In theory, a high school graduate should be able to go to college, get an undergraduate degree in Public Relations or Communication Arts, and be set to start a career in public relations. However, in today’s world, competition is fierce – especially in public relations which is such a popular industry at this time.
I think, subconsciously, I have been preparing myself to be a workhorse from a very young age. When I decided I wanted to be a competition cheerleader and threw myself into gymnastics, I spent 5-6 days of the week in a gym pounding the mats. Even now, I still refuse to be a show pony. I have always told myself since I committed to this path that I wasn’t going to get where I wanted to be without working for it. I believe that in order to secure a job in public relations after undergrad, you must be willing to put the work in during undergrad. Being active on campus, holding leadership positions, and taking a job that will teach you more about public relations than any class – are important. According to Marketing Mel, a PR pro, looking for opportunities like these are ways to set yourself up for success.
The more you “work” and the more active you are, the more people you meet. Networking is especially important to the public relations field. You will never know when you may need to call on someone to run a press release or find a job. According to PR Channel, public relations graduates should “take advantage of networking opportunities with PR professionals in their area…They will appreciate [their] initiative, and [they] may have an edge should a job opening become available.” Networking is always a positive thing because you never know who you might have the chance of meeting!
The final thing public relations students must do in order to secure a job in public relations is to get over the mentality of being “above” entry-level positions. We will all be interns doing the dirty work at one point at another, and we will all work our way up. However, having that type of attitude towards job prospects could make undergraduates miss out on some really great experience.