Friday, June 4, 2010

Return of the Dark Horse

After a heavily loaded semester of completing my requirements for a minor in business administration, coupled with graduation and "the hunt" for my first career propelling job; I finally find myself with the time to once more share my learnings in becoming the next great public relations practitioner. Especially now that I have accepted my first job!....

The past few months have been stressful yet exciting. In April I once again found myself in the "Big Apple" of New York City for one more National Invitational Tournament with the Ole Miss basketball band in Madison Square Garden.

The following week I received a collegiate PRism Award from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi for the public service campaign I developed for the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation last semester. Along with a PRism, I was also awarded the Best of Show award which is only given to one professional and one collegiate practitioner each year.

Aside from this, I took time to moderate an innovators research program on developing environmental solutions around Oxford. I even taught a seminar on headline and caption writing during the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association annual spring conference.

In the second week of April, I went on to participate in an SPJ sponsored program honoring the University of Mississippi as a historic site in journalism. Recognizing the efforts of journalists during the campus' 1962 James Meredith race riots, the event featured words from University Chancellor, Dan Jones, MacArther Genius Grant recipient, Jerry Mitchell, and CBS broadcast legend, Dan Rather; all of whom I was honored to sit beside on stage in the Overby Center. The incredible privilege of participating in this program forever remains with my advisor, Dr. Wickham, who tirelessly worked to make this designation and event possible.

After barely surviving a brutal back-to-back final exam schedule (pushing 26 hours without sleep), I graduated that same Saturday with a bachelor's degree. Two weeks later, I found myself on a three day trip to New York, where I held my first two face-to-face interviews, one of which I received a job offer from. The following weekend was spent with my family in San Destin, followed by an interview in Memphis and a phone interview.

That phone interview was for the Society of Professional Journalists yearlong post-graduate internship for media, marketing, and public relations efforts. During the interview, I was informed that I was one of three finalists for the position I had applied for one month ago. Two days after speaking with Executive Director, Joe Skeel, I received another phone call, offering me the internship. I gladly accepted!

In the phone call, Mr. Skeel referred to me as "the Dark Horse." This title referenced the upper hand the other two candidates held over me prior to the interviews. But when the dust settled, two very important factors gave me the edge I needed to receive the position.

So what gave me the curve? Find out in my next blog post "The Hunt," where I'll share some great tips that helped me land my first PR job!

No comments: