By Alexis Harvey
Congratulations! You’re graduating! You have the whole world ahead of you! But you are stressed!
The months leading up to graduation are some of the most exciting times of your life, but they can seem daunting at the same time. After all of the excitement settles down, reality sets in, and you have some decision-making to do. Where do you go from here?
It can be difficult to choose what type of PR you want to pursue or where you want to go after graduation. Here are a few ways to make these next couple of months leading up to graduation smooth and headache-free:
Finding your niche
The best thing about PR is that it is such a diverse industry. One of the most difficult decisions public relations students face is deciding what type of PR best suits their abilities. You should think about your personal interests and unique experiences to find your niche.
A niche is a combination of your professional skills, interests, and fields you want to work in. It can be a whole department of the industry or even a specialty, such as content creation in the realm of digital media.
Begin by asking yourself a couple of questions:
What are my greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
What do I love to do?
What do my peers say I am best at in the world of PR?
Some PR specialists thrive in content creation while others may excel in writing. It is important to immerse yourself in all departments of public relations during your time in college to better understand your strengths in the industry.
Deciding what area of PR interests you the most
Along with finding your niche, it is also important to tap into your personal interests to figure out what area of PR you want to work in. As an intern or in an entry-level position it is important to take this time to expose yourself to all aspects of the industry to figure out what areas of focus you enjoy working on.
You may consider entertainment PR if you have an interest in working in the world of television, fashion, music, or celebrity culture. Your role would be to represent and promote those within the entertainment world.
Maybe you have an interest in healthcare but don’t want to become a healthcare provider. Healthcare PR would be a great match for you! Healthcare PR reps work with various health organizations, non-profits, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals. They act as liaisons between these organizations and the mainstream media.
Technology PR is also a great position for those who enjoy keeping up with the newest technological advancements and gadgets.
There are an array of PR jobs in different industries so it is important to find the one that is best suited to you.
Remember to keep going and not feel discouraged
This is probably the best advice anyone can receive after graduating from college. Yes, change is quite difficult, especially when it comes to graduating, leaving the place you have called home for the last four years, and deciding what to do next.
After finding your niche and area of expertise it is time to start applying to different jobs in different cities. It can be overwhelming in the beginning but it is important to remember to not feel discouraged. We all know how anxiety-inducing it can be to begin the interview process but it is also such an exciting time. You want to take this time to truly understand what you want out of a career and just because one company turned you down, your dream job may be right around the corner.
As a PR professional you have so many different options, but that is also the beauty of public relations. Being so new to the industry it is the perfect time to try new things. Remember that no matter what path you choose to take, all experience is a valuable experience, so don’t be afraid to begin your journey in public relations.