This summer, we’ve been privileged to work with an intern implant from Springfield, Missouri–Avery Klein. Avery has proven herself a trooper, juggling a multitude of last minute assignments due yesterday, an onslaught of media coverage reporting and, of course, goat petting during our first, annual team fun day! (Avery’s favorite goat, Chester, is pictured)
On August 9th, Avery will return to Missouri, but not empty-handed. She’ll take with her a renewed love of her major–public relations–and all the beauty and wonder that Oregon has to offer. Not only did she spend 25 hours per week with us during her time in Oregon, but she also made visits to the Oregon Coast and the Blue Heron French Cheese Company petting zoo. (Pictured is her run-in with an emu!)
Here are Avery’s thoughts on public relations and how other students can get a leg-up on the industry.
1) You are a public relations major—why PR over, say, advertising? What draws you to PR?
When I first entered college I had my mind set on the medical field and the possibility of becoming a physician’s assistant. Midway through my first semester I realized there was NO way I could complete four years of chemistry and biomedical sciences, so I went in a completely different direction and fell in love with the PR program.
PR excites me! There are so many directions you can go! Do you want to work for an agency or a corporation–maybe the government or a nonprofit? I love the idea that my future isn’t set to one particular industry and I have flexibility to choose where I want to be. I also love the networking aspect of PR–meeting PR professionals and learning about their experiences in the field.
2) Is there one facet of PR that is especially intriguing to you, say digital strategy or events? If so, which one and why?
Anything social media fascinates me. It’s a great way for organizations to connect with their audiences and I’m always interested in learning about the newest social media outlet. For instance, I’m working on a presentation for my internship about video apps, specifically Vine and Instagram Video–it’s something I could spend hours reading article after article about.
3) You graduate from Missouri State University next summer—what is your post-grad dream job?
The “plan” is to work for a nonprofit because I love the idea of helping an organization share their story with the world. Plus nonprofits typically don’t have the largest amount of resources, so i’d be expected to wear a lot of hats and perform several varying tasks–and I like that. Geographically speaking, Portland has proven to be a pretty amazing place to live and work, maybe I’ll come back here!
4) What advice do you have for students considering majoring in public relations?
Network, network, network! This industry is so much about the connections you make and the name you build for yourself. Doing internships is pretty high on my list as well; it’s a great way to gain real world experience and to test your career path. Also don’t stay in your college town bubble—get out and intern in different cities in different states on different coasts. It may be scary at first but trust me, the experience is well worth it.
Note: Prichard Communications hires three to four interns per year, most of whom are college students with bright futures in the public relations industry. Each term, we have a chat with our interns about their motivations for joining the public relations industry and the advice they’d share with students considering a career in the field.