Getting Started in Public Relations
Given that I’ve recently started my internship here at Obsidian, it seems a fitting time to look back on the steps I’ve taken to get me here and reflect on the lessons learned that will hopefully continue to carry me forward in this exciting career.
I initially started college with my major declared in journalism, but like many others, I became a bit lost down the line as to what career path was right for me. Unsurprisingly and unfortunately, this resulted in me changing my major three extra times. Life is funny, though, and my third and final change landed me right back where I began – journalism, with a concentration in public relations. It could not be a better fit for me. Although this major aligns with my natural strengths, I’ve also come to see that the extra time I’ve spent maturing in my academic career helped me hone certain traits that are crucial for the public relations professional.
I’ll admit this used to be a hard one for me. However, in the last year and half, it suddenly became glaringly apparent that in order to be successful in any objective, you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and chase it. No one ever crossed a finish line without first deciding to tie on their running shoes and step out the door.
Oh, be thorough! The absolute key to this, without a doubt, is asking questions. There is no inquiry so small that it’s irrelevant or unnecessary, especially when you’re just beginning. Do not allow unanswered questions to hover around and bring about failure or disappointment simply because you were afraid to ask. The way an amateur becomes an expert stems from a constant drive to expand his or her own understanding. Do not let a potential moment of embarrassment keep you from excellence.
Showcasing your talents is important when getting started in any field, but it isn’t everything. Be willing to seek help in your weaker areas, and give yourself room to practice these skills. Others will remember your progress and tenacity as you develop, as it showcases passion and determination. Besides, no one likes a one trick pony.
Ah, perhaps the most difficult lesson I’ve learned. You don’t change your major three times because commitment is easy! However, it is inarguably the most important skill on this list. Deciding to do something is half the battle of any accomplishment, but it’s easy to be intimidated away from it after your first few mistakes. Naturally, everyone wants to be an expert right from the start, yet unfortunately, life rarely goes that way. The good news is, usually, the biggest road block is in your head. Make up your mind to succeed, and with hard work, you will!