NUPRSSA Social Media Chair Katie Smith’s Advice for Those Interested in PR

There have been several e-mails sent to the NUPRSSA account from prospective students interested in Public Relations, asking what they should major in. It is a difficult question to answer, because, as many of you know, Northeastern does not offer a major in Public Relations. 

This was a fact that was always in the back of my mind as I applied to colleges and almost deterred me from attending Northeastern.  I have known that I wanted to go into PR since my sophomore year in high school, and attending a university that didn’t offer my major seemed outlandish, regardless of the fact that it was my first choice school.  Ultimately, my love for Northeastern won, and I enrolled as a Communication Studies major, still determined to go into the PR field.    

Now, as a sophomore, I have come to embrace the fact that Northeastern doesn’t offer a degree in PR.  As a Communication Studies major with a concentration in Public Advocacy and Rhetoric, and a minor in Sociology, I have built my own degree, utilizing all of the aspects of the Public Relations that I love the most.  Attending NUPRSSA meetings has helped me to learn more about the field, given me the opportunity to speak to professionals, and apply everything I’ve learned to real-life projects.  I am also the Public Relations chair for my sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, through which I have gained more experience than I ever thought possible.

Through your interests, the student organizations that you’re a member of, and the classes that you choose, you can build a resume that’s equally, if not more so impressive than that of an actual Public Relations major from another university.  Case in point:  I am currently on Co-op in the Public Relations department of PUMA, North America.  In the working world, it’s not so much your degree that matters, but that you’ve shown a continued interest in gaining knowledge and bettering your skill set.  If you have hands on experience in a field, regardless of your area of study, you are automatically a more desirable candidate for any position.  It goes without saying that the more internships or Co-ops you’ve had, the better.

I still don’t think that there is a cut and dry answer to which major best prepares you for a career in Public Relations.  I do believe, however, that you can tweak any degree into what you want it to be by staying true to your aspirations and embracing the opportunities that are available to you.

Katie Smith

Social Media Chair

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