Mhairi Baird '18 recently took part in a career exploration visit to Brodeur Partners, a public relations agency located in downtown Boston. The trip was organized by the College of Liberal Arts and Dean Heidi Bostic, Career and Professional Success, University Advancement, and four members of our UNH alumni network to provide students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the day-to-day operation of a successful global communication firm. Mhairi recaps her experience and showcases the value of connecting current students with the vast alumni network for career exploration and professional success.
As a communication major, I have a lot of options of fields to work in after graduation. Within the options, I have always been interested in public relations and am curious how PR agencies work. When Career and Professional Success offered an opportunity for a group of students to spend the day at a firm in Boston, I jumped at the chance.
The trip to Brodeur Partners was one of the most informative and interactive experiences I have had at UNH. The day started with a presentation by three UNH alumni, Christine LeCompte ’86, Alison Leahy ’88 and Jeff Aubin ’92, who gave us an overview of the company (we learned the CEO Andy Coville ‘82 is also a UNH grad), the services Brodeur Partners provides and the functions of each of their jobs. Knowing they are alumni of the university we currently attend made them that much more approachable and easy to talk to; they were extremely welcoming, open to any and all questions and were genuinely excited to host 13 UNH students for the day.
As a PR agency, Brodeur has a variety of departments that have different functions. For us to get the most out of this trip, Christine and Alison set up four stations — media relations, account management, content creation and digital content — for us to rotate through. We broke into small groups and learned a little about each department — what they do, examples of their work — and we had a chance to ask questions. I valued the opportunity to ask questions as I was curious about the differences in each department and which role I could potentially see myself in after graduation in May.
After “speed dating” through the four departments, we presented back to the whole group on the department we most identified with. We were given the opportunity to apply what we learned from speed networking in a case study. Again, broken up into small groups, we were put into the role of a department. I was placed in the media relations group. Brodeur’s Ché Knight roleplayed as a difficult client coming to us for help getting her company to be more widely known. She gave an overview of the company and we asked questions to dig a little deeper into what her company was looking for.
We reconvened in our groups and came up with three ways that each of our departments could support the client’s company. It was a great opportunity to take the role of a media relations professional and give my input on how specific media could help the client. We presented our ideas to Ché and she gave us feedback. The activity gave a real sense of what it would be like to work in this environment. I found this realistic case study, client interaction and honest feedback session to be the most valuable portion of the day in envisioning my future in a public relations firm.
I walked out of Brodeur Partners overcome by how much I truly enjoyed the day and the entire experience. I learned about multiple aspects of PR, what I might enjoy and what might not be a good fit for my interests. As a senior, I am constantly thinking about what kinds of jobs I want to apply for, and this trip helped me realize that working at an agency is the career step I hope to take. Thank you to the College of Liberal Arts, Dean Heidi Bostic, Career and Professional Success, and our UNH alumni at Brodeur Partners for putting this trip together and helping all of us be as prepared as possible for our future careers.
The Career and Professional Success team regularly hosts Career Trek trips and engagement opportunities with area employers. Make sure you stay up to date with all the latest happenings from CaPS by connecting with @UNHCaPS on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, or by reading your weekly newsletters from the CaPS team in each college. Haven't received the weekly newsletter? Log in/create your account in Wildcat Careers to update your email preferences.