Freshman Advice for PR Majors From A Senior
As someone who didn’t become a public relations major until the beginning of their junior year, you already have a bigger head start than some. As graduation looms closer and closer, I thought I’d sit down and reflect on what I learned in my limited time navigating this major.
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1. Every company needs some PR department or employee, take advantage!
When thinking of what you want to do in Public Relations, don’t forget that every organization whether for-profit or not, needs a PR side to survive! As hard as it is to admit for most, every company is going to go through an unfavorable time in their history. Whether it’s poor financial numbers, or an outright scandal, companies need to stay prepared. So, whether you want to work for a famous talent, big corporation, hospital, sports team, or anywhere really, there is certainly a job to find in almost every industry that is out there today
2. Your PR 100 class is way more valuable than you might think
I get it, it’s your freshman year, you just moved out of your home or at the very least have the most independence you’ve seen in a long time. You probably filled your entire schedule with distribution credits and probably one PR class to get yourself going. But let me tell you, the foundation of everything you’ll learn throughout your time at Hofstra starts in that PR 100 class. Press releases, social media concepts, crisis PR, how to engage an audience, you name it. Everything you learn in that first PR class is going to be built on by the next 7-8 you’ll eventually have to take. So pay attention I promise it’ll be worth it.
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3. Make value in your internships! Go towards the area you want to pursue
When I was looking for internships, I wasn’t quite sure where to go. The positions on Handshake weren’t quite up my alley and even if they were they had a ton of competition. That’s when I started to look around at what my friends were doing and decided to pursue similar paths as them. One of my friends who had a current internship with SportsGrid, a sports gambling media company, told me I’d be a good fit for social media marketing. I decided to give it a try and that was my first experience in the real world. That later got me an internship at Adelphi University in their athletic department, and from then on I realized I found the path that was right for me. So make sure to never leave any door closed and pursue any company you want to work for, you never know who needs the help.
4. Don’t Feel The Need To Rush an Internship
While I had gotten some experience in the real world a little prior to my senior year, I still entered my final year with no internship credits under my belt. It was a scary proposition, but I finally got the SportsGrid internship in the fall which made me feel a little better. However, I still didn’t feel like that was exactly what I wanted to do. However, by the time I reached out to Adelphi to try something new, I did so well and impressed them that I will now serve as their graduate assistant for the next two years following graduation. It took me quite literally the longest possible time to figure out my postgraduate plans, but I kept calm and knew that the right thing would eventually find me, so don’t be intimidated by the people piling up so many different internships. It only takes one to work out.
5. This Is College, Take The Time To Mess Up And Ask Questions While You Still Can.
Not only for public relations but in the communication school as a whole, Hofstra does a great job of finding professors who have walked the walk and can now talk the talk to students. Not every assignment is going to give you an A, and not every experience you have in the outside world is going to be positive. That’s what the faculty is here for, nearly every professor you take a class with most likely has 10+ years of experience in the industry, and can help you understand the things you may not be able to yet. So have your fun, mess up, and ask questions, that’s what these four years are all about.