Kate Barton, Guest Blogger
What is public relations? That’s the big question, especially for students. It’s hard to really know without experiencing it first-hand.
This past month I was given an incredible opportunity that not many people get – the chance to experience what my future career might be like in advance of graduating and joining the workforce. The team at Brookline Public Relations was kind enough to invite me to take part in a day-in-the-life experience at their agency. Both nervous and excited, I couldn’t wait to see what the day would bring.
My morning began with a tour of the beautiful Brookline office and introductions to each of the 13 Brookliners on staff. I then had the opportunity to sit down and get to know Assistant Account Specialist and public relations extraordinaire, Dakota Sandquist. Within minutes, I had a pretty clear picture of what life was like at the agency and as the day progressed, I was able to see how the magic was made at Brookline.
The most intriguing and also intimidating part of my day was sitting in on Brookline’s weekly staff meeting, or “Traffic” as they call it. The full team convened to swap updates on all of their client accounts, discuss marketing and social media strategies for the agency, and even go over CP style (so yes students, it matters!). Quick to volunteer to help one another with anything and able to switch gears between accounts at the drop of a hat, the Brookline team showed me what an efficient and passionate public relations team looks like – a real force to be reckoned with!
Following Traffic, a few members of the team took me out to lunch. This was a great opportunity for me to pick their brains on public relations and agency life. I even got insight into which accounts were closest to them, as well as their day-to-day lives at Brookline. Both professionals, Ashlee Smith and Douglas Self, were very open to any and all questions I had, and also had some great insights into the world of public relations.
I was also lucky enough to get some one-on-one time with a number of other team members throughout the day, including Brookline’s two interns, Shae Pollock and Pauline Tapuska, who I learned are both recent graduates of the Public Relations program at Mount Royal University. Both Shae and Pauline were able to offer me thoughtful insight into what it’s like transitioning from school to a career – and it just goes to show that while the real world of PR may seem daunting, it is entirely possible for each of us to find success!
Walking out of Brookline, I allowed the day to sink in. It was an incredible experience and I felt almost spoiled to have had this as my first glimpse into the industry. For me, the most valuable part of this experience was not only seeing public relations executed with excellence, but also with camaraderie and passion – something Brookline’s dedicated team has no shortage of.
– Kate Barton is a third-year Public Relations student at Mount Royal University.