One of the first things that I remember hearing upon entering the classroom on my first day as a public relations student at Mohawk College went a little something like this:
"This program has many conflicting deadlines and many assignments that are to be completed in a short period of time, but this is what the PR industry is like... Get used to it."
How right that statement was.
Coming from a university background and completing a degree in business, I figured I could handle anything that college was going to send my way. Sure, I had heard that college had more assignments, more commitments, and generally a heavier work load than many universities, but the work itself was seen as more do-able for lack of a better word. Though the past couple weeks have significantly swayed my opinion on just how manageable specific deadlines can be when you’re trying to juggle seven courses, a multitude of assignments, the search for an internship, and a job all at once.
We have learned thus far in the public relations program that there are many stressors that occur within the PR industry, not just limited to time management and an overload of different assignments, but the pressures of dealing professionally with media and the public, overcoming ethical issues that pertain to different scenarios, as well as being extremely cautious as to what is said and/or released at times of crisis. The industry of public relations is incredibly fast-paced and ever-changing, with a heavy focus on action and reaction, often taking a toll on the practitioners themselves.
I can honestly say that this type of stress is new for me. I have always been somewhat of a procrastinator, using the excuse that I work better under pressure. However, throughout the past few months of this program I have quickly come to realize that this type of approach will not withstand the impact of entering into the PR field. It is a demanding, challenging, and at times exhausting array of tasks and assignments that must not only be carried out with precision and professionalism, but also within a timely manner.
Though even with the hard work and the strategic managing of due dates and assignments I personally could not be happier with my decision to enter into this academic year and ultimately enter into the field of public relations. Yes, it has been stressful and it has been eye-opening, but I would not change it for anything.
This program has taught us many things thus far, relating to tactics, strategies, objectives, and communications mediums. Yet the most important thing I have learned throughout this semester is the value of experiencing a taste of what the industry will be like in terms of time management and expectations, and I am very grateful for getting the opportunity to become familiar with that.
This program does have many conflicting deadlines and it does have many assignments that are to be completed in a short period of time, but if this is what the PR industry is like… then I think I can get used to it.