“When am I ever going to use this again?” is probably one of the most frequently used phrases said by students in any educational setting, especially in college.
Students often view classes or outside activities not directly related to their majors as a waste of time. What students seldom realize is some of those tasks actually prove to be useful later on in their personal or professional lives.
When I began this internship at Bravo Group, I wanted to learn more about media relations because it was a part of the industry thought I did not know much about. Now that I am halfway through my internship, I realize that my past college and internship experiences have actually prepared me quite well and allowed me some hands-on media relations experience without even realizing it.
As a student journalist with my alma mater’s newspaper, I saw my interactions with the students and community members only from a journalist perspective. I did not realize how receiving press releases and requests for news coverage were part of a public relations strategy called media relations.
Students, and recent graduates like me, are often so concerned about the things they don’t know, or the skills they don’t have going into an internship or new job. We often look at our past positions as one-time learning experiences and think the skills we develop are only useful in that one area. This is far from true.
The public relations industry draws individuals from many backgrounds. Everyone from recent graduates to experienced professionals have a chance to hone the skills they already possess while developing new ones. Bravo Group has experienced journalists working on its media relations efforts. Jeanette Krebs, Managing Director of Communications, and Sean Connolly, Senior Director, both worked as journalists before entering the public relations industry.
After talking with Jeanette and Sean, I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily have to have a public relations degree to be able to work competently in the industry. At this point, I am just starting my career and figuring out where I would be successful with all the skills I have learned. Internships are about gaining that experience. What we don’t know, we have the opportunity to learn and what we already know can only be enhanced by more professional work.
So, for all of those students who said they were never going to use something they learned in college again, think twice. I’ve learned that learning doesn’t end after college; it just begins.
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