By: John Lee | @leeeeyonce
September 30, 2017
Let’s be honest, graduating college is exciting, rewarding and a huge accomplishment. It’s a kick start to many of our careers and is a stepping stone to becoming the best professional we can be. However, with that sense of achievement, there also comes fears of failure, confusion and not knowing where to go next. Thankfully, our PRSSA chapter had Paige Vaughn to offer her insights on what to do after college and how to navigate this sensitive time of our lives.
Vaughn graduated from Texas State University with her degree in public relations and writing. After graduation, she started working at Weber Shandwick for a brief period until she realized she wanted to work for a larger firm. She now works at Edelman, the world’s largest independently owned public relations firm. At first, she started off in technical public relations, but she soon transitioned to consumer. It was there that she found her passion and what she truly loved to do.
Many PR students believe that the industry is centered around social media and events. However, Vaughn explained that it is only a small part of what she does. Things such as media relations, project management, research, and writing are all part of PR and are a part of her day to day tasks. She also explained that as growing PR professionals, we should keep a business mind and become proactive thinkers. Challenging herself has made her become a better PR professional, as well as doing things she didn’t know how to do.
“Working as a young PR professional, it is your responsibility to bring integrity to yourself, to your client and to the media,” Vaughn said. “I had this idea of what PR was, where it was centered around social media and events, but I truly found the more meaningful side to it.”
She also gave insight on how you can set yourself apart in an industry that is so competitive. She encouraged us to be a real people and capitalized on what makes us unique. We are all individuals, so we have to understand why we are different and what makes us valuable. Also, to be more resourceful and to be multitalented in terms of your skills. The more skills you have, the better you are able to serve your client and achieve what they want.
Graduating college and not having a plan is intimidating. However, through Vaughn’s words of advice, we have gained some insight on how to make the transition less stressful. Life after graduating is humbling and all about being optimistic and open.