It’s a question I get asked on a regular basis: “Why did you go to graduate school for
public relations?” I figure with the amount of inquiries I get related to this topic, it should really just turn into a blog post. So – voilà!
Many of you know that PR is one of those fields where practical experience is vital to the
industry. In order to truly understand the day-to-day work of the job, you have to immerse yourself in it. Seasoned professionals will tell you they got to where they are through hands-on experience, hard work, and learning from their mistakes. The thought process then usually jumps to the conclusion that it’s better to seek out an internship over heading back to the
classroom for another few years. But, “which option should I choose?” still lingers on the mind of many soon-to-be grads.
Let me start by saying, this debate isn’t about which option is the better choice. The real debate is asking yourself: which option is best FOR ME? There are always going to be pros and cons
associated with either decision. It’s not an answer that you will get from an honest blog post. The true factor in determining what’s the better option is figuring out what your logical next step is going to be.
There are merits in both decisions. Seeking out an internship after you graduate can be
valuable work experience. It shows you are ready to learn more about the field, and
truly get a sense of how the industry works. On the other hand, graduate school offers
you an in-depth look at how the field has evolved, and where it’s headed. As well, graduate school offers you the opportunity to refine the skills needed for the job so you can put them into practice in the real world. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Don’t ever be discouraged about learning more. The decision to gain more
education will never be a bad option.
Again, the true answer to this question won’t lie in the advice of a blog post. I came to my
decision by reflecting on what I thought was best for me at that time. Since I was
graduating with practical experience in the field already, I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the industry. It was a chance for me to learn more about why the industry exists, and how it’s constantly changing. At the end of the day, nobody can make this decision for you. Take the time to lie out your options, and evaluate where you are in your career. Throw away questions like: “Which looks better on a resume?” or “Is it worth it?”
Start asking yourself, “What is the best decision for me right now in my career?” You have the power to make the decision for yourself; you just have to trust that the decision you make will be the one that is meant to be.
Want to discuss the topic more? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson!