To whom it may concern,
As the end of the school year descends upon us, my college career comes to a close. At the end of this chapter in my life, I cannot help but reminisce on my first days as a student at Auburn University. This is the time that life changing decisions are made. At this point in life, the status of one’s responsibility is in a bit of a limbo. It is a transitory period when it seems to be socially acceptable to act like a reckless child, if only to conceal the fact that you are actually panicking at the inevitable adulthood you are plunging into head first.
When I began college I did not realize the gravity of choosing a field of study, or rather, I avoided the gravity like the plague. My initial declared major was Elementary Education, because I love kids and it seemed easy enough. Despite this seemingly sound decision, by the end of freshman year I found myself thinking, is this who I am? Will these life choices fulfill me? My heart sank when I realized my answer was, “no.”
After grieving the loss of my previous life plan, I began racking my brain for a profession that I would wake up and be truly excited to be a part of everyday. Something that would push me to be my greatest self, with room for growth. I wanted something creative, something involving human relationships, something that keeps me on my toes, and something that is multifaceted.
At the beginning of my sophomore year in college, I discovered Public Relations. The side of PR that initially attracted me, as shameful as it is to admit, was the glamour. I idealized the publicists in the heart of entertainment, like Jonathan Cheban, the Kardashians publicist, former CEO of Command PR and founder of TheDishh.com. To be behind the scenes of such an industry, to plan events, to be important, it all sounded so wonderful. It embodied the confident, established adult I aspire to be.
Spoiler alert, the glitz, the glam and the high status clientele is roughly 1% of what PR actually manifests itself to be. It may seem like a young, eager professional like myself would be discouraged by this revelation, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn the truth about what this mysterious field of study is all about.
The best way I can describe public relations is that it is a study of communications, journalism, psychology, marketing and media. The single thing I love the most about this major is how much depth it has. There are so many things you can do with this degree, and PR is absolutely everywhere. If an establishment wishes to communicate anything to the public (which they always do), or a person is a public figure, public relations is a huge facet of their brand. I love learning about developing relationships, about the true value of services and products, creating marketing, promotional materials, developing campaigns and establishing brands.
In many cases, a public relations team develops the “face” of a person or entity. This may be interpreted negatively, and can certainly have a negative impact if done improperly, but part of being successful in this field is maintaining integrity.
Through my time as a PR student, I have accomplished so much more than I could have hoped. I coded my own website; I developed a real campaign; I know how PR works in Japan as opposed to Western culture; I even created my own logo (pictured, left).
I could not be happier with my choice. Though it is intimidating, adulthood seems much more hopeful. I am thrilled to begin my career in PR, whether it is planning an event for the Kardashians or maintaining internal relations for a hospital.
As you sift through the endless blanks of registration, and you check the box on your that determines the rest of your life (no pressure), I urge you to ask yourself, does this field reflect the person I aspire to be? Does this field push me to be my greatest? Is this something I want to do every single day? There is a great sense of calm that comes with knowing that I have found my, “yes,” and I wish nothing less for you