How PR Changed My Life

In one of my very first posts, I spoke about how I think I was always meant to do something with PR. As time has gone on, this feeling has further driven itself into my soul.

When I came to college, all I wanted was to be a historian. All I could think about was getting my Ph.D. in History and working for the Smithsonian. As my college career is winding down, all I can think about is how I am determined to make my public relations minor into a career.

At the start of my PR minor, I fell in love with journalism. I can recall many days where I would text my dad to give him updates on my classes. Whether I wanted to admit it or not (since often times I am stubborn and do not like admitting what I know is happening), I knew I was onto something in the journalism department. Even during my 2000-level Reporting & Writing for Media class I knew something just felt “right.”

The feeling began to change, however, when I took my Editing and Intro to PR courses in the same semester. These courses were the first time InDesign was placed before me and all I can remember thinking was I would never be able to use a system like CreativeCloud. My self-confidence was so low I don’t even think you would be able to find it in the tunnels under Baylor’s campus.

I was falling in love with the journalism department, but I needed to prove to myself I could handle what was placed before me. Much to my shock (though I’m not sure anyone else’s), my mock communications campaign for Editing over Wounded Warrior Project received nothing but praise. On that same note, my communications campaign for my Intro to PR course got an A. I still keep the plan book I helped create in the back of my portfolio.

Along with gaining self-confidence, it was during my Intro to PR course I realized how much I wanted to work in public affairs. While I was still learning what PR was, I didn’t realize how much it surrounds the world we live in. So much of the world we interact with is involved in PR somehow. The more I explored public affairs, the more I learned this could be the way I combined the two things I loved in college, and in general – history and PR.

This past semester I completed my final two courses for my PR minor. While Media Programming & Planning was a good class, the course I was most worried about was Advanced Public Relations. APR had quite the reputation and it scared me. I will admit I had an anxiety attack the first week of class. All I would think to myself was PR was my minor so I cannot possibly compare to everyone else. I convinced myself I did not have the skills or the experience of the PR majors. Again, I lacked self-confidence.

Going through APR was hard. I was attending school full-time and working as a full-time intern. Everything was much harder than I ever expected it to be. On top of that, I was also trying to volunteer with Veterans of Baylor as much as I could. However, if it had not been for APR, I would have never received real-world experience in the workplace.

Whether I was planning events, managing a social media account, or writing, I was continually refining my skills. My entire internship at Allen Samuels DCJ was defined by communication with clients and I loved every minute it. I spent my internship standing outside hotels talking to potential customers, sharing coffee with vendors, and attending events as an Allen Samuels representative. These are things I would have never imagined to be doing at 21-years-old.

While things were stressful at times, I enjoyed my time working in business development for the dealership. I experienced new things and everything was extremely rewarding.

As my internship is winding down, I know I am ready to move forward into the next phase of my career, wherever that may be. I love history and I’m so thankful I chose history as my major for college. My time in Baylor’s history department has been nothing but rewarding, yet, being a historian is no longer what I desire for my life. Combining history and PR, working in public affairs, this is what I desire.

I have learned to stop trying to guess the future, so I have no clue how the next five, 10, or 20 years of my life will play out. All I know is whether I am a PAO in the Navy or a federal civilian employee, I am determined and driven to make these desires a reality. History gave me the background I needed to reach this point, and PR will be what will take me to the next level.

P.S. – I do still wish to receive my Ph.D., but it will probably be in something like International Relations or Law, if not both.

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