May 2010 #PRStudChat Graduate: Rachel Esterline

We’d like to start 2011 with an update from the Class of 2010. It has not yet been a year since the #PRStudChat Class of 2010 graduated, but these new public relations professionals are already demonstrating a passion for their career choice. Florida State University 2010 graduate Lauren Novo has started a new series on her blog to learn more about her peers transition from PR student to professional. With Lauren’s permission, we will be sharing the series on prstudchat.com. The first interview is with Rachel Esterline, an account executive and social media specialist at AGP & Associates in mid-Michigan.

What are you currently doing? Include your job title/responsibilities/location/etc.

I work at AGP & Associates, a marketing communications firm in mid-Michigan. I am an account executive and social media specialist. My responsibilities vary, but include: writing (news releases, Web copy, newsletter articles, direct mail, e-mail marketing and more), media relations, social media planning and implementation, trade show tactics, project coordination for clients and much more. I’ve also been able to write proposals, pitch new business and speak at conferences.

How closely-related is your job (title/location/responsibilities) to your college major and what you planned to be doing after graduation?

It’s funny how closely my job relates to all of the things I wanted to do. When deciding on a major, I bounced from marketing to journalism to business to advertising – and finally settled on PR. And, at my current job, all of these areas come into play. I actually prefer marketing communications over some aspects of PR (such as media relations). It’s not always what I expected to be doing though.

What tactics did you take before and/or after graduation to get to where you are today?

As simple as it sounds, the main tactic is to be proactive and ambitious. AGP had offered me an internship for the summer in 2009, but I ended up moving to Columbus to intern at Fahlgren Mortine. When I returned to CMU for my senior year, I contacted the CEO and took an internship there. In February, I asked if there was a chance I would be hired after graduation. I received the official job offer letter shortly afterward.

And, if it wasn’t for networking at a PRSA event, I probably would have never gotten an interview at AGP in the first place. One of the people I met at the event told the CEO about meeting me. There is some truth in “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

What tips would you give new graduates who will soon be facing the “real world”?

Continue reading the interview with Rachel at Lauren Novo’s PR Journey

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