The last DePaul PRSSA meeting before summer could not have been more appropriate. The theme was “career evolvement” and featured a dynamic duo of Allie Osmar and Kevin Saghy. As my freshman year was coming to a close, the meeting was a great time to reflect on my past year and everything I accomplished.
The daunting question of “What comes next?” was lingering in the room as many PRSSA members were about to graduate. And of course, as a little freshman, I too was freaking out. Luckily, Allie and Kevin gave everyone some great advice.
If you didn’t already know, Allie Osmar is the intelligent mind behind the blog “The Creative Career“. She is known for her free podcasts that showcase interviews with professionals who have made their mark in the PR and AD world. The title alludes to the advice that Allie gave; there is no direct path when it comes to figuring out your career in public relations. Her own story is a perfect example of the twist and turns that come with the job.
Allie’s idea for “The Creative Career” podcast was fueled at a NY Ad conference that she attended while still at Michigan State University. She decided to interview some of the professionals at the conference on their thoughts and opinions and realized that it would be a great idea to stream the recordings online so that other students could learn more about the industry.
Allie decided to take a major risk and start her own company called Loudpixel with two friends from MSU. Loudpixel is an online research company that uses “social media monitoring, analysis and reporting” to help companies “make smarter communication and design decisions on the web”. Entrepreneurship was a whole new game for Allie and she said that it was a challenge because “if you don’t build the business, the business goes away.” She also said that while it takes a lot of dedication, the feeling of owning your own company is extremely rewarding.
Her unique work ethic ultimately landed Allie a job at one of the top PR firms in the world. An employee from Edelman saw Allie’s profile on PROpenMic and started to interact with her. It was clear that Allie’s ideas and motivation were the right fit for Edelman and she was soon hired.
Allie stressed that you need to take risks and step up to the plate when an opportunity presents itself. While at Edelman, Allie volunteered to create the “Friday Five” when the previous writer left. This was a huge opportunity to network with other professionals and get her name out to the world. The “Friday Five” is the top five trends or ideas that are hot in the PR/digital world and this list is sent out to professionals around the globe.
Allie is additionally taking up photography and will be shooting over 20 weddings this summer. She never imagined that her career would allow her to become a professional photographer as well as a PR pro but because she took risks and put herself out into the world, she is able to accomplish both. Her own story is an obvious example of how the career evolvement process is not a straight arrow.
Allie is one of my new role models and has inspired me to take opportunities that I would usually dismiss. What is the point of holding myself back? Taking risks will surely better my career in public relations and allow me to express my true passion for PR.
So to go back to the first question, “What comes next?“, I have my top three answers.
- I am going to launch my own website by the end of the summer
- I will excel in my internship at Ruder Finn
- I will attended PRSSA National Conference this coming fall in Washington, DC and help DePaul PRSSA present a seminar to over 200 people
I have a list of things to do that could match the number of pages in The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, but for now, I am going to go easy on my plan to take over the world. If I have learned anything, it is that everything will work out in the end if you give 100% and do what feels right.
So throw that 5 year plan out the window. It’s time to get creative and take advantage of the opportunities that interest you.
Part Two… Kevin Saghy, the PR mastermind behind the Cubs.