By Lauren Cherry
Lauren Cherry joined RunSwitch PR in January 2014 as an Account Coordinator. Over the next year, she applied her skills in graphic design, media relations, social media campaigns, and brand development to deliver meaningful results for many of RunSwitch’s clients. Lauren’s hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed and she was recently promoted to Account Executive. In today’s blog post, Lauren shares her insider tips for successfully defining (and maximizing) your first year as a public relations professional.
1. Get a mentor.
Mentors are valuable assets in life after college and professors. They provide encouragement and constructive criticism that allow you to continue your professional development. Find someone in your company whose work ethic and outlook you admire. Ask them for guidance and leadership as you grow in your career. Prove to them why you’re a valuable time investment and they will not only become your cheerleader, but someone who is on your team for the rest of your career.
2. Sit at the table.
Be part of the team, not a bystander. Every Monday morning we have a team meeting where we discuss all current and possible clients. These meetings are a great opportunity to learn where you can be more involved and also provide your valuable creative insight. By sitting at the table with the team and not in the corner, you’re presenting yourself as an equal and give yourself the opportunity to become a leader.
Every day is a test on the job and there is no study guide for how to ace it. The material you learned in the classroom now has to be applied to real situations. You are responsible for creating possible solutions to every question. All of those solutions now involve a real-world scenario. Working relationships and community relationships hold a powerful advantage over the best test taker. The real world isn’t about making the grade, it’s about delivering real results.
4. Never say no.
Simply take “no” out of your vocabulary. Every challenge that comes your way has a solution. Those tests are opportunities to prove yourself and better your strategies. “No” is not an option when you don’t understand the project. Analyze situations and projects before you ask questions of your team members. Are your preliminary questions something you can find out on your own? Probably so. Ask for the background materials and, when in doubt, Google it.
5. Try new things.
The opportunities to stay engaged with your social network decrease tremendously outside of college. Gone are the days of the weekly sorority meetings, group projects or late-night publication team meetings. However, the opportunities to expand the diversity of your network and skill set increase. Be confident in growing your skills beyond your comfort zone. Be confident in your ability to represent yourself and your company’s brand at networking events. Be confident as the only millennial in a room full of CEOs and government officials. Seize the opportunity to learn and make connections. (After all, a baby shark is still a shark.)