Going Back to College: An Inspiring Lesson on the Future of PR

UM students working on their group presentation

Millennials are often painted as lazy, entitled, impatient and unfocused but a group of college students with whom Jessica recently spent a weekend dispelled all of those stereotypes and gave us hope for the future.

At the first-ever PR Workshop for the University of Michigan’s Communication Studies program, 30 undergraduate students dedicated their entire weekend — giving up their Friday night and showing up at the ungodly hour of 8:30am on Saturday and Sunday (including having lost an hour to Daylight Savings Time) — to get a crash course in the public relations field.  UM does not offer vocational classes — nor did it when Jessica was enrolled there many moons ago — but because so many students have expressed an interest in the PR industry, the brilliant and energetic Susan Douglas, who heads up the department, decided it was worth doing a pilot program that involved alumni in the business sharing their lessons and knowledge with the undergrads.

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I Wish I’d Known That (AKA Advice for the Graduating Class – Part I)

We’ve spent a lot of time over our careers sharing advice with college seniors and recent graduates, and both of us have more recently spoken at our respective alma maters — University of Michigan and Ithaca College — to impart tips, tricks and lessons from our book, Be Your Own Best Publicist.

So, as the various schools finish playing “Pomp and Circumstance” and the throngs of young talent begin to take the walk from classes to corporate life, we wanted to share more of our favorite bits of advice to set them on their way.  We got so many great nuggets of wisdom from colleagues, friends and mentors that we’ve broken them into two installments.  Here’s the first part:
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Tips from the Trenches: Six Ways to Further Your Career

Over the last few months, we’ve been asked to share our tips from the trenches at colleges such as Manhattan College, Montclair State, Rutgers (and soon Ithaca College) as well as to professional, creative and alumni organizations including Advertising Women of New York, New York Women in Communications and The Hired Guns.

Last week, Jessica moderated a career panel for her alma mater, the University of Michigan, and the panelists — all successful alumni in different fields, from finance and e-commerce to fashion and food — had some great advice to share on how to be your own best publicist. Here are a few highlights:

 

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