One of the classes I teach at VCU’s Robertson School is Professionalism in PR: The class wasn’t created until after I graduated, and when I talk about it I frequently hear things like: “I wish they’d offered that when I was in school.”
Here’s the official course description:
Study of public relations careers, including an in-depth examination of types of practice and industry choices for professionals. Includes development of job-seeking skills such as networking, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, as well as professional skills such as impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, presentation development and effective meeting management. Focus on ethical practice and understanding of effective long-term professional development activities.
As a teacher, my hope is always that I’ve shared at least one thing with each student that they might remember/find useful.
I asked one of my former students, Yosan Mascio of Park & Morris, to share what she took from our time in class together. Here’s what she had to say:
The class encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone when applying to jobs/networking. For example, when looking for jobs, I was able to confidently tell the person interviewing me what I wanted to do and when networking I was able to see if there would be a possibility for us to connect in the future.
Here are two of her takeaways she’d share as advice to other students/recent grads:
1. You’re never being too creepy when it comes to LinkedIn and networking. People love connecting and getting a chance to give advice. Finding a common ground with someone via social media is easy and going from there is not as scary as it seems.
2. The importance of informational interviews because I learned that’s when the person is most candid about your prospective field or job you want to get into. That is the best prep you need before your actual interview somewhere.
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