When I first made my decision to enroll at Montclair State University, one of its main selling-points was the Hawk Communications program. As a public relations major, joining a student-led communication agency that offers hands-on fieldwork experience was something I had to be a part of. This course has been such a unique and eye-opening experience; especially during a global crisis. In a time where the world feels shut down, Hawk Communications has opened up so many doors to opportunities that have shaped me as an aspiring public relations professional.
Being that Hawk Communications would be the first step I took into the world of public relations, I was a little hesitant. Since I had little to no experience, I was not sure what to expect. On the first day of class, I got a clearer vision of the course. After Professor Keith Green’s introduction and a few words from returning students, I knew I was in the right place. From day one, it was very clearly emphasized that this course is simultaneously the perfect launching pad to professional communication careers, and a safe place to learn and grow.
Hawk Communications taught me how to push my own boundaries, and broadened my understanding of how to work with a client, and how to work with a team. Once we were assigned different accounts to coordinate with, I was welcomed by my fellow peers on the NJ Warriors account as well as the Hawk Social Media Channels team. Assuming my role as account coordinator for these teams was initially overwhelming being that I had never worked with a client before, nor managed a social media account other than my own. I knew this would be a big responsibility and set the tone for future internships and jobs. Working on these accounts this semester left me with a few key takeaways.
During my time on these accounts I worked side by side, virtually, with my client and teams to meet our goals and objectives. For the Hawk Social Media Channels team, it was my job to create weekly scheduled posts for multiple social media platforms. This was my first experience planning content and managing official accounts online. As for the NJ Warriors, I was a coordinator for the pitching team. Within this role, I connected with various news outlets, pitching potential stories which was uncharted territory for me. Reporting back to our pitching team’s media tracker, Ted Curtin (Executive VP of NJ Warriors), as well as my teammates helped hold me accountable and taught me how to work as a member of this well-oiled machine. Functioning in small parts to create the bigger picture is how I would describe my time on these teams.
Overall, I am honored to have been a part of this course and exposed to this type of work environment. I feel way more prepared and confident in my skills as a future PR agent after this experience. It has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, and step into the world of public relations.