What does life look like after college for a Public Relations (PR) student?
Ashlyn Snuckel, graduated from DePaul University in 2014, with a PR and Advertising degree. After college, she worked her way up to becoming the Lead Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for CBS Radio/670 The Score. She currently works as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator at GumGum in Chicago. She has volunteered with many organizations including The Chicago Bears, ESPN, and The United States Olympic Committee.
(Look at his shirt in the movie, “The Intern”)
I asked her several questions about her experience in the PR profession, in order to benefit current students.
Q: Why did you choose to major in Public Relations?
A: When I was first deciding my major I was looking for one that would let me be creative and work in an industry I was passionate about. At the time that was sports and entertainment. I began taking the classes and it started to feel like a good fit for me. I liked how broad the PR field was and that I could mold it to my interests.
Q: What things have you noticed that stand out to an employer when they are looking at a resume or during an interview?
A: Obviously past experience is important. They want to know what work you’ve done and how it can be applied to the position and company you’re applying for. It’s also helpful to have specific examples. Anytime you can answer a question with a particular situation on what you’ve done or a problem you’ve solved, that’s best.
Q: What did you wish you knew then about PR that you know now?
A: In my experience, a lot of what happens in this field is through your connections. I received a recommendation for my first internship from one of my professors. I then got a job out of it and two years later, got another recommendation for my current job from my then boss. Even now at the agency I work at, everyone knows everyone and is linked to another agency through past connections. As you grow your career in this field, you’ll notice how small it is. The best thing you can do is form relationships with those you meet on your way up.
Q: What skills did you learn in college that you use now in your profession?
A: College did a good job of giving me a strong foundation that I have been able to enhance with professional experience. I think a lot of it has been discipline and working in teams – which wasn’t always my favorite thing to do in school. Once you start viewing your classes as practice for a career you’ll have for the rest of your life and less of it as “just passing,” the more success you will have.
Q: If you could give any advice to a current PR student, what would it be?
A: Get as much experience as you can. Big or small. Volunteer at everything and anything you’re passionate about or even interested in. It’s a good way to build your resume before getting your first job or internship that applies to your major.
I would also suggest trying out different things you may be interested in while you’re in school. Taste test everything. It’s a lot harder when you’re out of school and start feeling the pressure of settling in on a job or career path.
With that in mind, don’t feel like you need to get your dream job right out of college. Each professional experience should be a stepping stone. As long as you’re taking steps in the right direction, there’s no rush to get anywhere. Enjoy each experience, meet new people, and make connections. You’ll never know how they’ll help you down the road!