Interns with Pegasus Creative, Oglethorpe’s student communications agency, attended the annual Real World PR Conference, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America Georgia Chapter in February.
Participating in the all-day event meant that students were able to mingle with fellow PR students, professionals, and companies all in the same room. Various panels were held throughout the day, including some on the differences between working in different PR sectors, the secrets behind Arby’s show-stopping Grammy’s social media campaign, and also how to simply get a job in PR. Students met some of the top companies in Atlanta, such as Ogilvy Public Relations, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Focus Foods Brands, and more. Heather Johnston ’17 who is considering working for a nonprofit organization, and is a Pegasus Creative intern, found the first panel she attended to be the most helpful: “When we were talking about the difference between corporate, agency, and nonprofit PR, it really showed me that as different as they are in theory, there are a lot more similarities to all of the sectors than I originally thought. And also not only that, but that a successful nonprofit can be operated like a corporate office.”
The keynote speaker for the event was Kat Cole, group president for Focus Brands Inc., who had an extraordinary story to tell about her difficult upbringing in which she was responsible at a young age for caring for her younger siblings. Kat was able to succeed despite her circumstances by working her way through high school to save money for college and was able to work her way up the corporate ladder. Her speech not only resonated with students, but with professionals of all levels, and helped them realize how they could apply her life lessons to their brand.
Rachel Millin ’16, also a Pegasus Creative intern, loved “the exclusive opportunity to network with various employers in a smaller space than usually is offered at career fairs.” With many opportunities available for students to apply for internships and full-time jobs at the conference, it was hard to not enjoy the exclusivity of the event. Another beneficial opportunity was the chance for student attendees to have their resume critiqued by industry professionals on-site. Having this one-on-one session with a professional to find out how I could tailor my resume to my career goals was something that I personally felt was the highlight of my day, since being able to essentially be handed a map of how to create an almost-perfect resume for PR is priceless.
While I may only be freshman, I learned a lot about not only PR, but myself, in the day-span that I spent at the Real World PR Conference. I have not only a better understanding of what I want to do professionally, but now feel like I have the tools to not only share here on campus, but to make the best out of my four years here at Oglethorpe University.