Q. I am completing my junior year in college by studying in Italy for a semester. My parents fear I’ll be passed over for summer jobs by the time I get home in late April so they have started contacting prospective employers on my behalf. I cringed at first, but they seem determined. Is this a good idea? -CB
A. It’s only a slightly good idea if they personally know the people they are contacting. Blind calls by your parents to prospective employers, no matter how compelling their pitch, are not recommended. Employers will simply question your interest and initiative since you still could and should initiate contact via email from Italy. In addition, you can underscore your desire to pursue a PR career by doing something that sets your semester abroad apart from others, and can be shared with prospective employers. Perhaps write travel or study-related blog posts, provide PR help to a local nonprofit organization or write a case study about your experience.