Increasingly I have chatted with students studying PR and communications at universities who want to point out how irrelevant they think their courses are to “the real world” of working in journalism, corporate or agency PR. But really folks, relax. A uni or college course cannot prepare you for the specifics of any communications/PR job, but what you are learning are the important broad strokes that you can fine tune and apply when you start work. It’s important stuff to know.
It’s really important to focus on your ability to capture information and turn that information into the content you are being asked for by your class leaders or lecturers. It’s the same as when you join a news crew or PR team.
You also should recognise the difference in writing styles between a news story on a particular event and a feature you might be asked to write about that same event that analyzes its origin and impact.
Both these two points above are key to managing the challenges and opportunities of being a good all-round journalist or PR operative.
Consider this: You have accepted a job as a junior reporter on a large newspaper. At the interview stage the newspaper is looking for a solid person to join the newspaper’s State Politics reporting team. In the weeks before taking up the new job you study State Politics and follow the newspaper’s coverage closely. On the day you start work the Chief of Staff says there’s been a change of plan – and now they want you to join the Crime and Emergency Services reporting team.
How can you prepare for that? Well folks, a good college degree would certainly do the trick.
And I know, because that’s what happened to me.
Advertisement: You can finish your degree in a timely manner at University of Phoenix, where theyoffer accelerated degree programs.