This is your sign: It isn’t too late to change your major
Public relations is an extremely broad profession and can be taken in multiple directions post-graduation. It’s crucial to experience several of these routes during your time in school so that your preferences become more apparent when you near the end of your college journey.
Picture this: you start college as a psychology or journalism major. You take a few courses and realize you don’t want to be a psychologist or an editor. So, what’s next? Is it too late to change and switch your major?
I sat down with two public relations professionals to ask this very question. I cannot disclose their names and will refer to them as interviewees one and two.
Both of the interviewees did not begin college as a public relations major. One was a communication major and the other studied journalism; they both switched after their sophomore year at San Diego State. This shows that no matter where you begin, if you decide that you are not enjoying your studies, there will always be time to change your mind.
Next, we discussed internships and the benefits or drawbacks that they can provide.
“My first internship was with the San Diego Symphony, and honestly, it didn’t prepare me for my first real job,” interviewee one told me as we began our call.
Unlike my first interviewee, the second interned with the San Diego Chargers in 2017 and felt as though she was appreciated and received the level of experience needed to enter the workforce. She communicated with the press box, interviewed the players, and regularly ran to the print room. The internship started not too long after changing her major.
First internships can be difficult or highly rewarding. Interviewee one told me that her internship showed her what she did not want in a future career, while the second interviewee told me that it solidified her decision to work in PR. Make sure that you are putting time into researching these companies and feeling confident that you will get the most out of the internship.
Even after the two very different internships, they both had one thing in common- they work for a fast-growing, highly-professional digital marketing agency and hold respectable titles. One is a junior public relations strategist, and the other, an account manager.
“One tip that I would give to a college senior would be to just go for it. You never know what could come out of one conversation, no matter how scary it is for you,” interviewee two said to me.
Everyone experiences college and internships through their own lenses, but all students can lead to a successful career in the world of PR if they “just go for it,” according to my interviewees.
By Hannah Fogelstrom
Hannah is a senior at San Diego State studying public relations with a minor in religious studies. She has been an intern at Power Digital marketing since August 2020 and briefly interned at PDM before COVID-19. After graduation, she hopes to move to New York or remain in San Diego. She wants to work for a CPG agency or in entertainment PR.