Written by: Isaac Haight
Our Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA Chapter at UW Oshkosh traveled to Chicago for a regional conference March 7-8. On the first day everyone who participated was invited to tour several agencies. The two agencies we toured included FleishmanHillard Inc and Edelman.
At Edelman a number of recent college graduates with various positions at the firm led a panel where students were able to ask questions regarding their jobs and how they attained their positions. Students were also able to ask about the company, the work environment and the general job field of public relations.
Questions posed by the students ranged from resume and interview tips to activities professionals do outside of their jobs, along with everything in between. The panel took turns answering the same questions and how each obstacle or task was completed or handled personally. This offered a sense of variety to each answer and kept the answers from being cliché.
Besides the panel discussion we were able to view the work environment and the floor layout, which was very modern and open. Many rooms had windows looking out over the city with comfortable furniture that created a very connected and collaborative work environment.
After the tour at Edelman our group traveled several floors lower where we toured FleishmanHillard. They gave us a presentation and detailed some of the products and brands they work with on a personal level. Some of the experiences and knowledge of products were quite intriguing as different professionals worked with big name brands such as Gatorade and Gerber.
Following the presentation the group asked questions and were able to pick their brains on how certain things work in agency and how to get your foot in the door. Along with being active in clubs and a good student, many of the professionals started their careers through internships. They stressed that experience is key and to gain as much of it as possible.
Like Edelman, FleishmanHillard was an extraordinary work environment, but differed in the sense that it seemed a little more business-like. Everyone still had a desk despite the fact that they are a team-oriented agency.
The majority of our group from UWO concluded that the agency tours were very beneficial since it was able to give us insight into agency life and the work and experience needed to thrive in a very competitive industry. It was a great eye-opening experience for many of us and hopefully helped our members make connections that they will have throughout their careers.