Archive for December, 2009
Guest Post by Stacey Davidson
As a public relations student in college, it is difficult to differentiate yourself in a flooded job market. There are too many candidates and too few positions. One way I have found to differentiate myself was to be involved with PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America. In conjunction with PRSA, the largest professional public relations association in the world, PRSSA helps students to gain real world experience, leadership and networking opportunities outside of the classroom. At the University of Florida each month we learn about interview skills, industry trends, resume writing and more from professionals in the industry. These speakers help us to transfer what we learn in the classroom to our internships and future jobs.
In addition to monthly meetings and speakers, PRSSA also provides opportunities like its annual conference in November. PRSSA annual conference is held alongside PRSA national conference to allow for increased networking and professional development opportunities for both students and practitioners. At this conference, I was able to learn about multiple facets of PR from the industry’s leaders, such as media relations from the media trainer and media relations director for the United States Army, and non-profit public relations from the VP of communications for United Way.
This conference provides a unique opportunity to do more than listen to a lecture. For five days I was immersed in an amazing learning environment where I could ask questions and build my professional network in addition to hearing from presenters. After leaving the conference, I was armed with business cards, e-mail addresses and phone numbers from agencies and practitioners located all around the country. I was ready to take on the world and the job search.
One of the most important factors when applying for a job is make yourself more than just a resume. Many of the people I met at the conference were active recruiters and account executives at companies where I desire to work. To them, I am now a face, a person, no longer just a resume. When I begin seriously applying for jobs in the spring, I know that our relationships will be integral in landing interviews and eventually jobs.
If you’re looking to get into PR, it’s very likely that you’ll find yourself in New York City: about one-third of the firms listed in the O’Dwyer’s Database are in the big apple. Starting a new career in a new city can often be daunting, and you’ll face everything from finding an apartment, to navigating the subway, to selecting the perfect restaurant to take your visiting parents to. But you’re not alone, and the world wide web is full of resources to help you do all those and more.
My friends at 89th and Broke, a blog about meals and deals in New York, recently partnered with the Post Grad blog to share the wisdom of those who have braved the big city before you. Both sites offer plenty of advice for New York City living on a budget. I recommend checking them out if you’re thinking about moving to the city or have already done so. Enjoy, and welcome to the neighborhood!
Because I couldn’t agree more with every point, or have said it better myself, I urge you to check out Kristin Davie’s recent post on her blog One Grad’s College Compass & Career Quest. She recently started her entry-level position at a New York PR firm, and gives some practical tips gleaned from her own job hunt. Our receptionist Kelly can attest to the second bullet.