Okay, so while I may not have a compelling story of wisdom from lessons I’ve learned over a long-standing career in the industry, I have known that I’ve wanted to be in PR since 2012 (as I was eagerly driving the streets of Fresno with my learner’s permit), when ABC’s Scandal premiered. Watching Olivia Pope, crisis manager and “fixer” for political scandals, inspired me - I realized that I could share people’s stories and support something that I really believed in through PR. I was in.
While I wasn’t quite white-hatting it on Capitol Hill (but was sipping my cab a la Pope), I wasted no time in my early college years. I moved out of my childhood home at 18 into my first-ever grown-up apartment, took on a leadership role in my sorority, and landed my first internship my second semester of Freshman year.
It’s safe to say I learned A LOT during that first internship - I hadn’t even taken my first PR class in school, didn’t know how to use a fax machine, and had barely figured out how to fry an egg. It was the best experience, and gave me the confidence to apply for RPM PR’s first job opening, Administrative Assistant.
I dove right in, working as Rae’s right-hand woman (as I like to tell myself), attending events, providing support in media relations, coordinating social media efforts, and learning as much as I possibly could from her. I fell in love with the company and the atmosphere, and as the team grew, so did I.
I’ve been a part of the RPM squad a majority of my college years, and have always joked that I enjoyed going to work more than going to class - which is honestly such a blessing. After graduating Magna Cum Laude (toot toot) I started full time that following Monday, bright eyed and bushy tailed, of course.
I have always looked up to the other RPM team members, who now have strong sisterly roles in my life. Like most college years, there were ups and downs, and this team gave me a solid, consistent environment and were always there for me. I won’t spend too much time here on this one because I’m not crying, you’re crying.
So, like I mentioned before - I’m not a pro by any means - but I have picked up a few things along the way. If you’re just diving into your career, here’s some advice from a fellow 22-year-old grad:
Surround yourself with people who genuinely want the best for you. I’ve learned that this is the time to really develop deep relationships. You’re growing into the person you’ve always aspired to be, and it’s important that you have a support system to root for you during the good, the bad, and the ugly (and by the ugly, I definitely mean your breakdown after messing up Cauliflower Gnocchi for the sixth time).
Call your mom. You know what? It’s okay to call your mom to come over and kill *basically* a dinosaur-sized beetle. That’s okay. We’ve all been there. Seriously though, call her and tell her you love her. I’m also not going to get too sappy on this one because there’s a 99% chance my mom is reading this right now (hey, Diane), but just do it.
Don’t be afraid of a quirky first apartment. It’ll make for some of the best memories, like decorating the metal fish you got as a house-warming gift, or using mixed-matched silverware for your fifth box of mac-and-cheese that week. Then, you can upgrade later on because you’ll be an adult.
One word: Hustle. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that it’s never too soon to get experience. Against some family advice, I quit my hostessing job my Freshman year to take my internship (20% off dinners - that’s what I call a sacrifice) and before I knew it, I was working at some of the biggest events in the Valley, with our largest news affiliates, learning from seasoned industry pros. Now, I have my dream job at RPM PR at 22 years old, and it’s safe to say I’m #blessed.
While Olivia Pope & Associates might have misaddressed their job offer, I’d still choose Rae & RPM PR every time. For this next chapter, I’ll be here, sipping my coffee (on Monday mornings at 9a on @rpmpr) and soaking it all in.