guiding the career in public relations

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Bruce Berger, Ph.D.

My first full-time job was as a salesman for Nickles Bakery. Making cold calls to homes and small grocery stores was a great real-life course in persuasion–and humility. When I completed my MA, I taught English and German for three years at a small community college in southwest Michigan. I then landed my first public relations job as a speechwriter for The Upjohn Company. That was the beginning of an exciting 21-year career, much of which involved international assignments ranging from a health poster campaign in remote Kenyan villages to a $400 million rebranding campaign in Europe. I then returned to teaching—public relations this time. Three of the most important lessons I’ve learned are: fear nothing, including mistakes; explore the rich diversity of our world at every opportunity; and most importantly, fully engage in whatever you do. Here’s my career snapshot:

– Salesman, Nickles Bakery (1 year)

– English and German Instructor, Glen Oaks Community College (3 years)

– Public Relations Manager, Upjohn International (9 years)

– Director, Worldwide Human Health PR, Upjohn Company (5 years)

– Corporate VP, Corporate Affairs, Whirlpool Corporation & President, Whirlpool Foundation (7 years)

– Doctoral student and teacher, University of Kentucky (3 years)

– Professor and Chair, Dept. of Adv and PR, University of Alabama (8 years)