Q. Out of college, I landed a job through a friend of mine at an engineering firm, doing marketing. I have changed jobs since, going to another engineering firm to create their marketing efforts, however I’ve learned that this is not the field I want to be in. How would you recommend making a career change, without having to intern at a PR firm?
A. Although I didn’t join the agency world until after many years in corporate PR positions, I firmly believe agencies are the best places to begin PR careers. Young professionals and creative ideas flourish in most agencies; you get incredible hands-on experience and have fun in the process.
Although you want to bypass the internship route, you’ll find that most entry-level agency jobs are filled via the internship route. Either you advance within the agency where you intern, or the experience at one agency lands you at another.
A few other possibilities:
- Research agencies that have major engineering firms as clients. Those agencies might be willing to forgo an internship requirement due to your relevant on-the-job experience with two engineering companies.
- Respond to internship postings. Situations change rapidly within agencies and a full-time position could open, especially if you have relevant experience that meets an account staffing need.
- Keep an eye open for job postings within corporations where your current experience has relevance. Focus on larger companies since I suspect you would prefer being surrounded by other PR people. It is lonely for young professionals to be the sole PR practitioner in any organization.