So you’re a PR major… Now what?

The hardest part of many people’s college careers is picking a major. Nailing down what study of interest is a great fit for you; and if you think like me: what area of study will turn into a career well-suited for you. Some people just came into this world knowing exactly what they wanted to do. Good for them, but if you are/were like me you got to college and didn’t have a clue of what subject area you wanted to concentrate on.

Finally on one breath-taking spectacular day, I saw the light. I wanted to be a Public Relations major! Yay, I had finally decided and all of the stress of picking a major was over. Soon enough I dove into internships and took advantage of the many opportunities the UO SOJC. Now what? I was at a cross road of finding a job. With my internship experiences I learned that I did not want to be in a solely event planning job, but I did not find out what kind of PR I wanted to go into.

Internships are just as helpful as they can be hurtful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t get internships (in fact I think you should have a minimum of two prior to graduation). However, during the whole getting internships process you need to think about what kind of PR you would ultimately like to start out in. If you have too many internships in another field of PR it might be more difficult to change your mind. Until my current internship experience I did not know I wanted to be in tech PR. Allow me to explain myself further. I have always loved technology, I even built a computer at home with my dad in high school. But I did not translate my love for technology to PR… because I wasn’t thinking about this next step. When I saw the job posting for the internship at Mobility PR, I knew I would love the work. So to save some non-guided students some trouble in the future, remember to think about things that interest you and to seek internships especially hard in these fields, so it will be easier to obtain a job you want! If you really are uncertain I would recommend obtaining internships that will make you a strong candidate for a full-service agency, like Edelman, so you can move laterally.

Best of luck,



Offer letters

The closer and closer we get to graduation the harder people are pushing to find a job. If you happen to be in the position to receive an offer letter… what do you look for, what questions do you ask… what do you do?

Just because you got an internship does not mean that now is a time to not apply for jobs. Even if your employer has talked about keeping you on, do not stop looking for jobs/internships. Worst case you end up with two (or more) interested parties, upping your worth and control of starting salary.

OK so your employer has started talking about keeping you on, now what? Personally, I recommend against being too interested or too open to the idea. It’s hard to not sound excited when someone is talking about offering you your first job, but play it cool. If you are too eager they can just low-ball you. And you wouldn’t want that.

If you have an interview elsewhere, and the timing is relevant, tell your employer. This will likely result in speeding up the process and or increasing the gauge of your worth to your employer.

OK say things work out and you are presented with an offer letter. Now what? Still stay calm. Do not accept the offer letter while you are in the moment. Many employers expect you to look over the offer and benefits, etc. An easy way to gracefully bow out of signing anything in the moment is to say something to the effect of “I would like to take a day or two to process.” Obviously the time frame might vary, and you should ask if the time frame works for them, but overall it’s a good way to have more time to think. There are certain items that you need to have a solid idea about after receiving an offer letter:

1. Heath, Dental and Vision insurance. Does the company offer these? Do they expect you to cover part of the cost for insurance out of your paycheck? If you have more health problems do they offer a tier one and tier two health care?
2. Stocks, if it’s a public company. Do you start out with some or do you have to buy them, etc.
3. Vacation Time. Working is important but so is paid vacation. Work hard play hard, and sometimes life happens.
4. Do they offer a retirement plan? Will they match up to a certain percentage of your salary that you save?
5. What holidays does the company close for. If you celebrate Christmas and have a family half the size of mine you know you need a lot of time off to see everyone.
6. Ask how frequent reviews are (good reviews equal raises this is usually annual).
7. If the company is located in a new city, ask about a relocation stipend. (Make sure this gets in your offer letter.)
8. Make sure you understand CLEARLY what your responsibilities will be.
9. Make sure the salary offer is enough to support you. There is no harm in tastefully asking for more money.
10. Go over the fine print with a mentor or parent. They have done this before and know what to look for.
11. Make sure all of this is in your offer letter. Remember, if it isn’t in writing… get it in writing.

Here are some tips to evaluate a job offer. What are tips you have prior to accepting an offer letter?