As graduation season quickly approaches, the pressure to land a “real world” job is on the rise for college seniors. Transitioning from college to career sets the start of a new, exciting journey that can also be incredibly daunting. Just last year, I experienced the nerves and uncertainties that come with career preparation. My goal after graduation was to set foot on the path to PR, but I had no idea how to get there or what direction to go.
Fast forward to now – one year and two internships later. As I reflect on my first year working in PR, I have learned valuable lessons I wish I would have known from the get-go. So here are a few tips for those who are preparing to start their journey in PR:
Competition is fierce in today’s job market. Internships are essential to stand out among the rest. As an intern, you will not only experience the day-to-day of a public relations professional, but you will also enhance your skill set and expand your knowledge of PR immensely. Internships provide the opportunity to discover what fuels your fire. By maximizing your internship(s), you can build a strong foundation for your career and set yourself up for future success.
Do Your Research
Spend time researching the companies and industries that interest you. Visit the websites of different companies, read over their team bios and backgrounds and check out their social media. Familiarize yourself with the clients that your top companies serve, the publications they appear in and the reporters who are writing about them. Staying on top of the news and up-to-date with industry trends is a must-do for any public relations professional.
A positive attitude and a smile can go a long way, especially in smaller office settings. From your first interview, and every day after, you have the opportunity to create meaningful experiences alongside your coworkers. Acts of encouragement, lending a helping hand, giving a shout out or merely smiling can make a world of difference to your team.
Navigating your way into the “real world” can be a challenge, but it can also be extremely gratifying. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned in the past year and look forward to seeing where they will take me in the years to come.
What tips do you have for stepping onto the path of PR after college?