Kick-Start Your Career [National Conference 2018 Session Recap]

Left to right: Hanna Porterfield, Robyn Rudish-Laning, Mia Simon and Gemrick Curtom

Session: Kick-Start Your Career: Tips From New Professionals

Presenters: Gemrick Curtom, Consultant, GC Communications

Hanna Porterfield, Account Manager, Development Counsellors International

Robyn Rudish-Laning, Senior Marketing Manager, Airports Council International-North America

Mia Simon, Public Relations Coordinator, Methodist Health System

Recap: In this session, past PRSSA members who are now PRSA members gave advice on entering their careers following graduation from college. They are apart of PRSA’s New Professional section and were thrilled to share their experiences post graduation of PRSSA.

Being apart of PRSA post graduation can lead to many networks, career opportunities and mentor relationships. The speakers on this panel expressed how useful PRSA was and continues to be for them and why they want to give back to the Society that has provided them with countless benefits.

How did you land your first PR job?

  • Gemrick: “I had help from alumni.”
  • Mia: “I transitioned from broadcast journalism to public relations and applied to jobs that needed journalism. I also used LinkedIn a lot.”
  • Robyn: “I had an internship and turned it into a full-time job. I got involved with PRSA in South Carolina but then had moved to D.C. So I joined the D.C. Chapter and put myself out there since I didn’t know anyone.”
  • Hanna: “I moved to New York right after graduation. During spring break of my senior year, I set up interviews in New York and got a job then continued to follow up with them until graduation.”

What skills are necessary or recommended in PR?

  • Gemrick: “Writing is crucial- know how to communicate.”
  • Mia: “Writing- create your own voice.”
  • Robyn: “Being adaptable.”
  • Hanna: “Adaptability and writing.”

What is one thing you wish you learned in school?

  • Gemrick: “I wished I learned how to manage a client and how to deal with them.”
  • Mia: “I didn’t know I could ask for what I wanted. I wish I would have learned sooner to speak up for myself.”
  • Robyn: “Project management – knowing what the ultimate goal is and I wish someone would have learned sooner to look at everything as one project.”

How do you get an internship with limited experience?

  • Gemrick: “Do work with a non-profit or volunteer. Attempt volunteering at PRSA events in your local town or city.”
  • Mia: “Work on relationships – write thank you notes and follow up, it goes a long way.”
  • Robyn: “Do volunteer work with clubs, also relate with your peers because you are all going to be on the same level someday.”

How do you turn a part-time job into full-time?

  • Gemrick: “Do your best in everything you do – this gives you an upper hand to deserving that full time job.”
  • Mia: “Act like it’s your only position and do your best. Be yourself and do your job well. Network with people and don’t feel that you have to be someone else.”

Seniors in college can also join New Professional section of PRSA and share their experiences as well.  Use code “ANPG18” to commit your membership in joining New Professionals section. Join today!

Meagan Clarkson is a Communications student at Indiana University Northwest focusing in Public Relations and Crisis Communications. Being a part of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), she is motivated and inspired to do better not only in life but in her future PR career. As vice-president of her chapter, she hopes to bring more diversity and knowledge to the table for her fellow IUN PRSSA members. Follow her @meaganseaturtleor on LinkedIn

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