On Friday, October 7th, I led a group of 30 students from James Madison University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) in Washington, D.C. for the day to visit four public relations (PR) agencies. We visited the agencies to learn more about the PR world, resume and interview tips and job opportunities. We visited Crosby~Volmer International Communications (where I interned this past summer), Edelman (my dream place to work), CRAFT DC and Porter Novelli.
The day went as followed:
7:15am – I arrived in D.C. to get all of my ducks in a row before the vans transporting the rest of the members arrived. It was a nice time to enjoy my Starbucks (chug) and ensure every little detail was set for the day.
9:00am – We visited Crosby~Volmer, where we were treated to delicious breakfast foods and were given great resume and interview advice. The main lesson that I took away from the visit was that every little mistake, even if it’s a tiny typo, can result in an organization passing over your resume – no matter your credentials. Paying attention to detail, especially in PR, is key. It was also nice to see everyone again that I worked with this past summer (picture from when I worked there).
11:00am – We arrived at Edelman and I was instantly in heaven. The office layout, the people, the culture, the clients… everything. I hope to work there one day.
Other than my endless fan-girl session, I did learn some great things too. After going through a resume review workshop, participating in a Q&A session from JMU-grads and hearing about some of Edelman’s biggest projects, I learned that getting experience whenever, and wherever, you can is infinitely valuable.
12:45pm – We ate lunch at Founding Farmers. If you need a description for this section, you’re missing out on some amazing food. Advice: Eat at Founding Farmers the next time you’re breathing… sooo, hopefully right now.
2:00pm – We visited CRAFT DC, a digital PR agency. JMU’s PRSSA had never visited CRAFT and after our great time at the office, I’m so glad I found it! Everyone from JMU was very interested in CRAFT because its work is so different from the other PR firms we visited during the day. Any place that can make propane tanks (pictured below) look cool is a #winner to me (photo from: http://bit.ly/2ds5gdL).
4:00pm – We arrived at Porter Novelli – one of my other favorite firms. I think I mostly like Porter Novelli for its cool work and its even cooler staff. I just feel like I’m hanging out with great, funny friends whenever I have visited the office. What better way to create awesome content for your clients than with people you truly enjoy being around? Porter Novelli is always a major hit, and the biggest lesson I learned there was: networking will get you places.
6:00pm – We hosted a ~majorly successful~ happy hour at Barcode DC. This was the first year (so I’ve been told) that we had such a great turn out for our happy hour. We received praises from all of the members and guests, which I’m still stoked about!
Overall, this was a great visit. I learned the importance of paying attention to details and the value of networking. I was reminded at every point along the day why I love PR and why I want to spend the rest of my life in the PR field. Although I am junior, I am getting more and more excited every day to begin my work in the “real world,” hopefully as a PR professional.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this day possible. I’m looking forward to leading PRSSA's next adventure in New York City!