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There’s Nothing like the Real World Experience…

There’s Nothing like the Real World Experience…

By Alexandra Lue, Intern

After I graduated from Stony Brook University with a Marketing B.S., Journalism minor, a semester long internship with the Athletic department, and PR experience from a campus organization, I thought I had all the tools to land my first PR job. I spent a few months sending my resume to PR firms, but I wasn’t getting any call backs.  I considered going back to Graduate school for a Master’s in Public Relations, but then I thought it would be best to do another internship and finish paying Sallie Mae back before I invest all that money into another degree.

I recently started interning with Fusion Public Relations. With only two weeks under my belt, I’ve realized that I wasn’t ready for the PR industry just yet. This is my first job in an office setting, so I am just learning the proper workplace manners, like always stand up and introduce yourself with a firm handshake, or knock before entering someone’s office, or leaving a note instead of waiting for a co-worker to get off of the phone. Simple things like this are not taught in a classroom and sometimes common sense just isn’t that common. There is nothing like the real world experience for one to live and learn, emphasis on the learning part. More specifically to Public Relations, I’ve already made the mistake of misspelling a clients name and forgetting to alphabetize a list of media outlets and you can bet that after being called out once, I wouldn’t let that mistake happen again.

From the people I’ve spoken to in the PR field, I’ve concluded that companies prefer to hire someone with more experience than someone with more classroom hours.   Yes, you can sit in a classroom and listen to lectures about marketing and writing, but nothing compares to the actual time spent managing a client’s public image.  This is where you gain the opportunity to build your brand and be more desirable to the real world.

1 Comment
  • Tamika

    February 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm Reply

    Another thing to learn is to ask questions, but you have to ask the right people. Perhaps you have a couple of elder sisters or a couple of elder brothers, that you could ask for some sage advice. Good posture is so important in a workplace. If you are in your cube slouching or using your armpit to hold your body up; that usually does not go over well. What about the person that introduces themselves to you and while you are telling them your name they are breaking their neck to see the fool that just came around the corner? I say, squeeze their hand super hard to ensure that they will never forget their rudeness and they will do their darndest not to get on your bad side again. Also, I will be expecting your MBA by 2013 latest 2014; in the real world.

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