By nature, we tend to find comfort in others. We form study groups, we have workout buddies and we usually never attend a party alone. Why do we seek others in these situations? We learn from each other, gain insight and find comfort with their presence. So why would we enter our professional careers alone? I believe it is beneficial for undergraduates to build relationships with professionals before they graduate.
Before I declared my major in public relations, I was approached by my friend Holly Myles, at Eisbrenner Public Relations. She knew I was debating what path to follow in my studies and helped me find a direction in PR. Knowing that I could have her as a resource was comforting. Seeing her handle the stress and culture at a well-known PR firm, gave me the confidence that I, too, could make a career in the same field. My relationship with Holly has helped in so many ways. Not only does she willingly help with my class assignments, but she also helped me land my first internship.
Last winter, Holly suggested I participate in PRSA Detroit’s Mentor Protégé Program. I was paired up with Scott Simons, Senior Specialist of Media Relations at DTE Energy. Over the months, I have developed a meaningful, professional relationship with him. I rely on his expertise when I have any questions regarding my studies, job opportunities, what to expect during interviews and how to prepare for my career. His invaluable advice has contributed to my understanding of the field and has better prepared me for the future. He often invites me to PRSA networking events to build new relationships with professionals.
There is no reason why anyone should enter their career alone. Having meaningful relationships with professionals in your field has endless advantages. They can help you find a job or internship, proofread your schoolwork, help edit your resume and/or connect you with other networks of professionals. Just like a coach helps you before a big game, a professional mentor helps you prepare for your career.
Post by Wayne State PRSSA Secretary, Rachel Stuyvenberg.
Click Protégé Mentee Application Form 10_11 to download