As a rising senior majoring in public relations at Boston University and participating in my second summer internship, I have learned much about the field from both my studies and work experience. Being able to study the field through coursework is something that I never take for granted, given that not many institutions have programs so heavily dedicated to public relations. I have been able to take classes focused on non-profit work, communications ethics and media relations, but nothing teaches me how to perfect my craft more than being in the field. One of the most important things that I’ve been able to take away from my academic work is that courses—both introductory and specialized—put the work on a plate for you, but internships allow you to really dig in. Without practical, tangible experience to flex the skills that professors lecture about in class, how is anybody supposed to know whether they’re a fit for PR or not?
For me, breaking into the field was exhilarating. During the first week of my first internship I couldn’t wait to learn how to enter information into the postage machine and sealed each mailer in its envelope with enthusiasm. Eventually, I had bigger tasks thrown my way and hit the ground running with those as well. In PR, you have to be just as excited about the little things as you are about the big ones, because each component of the work reflects upon the agency or firm and its clients. Anyone in this business will tell you that no two days are the same and it is absolutely true, but in the best way possible. In the same vein as this, no two clients are the same. No matter how similar clients may seem to one another, you’d be surprised at how different the pattern of work for each can be. All of this has built me up as a budding PR professional, and allowed me to see for myself that the possibilities when working in this particular field are just shy of endless.
Working on the Consumer team at Regan Communications Group has allowed me to build onto skills that I’ve already learned, and continues to open up new avenues of PR to explore and gain experience before entering the field this time next year. With so many different areas and industries, working in PR is something that I consider to be a challenging reward rather than a burdensome day-job. The best advice I’ve gotten has been reflected upon above and the best advice that I can give: be in it, or get with it. Love your work and own what you do—only you can determine what kind of PR pro you’re fit to be.