Hey there Scripps PRSSA – it’s me, your immediate past president! Thought you could get rid of me that easily? HA, nice try.
When your current VP of PR reached out and asked me to blog about what I’ve learned and what I’m doing, I audibly laughed. Me? A source of wisdom? I’ve only been gone for three months! Then I remembered how clueless I felt those three months ago. Don’t get me wrong, I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing, but I can give you a little insight on what to expect when you’re not expecting… to become an adult.
What happened to me these past three months
Looking back, graduation was an absolute blur. Maybe it was from all of the tears or maybe it was because everything happened so incredibly fast. In the blink of an eye, I was back in my parents basement and hitting my head over this very same keyboard while trying to find a job.
In the weeks leading up to graduation, I was actually going through multiple rounds of interviews with a company called Feld Entertainment. Feld is a global producer of live, family entertainment. Back in the 60s, Feld acquired the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. Through time, they gained a wide portfolio of properties ranging from Disney On Ice to Monster Jam.
To add to the craziness of graduation weekend, I was actually preparing for my final interview with Feld. This time I had to create a presentation on their newest property, Jurassic World Live, that included consumer research and three different marketing campaigns for the show. I gave this presentation the Monday after graduation and was offered the job almost immediately.
In this position, I’m essentially in charge of promoting all of the Feld shows that take place in three different markets. This ranges from media planning & buying, digital marketing, influencer marketing, PR, and developing any other initiatives that will drive ticket sales. On top of all of this, I also work directly with venues to build and price all of the seats for my shows. Basically, I do a bit of everything!
What it’s like to leave the best place on Earth
PRSSA does an amazing job of preparing you to be the super star of your internship and develop a flawless resume. I owe where I am now completely to the connections and experience I gained through this organization.
However, I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t do an amazing job in preparing you for the graduation to real world transition. New eboard, take notes because this is something I never would have thought of a year ago. Graduating and moving on to the next step of your life is more stressful and challenging than you would ever imagine. Nothing will happen “as planned” and you may even begin to question your own identity.
That’s ok and that’s normal.
You’re going to be bombarded with questions about your next steps, you’re going be unsure what to do with your time and most of all, you are really going to miss your friends.
Here are some things I wish I would have known just a few months ago:
- It’s OK to acknowledge that you are graduating. Don’t be like me and pretend it’s not happening because that will leave you feeling unprepared. Just know that you need to take advantage of every remaining moment in Athens, surrounded by your best friends.
- FIND A HOBBY NOW. Seriously, find something you genuinely like to do that doesn’t involve professional development and going to Lucky’s on a Wednesday night (going out every night isn’t normal in the real world and people at work want to talk about things other than work).
- Be open to different opportunities. Throughout my senior year, I was dead set on going into travel PR. That’s not at all where I’ve ended up and that’s ok because I love what I’m doing. So many doors will open for you when you stop pigeonholing yourself.
- Don’t let yourself get down when you see your peers securing jobs.Your time will come.
- Post-grad life is nothing to be sad about. This is the first time in your life that you’ll have total control of what you want to do with yourself. Take advantage of that and build a life that’s exciting and full of adventure.
With all of that being said, I’m only a text or email away if you ever need anything. Good luck in the upcoming semester, Bobcats!
Brigitte Meisse is Scripps PRSSA’s immediate past president. She recently landed a job with Feld Entertainment as their Event Marketing & Sales Manager. Follow her on Twitter, @meisse2spicy.