By: Andrea Mellendorf
At the end of the semester, EMU PRSSA had the opportunity to visit Team Detroit, a local public relations, marketing and advertising agency, with the PRSSA Chapters from The University of Michigan – Dearborn and Wayne State University. The tour provides an awesome opportunity to network with fellow students and professionals, and learn great lessons from other young professionals in the field.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways.
1. Build your portfolio now.
It’s never too early to start building your portfolio with writing samples, graphic design creations and content ideas. This portfolio can even be online, and serves as a priceless talking point in an interview! Having a strong and well-established portfolio gives a potential employer a good taste of who you are as a person and the type of work you would be able to accomplish for the company. Make sure your portfolio showcases all of your skills, but it’s OK if everything isn’t perfect. Team Detroit employees mentioned that it’s OK to reference something from your portfolio in an interview even if it’s not your best work. Just be sure to tell the interviewer what you learned from the project and how you would improve next time!
2. Keep things light.
Many of the employees from Team Detroit stressed how important it is to keep things light in the office and not take yourself too seriously. During our tour, the building was covered with fliers featuring the pets owned by Team Detroit with catchy slogans and cute pictures, all campaigning to make that pet the “Pet President” of Team Detroit. This sort of friendly competition, along with a massive, office-wide Halloween competition and celebration, are well-treasured and highly regarded traditions of Team Detroit. Though every workplace is different, it’s important to keep things light in whatever way fits the organization.
3. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!
Just because you specialize in graphic design doesn’t mean you’ll never interact with copy editors. Always enter into a workplace with the mentality that everyone is on your team, and be a valuable player on that team! You never know who you will need to join forces with for a project or task. Keeping yourself open to collaborating with others in your office will not only help you to learn new skills and network within your own workplace, but it will help you to produce the best content possible for your client!
Andrea Mellendorf is a senior and serves as the Chapter President for EMU PRSSA. She previously has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Special Events and Programs for EMU PRSSA, and as an intern for the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Andrea currently is the Social Media Operator for The Honors College where she manages their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and for the College of Arts and Sciences, where she manages their Facebook and Twitter. Connect with Andrea on Twitter – @AndreaMell!