Learning to Swim

Keith Erps / October 24, 2014

After spending 136 hours in classrooms, I received a diploma. Printed on this piece of paper, in elaborate calligraphy, are the words “Bachelor of Science in Public Relations.”

Fast forward several months, I find myself sitting down at a desk. There is a computer, a few office supplies, a welcoming note, and a box of business cards. Printed on this piece of paper,in glossy new ink, are the words “ The Fearey Group; Production Assistant.”

The leap from the world of academia to the world of business, in my experience, has been a colossal change. The closest metaphor I can think of is learning how to swim. There is a lot of instruction outside of the pool, and you may dip your feet in the water, or even walk around in the shallow end. My time in school helped develop a lot of the skills that I would need, but most of my exposure to actual public relations work was purely conceptual, taking the form of case studies or imaginary clients. I knew what it was like to write a press release, compile a media list, research a client and countless other skills that are a part of the public relations process. However, there is nothing that can quite prepare you for that first time you jump in the water.

My public relations career is ten days young, but I have learned a few things during my time so far. I could delve into the idiosyncrasies of certain projects or compare the expectations I had from my time in the classroom to my experience so far in the real world. However, I think the best way that I can summarize what I have learned so far is in our company mantra, Fearless Thinking.

Fear of messing up, asking a dumb question or offering a bad idea can cripple anyone from utilizing their strengths and talents to further the goals of you as an individual or the goals of your agency.  Whether you are learning to swim or learning the business of public relations, the best policy is to jump right in and to always Think Fearlessly. We are an industry of creatives, developers, artists and innovators. In an agency with a team mentality like The Fearey Group, I am excited to continue to learn from the others around me.