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Networking knowledge: 4 new pros offer job tips for the graduating class


March 28, 2013

Elizabeth Greenaway works as Web content coordinator for Lycoming College in Central Pennsylvania. She graduated from Susquehanna University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and is an alumna of the White House Internship Program. Greenaway serves as chair of the New Professionals Section Executive Committee.

How did you land your current job?

I was in a position that, despite trying to make the best of it,  just was not for me. When I applied and got the chance to interview for my current position, I did the usual interview preparations, but I also mentioned I was looking for a career and was not finding it in the position I held at the time. I asked quite a few questions and, after interviewing with six different people at the college, I wrote every single one of them a hand-written thank you note. I was honest and professional when I spoke about my previous experiences, and that makes a difference.

What was the most challenging aspect of adapting from college to office life?

Learning to adapt to different management styles — in college, for the most part, I was managing myself.  After, I learned that sometimes you may have to learn how to be micromanaged with a smile on your face. Other times, you may have complete freedom and need to learn to ask a lot of questions. It’s an adjustment, but if you can have a go-getter attitude, regardless of the situation, you will learn something and become a better professional in the process.

What’s the job outlook like right now for new graduates and young professionals?

It is pretty good, as long as you come out of college prepared. It is important to remember that your first job probably is not going to be your dream job.

What advice do you have for new professionals looking to enter public relations?

If there are not any positions directly related to what you went to school for, try to find something in a related field and make it your goal to do your best at that job.  At the end of the day, I believe there is always a bright outlook for any graduate and/or young professional who is a go getter and a team player.


Nick Lucido joined Edelman in May 2009 and is a senior account executive within Edelman Digital. He specializes in analytics and strategic planning for clients such as Cars.com, ConAgra Foods and Hilton. At Michigan State University, Lucido was PRSSA National President. He is active in PRSA’s Chicago Chapter and the New Professionals Section.

How did you land your current job?

Edelman sponsors an annual nationwide scholarship competition for PRSSA students in honor of  Daniel J. Edelman, the founder of the firm. During my junior year of college, I applied on a whim thinking I had no chance of winning. To my surprise, I found out that not only was I a finalist for the award, but I had won. Part of the award was a three-month internship at an Edelman office. The culture and values fit so perfectly that I’ve been with Edelman ever since.

What was the most challenging aspect of adapting from college to office life?

For me, the most challenging aspect of the transition was learning all of the little nuances of office lingo.  When I started, I had no idea what “that deck needs to be buttoned up by COB” meant. I’m not sure where all these phrases and acronyms came from, but it seemed like I had to learn a new language. Now, I’m guilty of using these office nuances in personal conversations with friends, which is not something I’m at all proud of.

What’s the most important skill set you learned or course you took in college?

Take calculated risks. While I was not immune to making mistakes, I learned that trying new reporting templates or applying a new thought process to solve a dilemma helped prepare me for my professional career. Every day, our clients are pushing us to bring more creative solutions to the table and to try out new tactics.  Taking these calculated risks and learning from the mistakes is part of my job.

What’s the best part of your job?

I’m grateful that I get to work with some of the smartest, most energetic people in the business. Every day, my colleagues challenge me to think more strategically and always push me to strive for excellence. It makes work an exciting ride that I love being on.


Leah Moon is an assistant product marketing manager with LexisNexis in Dayton, Ohio, and is a Board Member of the Dayton Area PRSA Chapter. She was previously chair of the New Professionals Section. Moon is a 2008 graduate of Ohio University, where she studied public relations and French. Find her on Twitter
@starmoon or connect with her on LinkedIn.
 
What was the most challenging aspect of adapting from college to office life?

I think it was a pretty fluid transition. As far as the work itself, college and internships prepared me for that. If anything, the most challenging aspect is sitting at a desk for nine hours every day. It’s easy to get caught up in the work and skip breaks, but don’t let that happen too often.  You’ll be more productive if you let yourself stretch every once in a while.

What’s the most important skill set you learned or course you took in college?

Networking — I’ve met so many different people who have, in one way or another, helped me in my career or provided advice about career choices.

What’s the job outlook like right now for new graduates and young professionals?

It’s promising. I know many recent grads and young professionals are worried, but jobs are out there.  Jobs in public relations are actually increasing.  You just have to be diligent about looking, tapping into your network, and then, applying and following up.

What advice do you have for new professionals looking to enter public relations?

Don’t get discouraged, and most important, don’t stress. I know the constant applying and networking can be tiring sometimes — especially if it takes a while for things to work out — and it can be tough. But something will eventually work out.  It always does.


Scott W. Thornburg is a public relations coordinator at
Red Square Agency.  The Mobile, Ala., native holds a bachelor’s in mass communications and journalism, with an emphasis in public relations, from the University of Southern Mississippi. He serves as a PRSA New Professionals Section Liaison to PRSSA. Find him on Twitter: @ScottWesley.

How did you land your current job?

I had several internships and part-time PR-related jobs in college, including a summer internship for Red Square Agency.  The semester after, my former supervisor called me to say the company had an opening.  The morning of my interview, I picked up a copy of the local paper because a news release I wrote ran that morning as the lead story of the business section. Being able to show actual results was a big deal for them.  They called a few weeks later to offer me the job and I signed the papers before graduation.

What was the most challenging aspect of adapting from college to office life?

Realizing that I was not at the top anymore — I was extremely active in college. Everyone knew my name. Starting in the real world meant starting over at the bottom. It’s not a bad thing. It gives you a chance to prove your worth to your employer and yourself.

What’s the most important skill set you learned or course you took in college?

My journalism/news writing class was the most beneficial. Everyone used to tell me that being able to write well would be my most valuable skill.  They weren’t lying. It’s a skill I use every day.

What advice do you have for new professionals looking to enter public relations?

The field of public relations is changing and evolving at a rapid pace. Dedicate 30 minutes of your day to reading and researching new industry trends. Most important: Get involved in a professional organization like PRSA and find a mentor.


Managing Editor Amy Jacques interviewed these four New Professionals Section Members.
 



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