What I’ve learned… short form

January 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

As graduation nears, I look back on everything I’ve learned and I must say, I couldn’t have chosen a better path. Majoring in Public Relations and Advertising was by far the best choice I’ve made in terms of my education. And believe me, there were a lot of choices that led me to PR and Advertising.

Starting out college as a psychology major, it didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t want to be a social worker, which is about all you can do with a B.S. in Psychology. So I moved on to business, and although it was closer to what I wanted to do, it was far too broad for my tastes, and I needed something else. So I ventured around Portland, where I obtained my AAA Paralegal degree, yes it is 3 A’s—Associates of Applied Arts, while I was considering law school.

After deciding law school wasn’t for me, I left Portland and came back to Eugene. I’m not really sure how it happened, but for some reason, I all of a sudden found myself majoring in Public Relations and Advertising. Yeah, I didn’t see it coming either, but I discovered I absolutely loved it. Deb Morrison sucked me into Advertising, while Kelli Matthews got me hooked on Twitter, then John Mitchell told me why PR isn’t just “spin,” and I was stuck.

With graduation in only 19 short weeks, I’ve taken a step back to see what has really stuck with me:

  • You can’t make people talk to you online; you have to make them want to talk to you.
  • Networking is crucial to your existence in the industry.
  • Be an interesting person. Be curious. Be creative. Stand out.
  • You don’t always have to stay in the box. Take a step outside from time to time and try something no one has before. Be disruptive.
  • Keep revising. None of your work is ever really done.
  • Only show your best work. It’s better to show 3 pieces of really good work than 10 pieces of just-okay work.
  • It may seem obvious, but… Start thinking digital (if you haven’t already). That’s where everything is going.
  • Create content people want to share with others. If they’re not sharing it, it isn’t interesting enough.
  • Everything should have a plan and a strategy. Without the strategy, the final product will fall short.
  • Show people how you think.

As I prepare myself for the “real world,” I have a million questions, where will my education take me, where I’ll end up, etc… but what I can say is that I’ll be prepared and ready for the leap. Because I’m not taking the ladder into the pool, I’m diving in headfirst.

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