In this executive member blog Abby Carrigan, Executive Vice President of Professional Development, reflects on how to succeed at agency tours.
My name is Abby Carrigan and I am a senior here at Southeast. My major is PR and I have two minors, marketing and writing. I joined PRSSA as a sophomore and have been highly involved since then. Previously, I was the 2014-15 Firm Director for Riverfront, the student run public relations firm. Currently, I hold the executive position of Vice President of Professional Development. I am the person responsible for planning guests speakers for chapter meetings, agency tours and working with my associate vice president on National and Regional conferences.
My favorite part about PRSSA is agency tours. We get to travel all day on a Friday to meet professionals and tour top-rated PR agencies. If you prepare to do them right, they are EXTREMELY beneficial!
First, bring your personal business cards and/or resume – but you do not always hand them out. Likewise, it is important to receive the professional’s business card because then you are able to follow up with them down the road!
Second, dress professional but comfortable. It is important that you are wear nice walking shoes that look good in the office and are still comfortable to walk in because it is common to walk a handful of blocks downtown STL. Get a good night of sleep! Usually, we leave around 8 a.m. every agency tour and of course we make our coffee stops but it is important to be energetic and alert at agency tours or you will not get the most out of it.
Third piece of advice, bring your best attitude. These tours are planned to help us members, young professionals, network and preview what an average day is like in our profession. ASK QUESTIONS. This is such an important part of an agency tour because this is your chance outside of the classroom and outside of an interview to ask real honest questions to a professional. Agency Tours have been the most rewarding aspect of PRSSA for me because I have had the chance to bond with fellow members and create new friendships as well as network with real professionals. It is an opportunity to know what to expect on the other side of graduation.