Advice to Incoming PR Students at Auburn University

Choosing a major can be a tough decision. I chose public relations because of the versatility of jobs available in that field. But, just like any major, it is important to make the most of the time spent in school and the opportunities presented. Below are some tips to help you excel during your time as a PR student.


Make the Most of JRNL 1100

One of the most infamous classes in the public relations curriculum is Journalism Fundamentals, aka JRNL 1100. It has an intense grading system that requires students to pass each test with a score of at least 83 percent. Anything below 83 is considering failing. I worked hard enough to finish the class with a grade of 93, which is the minimum score to qualify for an A. One reason for the tough grading is to make sure students are really learning the material. The class covers spelling, word usage and AP style. For me, spelling was the most challenging, and I had to retake the test. Not knowing these fundamentals can lead to struggling through the rest of college and a challenging career.


Take Advantage of Internship Opportunities

Students in the school of communication and journalism at Auburn are fortunate enough to have an internship director on hand. The current internship director is Ric Smith. He sends emails at least once a month filled with internship and job opportunities. Not all majors are lucky enough to have someone who drops opportunities into students’ laps. So, be sure to open those emails and consider all of the options. If one seems even remotely interesting, then apply! Sometimes the least interesting opportunities can turn out to be amazing. Because completing an internship is required for PR students, getting that done as soon as possible will lead to more opportunities and help you build experience. I found my current internship through one of Mr. Smith’s emails, and it has been great!


Get to know the People in Your Classes

Public relations is not a large major at Auburn. Class sizes range from about 18 to 30 students. Knowing the people in these classes and becoming friends with them is ideal. Some of my best college friends started out as my classmates. And, having someone to ask questions about assignments and study with makes for a great resource. In addition, class registration time becomes easier when you don’t have to make sure you and your friends are in the same classes; you will be sure to know the people in there already. Look on Canvas before the first day of classes to see who you have class with. On the left-hand side of the screen, there is a menu option named “People.” That will show the class roster.


To learn more about getting the most out of your time as a PR student, visit your academic advisor.