Okay, I’m studying PR. Now what?

Deciding on a major can be tough. Maybe you got lucky and you knew that public relations was the field for you from the start. If you’re like me, it might have taken a few tries until you found the right fit. It’s hard enough finding your future path, but it can be even harder trying to figure out what comes next.

Public relations is a large area that is constantly changing and expanding. This is where looking into other areas can be helpful. You know you want to go into public relations, but what area? What do you want to focus on? What role do you want to take on?

For me, I started my college career as a graphic design student. Once I realized that I wanted to make the change into PR, I decided to keep my minor in design. This might have been one of the best decisions I could have made. Not only am I able to keep developing my skills for design, but I have had many opportunities stem from this choice. Each of my supervisors in my internships have been thrilled that I know graphic design and have experience with design software. It’s definitely a boost on my resume and I get asked about it in every interview.

But it doesn’t have to be design. It can be anything.

Find what works best for you. Everyone has an interest that they can develop. It can be something like photography, video editing, analytics or even environmental science. Something. We all know how competitive the job market can be, especially for those coming straight from college. Find those little golden nuggets that you can bring to the table that make you stand out.

You can expand on these by adding a major or a minor, or through experiences. Internships and jobs are a great way to learn by doing. I am a public relations major with a minor in art and I’ve had three different marketing internships. I’ve had a job where I was a lead for hiring. I’ve had jobs where I’ve been trained in crisis response. These opportunities are all around us, and often become overlooked. Don’t take them for granted, highlight them.

At the end of the day, the job application process is an art of showcasing you. What makes you different? What makes you better? Maybe it’s a unique internship or maybe it’s a specific skill set. Make sure you don’t bury your lead.

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