It’s been a long time since I’ve come to you with a College and Career Diaries. You all seemed to really enjoy them, so there will be more in the future.
Today’s interview is with someone that I really admire. Her name is Gabrielle “Gabby” Lintz and it was truly a pleasure to interview her.
She just graduated from the University of Central Florida, with a major in Advertising/Public Relations. It’s only been a couple of months since graduation and she has already landed a job in her field. Gabby was the president of Her Campus, an online female magazine organization (that I also happened to be a part of). She is so sweet and I’m sure you will get to see her personality as we get on with the interview.
Here are some pics of the lovely lady.
So without further a due, let’s begin.
- Can you explain what public relations is?
PR (public relations) is basically the liaison between the media and the public and your brand. So as a PR rep, you would be representing the company. You’re kind of like the voice of them. You work with the media to get coverage. You handle crises. You’re kind of the voice of the brand.
2. What aspect of PR do you want to pursue and why?
What I liked about the Advertising/Public Relations major is that it was a mixture of advertising and PR. The job that I’m going to start is a full service creative agency which means that they do advertising and PR. I like the social media aspect. But I do love writing, so I like press releases and all of that stuff. So I guess what I’m pursuing is something where you can do all of it.
3. Have you had any internships? Where? How did you go about getting them?
My first internship was when I was home for a summer. It was my sophomore year. I worked with an ad agency. They were also full service so they did do their own PR efforts. They wrote their own press releases. They worked with the media directly. From there it was easier to get internships, once you have your foot in the door.
So I worked with a digital marketing agency, which was a little bit different than PR. They focused primarily on all digital advertising. It wasn’t traditional advertising or traditional PR.
I also did non-profit. With non-profits, sometimes they have a PR firm that they work with. But, I also wrote all their press releases and all their copy. I didn’t work directly with the media, but that’s kind of where I started.
4. As a graduate, do you think it was kind of difficult or hard to get a job in your field?
It is harder when you’re just applying online because, you’re just another resume. It’s really hard but you have to make it your full-time job. You have to reach out to all your connections that you know can help you. I honestly think that’s how you get into a great position. It’s by who you know. It is also what you know. It’s hard just applying online blindly. So I had to reach out to a lot of people. That’s how I’m starting off my career- through people that I know helping me reach out to their connections and building relationships and things like that.
5. What’s been your job-hunting strategy?
At first I just started out with making sure my resume was perfect, post-graduation. Making sure my portfolio was up-to-date, my LinkedIn…Then from there it was just like, “Ok, I need to build a cover letter. I need to write cover letters for all of these places that I’m looking at online…”
I did apply a lot online. Some of them I did hear back from. But it wasn’t my top-choices. I really had to do a lot of research on Indeed, LinkedIn, JobSearch. But then after that, after being kind of unsuccessful with that for a couple of weeks to a month and a half, I just started reaching out to people I know. Like “Hey are you willing to help me?”. You’d be surprised to see how many people are willing to help you if you’ve already built that relationship.
6. Would you say that graduate school is necessary with your field?
I think that’s a personal opinion. I’ve asked a lot of people because I considered going to grad school. It’s still on the radar. I never know what I might end up doing. It just depends. I don’t think it’s necessary, especially with my major where it was very specific. You can definitely go to grad school for mass comm. at UCF and take similar classes and get your masters in that but, I guess it’s just a personal opinion. If you love school and you want to pursue your masters, I think it’s awesome. But, I don’t think it’s required.
7. What is a common misconception about people in PR?
That they’re snobby. I think that’s a really big misconception because I love writing so like I understand journalists…PR has to work a lot with journalists (PR representatives). That relationship, I’ve learned through my classes, PR reps can be viewed as kind of snobby and pushy to journalists. I think that’s just the misconception.
8. What advice would you give to someone that is starting out in the major, or trying to get their foot in the door in their career?
Definitely get as much experience as you can. Not only through internships but clubs too. I know UCF has the ad-club. They have the PR club. Those are all great sources to not only connect with your peers and learn a lot with the guest speakers and the tours…but also just to grow relationships and get a little bit of insight on the industry.
9. How do you think PR impacts society?/ Why is it important?
It’s important because they’re the voice of the company. If there’s ever a crisis your PR team needs to speak up about it and let people know, whether it’s negative or positive. If you don’t speak up or say anything that just represents you as a brand. So if something bad happens, they’re the people that tell the media or tell the world basically this is what is happening, this is how we’re going to fix it..It’s very strategic. I think it’s really important because they’re the ones that have to speak up and it really affects everyone around them.
10. If you couldn’t do PR, what would you do?
Magazine journalism. Just because they’re so connected and I love writing. I feel that I’m on both sides.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or comments for me or Gabby, please let me know in the contact section of the blog.
Have a wonderful day,