As graduation looms closer each day, the job hunt has begun for many college seniors. When chatting with fellow classmates about where they might see themselves post-grad, many have told me that they have no intention of actually going into public relations. To a PR-obsessed person like me, this sounds absurd (why would you ever want to do anything else, am I right?) but it’s something that actually happens a lot.
There are several reasons why people who have dedicated four years of their life to studying this field might not want to end up in it:
Lack of internships
Classroom learning is great, but there’s nothing like the real thing. If you don’t get internships in college you have no way of learning the ins and outs of real-world public relations. It’s a lot more hands-on and a lot more fun.
Letting a bad experience change your path
A lot of people have had that one teacher who told them “you’re not going to make any money” “all you do is busy work” and that deters them from wanting to pursue a career in PR. Rather than take one person’s opinions and basing your decisions on them, make sure you’re asking around and seeing what the reality is.
PR was never what you wanted to do in the first place
Public relations, marketing and advertising go hand-in-hand and every university has a different way of teaching each subject. Sometimes the three are integrated in classroom teachings and sometimes they are kept completely separate. In the case of schools that keep them separate, you might come in thinking you want to do PR, not really understanding what it’s all about and actually marketing would be a better fit–but you’ll never know. Make sure you do a lot of research before you choose your major and always, always take classes outside of your field!
Of course there are people who spend all four years studying a subject and just end up finding a different path that works better for them. That’s great! Before you make that crucial choice, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Have you or someone you know experienced this? Share your story!