Last summer, I had the opportunity to work at an amazing public relations agency. While I was there, I learned the ins and outs of not only the agency, but the industry in itself. I was given opportunities to work on a variety of practices, reach out to and work directly with clients as well as help create business and social strategies for our clients. It was an experience unlike any other, and it got me thinking about the type of education I was receiving.
Don’t get me wrong, I love college. I have had nothing but an amazing learning experience at the University of Michigan. I have been blessed with opportunities here that I never would have been able to get anywhere else. On top of that, I have learned from some of the smartest professors in the industry at this university.
With that being said, I realized during my time at Edelman that I was learning more about the public relations industry day-by-day than I have in the 4 years that I have been in college. I believe that you can learn all that you want and all that your brain allows you to while sitting behind the desk in a classroom. However, you will never be able to fully grasp an industry until you are out of the classroom and thrown into the real world, with the real workers and the real clients.
This isn’t something that only applies to the public relations industry. This is something that I have heard people working in all different types of industries say. While I do believe that a college education is a vital part of your life before you go into the working world (depending on your preferences, of course), I don’t believe that you ever stop learning when you are done with college. Graduation is simply another step toward another form of education: work.
Sure, work is an entirely different form of education. It is a lot more hands-on, and you are faced with higher levels of responsibility. As much as I love school and learning through that form of an institution, I had a more enjoyable time learning throughout my internship than I ever had while at a university.
Because of my experience at Edelman last summer, I am extremely eager to get out there in the real world and launch my career. My experience gave me a glimpse into what my future holds in terms of continuing my education. The day that I stop learning is a day that I never want to see.