Career Aspirations and Public Relations

At the beginning of the school year, I felt that I had a decent idea of what I wanted to do with my life, and how PR would play a large role within my goals.  I had taken CAP 115 the semester prior, and discovered a knack for the field.  After two years of chasing after different degrees in almost every field you could imagine, I felt that I had finally found my fit.  What I really enjoyed was how much writing the careers in the field involved.  One interest of mine that has never wavered is my love for writing and the English language.  With PR, it appeared that I found an area of study that incorporates writing and critical thinking all in one, and offered a promising and vastly expanding career field along with it.  I decided to pursue it. 

This fall, I made a full commitment to the field.  I filled my schedule with pre-requisites and other introductory courses; the most crucial one being CAP 220: Introduction to Public Relations.  This class in particular helped me come to the realization that I’m not 100% sure what I would like to do with a degree in this area.  I still enjoy the subject matter-and am still very passionate about it-but the more we discussed, the less sure I have become.  I started off feeling that I was favoring the firm side of PR pretty heavily, and really aspired to do firm work post-graduation.  However, CAP 220 really made me shift my preferences.  There have been a couple of class sessions in particular that have really made me reshape-and even reconsider at some points- my aspirations in the PR field.  The classes that really made me think about what I aspired to be were the classes where we had guest speakers who worked in different branches of PR come in and discuss what they do on a daily basis.  To name a few, our class had firm workers from the Grand Rapids office of Lambert, Edwards, & Associates, health communication specialists from Spectrum Health, and corporate workers from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  All of these visitors were very in depth and thorough with their presentations, and really gave us a good look into what goes on in a daily basis.  These presenters in particular made me really evaluate whether or not this was a field I should consider.  All of these speakers showed me that at its best, PR involves creative influence and innovation in order to garner public interest and awareness, and sometimes inform the general population.  However, once that interest is there, it seems to be a lot of the same work every day.  Maintaining consumer interest after a successful campaign appears to be a lot of the same work every day, which sort of reduced my interest in all aspects of PR for a little.

Although I am unsure exactly what I want to do with it, I am still very confident in my choice to pursue this degree.  Public relations is, at its core, a branch off of critical thinking.  PR workers must be primed for a crisis, and reacting to a crisis involves a quick and creative response that has must be well executed and well thought out.  This is the aspect that I really enjoy.  Critical thinking is something that I have always valued in myself, and something that PR courses at the university emphasize.  This is what I continuously enjoy about the field, and keeps me coming back for more.

So overall, I guess you could say I’m not entirely sure of my aspirations in the PR field.  Would I like to work in a corporate PR division or a firm?  Yes.  Would I like to work in another field that sees the value within a PR degree because the field of study nurtures creativity, promotes good writing, and builds critical thinking skills?  I think that I would enjoy that as well.

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