BU’s chapter of PRSSA has been involved in on site visits to PR firms and interesting companies like Google and Hubspot in addition to our weekly meetings. Last Thursday we visited PAN Communications to have a Q+A with current employees, and also join their happy hour called “PAN Pub.” All PRSSA members are welcome to come to these campus tours, and everyone should because they are an awesome way to get familiar with the working world before actually being in the “real” world. Here are some of the most valuable things that I learned from our visit.
- Agency experience prepares you for a career of success: Everyone at PAN says they feel confident in any work environment because of their ability to juggle multiple clients well, and contribute to a team. Agency life seems overwhelming at first, but if you are in the right place it will teach you more than it will drain the life out of you. Before moving in-house, agency life may the right move to acquiring a lot of useful PR skills fast.
- You should wait for the right fit before taking a job: Before graduating it can be easy to think that the first offer you get is the right one. Nobody has it figured out like you think, even your friends who are studying finance and have had a job since freshman year. It make take a while to find “the one,” but once you do you will thank yourself. You will never have a chances to take a three month gap anyways, so make the most of it. PAN offered many of the women we spoke to a flexible, friendly, and genuine environment.
- Everyone makes mistakes: When we start our careers we will mess up, but that’s okay. It can be easy to think that the smallest thing is the end of the world whe you managed to get your career started, but in the long run it’s better to admit your mistakes and learn from them. PAN is a supportive environment where you can feel comfortable telling your Senior Account Executive you forgot to do something.
- It’s important to feel like you are a part of a good culture: PAN has a phenomenal culture that many of the people we spoke to said was the driving force of working for the firm. The weekly Thursday happy hour, PAN Pub is only the start to an environment that is fun, productive, and full of intelligent people. Starting a career means you’re going to start spending a lot of time in a new place, so you should enjoy the people you are around. You may even meet some of your best friends at your first job.
- You’re interviewing the company too: Everyone had pointers for what to look for when you walk into a job interview. You should make sure you like the people first and foremost, and then you should also look for examples of the initiatives the interviewer is boasting about. It can be the case that many employees don’t actually use the cool office gym or flex time, and the culture is nothing like what they are saying. Find your go to questions to make sure that you’re in a place that you want to be everyday for a while.
Not only was the visit to PAN super fun, but we also got to learn more about agency life, and pointers for starting our careers. For more opportunities like these join PRSSA.
by Alia Al-Chalabi