The Ultimate Balancing Act: Balancing Education and Working as a Young PR Pro

Colleen O'Morrow

Colleen O’Morrow

A little over a year ago I was so excited to start my media relations internship at MediaSource! Having summer break to fill with an internship for an amazing company and career I love sounded amazing…and it was! Little did I know, I would be hired as a marketing assistant to work part-time during my school year. I was ecstatic!  

For anyone who loves PR, we understand the meanings of deadlines, 20+ to-do lists and Type A personalities. So when it comes to balancing a PR internship or work opportunity during an academic school year, it’s truly a balancing act.  

During the school year, I work partly from the office, which is just 5 minutes from The Ohio State University campus, as well as remotely so I can finish my assignments at night or on the weekends. As marketing assistant, I work to make sure MediaSource maintains it’s position as a national brand journalism leader. My work includes managing all of our owned media sites including our website, blog and social media sites, which includes tactics to enhance our SEO, social presence and national reputation. I coordinate to make sure our President, Lisa Arledge Powell, and MediaSource are maintaining and gaining speaking events, publication opportunities, awards and other marketing opportunities. In addition, I coordinate new projects and initiatives to advance our marketing and sales, that include fun quizzes, listicles, buyer personas, potential client research and new campaigns for a variety of goals. Aside from marketing, I work in our human resources department throughout MediaSource hiring and I manage our entire internship hiring process. This list covers the main tasks I complete but is certainly not inclusive of all! 

My job rocks! 

But, of course, when I first started, I was stressed balancing school and a professional job at the same time! But I’ve found ways to deal with the PR lifestyle mixed with a student’s schedule and come up on top with an advantage. 

For anyone who has balanced college and a career, you understand that you learn different things at both experiences….you can use this to your advantage! The two ways to make your balancing act a perk: 

  1. During lecture, reading or any assignment for class, apply the content that you are learning to your job. What class theory or strategy can you bring to your next meeting at work? How can these strategies improve your business tactics?
  2. During any assignments or class discussion, find ways to use your work experience as an advantage to your grade and class standing. We get a lot of insight from an internship or job, share appropriate information with the class and impress your professor!  

When you use class as a supplemental piece to your job or vice versa, it makes balancing the two easier because the divide you created diminishes.  

A key to balancing school and work is recognizing the symbiotic relationship above. But these tactics below will smooth and better your everyday schedule. 

Time Management & Prioritization 

Time management is a tactic that every PR pro needs to have for success. So, as a PR student who’s balancing class and work, we get the full, hands-on opportunity to perfect our time-management skills. Get a calendar. Schedule your week. 

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