Written by Katherine Wylie, Account Executive for JAJ Enterprises.
Students spend the majority of high school preparing for college. Then, spend the majority of college prepping for the proverbial “real world.” Year in and summer out, most students bear the burden of finding relevant internships that will bolster their résumé, ensuring they will be competitive candidates as graduation looms. Within the field of journalism, experience trumps both GPA and course load in the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers alike.
This sounds daunting to those who have been unable to secure internships every summer, but it is important to remain positive. As a soon-to-be graduate who spends her days lurking on every job board (Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter.com, Glassdoor.com, Monster.com, etc.) and stalking every LinkedIn account executive from San Diego to Seattle, I am here to tell you that your journalism degree is one of the most flexible and versatile in the job market.
Though the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication is divided into four distinct majors, my experience scouring the job board has proved that careers in communication largely overlap. Many qualifications required for these positions involve experience from each of the SOJC majors, and often include various marketing duties. The broad scope of skills that the public relations sequence has instilled in me has proven to be an almost perfect match for any communications position out there.
As public relations majors, we utilize our strong writing skills, an ear for tone and a knack for reaching segmented audiences. In any industry, this particular artillery will make adapting to a new position a breeze.
The communications industry is vast and ripe with opportunity for public relations professionals of all interests. Whether you’re striving for a position at a traditional PR agency, or seeking to improve the internal communication within a medical device manufacturing company, your skills are worthy, wanted and in-demand. We as eventual SOJC graduates will be prepared to take on, and grow, into any role that we embody.
It is important to remain open-minded in the face of the intimidating job search. Know your worth, be willing to adapt and remember that your degree is so much more than public relations.
Katherine Wylie is public relations major who will graduate this June. She is an account executive working with JAJ Enterprises and serves as AHPR firm editor. Outside of the SOJC, she is the writing tutor at the UO Center for Applied Second Language Studies.