Coming into college, I thought I had it all figured out.
In high school, I worked at a local pharmacy and had big plans of pursuing a pharmaceutical career and opening my own hometown pharmacy. I started college as a biomedical science major, but quickly realized that it was not the path for me. I was struggling in my classes and wasn’t really that passionate about what I was doing. My dream had crashed and burned very quickly, and I knew it was time for a change.
There’s a common misconception that you’re supposed to know exactly what you want to do when you start college and that changing your mind is bad. I’m here to tell you that this is WRONG. Change is inevitable, in fact. It’s actually more common for a college student to change their major more than three times than it is for them to graduate without ever changing majors.
When I decided to change my major, I had no idea where to begin. I tried out a few different majors by taking introduction courses to find what I was really passionate about. None of those stuck. As somewhat of a “last resort,” I made a trip to the campus Career Center for guidance. After taking several personality assessments, they presented me with a list of suitable careers to match my responses. This was where I first learned about public relations.
There’s So Much You Can Do
What attracted me the most to public relations was the amount of variety within the career field. There are so many different things you can do with PR. What’s great about studying public relations is that you’re exposed to so many different types of classes, from journalism to marketing. You acquire a vast skill set when studying PR, which makes it so easy to pursue different types of opportunities.
The People Are Great
Another attractive quality about public relations was the community within our field. Those who study PR are typically very much alike. We’re all very creative people who love being surrounded by other creative people. We’re naturally drawn to each other’s personalities, which is what makes our community so close-knit. Here at Auburn, our program is relatively small, so we typically know everyone in the program. You become a family with those people who are moving through the program with you, and it’s so great to have that special connection with your classmates.
You’re Learning Real Stuff
Remember in high school when your teacher insisted that you needed to know how to graph a hyperbola because you “might need that skill someday,” even though you know you never will? In PR, you never have a moment like that.The coursework has been equally challenging and wonderful, constantly evolving and adapting to our growing and changing industry. In each class, you’re learning different functions of PR from real world examples, often with real world clients. Rather than being taught theories and concepts, you’re given real world experience in a classroom setting to prepare you for life beyond the classroom.
So, Why PR?
To be honest, I chose public relations on a whim. Nothing else seemed to work out, and what little bit I knew about PR before I made my decision seemed convincing enough to give it a try. I could not be any more satisfied with my decision. Every day, I fall more in love with my field. Each PR student is required to complete an internship prior to graduating, which is such a huge blessing. In my internship, I’ve learned so much and gained so much valuable experience that I can apply to my career post-graduation.
So, if you’re looking for a major and any of these qualities sound good to you, I would suggest considering public relations. If you’re a creative person who loves building and maintaining relationships, PR is definitely for you. The world of PR is constantly changing and growing, so who knows where PR might take you?