Name: Alysa Franks
Job Title and Description: Editorial Desk Team Member at Wieck doing content management for a variety of clients.
Major: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism Strategic Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and minor in Marketing.
Meet Alysa Franks, a recent UNT graduate who has already landed a job in Public Relations since graduating in May. Keep reading to see how this #Girlboss has successfully adapted to life post-graduation.
What is your job title? What are some of your job duties?
Alysa: I currently work as an Editorial Desk Team Member. There are five other people on the Editorial Desk Team, and we do content management for Wieck’s clients. My boss, Tim eventually wants to morph my role into the main PR specialist for Wieck in which I will get to tell their story through blog posts and social media.
What does a typical workday consist of for you? Is there such a thing as typical?
Alysa: Our sole responsibility on the Editorial Desk Team is answering to the clients. We spend most of our time HTML coding press releases and adjusting images on Photoshop so that everything looks flawless once it’s on the Internet. Sometimes emails from clients are flooding in and other times it’s pretty calm and quiet around here. We never quite know what our day will bring.
What do you love most about what you do?
Alysa: Once I start blogging for Wieck, there is no doubt that will be the best part of my job. I genuinely love blogging. Arranging the right words in a fluid format is my happy medium of work and play. Aside from that, I love that I’m getting to work with Fortune 500 companies every single day. Even though I’m not creating the press releases for them, I’m exposed to that level of public relations writing.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Alysa: The most challenging part of my job right now is being the newbie adapting to all the basics. When managing clients’ content there’s lots of procedural details, so I’m just trying to get it all down. I will say I get better every day. A lot of it is just muscle memory so the more I do it, the easier it becomes.
Are you happy with your job? Is it different than you expected?
Alysa: Happy is an understatement. This job is a bit different than I expected, in the best way possible. In college I didn’t really understand the depth of the public relations field. I assumed being a PR professional meant I would be writing the press releases instead of coding them, but now I have a better understanding of the big picture. I consider myself a creative person, and I get the most enjoyment out of creating content. I know I’m benefitting hugely by learning new technical skills while also being able to express my creativity through blogs and social media.
What do you wish you knew before working for Wieck?
Alysa: I wish I would’ve been a little more proficient in HTML coding and Photoshop before working for Wieck since I spend so much time doing those things. However, being highly skilled in those areas wasn’t a requirement upon me getting hired. My coworkers are extremely patient and helpful in training me and I’m catching on quickly. You can only prepare yourself so much for your future job. There will always be something to learn.
What qualities does a PR professional need to possess?
Alysa: A PR professional must be nimble, adaptable and credible. My professors always told me this profession has the ability to take you places you never imagined for yourself. It’s true. I wasn’t really sure what kind of career I envisioned myself having, but I never thought I’d be coding a global spectrum of press releases. I’m working and growing outside of my comfort zone. In addition to those qualities, I think it’s vital for a PR professional to be a “people person.” Whether we’re dealing with clients, the media or just our coworkers in general, we are held to a higher standard than most to be personable.
What advice do you have for finding a job so quickly after graduation like yourself?
Alysa: I am honestly a huge testimony to the power of LinkedIn. That is the only reason I have this job. I had every intention of slowly easing into the job hunt after some time off post-graduation. This opportunity fell right into my lap and I know that’s rare, so I feel extremely grateful. I don’t want to make it sound easy, because it’s not. Try not to limit yourself to one industry you hope to find a job in. Look into many options and surprise yourself.
How can students expand their network while in college?
Alysa: Start building and expanding your LinkedIn network early. Connect with every single one of your classmates in your smaller classes. As you work on projects together, write recommendations afterwards highlighting each other’s skills and work ethic. If I would’ve asked my many project group members I had over the years to write me a short recommendation after working together, I’d have so much more relevant content on LinkedIn.
What advice do you have for us collegiettes?
Alysa: Enjoy it. I graduated two months ago and I’m already way too nostalgic about my college days. You’ll miss that easy schedule and piles of homework. Okay maybe not the homework, but you’ll miss everything else!