Today we have a guest post from Lauren Bailey offering advice for college students wanting to get started in corporate comms.
Over to you, Lauren…
What College Students Need to Know About Launching a Career in Corporate Communications
Corporate communications is a specialty field highly sought after by numerous businesses today. It deals with all of the communication an organization makes internally and externally, blending coherency with the company’s goals and ethics. This ensures that every message being sent from the company to an audience is as accurate and positively reflective of the business as possible.
College students who desire to launch a career in corporate communications will find the field challenging and rewarding, but they should keep a few things in mind in order to secure a successful future in the field.
Most college students pursue corporate communications as a specialty during a public relations education. Public relations is a quickly growing field where students and graduates can flex their communications skills and knowledge. Public relations specialists in corporate communications may work with businesses as corporate communication officers, directors, managers, consultants, human resources, and marketing. In fact, employment opportunities for public relations specialists are expected to increase 24% during the 2008-18 decade, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Those who work in public relations have the primary objective of making sure that the image of their business or brand remains positive. They handle press releases, media contacts, public meetings, and other situations involving interacting with the public. This is why a specialization in corporate communications can be immensely beneficial. Thanks to recent business scandals, corporate communications has leapt back onto the radar for businesses across the country.
Competition for corporate communications positions is high, so college students may do well to go beyond the minimal requirement of a bachelor’s degree in the field and earn a master’s degree instead. A master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications may give recent graduates the nudge they need to stand out from other job seekers. Students should plan to take courses in communication law and ethics, media relationship maintenance, effective public writing, research and analysis skills, and strategy development. Most programs in both undergraduate and graduate studies also require students to complete a final real-world project in order to demonstrate their understanding of corporate communications and management.
Gaining plenty of in-field work experience is important as well for those looking to launch a career in corporate communications. A degree, even a graduate degree, is often not enough by itself to gain employment. Students can gain work experience by participating in part-time internships while in school, whereas graduate students may benefit from a full-time internship.
Networking is crucial as well. Most large companies do not advertise job openings for public relations positions, so it pays to make as many meaningful connections as possible to others in the industry. This way, if you make a good impression on someone, they may remember to contact you or recommend you for an unadvertised open public relations position. Go to your college’s career fairs to network, and stay in touch with your professors and fellow corporate communications classmates. You never know who may help you gain entry into the field.
Corporate communications is an exciting and prospering field. However, it can also be tough to break into due to the high level of competition for entry-level jobs. In order to stay ahead of the competition and catch the attention of employers, college students should study hard, consider earning a graduate degree in the field, participate in internships, and network with other professionals. With these tips in mind, students can almost guarantee that they will secure a successful career in corporate communications.
Agree? What advice would you offer to someone considering this as a career?
Lauren Bailey is a freelance writer at bestcollegesonline.com. She especially loves hearing back from her readers. Questions or comments can be sent to: blauren99 @gmail.com – though we’d love it if you commented below as well!