On our October 4th meeting, we welcomed guests Leila Hernandez and Brigette Fine. Both women provided invaluable information on how we, as undergraduate students, can start furthering our education and our career.

Ms. Leila Hernandez works in the School of Communication (SOC) as the Program Coordinator for Student Affairs. She discussed numerous graduate studies within SOC, including Game Design, Journalism and Public Affairs, Strategic Communication, and Global Media. Hernandez also explained which degrees you can earn and how many years you would be studying. Even students outside of the School of Communication can complete one of these graduate programs, as they can be paired with your current major. For example, an environmental science major in the College of Arts and Sciences could earn their master’s degree in Film and Media Arts, and learn to produce a movie showcasing sustainability. The possibilities are endless!

After Ms. Hernandez concluded her short presentation, Ms. Brigette Fine spoke about her experiences with in-house and agency public relations (PR). An in-house department exists under a larger organization, while an agency is independent. Although Fine enjoyed both areas of work, she emphasized that they have many differences.

In-house work consists of determining what you do best. Employees in these departments will typically specialize in one field and work with a distinct audience. In this line of work, making personal connections tends to be less complicated, as you work with the same people frequently. On the other hand, agency work requires more multitasking. Employees are always finding things to do, and there is a broader range of work to be given. In agency PR, you will find a larger intended audience and various types of clients.

Despite the contrast between these two types of PR, Fine vouched for them both. Being able to work in both areas allowed her to determine what she liked and what she disliked from each. Once she finished discussing the aspects of PR, she shared useful tips for how to get yourself into this field. The best place to begin is through internships. Fine advised that we should get to know people that are already in the business when you are applying. This includes getting out of your comfort zone and inviting current employees to coffee, sharing your resume, and calling the firm to assure them that you are eager to work with them. She suggested joining any extracurricular activities, including clubs, to gain experience working with other people.

In short, our recent meeting gave insight to the ways we can work our way up into different fields within communication and public relations. Our two guests, Leila Hernandez and Brigette Fine, really helped explain what these areas have to offer.