Each year, as students near graduation and head off into the workforce, they often ask themselves, “how can I set myself up for success?” At Kite Hill, we work closely with our interns and young professionals attending Communications Week, to help those interested in PR, media and marketing become a proactive, solutions-driven professional. When we heard University of the Creative Arts students were headed to NYC looking to fill their itinerary with lectures and events on how to do just that, we immediately welcomed the opportunity to have them in our space. With the help of Carly Walsh, Senior Communications Manager at Vox Media, we were able to host a fireside chat filled with advice and lessons learned for these vibrant, international students.
Kite Hill’s very own Dana Casalino, PR Director and Head of Kite Hill Experiences, moderated a discussion with Walsh. The conversation dipped into what the future of the workforce will look like, the evolving world of PR and integrated communications as well as the importance of developing key hard and soft skills for continued career growth.
Kicking off the discussion by recapping their own personal career progression and professional background, Walsh and Casalino shared insights on how students could prepare themselves for their first job by identifying transferable skills they’ve picked up along their professional journey. While many young professionals progress and often times switch roles and companies, Casalino advised students, “Even if you don’t start out in the place you hoped you’d be, think about what you’ve learned in your past or current experiences that you could take with you along the way.”
While there are a few key differences between the U.K. and U.S. media landscape, Walsh noted that regardless of industry or marketplace, creating a valuable network that can help guide you is important no matter where you are. In an effort to build your network, Walsh advised that students should expand their activities, “Make sure you are getting connected with organizations outside of work." She referenced her involvement in an improv group that’s helped to fine tune her quick thinking and public speaking skills.
Casalino and Walsh concluded the chat with top career tips for the rising stars in the audience. Walsh wrapped up with advise on how students can champion tactical elements that will have a big impact on their career. She referenced programs like InDesign, PowerPoint and others that will become invaluable to teams that are looking for young professionals who can quickly develop high-quality social assets, presentations, marketing collateral and more.
Walsh also encouraged students to remain creative and authentic when presenting themselves to future employers. She challenged students to think about:
What non-traditional platforms they could use to accompany or replace their resumes to represent themselves in a unique way.
What ideas/strategies they could proactively recommend in follow ups or interviews.
Walsh’s final thought was simple but vital for young professionals, “Ask as many questions as you can. Nobody expects that you are going to know everything.”
Casalino harped on the importance of building a strong network reminding students, “Be sure to surround yourselves with like-minded people. Those people are the ones that will lift you up in your career.” Casalino left students with insight on how to remain relevant in the continuously evolving digital media landscape. “You will not survive in PR and marketing if you are not taking an integrated approach to communications. You must incorporate all the channels in which you can reach your brand or clients’ audience to tell your individual story.”
Thank you to all the students from University of the Creative Arts UK for joining us!
- Kara O’Donnell, Senior Account Executive, Kite Hill PR