Calling All Liberal Arts Majors!

Mark LaVoie   Follow

During my last semester of college I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. I had two summers of finance internships, but working with numbers everyday was not my goal. Working with people and words was more my thing, but how to translate that into a career was beyond me.

Then I stumbled on financial PR. At first I had no idea what it was, but the more people I spoke to who did it, the more it intrigued me. I locked in my first job a week after graduation and I haven’t looked back since.

Although it’s great to major in Public Relations in college, many people don’t know what they want to do until the last minute. Many of my colleagues at Prosek were once in the same boat as me, majoring in English, History, etc. I myself was an American Studies major. On the surface, it’s not exactly an easily translatable major into financial PR, but it’s important to consider the skills you learn from a liberal arts degree.

  1. Writing: This is by far the biggest thing I notice from hires from liberal arts schools. Their writing is superb. After drafting paper after paper, the writing of new grads is scrubbed and ready to translate into byline development, proposals, and blogs. If you love writing but aren’t sure journalism is for you, a PR career is a great option.
  1. Analytics: “Unpacking” texts was a skill a professor of mine drilled into our heads with each assignment. In PR, we do this too, looking at the world through the lens of finance and uncovering narratives that, often times, our clients miss. Whether it’s looking at China’s recent rocky trajectory or the latest trend towards responsible investing, our clients have a view that we help them articulate.
  1. Conversational: The small classes centered on discussion were among my favorite courses in college. Not only are they enjoyable, but they polish conversational skills, helping students speak intelligently, especially with others that may have a differing opinion. Sharp dialogue is crucial when speaking with clients. Every day we are pitching a new idea or defending a reputation. The words we choose and how we say them are important, and those who are the best often developed their abilities in the classroom.

If you’re a college student and want to continue to write and analyze, don’t rule out a career financial PR (or even at Prosek). It offers an opportunity to continue to use those skills you worked so hard to develop in college. 

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