After spending the past five months as a Production Assistant at Fearey, I wanted to document my experience and share some key learnings that came from my first post-College job the past six months. I hope it might be helpful for individuals just leaving College or starting out on their career in PR.
Coming into this role, I felt prepared, having had six internships under my belt and a clear, fresh mind from recently graduating. Though I was prepared, I had no idea what I was in for.
The agency life is intense, I knew that. But actually, being part of the team and feeling the pressure is no joke. If I wasn’t surrounded by my uplifting, determined and talented coworkers, I would have crumbled. The guidance that was given to me allowed me to grow and learn, while also producing work for clients that delivered toward their goals. It was the perfect balance of independence and supervision, a combination that is tough to achieve, but when done correctly, generates a sweet product.
As I head into the role of an Account Coordinator at Fearey, I wanted to look back and list a few things that may (or may not) help you in your job search or entry into the public relations “real world.”
- Ask Questions
This may seem like a funny one, but it can be daunting to ask people above you questions that you might think are “stupid.” Especially as the youngest person at the company, this is something that Ideal with on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Fearey has taught me that coworkers are here to help you, not look down on you or make you fend for yourself.
Asking questions can also mean asking for more projects or chances to be part of the conversation. I once saw a quote that said, “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” This is such a good reminder, because if you see an opportunity, no matter your position, speak up and ask to be part of it.
- Don’t Be Too Sensitive
I am an extremely sensitive and empathetic person, so it can be a challenge to turn that off when receiving constructive criticism or feedback. When in the public relations industry, it’s important to take feedback by asking questions, writing down common mistakes and accepting opinions of those who are higher up in your company. I always try and remember that constructive criticism is supposed to be helpful rather than hurtful. At Fearey, my managers and coworkers want to help me get better at my job, not worse, so remembering to listen and use their suggestions is important.
- Get to Know Your Coworkers
Now that Fearey, and many other companies, is 100% remote, it can be easy to feel like you are alone all day working or that you aren’t close to your coworkers. Once I moved out to Seattle, about two months into my position, I reached out to my coworkers and saw them in person (socially distanced and safely, of course). To this day, a few people from the team and I work from home together, making sure we connect on a level deeper than just work. As Washington has reopened, it has been exciting to grab coffee with some of the coworkers I haven’t even met before, even though we have been working together for six months! Fearey has also made it a priority to continue to do team building activities once a month, which I think has made the team stronger in turn.
For those who are newly graduated or are thinking about entering the professional world, things can be nerve-wracking and scary, for sure. Whatever happens, if you stick to your gut and be yourself, things will work out. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and how I can continue to grow and learn in the PR industry.