Your Career and You: “Unbridled Enthusiasm Rocks!”


Publication1I’m a few weeks into the fall semester at Curry College, where I head the undergraduate Public Relations Concentration and teach most PR courses. The usual bumps in the road have occurred along with a couple of pleasant surprises.

Bumps include a newly-enforced cap on class sizes that ensures I don’t have eager young disciples sitting on the windowsills because all the real seats are filled due to my inability to say “no” to anyone who says he or she wants to take one of my classes.

This “problem” is the result of unbridled enthusiasm from two sources: yours truly…and my students.

I absolutely love what I’m doing…because I’m introducing young men and women to a profession that has consumed my life and been my passion for more than 40 years.

My students get a whiff of my devotion and find themselves being lured into my world. They want to jump in and learn how to swim in the whitewater of my PR pool…a pleasant surprise.

For the students, this is completely voluntary…if they wish to focus their studies on a specific area. I have to stress again the voluntary part. We have a boatload of concentrations in the Communication Department, and we also have a lot of students who choose not to specialize.

What is important is that these folks have figured out that they like and are interested in Communication as a general study area. Some will go on into the communication profession; others will go into another career field. Some will focus on Public Relations; others will find another passion and pursue that.

Whatever the scenario, they all will have been exposed to and have gained a solid understanding of the role that communication plays in business as well as in life.

My goal as the resident PR prof is to ignite not a spark, but a flame of rabid enthusiasm for the opportunities and the challenges that lie ahead, regardless of the individual student’s focus, and most of the time it works. (I’m a realist…can’t convert everyone!)

This happens for one not-so-simple reason…my unbridled enthusiasm for what I am doing.

Students then get caught up in the excitement of the possibilities that lie ahead. They ask the pertinent questions and ensure that they are taking the appropriate courses in preparation for “life after graduation.” And, as part of that preparation, particularly in the PR Concentration, they are encouraged (required in PR) to successfully complete at least one internship although I strongly encourage multiple so that they can experience different professional environments and philosophies.

The end result? The public relations profession, in this case, gains enthusiastic fresh viewpoints, ideas, and eager disciples. And the students themselves gain entry to a career path that can lead them along the way to wonderful adventures.

Although I know the reality is that not everyone is madly in love with what he or she is doing for a living or as a career path, even after all these years I can’t fathom someone working at something day in and day out that he or she loathes. And, working with that mindset, I do my best to show my students that…when you do find the profession that you truly do love…go at it with unabashed and totally unbridled enthusiasm!

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Essays: First Series…Circles”

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About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 10 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in careers, Communication, Curry College, internships, job hunting, public relations, Undergraduate Communication and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Your Career and You: “Unbridled Enthusiasm Rocks!”

  1. Jon Boroshok says:

    Thanks for articulating what I often feel, Kirk. Once again, you’re an inspiration and role model (for me!).

    • kirkhazlett says:

      Thank YOU, Jon, for reading and sharing my thoughts. And, conversely, thank YOU for inspiring ME…I often mention you when talking with my students…the enthusiasm that I’ve seen YOU display in the classroom and in “real” life.

  2. Amanda says:

    I feel the same way about my prof for PR/social Media, Dr. Karen Freberg. Her enthusiasm and support led me to renew my passion for writing as well as introducing me to new outlets (new to me at least) for writing that I may have not found on my own. The whole support thing is key. I never realized throughout my time in college before, that when you enjoy what your doing, and you generally don’t want to let your professor down, you work 10 times harder. Reverse psychology? haha

    • kirkhazlett says:

      I’m so glad that Dr. Freberg has inspired you, Amanda. That’s what we who are standing in front of the class sounding off on any- and everything should be doing! (And we’re sneaky about finding ways to get you to do what we want you to do! 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading my thoughts and commenting! All the best as you prepare to head out into the professional world and find your own passion!

      Kirk

  3. Pingback: Your Career and You: “Never ‘Get ‘Old’” | A Professor's Thoughts

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