Summer is coming to an end and for many of you that means heading back to school (if you haven’t already). Entering the workforce was an adjustment to say the least. The time after graduating college goes by faster than you could ever realize when you aren’t marking years by semesters. We know you ambitious PR girls-to-be are focused on your future, here a few tips we benefited from as undergraduates.
Join a campus organization – Don’t always keep your head in the books. Sure, you should study. Attend classes regularly, be studious and participate in class discussions. However, there is a reason public relations is in the communication department. The field is interactive and your professional success depends highly on your relationships. Your social interactions should be considered a priority, along with your grades. I’m not suggesting you skip a night of studying to attend a toga party. That is not the kind of fraternization I had in mind. Network with your peers in a positive environment. A great way to do this is by joining a club, participating in student government or joining a sorority. I encourage you to not only be an active member of these organizations, but to hold an office. These skills will help develop your PR know how in more ways than you realize.
Build a relationship with your Professors – In college, your professor is much different from your grade school teacher, who you had to obtain a hall pass from just to use the restroom. You can even be in a class that is instructed by a teacher’s assistant who is not too much older than yourself. But these T.A’s and professors want you to succeed. They will challenge you more than any other educational instructor has ever attempted. Sit in the front of the classroom and visit office hours. Develop a respectful relationship with your professors and you can call on them in the future for a recommendation. My favorite professor in college and I are still in touch, and I am a better person and professional for it.
Elect to have some fun – There are so many diverse skill sets that come in handy in the public relations field. Many of which (I hate to say it) you will not learn in your PR classes. The best way to develop these skills is to take up those talents that interest you personally. This is why I’d suggest taking a course outside of your public relations curriculum. You will need electives anyway to graduate, so have some fun. Always interested in photography? Take Introduction to Photography and learn how to take photos like a professional. You never know when the candid shots you take during a segment or event could end up running in print (true story).
Boys will be Boys– On a more personal note, boys can wait. I know, at this time you are eager to start your life. Maybe you are in a serious relationship with your college beau or still pining after the captain of the basketball team (not that I’m talking from personal experience or anything). Regardless, this is a time when you should be putting yourself and your future first. Still, have fun! Take a chance and agree to a date from the quite guy in your Statistics class, but don’t be too boy-crazed. Trust me, when you are a posh, confident PR girl the boys will be chasing after you, and that basketball player will be living in sticks with two kids and a beer gut.
What are some things you wish you knew as an undergraduate?
image via Her Campusl