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Need Career Guidance? Pose a Question to the“Ask the Experts” Forum

If you have questions about your job search, turn to our career experts and get the edge you need. Members of PRSA’s College of Fellows are ready and willing to help you with two programs:

Ask the Experts: Answers to quick questions about your job search. Examples include:

  • How should I respond to these types of interview questions: "Tell me about yourself” or "What are your salary requirements?”
  • How can I develop a network? Where do I start?
  • What am I doing wrong? I send out resumes but never get interviews.
  • How long should I wait after an interview to hear from an employer?

To ask a question, scroll down to the question form and fill it out. When you’re ready to submit it, click the "Submit Question" button at the bottom. Many of your questions may already be answered in the more than 300 responses listed below so you may wish to review them first.

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There are currently 585 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 21 thru 25.

  posted: June 30,2014 02:30 AM -- submitted by: Lucas Miller
Q21: I'm a Spanish and Latin American Studies double major at Brigham Young University with one semester left of school. I'm currently interning at Fusion 360 which is a digital marketing and PR firm based in Salt Lake City. I love what I do and want to start working right after graduation. Do I need a graduate degree seeing as how I haven't formally studied communications? I've been offered a job by the firm, but the pay is pretty weak. Do I need to "pay my dues" as far as salary is concerned?

A21: Lucas,
Thank you for both your inquiries. Even if you plan to do graduate level work, the practical experience you are currently getting is invaluable. There is no hard and fast rule about graduate school. As with most things in life, it depends on you, your abilities, your skills, the opportunities you make and take advantage of, etc.

Regarding pay: is the pay "pretty weak" based on your expectations or upon industry standards in your location? You should be able to find out about industry standards through your state department of labor and industry. They should be able to give you starting level salaries for public relations firms.

Regarding accepting the offer: are you learning things each day/week/month? Do you work with people who encourage your professional growth? Is the organization you're working for respected in your market? Do you like the culture of the organization? Do you like and respect your co-works and leadership team?

Only you can answer these questions and know if this is the right fit for you.

You are fortunate to have a choice to make. Many recent college graduates are not finding satisfying work in their fields of study.

Good luck with your decision and in your career.

Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: June 26,2014 05:27 PM -- submitted by: L. Jorgensen
Q22: I just moved to a new state and city, and have transitioned from a full-time in-house PR Manager to a part-time freelancer. I am currently doing freelance work for a marketing agency, but would like to build my clientele and work load in my new town. As a freelance agent who hopes to get enough work to go full-time, would it be necessary to start my own business, i.e. inc. a consulting/freelance business name, etc. Eventually, I would ideally get enough work to start my own boutique agency.

A22: While each person must decide that kind of thing for himself or herself, I would definitely start an official business. An attorney or accountant can talk you through various options to decide which is best for your specific situation. I recommend consulting a professional so things are set up properly from the beginning.

Also, you might want to check into PRSA's support for independent practitioners. There are many of us proving public relations and communications counsel and resources are available online.

If you aren't currently a PRSA member, I suggest joining your local and getting active with other professionals. That networking can help you build your client base as well as help you get settled in your new community.

Good luck,
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: June 23,2014 11:42 PM -- submitted by: satish kumar
Q23: sir i completed inermediate in in 2007 and degree admission in from 2007 i did marketing job but i never satisfied with that job.for that reason i am doing hardware and networking course (mcse,ccna.linux )course .will i get a job based on my acadamic profile on linux .my age is 31.pls give me advice sir please

A23: If I understand your questions correctly, you are looking to know about your prospects of finding a job based on your academic achievements.

As with any degree, what you put into your work is generally what you will get out of it. You need to have this conversation with someone at your institution of higher learning who specializes in your field of study.

Good luck,
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: June 23,2014 11:40 PM -- submitted by: Michael Baumeister
Q24: I am entering my final year of college, and will be graduating with a B.A. in Accounting. While it may seem odd, I have a strong desire to enter the field of actuarial work, and I was wondering what I can do now to enter this career as soon as I come out of college. I will be taking a statistics class my final semester.

A24: Great that you are asking this kind of question at this stage in your college career.

You need to seek this advice from an organization specific to accounting and actuarial sciences. Try a professional organization or your college's guidance department.

We are here for communications and public relations career questions.

Good luck.
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: June 18,2014 04:45 PM -- submitted by: Imani
Q25: In 2012 I got my BS in psychology. I quit my job in lab animal sciences and am taking graduate classes part time (online) in PR for a certificate program. Taking an unpaid internship is not financially feasible for me, and I am having a hard time finding entry-level positions. I feel that potential employers look at my resume and only see "animals" and rule me out, but I have some relevant experience from activities I did in my undergrad. How can I get my foot in the door and gain experience?

A25: Changing careers is always hard. You could look for paid internships and volunteer opportunities. If you volunteer with a nonprofit doing public relations related activities, you will gain experience as well as building your portfolio and resume.

Also get started networking with public relations professionals. Join the local chapter of PRSA and attend meetings. Exchange business cards and request informational interviews with professionals. Ask them about how they started in the profession and what advice they have for you. Because you will be in conversation with they, they will be able to look at your public relations skills and better assess your situation.

Good luck,
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: June 18,2014 09:45 AM -- submitted by: sandra
Q26: i want to know whether studying mbbs in china is good for Indian students and what about the job opportunities in India after completing studies there

A26: Sandra,
Interesting questions, but outside the scope of this site. Talk with the admissions counselors at your university. They will have insight into these questions and will understand your background, academic performance, etc.

Good luck,
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

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