Never Too Late to Switch to PR

Q.  I just finished my junior year in college, majoring in philosophy and a minor in English.  During my freshman and sophomore years, I wanted to be a teacher, but my roommate is really enjoying PR and she believes there will be more opportunities in her field than mine.  I’ve attended PR events with her and am interested in the role of PR in society.  I didn’t talk with my adviser before leaving campus.  Is it too late to switch majors and career goals?  -MB

A.  The beauty of college is that it’s a great laboratory to discover what you want to do in life.  And many of us didn’t enter PR until several years after graduation, so your situation isn’t unusual.  However, the PR curriculum in college has become an important foundation for preparing students for agency jobs. 

So, here’s my recommended 3-step game plan: 

  1. Talk with your faculty adviser since switching majors at this point may require an additional semester or more of classes.  Another possibility would be to keep your philosophy major and pick up a minor in public relations.  
  2. Before switching majors or picking up a PR minor, do some research over the summer to make certain that PR is the right career choice for you.  Start by reading a previous post and links about Factors to Consider in PR Career Choice.  You also should become fully engaged in PR-related activities on campus, including PRSSA.  
  3. Finally, don’t worry.  Your major in philosophy, combined with a PR minor, will stand out on your resume since it’s not a typical education route into PR.  Hiring managers will be impressed, assuming you’re a good thinker.  Good luck.

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