When I first stepped on my college campus, I had a long list of goals and no idea how I was going to achieve them all in just two semesters. PR seemed like a huge ocean, and I was a small fish with no idea how to swim. I was hit with terms like press release, media alert, and internship. It was definitely a lot to take in. As overwhelming as your first year as a PR student may seem, I’m here to let you know that you will survive! Here are some tips and tools to make your freshman year as a PR student manageable and successful:
Get Involved- It is much easier to adapt to college life when you have friends in the same situation. See if your campus has a PRSSA chapter that you can be involved in and join! Reach out to organizations on their social media accounts so they know to look out for you. Talk to older students and ask them questions about classes, internships, or getting involved more. Help out with community service projects, which look great on an often empty freshman resume.
Network, Network, Network!- Take advantage of any networking opportunities you can get your hands on. You want to meet as many professionals as you can. Even if you aren’t sure where you want to be in the industry, you never know who knows who. Always leave a good impression, take business cards, and send follow-up emails! Make sure you keep in touch with everyone you meet.
Stay Organized- Buy a day planner and make that planner your BFF. Write down assignments, meeting times, and make sure you are using your time wisely. If you work better electronically, use the calendar in your phone or on your computer to keep your dates straight.
Set Yourself Apart- Public relations is a very competitive field, especially in this day and age. Everyone will have a college degree and internships to boast about. Do things that make you different whether it be starting a blog or volunteering off campus. Make yourself stand out from other PR students.
Breathe- No one expects you to get everything right all of the time. Every successful PR professional was in your position at some point. Accept your mistakes, grow from them, and move on. It’s only PR, we are not curing cancer!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Amber Burns.