In The Real World…

By: Julia Prendergast

This summer I was thrown into the deep end of the PR industry, and the Communication and Media Studies program at Carleton was definitely my lifeline.

I spent two months interning for a full-service market research and communications group, more specifically dealing with broadcast and digital PR. I was required to not only do the dirty work (coverage reports, anyone?), but also work on some of the amazing campaigns they had running throughout the summer. I got there and was tasked with writing a script for an editorial video to be released online – I thought I had hit the jackpot in terms of an internship.

In many ways, the internship was amazing. Public relations, as an industry, is both fast-paced and inspiring. Sitting in on brainstorming sessions with my talented peers did nothing but motivate me to think bigger and work even harder. It’s also an environment that requires adjusting to; clients will contact you at any time of the day or night, and coffee is a must. My co-worker used to always joke that after working in PR, running in the office becomes habit.

The skills I’ve learned through the Communication and Media Studies program were more transferable than I could’ve hoped. Research methods and data analysis, while not my favourite subjects, became some of the most valuable knowledge I had in the working world. Understanding how to interpret data from quantitative and qualitative research is a must, and I worked with more PR surveys than I could count.

This program has made me not only a better communicator, but also more creative and more driven. The past two years have helped me to understand our mediated world in brand new ways, and have begun to prepare me for a great career. I can’t wait to continue to discover what else this program has to offer.

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