The Family Business

By Andrew Ketner, Intern

When I was growing up, I had no idea what my Dad did for a living. I knew that he went to work every morning with a briefcase and came home every evening in time for dinner. I distinctly remember an episode from my sixth grade Spanish class in which our teacher asked each student to state the occupation of his or her Dad. When it was my turn to speak, I frantically flipped through the pages of my mind’s Spanish-English dictionary and stumbled upon what I thought at the time was a suitable if somewhat incorrect answer: “A businessman.”

Fast-forward ten years, and I am now a proud employee of my Dad’s formerly unknown business. I never thought I would work for my Dad, much less for a PR firm, but I guess you could say that I didn’t have a choice. I was about to embark on a 7-week study abroad program last summer and was trying to find a job under the broad heading of “prelaw” that I could hold down for the remaining five weeks until the start of the fall semester. Turns out that no one wanted to hire me just for five weeks (surprise). So, whether it was because he didn’t want a jobless son or because he simply wanted to increase the male quotient at the office (see this former blog post), Dad hired me.

Fortunately for the both of us, I ended up really liking the short-lived gig and have been working at the Ketner Group since I graduated from The University of Texas this past May. I still plan on going to law school next fall, but decided very quickly after college that there really isn’t such a thing as a “prelaw” job and that I might as well work at a place I know I’ll enjoy. In fact, working at a PR firm is probably one of the most useful jobs that a future lawyer can have. My undergraduate law professors at UT constantly preached that the most important aspect of being a lawyer is being a good writer. Lucky for me, good writing is the lifeblood of the PR industry and is a necessary element of sound, professional client representation. Sounds like what a lawyer does, right?

I’ve had friends with degrees in communication tell me that I should forget about law school and stick with PR. Although it would be nice to not go back to school, I’m quite certain that the lawyerly life is the life for me. However, on the off-chance that I get to law school and end up hating it, I can always come back to Dad and ask for a job. After all, it’s the family business.