PRepster of the Month: Rebekah Nale on “Graduation”

December 23, 2009 at 10:42 am 3 comments

Rebekah Nale, a native of Savannah, Ga, is a recent December graduate with a degree in public relations from the University of South Carolina.

Beginning her college career as a Business major, Rebekah took a risk and switched her major to Public Relations at the end of her junior year. The Public Relations program at USC has allowed her to develop her skills as a writer and create meaningful relationships with her PR professors.

Gearing up for graduation this December, she has been doing several things to get a job after she leaves the campus bubble. She was kind enough to chat with me about what she is doing to prepare for a career in public relations:

Building an online presence

First, I started with creating online resume accounts on VisualCV.com, Card.ly and LinkedIn.com. I also utilized my presence on Twitter to network with other public relations and marketing professionals.  I found that there were people who were more than willing to help me, whether it be passing around my resume at their place of work or simply giving me interviewing tips.

Finding the job

At the beginning of my job search, I contacted one of my father’s friends who is a headhunter for several big corporations.  He gave me some advice on how to search for job openings, who to contact and how to interview and follow up.  He also compiled a list for me of big corporations from North Carolina to north Florida (this is the “zone” where I’m looking for a job) that I could contact for possible job openings.

Then, I started applying for jobs.  Whether it was simply searching for “public relations agencies in Charlotte, N.C.” on Google, or looking on Web sites like TalentZoo.com, I was on the hunt.

Standing out

I had calling cards made with my name on the front, and additional information on the back: address, phone number, e-mail address and my LinkedIn account address.  I take them with me wherever I go and I also put them in my thank-you cards that I send after interviews with potential employers.  It’s just a nice, professional touch that sets me apart from other candidates.

Staying organized

I created an Excel spreadsheet to keep my endeavors organized.  The spreadsheets are organized by company name, person of contact, their title, phone number, and e-mail address, the date I applied and what the outcome was.  This allows me to make sure that I haven’t applied to the same job twice, and also keeps me updated when I’m conducting follow-up phone calls.

And her results?

I have landed multiple interviews with companies all over the country.  I am still in the process of interviewing with more companies and receiving feedback from them. A very wise man, Mike Boyle, told me, “in order to get one job interview, you have to apply to 10 companies, and in order to get one job offer, you have to do 10 interviews.” So, do the math.

I am now up to about 130 job applications, with only a handful of interviews. It’s a tough job market, but I am not allowing myself to become discouraged.  Mr. Boyle also told me that, “failure is only a stepping stone to success.” I have taken his advice to heart, and remind myself of his wise words daily.

I became an intern for a public relations firm, Abshire Public Relations & Marketing, in Savannah, Ga. last summer and am currently doing distance work for them.  I also worked with a non-profit organization, Alala Cancer Society, this semester, creating and implementing a public relations campaign for them.  I have enjoyed every second of these two great opportunities.  Working in both of these places has simply confirmed that this is the direction I want to take with my professional career.

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Entry filed under: PRepster of the Month.

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