I had a somewhat frustrating conversation recently with a friend…professional colleague…about one of my would-be PR students.
- The good newsis, the student had contacted him about an internship and had gotten an interview.
- The bad newsis, that same student gave absolutely no indication whatsoever that he really was interested in the internship…or anythingfor that matter.
According to my friend, the fellow basically sat there grunting one- and two-word responses to questions. And, when asked about his plans for that terrifying “life after graduation,” he appeared to be clueless.
Didn’t seem to have given any consideration to his plans, ambitions, hopes, or dreams.
Now this young fellow is a graduating senior. He has indicated a budding interest in public relations. He has already completed one PR-focused internship.
So what happened? Where did we miss a connection?
Part of the answer is the good ol’ “well, you’re young and don’t know what you want to do.”
Part of the answer is “somehow we (professors/advisors/counselors) haven’t ‘cracked the code’ yet.” We haven’t figured out how to really communicate with you when it comes to “life.”
I am known to “preach” about the future to my Communication students at Curry College, where I head the undergraduate Public Relations Concentration and teach most of the PR courses, as well as to my graduate Organizational and Professional Communication students at Regis College. They all get the sermon.
But somehow the connection isn’t being made, and it’s starting to bug me big time.
Yeah, I figured out my own life trajectory on my own…didn’t have anyone to sit me down and have the “what do you want to do?” discussion.
Not saying my parents weren’t supportive and encouraging. They were. But there was no “what do you want to be when you grow up?” conversation.
So what to do about these situations where, in spite of my best efforts to guide and advise you, we’re not making the connection?
Maybe I’m banging my head against the wrong wall. Maybe I’m not supposed to be able to point each and every aspiring future professional toward his or her destiny.
But I want to help you get started. I want to share my own experience and knowledge with you in the hopes that you will find inspiration.
It’s a two-way street, though. Youhave to do some serious introspection and some soul-searching about “the future.”
It’s not going to just come tumbling merrily over the fence and land at your feet.
You’re going to have to hunt for it…do some “inner-self” digging to get an idea what you’re really interested in…or think you’re interested in.
Then we can have the serious conversations, and I can point you in the direction of some places that might be a good starting point.
It’s trial-and-error. It’s life. And, in the end, with hard work on your side and some thoughtful advice and counsel on mine, you’ll find your place.
It may not be the last stop on your journey, but it will be a start.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – (Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu, 64)