Tips on Feeling Grounded as a Public Relations and Advertising Student
By Heidi Ordillas, Internal Operations Coordinator, Spring 2020
From experience, many advertising and public relation students begin their freshmen year with a different major—whether it’d be some branch of business or even health care, we somehow found our way into the school of communications. The incredible thing about being an Ad/PR student is that we’re studying two areas of communications that can lead to a variety of promising and exciting paths. At the same time, it can be overwhelming with the pressure we get about post-college plans and having to commit to one industry. Here are some tips to keep yourself grounded while being still being in school:
Don’t feel like you need to commit to advertising or public relations for the rest of your life. Especially in undergrad, some of us feel pressured to select one or the other but that’s not the case. We are told that it is common to go through multiple job transitions throughout our lives so you know that there will always be change. Everything will be temporary, and you have the power to change it the sooner you realize. Don’t hold yourself in a grudge into something you don’t enjoy. I promise you that this is not worth the energy and you will thank yourself later that you’ve made the decision to change whatever is holding you back. My biggest tip is don’t go into something without felling 100% about it. If you’re 80% there, please ask questions to your peers, professionals, mentors, and those in the industry.
There are so many career paths you can take aside from being an account or public relations specialist. Don’t feel limited and pressure yourself that you have to get that entry-level job at the biggest companies. From social media roles, copywriting positions, content creation, digital marketing, etc. these are all areas you can explore within Ad/PR. While in undergrad, explore these areas whether it’d be taking specific electives or even taking on an internship that specializes in these areas. Perhaps you end up loving one of these paths so much where you end up making it your future career.
Intern, gain experience, ask QUESTIONS, and make the most of it! Your undergrad years is the best time to explore your industry. It’s completely understandable that you’re nervous and unsure about what to expect after college so take this time to consider your options. Start by looking for internships whether it’s a small agency or large cooperate company. You will start to get a feel about the things you dislike about working in that environment and the things you love. List those things and when your internship is over, consider that list and use it to how you want to move forward.
Also, I urge you to ask questions during your internship and don’t feel like you’re asking a “bad” question. It’s an intimidating process to be asking professionals questions but realize that this is your opportunity to grow and develop your skills. Even questions of areas you want to explore more. There will likely be other people in the company that specializes in the area that you’re interested in and that your manager can connect you to. Remember, this is your journey in finding your true passions. Feel grounded now so you can flourish in the future!