the country, it is something all Mass Communication students should consider attending on a yearly basis.

 

How to Keep Your Cash

I have had a love/hate relationship with my bank account for a very long time. I used to wonder where my money was going and why I could not save as much as I needed. There were times when I did not work as often and would receive smaller paychecks, but I still spent money the way I did when I was paid two or three times as much. After finally admitting to myself that I had a problem, I found some methods that helped keep my bank account from hitting $0. 

1.       Track your spending habits

Use apps like Clarity and Mint to track your spending.

I began keeping receipts at the beginning of the year. I put the receipts in a small file folder and organized them by month. I keep receipts for all purchases no matter how small because too many little purchases can add up to a large amount. When I went back and looked at the receipts, I paid attention to where I was going and how much I was spending. I also looked at what I was buying and realized that I was buying multiples of items I already had and spending too much money on meals and snacks. I was also buying small and unnecessary items that I would only use a few times just because I had the money.

A great way to also track you spending if you don’t want to keep receipts is to write them down. I bought a small book at Michael’s for $4-$5 with monthly budget sheets and sheets to document the date, item, and amount spent per purchase. I put these sheets in my planner and write down what I spend for the week. This gives me a visual reminder of how much I am spending because it is easy to forget when you are constantly swiping a card.

2.       Look at your income and expenditures

Next, I looked at my monthly income and calculated how much of that income was going into certain categories. I looked at how much of my money was automatically being taken out for bills each month and how much was spent on gas and food. When I went through my bank statements, I saw that I was paying almost $40 a month for services I did not even use. There were multiple video streaming subscriptions, Kindle Unlimited, Audible, and Apple Music. I was not even aware that I was paying for some of these services because I did not get any emails about the monthly payments. I made a list of my monthly payments and subtracted them from my expected income each month to decide on a budget. 

3.       Prioritize

It is never wise to overspend to the point where you are unsure of how you are going to pay for the things you really need. I had to prioritize my spending to make sure I had money to save and spend on the things I could not go without. This meant that I needed to cut back on the areas that were taking too much of my money like snacks and cosmetics.

4.       Find alternatives where needed

To cut back on snacks, I decided to drink more water because I was spending almost $20 a week on drinks alone. I would buy sodas or juice every day when it really wasn’t necessary. Now, I take a refillable water bottle to school and work to cut back on buying drinks. I also stopped buying fast food as often and began cooking more of my own meals and setting budgets for food each week. When I give myself a food budget, it forces me to be less impulsive. 

I have a habit of buying multiple bottles of soap and lotion. I run out of a bottle and purchase another without realizing I have 3 bottles at home that were barely used. This might be okay if you like to have different scents, but I always gravitate toward lightly scented or unscented soaps and end up with multiple bottle of the same brand and scent. This also happens with my hair products. I buy replacements without finishing a container and have two or three jars of conditioner that can be combined o make a full jar.

Sometimes, the alternative to spending too much money is to get organized and use what you have before buying something else. I have wasted money on replacing items because I was not organized enough to keep track of what I already had. 

5.       Coupons and discounts

When I was younger, I used to look at the PennySaver and try to find coupons for products I saw in the house. I was much younger and did not actually need to use these coupons because I was only an elementary school student. However, I did not realize how helpful coupons could be. Each coupon may only save you a dollar off on an item, but they can save you even more on a basket full. Students also get discounts at multiple restaurants and can get them online. A UniDays subscription is free and has coupons for apparel, technology, and more. You can also get a $5 per month Apple Music subscription by verifying that you are a student. An Amazon Prime subscription is $49.99 a year for students and can be helpful when you are buying textbooks or other items you might need for school because you get free 2-day shipping. There are also student discount cards at the front desk. 

6.       Set a Goal

Set a goal for how much you are trying to save for a certain amount of time. Goals work better when they start off small or have multiple steps. If you are trying to save an extra $200 a month, divide it into a certain amount per week. Figure out what your budget can be for that week and try to stick with it. It can be difficult at first, but it will become easier with time.

One of the most common financial mistakes people make is not having a budget. I learned the hard way that there is a difference between having the money to buy something and being able to afford it. It may be tedious to track your spending and give yourself only a portion of your money to spend, but being disciplined now can save you financial trouble in the future. 

Why Journalism?

In life, the billion-dollar question asked the most is, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” When the response is, “I don’t know” the look given isn’t always a pleasant one. The truth is for some it takes changing your major a few times before figuring it out. Then there are those that have known since birth what their life would one day be. Fortunately, I am not that person. I say fortunately because, it’s okay that you don’t know exactly what it is that you want to do. It’s okay that you may not have your entire life figured out. For the ones that do have their entire life planned out isn’t always the happiest, those people probably have never really experienced life and the things that the world has to offer.

“Life is an adventure, not a packaged tour.” –Eckhart Tolle

As hard as it may be to live life the way you want, it is also the most rewarding. Living for other people and their opinions is the quickest way to failure. Trust me when I say not everyone is going to understand your career choice, that’s okay. It’s your life. Follow your passion and ignore the naysayers. There’s so many things I thought about pursuing before finally deciding that being a mass communication major was the best fit for me. I’m that person that can sit around old people and listen to what life was like when they were young. I’m not shy, but naturally I have always been one to listen more than I talked. I stayed curious about everything and was that person that enjoyed being in other people’s business and was called nosey. Now, my nosiness will one day pay off.

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dream.” –Oprah Winfrey

If you’re reading this because you’re uncertain of what you want to do with your life, I’m here to tell you how I came across what I feel I was meant to do. As I’ve stated before, I’m not that person that have always known that this is what I would one day do. As I like to say, “I didn’t choose journalism, journalism chose me.” Ever since I was a young girl I thought I would one day grow up to be a dentist, why, I have no idea it just seems like an exciting job. That dream stuck with me until I was a freshman in high school in 2008. That same year Former President Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States of America, for so many it was a time of celebration and most importantly history was made. The first black president, how many people thought that would one day happen? I remember being so inspired that I just knew I would one-day go to college to study political science. So, from the time Mr. Obama was elected until about sophomore year of college I was a political science major. Clearly, that changed for me simply because politics were tougher than I thought. Although I didn’t choose politics for a career choice Obama inspired me in so many other ways.

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain, I’m going to press on.” –Barack Obama

Then there was a period of time when I had no clue what to do with my life. I revisited the idea of becoming a dentist, I thought about being a nurse because that is what my mother wanted me to do. I thought about being an interior designer, a teacher, even some type of surgeon. Nothing was really jumping out at me, of what could really be my future career. Every now and again I remember watching these exclusive television specials on everyday people. Those stories would cover kids with a parent that was incarcerated, people living pay check to pay check, or young people abusing drugs. Things that are going on everyday but us as a society may not care too much about, because most can’t personally relate.

All the journalists that I admire all tell stories that means something. Journalist gives a voice to the voiceless and bring light to subjects that are meant to be swept under the rug. I once reached out to Lisa Ling, (journalist) on Instagram, not expecting her to respond. I asked her, “what advice would you give to future journalists,” she responded, “travel and keep writing.” I think traveling exposes a person to new cultures and the social norms in other places. To be able to write about it is telling a story that means something. My inspiration is people, because I’m constantly learning from them whether it’s my peers or strangers. It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person if you take the time out to have a simple conversation. With that being said, if any of you are unsure about what you want to do, don’t panic! It’ll come to you when you least expect it!

“There’s so much grey to every story-nothing is so black and white.” –Lisa Ling

Power Hours

“I call this meeting of the Texas A&M University at Texarkana’s Student Government Association to order at 8:40 pm on March 2, 2016.”

SGA “serves as the official voice of the student body; act as a liaison between the student body and faculty, staff, administration, and community members; protect and preserve students’ rights and responsibilities; and promote student leadership (tamut.edu).” Every year the student body elects representatives they feel best represents their class. The elected body then makes decisions they feel will benefit our university. For example, SGA is responsible for the sidewalk on the Bringle Lake Village side of the University Center, as well as the picnic tables that are soon to be put out.

On the first Tuesday night of March, the Student Government Association of Texas A&M University at Texarkana gathered in Eagle Hall for a three-hour meeting. They discussed ways to better the organization in and of itself, and the campus. Fuzzy’s was provided accompanied by an icebreaker, the group participated in a S.W.O.T. Analysis, and committee meetings were held.

After the group enjoyed tacos and queso, they got down to business. Keith Beason started off the meeting with a S.W.O.T analysis; Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. Students were asked to list different things that pertained to these categories. They discussed how to use strengths to better weaknesses, used presented opportunities to generate new ideas, and tried to figure out how to fix possible threats. One of the major points brought was that the student government body was going to try to be more active and make the organization known on campus. SGA Communications Specialist Erin Beach said “After an in-depth SWOT activity, Student Government has grown together to be a better voice for the student body of TAMUT.”

After the S.W.O.T. Analysis, SGA split up into their separate committees: Environmental, Public Relations, Policy, Budget, CSAC, Campus Life, Events and Fundraising, Administration, and Apparel. They set up regular meeting times to enhance progress. Just a reminder, even if you aren’t an SGA Representative, any student is welcome to be on a committee. If you are interested, contact President Heath Coston.

Travis Garvin said “I had stayed up past my bedtime…” However, everyone agreed that staying up past their bed time was well worth the progress that was made.