“What’s your major?”
Classic response: “Great! …What’s public relations?”
Needless to say, a typical explanatory conversation with fellow students, family members and friendly coffee house employees gets old. But to be honest, I wasn’t even sure what public relations was until I came into my freshman year as a PR major at the University of Texas at Austin. I knew Samantha on “Sex and the City” was in public relations. She seemed to have a cool job. Why not go for it?
As a junior public relations major at UT, I have learned that this business is demanding, fast-paced and a daily challenge. This was definitely the industry for me! The fall semester has just begun, but my Public Relations Techniques course is turning out to be one of my favorite classes. In this group project-based class, we work on analyzing and suggesting ways to enhance a specific non-profit organization in the Austin area. I am so excited to work with Ventana del Soul, a local non-profit that works with socio-economically disadvantaged families and at-risk youth in Austin to provide training services and job coaching in the culinary arts industry. As a firm believer that food (more specifically, chocolate) can fix almost anything, I can’t think of a better organization to provide public relations advice and counsel.
Outside of classes, I’ve gained experience by working with the College of Communication Career Services (CCS), the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center and the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) and I was ready to see what life was like at a public relations firm. During my time at the CCS, I worked on promoting the event to students and faculty of the university and wrote press releases to send out to The Daily Texan and other neighboring university newspapers. At the ACVB, I worked on various sales proposals in order to bring more meetings, conferences and conventions to the city of Austin. From the moment I moved to Austin three years ago I have been hungry to learn more about this city and what makes it tick. Working at the ACVB only encouraged my obsession with the “Live Music Capital of the World” and I gained valuable knowledge of the city and the hardworking people who help to make it the greatest town in Texas.
I am very passionate about environmental conservation and I hope to one day be able to use my PR degree to promote sustainable and ecologically friendly products and organizations. My internship at Ketner Group will allow me to hone my PR skills in a professional setting and I am so excited to be a part of the team!