by Sahara Price
If you plan on pursuing a career in Public Relations, PRSA’s Pro Am Day is something you want to take advantage of. Never heard of it? I hadn’t until a couple weeks ago. I don’t know how this amazing opportunity had been kept off my radar during previous years.
I believe it’s a preview for students of what to expect after graduation.
Pro Am Day allows students to shadow PRSA members who work in corporate, agency or non-profit PR. Companies including Edelman, Mary Kay and Lewis Public Relations hosted aspiring PR professionals for the day.
Basically, you get to observe how a PR practitioner works then head to lunch where you can network with a room full of PRSA members and other shadowing students.
I got the opportunity to shadow Leah Ekmark Williams, the director of account services of C. Pharr & Company and president of the PRSA Dallas chapter. C. Pharr & Company is a PR agency in Dallas that mostly has business to business (B2B) clients.
During my time at C. Pharr, I spoke to employees who had worked there for years as well as the newer members of the team. They all gave me tips on how to land an entry-level job right out of college.
Dress for success
Interviews require professional attire, and dressing fashionably does not equal dressing professionally. Ladies, go for wearing either a pant or skirt suit. Guys, wear a suit and tie.
Don’t have a suit? Try dressing up your interview outfit with a blazer or cardigan. Never wear jeans to an interview (you’d be surprised at how often it happens).
Think before you post
Make sure your social media accounts are clean! Keep in mind the company you’re interviewing for. Pictures or posts that might be acceptable to one employer may be a deal-breaker for another.
Some employers even hire firms to research a potential employee’s social media accounts. If something damaging exists online, these pros will probably find it.
Practice, practice, practice.
We’ve all heard the dreaded stories of interviewers asking random questions like “If you could be any animal, which one would you be?” However, while there’s always a possibility for random questions to be asked, you shouldn’t obsess over these questions.
Instead, focus on these 10 basic prompts/questions and be prepared to answer in great detail:
– Tell me about yourself.
– Tell me about a difficult situation you were faced with and how you dealt with it.
– Tell me about a time when you were confronted with an unpleasant customer and how you dealt with it.
– What do you know about the company?
– What is your greatest achievement?
– Why should we offer you a job?
– What are your strengths?
– What are your weaknesses?
Also, be aware that most places require a writing test for job applicants. Don’t forget to study up on your AP Style Handbook and review common writing structures.
Network like a pro
It’s no secret, networking can absolutely lead to a job after graduation. Take advantage of opportunities, such as:
– Informational interviews
– Campus recruiting events
– Pro Am Day!
You never know where an opportunity may lead!