by Carly Perriman
So you’ve picked your major and are ready to begin experiencing college as a public relations student. Now what? The process is exciting but also raises some questions, especially about the major. Allow me to begin by warning you that this is the major no one will fully understand. You’re definitely going to get tired of explaining to family and friends what you want to do for a living. You’ll get asked “Oh, public relations, so a publicist.” And you’ll have to reply, “No Aunt Sally, not a publicist: public relations professional” or whatever specific title you hope to attain in the future.
Let me give you a bit of a rundown as to why you picked a great major. Throughout your time here at Long Beach State, you will take courses that provide the foundation and real-life training for a career in public relations. You will also get the opportunity to work as staff writers, editors, designers, and photographers with different departments on campus. This means getting real time experience in the field.
At Long Beach, the public relations department gives you opportunities not offered by other universities or majors. Many of the classes offered to you will give you hands on experience with public relations. For example, when I was taking a 470 course, which teaches digital media tools, I had the opportunity to help rebrand our very own Journalism & Public Relations department by creating content and pitching ideas for the class. This was a project that not only allowed me to attain knowledge on how to use real time PR in class, but use those assignments as building blocks to my portfolio that I can show to potential employers in the future.
The courses you take also assist in getting internships. Most universities and majors do not help you to get as involved in a potential career, especially prior to graduation. Not only are all of the professors in the department helpful with mentoring and guiding you through the process of getting an internship, but there is actually an internship course requirement. This can help students get ahead, since, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 95% of employers said candidate experience is a large factor in hiring decisions.
Many LBSU alumni from the public relations department have gone on to become bloggers, creative directors, event planners and social media managers thanks to the real-time experience and mentorships they received throughout their time in college. The courses you will take here will provide you with the knowledge and tools to help you thrive in the career path of your choice.
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