By Jordyn Danielson, Supervisor at PRLab
During spring break, a group of students were given the opportunity to visit and learn from some of the largest public relations and marketing agencies in the world. These students sat in on discussions at Fleishman Hillard, Weber Shandwick, Jack Morton, Edelman, Burson Marstellar, Cohen & Wolfe, Ketchum, and Ogilvy PR.
All the students were either undergraduate seniors or graduate students. Each agency discussed who they were as a company, what expertise they can provide, and any positions available for entry-level jobs. It was an intriguing insight into what it is like to work for a large agency. Most of the speakers were Boston University alumni, giving the students hope that a job is in their future.
Key take-a-ways from the event:
- Networking is key.
The students learned from Edelman that when getting a job/ internship you need to follow up with the recruiter about once a month. The person from human resources was very honest with the group and advised the students to ask the recruiter how the best way to follow up is. She said that recruiters want you to keep emailing them.
- Agency life changes day to day.
At Weber Shandwick, the PR professionals spoke about the day-to-day course of agency life. In the morning, they come in to scan the news, but then everything could change. In a crisis, a company can call and say they need something to be fixed, edited, or changed. One of the women advised the group stay on your toes and learn how to adapt to quick changes.
- Finding a job can be by accident.
At Ogilvy, the students learned about the unique pathways for how the employees got their positions. One person got where he was because his resume was accidently based along by his brother and it ended up on the right desk. Another person was able to stay in touch with people from her internship and was begged to come back. Finally, the last person thought she wanted to work for a financial company and decided it was not the best fit. She then left to come to Ogilvy and found her spot there.
- Be honest with the recruiter, the manager, and yourself.
Lastly, at Burson Marstellar they advised the group to talk to your colleagues and managers around you to be happy in the work place. One woman said her commute to work is over an hour long. During the winter it can take a lot longer so she calls up her manager and asks if she can work from home sometimes. Since she talked to her manager up front she is allowed to work from home as long as everything gets completed on time. This is just one example of how communication in the workplace can benefit you.
This trip is highly recommended by students. This is also another opportunity where students get the chance to network with public relations professionals.