Man In Black

A male's perspective in a female-dominated PRoffesion.

Lessons learned from our time with BRAC

Rewind to my first day inside of  Dr. Jensen Moore’s PR writing class.

I was nervous, a little confused, and feeling blindsided by the amount of work in store for the semester. I was too busy gawking at the never-ending syllabus to even understand exactly what a service-learning course entailed.

Now, as the class nears its end and we prepare for our final presentations to BRAC, I feel that I have gained experience and knowledge I could have never learned in a traditional classroom.

MC 4001 has been a crash course of the top ten competencies employers look for in applicants. (Korn/Ferry – Lominger model).

  • Action orientation
  • Dealing with ambiguity
  • Creativity
  • Decision quality
  • Problem solving
  • Motivating others
  • Planning
  • Priority setting
  • Strategic agility/thinking ahead
  • Time management

Through our coursework and partnership with BRAC, we have been challenged and made to display all of these qualities. At times, it was hard, but I feel that it was worth all the stress.  One competency that stuck out to me was “dealing with ambiguity.”  More than once throughout the course, I felt we were given assignments without much direction or details. We had to problem solve and take action ourselves.  Dr. Jensen was there to answer our questions, but she never “spoon fed” us the answers. This is how the real world works.

While there is always room for more knowledge and experience, I think this class has thrusted me into preparedness for success in the PR field. I could enter an internship or job with confidence that I have the necessary skills to excel in a fast-paced environment. I could tackle tasks that I may not have never done with calmness and ease. PR writing has taught me how to thinking critically, manage my time and get the job done.

I’ve also learned the importance of professionalism. While our campaign and partnership with BRAC may have been a class assignment, we understood the success or failure of this project could have serious implications inside and outside the classroom. Our joint mission has been to make the Baton Rouge metropolitan area’s economy thrive through the use of geo-location based mobile application, SCVNGR. The members of Bengal Communications have taken this project serious and conducted themselves in a professional, respectful manner throughout the course.  We have learned that when you are representing a client, every action you make reflects their business or brand.

Overall, I have learned a lot about myself and the PR profession this semester. This course has assured me that I am entering the right profession. I’m excited for the future.

Until next time,

Man In Black

Also, check out my first video appearance on Man In Black, where I’ll be talking about my experiences this semester. Watch it below.

Still here? Check out this hilarious spoof of PR people from the Kroll Show. Hopefully, my blog has debunked the myth that public relations is anything like it is portrayed in the video below. However, we all need a good laugh every now and then.

Follow me @DavidSahr or join me on LinkedIn.


One comment on “Lessons learned from our time with BRAC

  1. madisonmhentze
    May 1, 2013

    Hi David,

    Happy end of the semester; we’ve come a long way. I ( love that you noted in your last post that we were never “spoon fed” during this course. I have definitely dealt with ambiguity on several occasions this semester, and at times, I was more than confused ( I can now say proudly that I feel that all of my hard work has paid off.

    I ( believe that this course has made me a better student, a better future-public relations practitioner and a better professional. I have definitely engaged in priority setting, problem solving, creativity, time management and thinking ahead. Sometimes I engaged in these competencies all at once.

    I agree with you that this course has taught me a lot about public relations itself. I feel that I have a handle on the skills – the writing and design skills at least – that are required of a public relations professional. Moreover, I ( have truly enjoyed creating and writing our assignments. I felt the need to be very serious while creating my content for our BRAC campaign. In my time at LSU, I have found it hard to write at length on other topics for other classes. Conversely, PR writing seemed to flow from work to sentence to paragraph for me. I am glad to have had the chance to sharpen my skills in our MC 4001 class, and I look forward to what our PR future holds.

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