Alumni Panel Discussion


Dues are due today 10/17, $65 and membership application

PR Day, volunteer on 10/20 8:00am-4:30pm

-          apply for scholarships

Next meeting 10/31 Halloween


Life After College

Jeannette Rivera, Marketing Coordinator at MetroNational, Class of 2014            

Isidro Reyna, Senior Communications Specialist at NASA, Class of 2016

Erica Lee, Social Media Manager at Kubis Interactive, Class of 2017

Angela Cordava, Account Executive at The PR Boutique, Class of 2015


Q: How is two-way symmetric Public Relations being applied to your life now?


Erica: “Scenarios that professors have talked about in class have happened in real life. What you learn, sticks to you even if you think, “I’m never going to use that.” Don’t cause the problem, bring knowledge to it.”

Angela: “It varies from what you learn, but you see what your professors were talking about. Not just lessons from the book, for example when Tinsley talks about real life examples, it’s true. You have to actually know what you’re talking about, do research, and become an expert.”

Isidro: “It’s very important, you have to be prepared for whatever comes your way.”

Jeannette: “Definitely learn your audience, and keep in touch.”


Q: What are some experiences in college that you think helped you get to where you’re at now?


Angela: “PRSSA helped me a lot. Being able to put that in my resume, making sure I attend meetings, and agent tours. PRSSA helps you learn from people in the industry. Make sure to absorb everything that you can, get involved, and take the next steps. It helped me figure out PR, what PR looks like day to day, and what made sense to me. Interning is also huge, it’s where you can mess up, no job is too small, have a positive attitude, and don’t get discouraged.’

Erica: “PRSSA is how I got my internship, and having that name on my resume. Clients that we worked with in classes were good contacts that helped me get an internship, which led to a job. Also, the WOLF class.”

Isidio: “Make sure to have business cards, and pass them out. Have a mentor, and network. Internships is where you can mess up, and figure out what you really want to do. Learn how to write, it’s so essential. Don’t hesitate to apply for internships, if you end up being a hiring manager you’ll have an easier time.”

*Helpful link:

Jeannette: “Staying involved, going to events, networking, and keeping connections because they could lead you to a job.”


Q: What are some things you weren’t prepared for about the real world?


Angela: “One thing you aren’t as prepared for is making sure you don’t take things personal, and making sure you have thick skin. I have a job with all kinds of clients, with different wants and budgets. Clients are all different, they treat you different, and some aren’t always as friendly. Editors can also be really mean, they don’t always want to hear a pitch about your client, it may not fit, or they may not give you a reason at all. Be prepared for all different kinds of personalities and responses. You still have to talk on the phone to people, people don’t think you have to do that anymore, but it would be good to practice. I have conference calls daily. Client communication is important.”

Erica: “Have Professor Fix take a look at your resume, and her red ink all over it helps. When clients don’t do something right, they come back and blame it on you. With digital media, everything is online, so maybe more experience in person would help knowing how to handle certain clients.”

Isidio: “Be prepared to hear the word NO. If you’re in the agency side, or pitching, you’re going to hear no a lot. You also have the ability to say no. PR is very human relations, mentoring and networking is so important because even old generations want to understand you. You want to be able to work with everyone.”

Jeannette: “I use to work with an energy company, electricity to be exact, and figuring out how to properly respond to comments on social media was challenging, writing is so important.”


Q: What are good materials that helped you with your career?


Isidio: “Freelance, if you’ve helped a nonprofit, if you’ve written for a school newspaper, any collaborative materials, people hiring want to see if you can write.”


Q: How helpful can blogs be, if you don’t have the time to freelance or intern?


Isidio: “I google anyone applying for a position before interviewing them, and you should definitely have some work popping up in google. Any kind of portfolios, or LinkedIn to get an idea of what you’ve done and who you are.” 

Angela: “Make sure you ask if you can use the work you’ve done with them, or contributed to in your internship/jobs.”

Erica: “Ask for help and to be critiqued, my internship with Memorial Hermann ended up going really well, and I started doing their social media.”  

Jeannette: “Make a list of everything that you’ve worked on, it helps you stay organize and keep track of everything.”


Q: What’s something you wish you knew heading out into the real world?


Erica: “You definitely can always learn more, I know enough. There’s a lot more out there that you can learn.”

Isidio: “Coming out of college, undergraduate prepares you for very tactical stuff. Knowing the business side is also very helpful. Business classes as electives would’ve helped.”

Angela: “PR is hard because it’s not necessarily tangible, because you can’t always get down to exact numbers.”

Jeannette: “Having a beneficial minor, and taking it to the professional world.”

*Helpful link: College of technology, Minor in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. A fun conventional route.


Q: Is it hard finding paid internships?


Isidio: “Don’t be scared to ask, if you can make it work I suggest doing it.”

Erica: “Always keep looking, Valenti has a great list of internships. Don’t think just because you’re PR it’s not important, ask professors, network.”

Angela: “Dont hesitate to negotiate, look for opportunities, and PR luncheons are always helpful.”   

Jeannette: “All your work is valuable, so make sure you make it count and you feel valued.”


Q: Any tips when reviewing resumes?


Angela: “Don’t have misspellings, make yourself stand out, take out high school stuff, put relevant experience, take out irrelevant info, and put whatever applies to what you’re applying for.”

Isidio: “Make sure you have references, mark down what you did ex. I helped increase numbers or boosted sales.”

Erica: “Portfolios, have a website, its okay to be a little detailed, and make sure you know what you’re putting on your resume Adjust accordingly, let Professor Fix look at your resume. When interviewing, it’s okay to take a minute. People want to hear about your experiences. Research the company, look at the website, clients, and what they do, knowing the company that you want to work for.”

Jeannette: “Find your mentor, looking for a new job, go to lunch, and have them review your resume. Helps you a lot.”


Q: How did you know you wanted to study PR? 


Erica: “PR found me, while working for restaurants I met people. You have to find what you like, and what makes you happy. I like PR, and communicating with people. It’s something you have to be committed to.”

Isidio: “High school got me into it. National Society made me a relations kind of guy, so I carried on from high school.”

Jeannette: “I’m a talker, I knew I wanted to be in a career that communicated with people.”

Angela: “I know I’m outgoing, like talking to people, and different things. I found PR, realized what it was, and agency was a perfect fit because I get to have different clients for different things.”


Q: What is your biggest tip to land an internship?


Erica: “Your resume gets you through the door, but interview gets you the job. You have to know how to talk to people, and how to answer interview questions. If you get recommended, you’re representing that person. You want them to like you, and hire you.”

Angela: “I knew someone from PRSSA, networking and having connections. It helps who you know.”

Isidio: “Don’t be afraid to not apply. Ex. NASA internship may be competitive, but don’t be afraid to apply, and ask the hiring manager for advice. They’ll be impressed.”

Jeannette: “Make sure you are able to back up the information on your resume, and be able to explain.”