Remaining Positive in a Cutthroat PR World

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It’s not often this topic is talked about but we’ve all been there. A situation where it feels as though everyone is getting a summer internship except for you. In the field of public relations, it’s imperative to remain positive. For starters, if you’re outwardly salty about a peer getting a position that you applied for, that bridge could be burned. We’re all human and when things don’t go the way we expect, it can be hard to keep a smiling face. But you can’t let those feelings get the best of you. We hear it time and time again in meetings but connections are the best way to land a job. It’s easy to forget but the peers that we are in meetings with are also connections. We will go separate ways after graduation but our network of people that we know in the communications field will continue to grow.

Here are a few tips for staying positive that I’ve gathered through my time in college:

  1. Don’t take anything personally. If you didn’t get the position you were hoping for, it’s not the end of the world. Focus your talents somewhere else and don’t give up. Follow up with your interviewer and ask for advice to implement the next time you interview at a company. This industry will always have someone more qualified for the position but the way you handle yourself in the face of negativity is what will resonate with companies.
  2. Cut out the negativity. If people that are jealous of new experiences that you receive surround you, don’t focus your energy on them. Focus on yourself and connecting with new people. There will always be people who are happy for you.
  3. Attitude is everything, so keep yours in check. Everyone gets upset, especially when put into an uncomfortable and stressful situation.  It’s natural to feel emotions. Be happy with your ability to interview for a position and move on. There’s no point in focusing on the past for too long.
  4. Be open with your feelings. Again, you’re human. Be open with how you’re feeling. If you’re upset about not getting a position you wanted, that’s natural. Just don’t sulk in that place for too long.

I live in Minneapolis, aka the land of Minnesota Nice. For the most part, I think that stands true for the public relation agencies here. Within my Chapter, I’ve traveled to Denver and Atlanta for winter trips to tour communication agencies and corporate offices. From my experiences as well as advice from others, I’ve learned that the world of public relations is a tough one. I know I might come off as the character from Mean Girls who wishes for “everyone to be happy and bake cakes” together but let’s be supportive of one another. It seems like a no-brainer to me because I have always been supportive of friends who get positions that I also applied for. I know how hard they worked to get to that point and they should know how proud of them I am. Be the “hype man” for your connections that you wish to have in your life.

Jack Nachtigal is a senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication with an emphasis in public relations, minoring in leadership and anticipating graduation in May 2019. He has been a member of PRSSA since 2015 and has held numerous positions. He started on the executive board as an agency account executive for the UMN PRSSA in-house agency, Fusion. During his junior year, he served as Co-President of the chapter. Now, he serves as the Midwest Regional Ambassador, overseeing 20 chapter presidents in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Nachtigal’s experiences include interning for Digital River, a global e-commerce company in Minnetonka, MN, working for KIND Snacks as a University Ambassador and creating social media content for his fraternity, Sigma Nu. Nachtigal has traveled to Seattle, WA and Scottsdale, AZ for National PRSSA events, and accredits a lot of his opportunities to PRSSA. In his spare time, he likes to create social content for his Twitter and Instagram, as well as produce YouTube videos for his own channel.

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