By Tshepang Mabuza- PR Intern and Account Assistant
Many people believe that once you earn your qualification, you’re ready for the working world. However, a qualification is merely a ticket that says you understand the basics, and the real learning begins when you apply that knowledge practically. Transitioning from a classroom surrounded by fellow students to a professional workplace can be quite the shift. In academia, there’s a sense of shared learning, but in the workplace, you encounter experienced colleagues in a more professional setting.
This transition requires an open mind, an open heart, and a clear understanding of your career goals. You need to be adaptable and embrace personal growth to excel in your chosen field. Being receptive to new experiences and learning from those with more experience is crucial in this journey.
In my tertiary years, I thought I had a solid grasp of public relations, but the reality hit when I entered the industry. Classroom knowledge lays the foundation, but the real work begins in the professional world. I soon realized why companies prefer to hire individuals with practical experience and skills alongside their qualifications.
As a naturally quiet, shy, and less confident individual, stepping into a workplace with experienced professionals can be intimidating. However, my main goal has always been to learn and absorb as much knowledge as possible from those who’ve been in my shoes. The internship program has shown me that shyness won’t serve me well in this industry. In over four months, I’ve experienced significant personal and professional growth, bridging the gap between theory and real-world experience.
Mentorship has played a vital role in my journey. Having experienced mentors has been invaluable in my growth. Their guidance and support have been beneficial, and I believe this is a lesson that one must learn from a young age. Experienced mentors provide insights that can significantly impact personal and professional development in a person who is at the start of their career.
The industry of public relations is evolving, and I encourage fellow students and aspiring PR practitioners to embrace the opportunities presented by internship programs with open hearts and open minds. The experiences gained in these months can transform your perspective and career.
Lastly, I’d like to encourage companies to continue offering internship opportunities to students. The PR industry benefits from fresh and creative perspectives, and these opportunities can be invaluable for the industry’s growth. It ensures that the field has professionals with practical experience to complement their academic qualifications, leading to a more diverse and well-rounded industry.
Published on Brandfit