Posted At: May 3, 2012 10:30 AM
by Katie Bishop
As a soon-to-be college graduate in merely days, I cannot help but to focus this blog on the past four years of my life: The regrets and lessons learned.
I began my college career as a nursing major, and then for a semester an education major and then finally found my niche — public relations. If I have any regret about college, it would be not researching majors to decide what best fit me. To make up for the time I lost completing classes for other majors, I spent two summers taking a full load of classes. This time would have been better spent at internships and job opportunities. Word of advice: do your research so you can decide on the proper major the first time around. Don’t waste your time or money taking classes that you won’t need.
Another regret is not trying harder my first two years in college. As easy as it is to get wrapped up in the newly found independence we all receive coming into college, it is imperative that our studies come first. So cheesy, I know, but I regret not working up to my full potential when I had the chance. You will be working twice as hard during your last two years to make up for the lack of effort in the first two – and let me tell you firsthand, it’s no fun.
As a public relations major, there is one lesson I learned that I consider most important: how crucial your public relations courses truly are.
The University of Alabama gives its students the opportunity to take designated public relations courses, the first being Introduction to Public Relations. This is when you are just getting your feet wet, but it is the beginning to truly understanding the field and what it expects of us as public relations professionals in the future.
The next two public relations courses I consider the most imperative. Not only do you learn in great detail about public relations, but you also get hands-on experience. The first was Public Relations Writing. In this course, you write a communication plan and get the chance to write PR materials for a client.
As PR professionals, we are expected to be great writers. We are expected to know how to write news releases, audio releases, video releases and more. Work to your full potential in this course, because it is so important to know these things as you move forward.
The second is Public Relations Campaigns, a course that provides students with a real client and the chance to design and implement a public relations campaign. This is a huge opportunity to use everything we learned in Public Relations Writing and our other PR classes to create an amazing campaign. These two classes should be taken extremely seriously because not only are you completing class work, but also all of the class work can be great additions to your portfolio.
I am sure I could write pages about more regrets and lessons learned throughout my college career, but more than anything I would have wanted to know these. Take full advantage of the wonderful opportunity you have at college – it is your first true full-time career.