ProAm Day organized by PRSA Dallas Chapter it’s an event that every public relations student should take an advantage from. Each year multiple organization participate welcoming students to shadow them in their workspace. This has been the third time for me, when I got to go and meet some of the most excellent public relations professionals in Dallas and chat about their experiences.
This year I shadowed around Gail Chandler, who works for Texas Instruments public affairs communication department. Chandler also leads communications for TI’s citizenship and government relations activities, as well as, supports the Texas Instruments Foundation. During our day of shadowing I got to see Texas Instruments office located in Dallas and I got the grasp of what a day in the office look like. IT has a huge space and over 150 people working only for communication department worldwide.
I was very impressed with the in-house recording studio productions they have and how often they produce promo videos and other exciting projects. IT encourages its workers to volunteer for the community, which brings them all together to work for some great causes. Chandler has been with the company over 20 years, so she really knows it well and has a lot of experience in that field.
The second part of the day was a luncheon, which was hosted by PRSA at the Brinker International venue in Dallas. There were over 30 companies that took care of 50 shadowing students on April 22. Some of the job shadowing hosts were: Bell Helicopter, Edelman, FC Dallas, Golin, Hill and Knowlton Strategies, Hotels.com, Pepsi, Pierpont Communications, Richards Group, Southwest Airlines and many others.
After the meal, there was a discussion panel followed with a Q&A session. Panelists who talked about their experience were: Corporate Communication Consultant Jane Koenecke, March of Dimes DFW Communication Director Carmen Branch and James from Hill and Knowlton Strategies.
Panelists addressed the differences between working for nonprofit, agency and corporate public relations. They gave us an overview about their experience and how to work your way up to where you like to work. They also gave a lot of great advice for students who are on a job market and seeking for their internships and entry level jobs. They said cohesively that students should not be afraid to ask for help and should be proactive and persistent when trying to land a job in PR. Therefore, the best way to go about it is to make a personal connection because even thought, everybody uses email extensively these days, the resume sent electronically would probably not make you stand out. Also, networking is a huge part of public relations business also when trying to network and find the right people to connect with to help you get your foot at the door.
Another helpful advice when it comes to making ethical decisions (sometimes very hard decisions that you will have to make) is to always stay true to yourself and never do anything against your will or ethics. Also, always ask somebody else and their opinion if you not sure what to do!
With all that great advice and Q&A session, I feel now more confident going in to future job interviews. Also, I met some of the great professionals and I will keep in touch with them about their upcoming job openings and professional opportunities. It’s been a good day in Dallas!