For me, it just clicked. It was two years ago and there I was, on the edge of my swivel chair in a large conference room, captivated by every case study and comment presented to me at a Porter Novelli shadow day. The passion, intelligence and friendliness of everyone I met caught me off-guard. I hadn’t expected to feel so connected to a firm’s values and work after just one shadow day. But while visiting the office to explore the world of PR that day, I realized that an agency like PN was exactly where I wanted to start my career.
My name is Katie Strasberg, and as a recent graduate of the University of Georgia I couldn’t be more excited to start life in the “real world” working in the consumer practice at PN Atlanta. Many internships and classes later, I like to look back on that shadow day a few years ago and realize how much I have experienced since – studying until all hours of the night, interning at what at the time seemed like the break of dawn, organizing numerous PRSSA events and reports… the list goes on and on.
But, over the past few weeks of interning, I’ve realized that even though I’ve grown since, what initially sparked my interest in PN two years ago still intrigues me and is truer than I imagined. Sure it’s one thing to hear someone present about how everyone in the office is talented, hard-working and supportive, but it’s amazing to experience it.
So for those of you in my shoes a few years ago, I encourage you to get out there and test the waters at companies, firms and organizations that spark your interest. Go to shadow days. Reach out to professionals for informational interviews. Participate in PRSSA or IABC networking events. You never know which encounter will click with you and lead you on a path to your dream internship or job.
Hopefully during my time as an intern I can give you a taste of what clicked with me here at PN as my “real world” adventure begins.
While I was in college, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Public Relations, so choosing PR as a major was an easy decision. However, choosing a major can be a daunting and overwhelming process. It is entirely possible that you might realize late in your college career or just after you have graduated that you want to work in PR, but did not major in any sort of communications field or have much PR experience. An internship is a perfect opportunity to test out PR and see if it is really something you would like to pursue.
Do not let your major or degree deter you from applying for a PR internship. Tia Jackson, Porter Novelli Atlanta’s Human Resources Manager, provided some tips for those of you who may be interested in PR, but did not major in it:
Join a Club.
- If you won’t be receiving a degree in PR or have not completed any PR internships, look to gain experience in clubs and organizations on your campus. Some good places to start are the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
Sell yourself in your cover letter.
- When you apply for internships,make sure you indicate all of your transferable PR skills in the cover letter.
Network, network and then network some more.
- The more you put yourself out there and network with people already working in the PR industry, the more likely they will be to advocate for you when you are applying for internships.
Two of the current PN Atlanta interns do not have communications degrees. Various educational backgrounds bring diversity to an office, so regardless of your major or degree, never hesitate to apply!
-Mary Featherstone, Porter Novelli Atlanta