Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of heading back to Kent State University (my alma mater) to speak on a panel for PRSSA. Even though I graduated four years ago, it still feels like I was a student yesterday! The topic of the panel was “Where do you belong? Exploring the three different types of PR- agency, corporate and non-profit.” Much to my surprise, the room was packed with students, which was great to see.
While I was only one of the three professionals on the panel, I wanted to recap my main points since I’ve found they keep coming up each time I speak with students and young professionals.
- Networking: Networking doesn’t just begin when you start your first real-world job, it starts the moment you step foot on campus. Your professors and fellow classmates are invaluable resources you should treasure. Get to know them, tell them what you’re looking for and don’t be too embarrassed to ask for help. Attending special events on campus and joining student groups is also one of the best things you can do for your future career. Stand out. Make an impression. And most importantly, get involved!
- Internships: PR Kent requires an internship as part of the curriculum, which is fantastic! However, if you have the time, I say go for as many internships as you can. Especially if you don’t know what segment of PR you’d like to work in. I think it’s so important to get a well-rounded internship experience in the different segments. That way, you can truly find what you’re most passionate about!
- Be You: Several students came up to me after the panel was over and asked more questions about agency PR and internships. But what really stood out was when I asked them to talk about their passions, where they see themselves in the future and their summer internship plans. Several students also sent thank you emails and followed-up with personalized LinkedIn requests. These things don’t go unnoticed!
I truly love going back to Kent State- it’s definitely still my home away from home. Plus, speaking with students is so rewarding. Do you have any other tips to share? I’d love to hear them.