By Becky Kazenoff
Guest speaker Paxton Mittleman, a senior associate at Mission North, provided a refreshing and energetic presentation on how to maneuver job applications and professional development during the pandemic. Being a UD PRSSA Vice President of External Affairs alumna, it was encouraging to see how her time at Delaware contributed to much of her success now. She was even a Communication Committee contributor to the platform you’re reading right now. Her blog posts are one of the many examples of what helped build her online portfolio. In addition to PRSSA, she was involved in the Student Television Network, Gamma Sigma Sigma service sorority, and was a social media ambassador.
Paxton gave members her best advice while being personable and providing a comfortable space for any questions. Her extensive involvement at UD and accomplishments give members the motivation to utilize the unique opportunities UD offers. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Paxton’s presentation:
- Google yourself and be aware of what your name is associated with. Before entering the workforce and internship search, be sure to scrub your social media of anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother seeing. Think before you post.
- Take advantage of your university’s alumni network. Reach out to someone on LinkedIn whose job you’re interested in. Be proactive and set up informational interviews. Taking those extra steps will pay off later.
- Consume news, beyond just reading it. In interviews, they often ask you where you get your news from, what your favorite campaign or advertisement was, etc. Paxton recommends listening to podcasts. Some include “Ad Age” and “Yeah That’s Probably an Ad.” News consumption should become a part of your routine because as a PR professional, it’s important to know current events and be up to date on what is in the best interest of your company and/or client.
- Utilize social media. This means following accounts that share PR-related news and sharing your opinions using hashtags to increase exposure. Think about how you want to brand yourself and what opinions you want to be amplified. Twitter provides a great space for you to pitch yourself and interact with like-minded people.
- Any job can be made relevant. Many of us are struggling more than ever with finding internships due to Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean new skills and experiences can’t be attained. Foodservice or retail jobs, although not related to PR, can still be used to your advantage as you’ll have gained skills like multitasking, customer service, and problem-solving. Don’t neglect any experience you can get during this time. Take this time to create an online portfolio or gain certification of some relevance to your job path.
- It’s important to be employed by a company that provides you with growth opportunities, a supportive environment, and room for your mental health. You will learn something from any job you have, but these three things are non-negotiables.