Rachel EsterlineRachel Esterline
Central Michigan University, PR Major

GradtoGreat.com is honoring college students and college graduates who are conducting, or have completed, creative and proactive job searches. If you want to nominate a college grad (or soon-to-be-recent graduate) to be highlighted in our Great Grad’s Gallery, please contact us.

Rachel has been selected as this week's “Great Grad” for numerous reasons: 1) she's putting herself through school, 2) she's an outstanding student 3) she has real PR experience through an internship, 4) she's holds a leadership role in a student-run PR firm on campus. And, she's only a junior! In our opinion this lady has done everything to make the most out of her college experience and any PR agency would be lucky to have her when she graduates.

G2G: When did you start thinking about your future career?
RE: As soon as I got to CMU. I have to pay for everything myself, so I have to use my time wisely and take advantage of every opportunity that I have here.

G2G: What do you think about networking? Has it played a role in your PR career at all?
RE: Networking is great! I've received several internship interview opportunities due to the network I have built.

G2G: Would you mind sharing the experience you've gained working for PR Central in Mt. Pleasant?
RE: Sure, PRC is a student-run PR firm at CMU. We work with real clients and already I've already gained valuable experience working on brochures, surveys, marketing research, collateral marketing materials, planning events, fundraising and working with the media.

G2G: Do you belong to any other student organizations?
RE: Yes. In addition to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and PR Central, I am involved in the Student Government Association as a house representative and the public relations chairperson.

G2G: You got involved with PRSSA as a freshman right? How did you get involved in the first place?
RE: During one of my PR classes, a representative from PRSSA came to speak to us. I went to the first meeting and immediately joined. I started working on one of the several committees to gain experience, even though I only was a freshman.

G2G: How did you find out about SGA?
RE: I had heard about SGA through PRSSA and a friend told me about their PR position.

G2G: So, networking again, great! What type of job do you hope to land when you graduate?
RE: I would like to work at a PR agency.

G2G: Are there any firms you admire?
RE: Many! I'm not really sure where to start. The place that sticks out the most in my mind is Franco Public Relations Group in Detroit. I job shadowed two CMU alumnas at Franco Public Relations Group and that is what got me interested in agency work.

G2G: What is your expectation of the workplace?
RE: I look forward to working very much. I love PR and I hope to be hired by an agency where I can put all of my experience to work right away.

G2G: Rachel, is there any advice you would offer to college students who still have another year left before graduation?
RE: (1) Build your personal brand. It will help create an image of a knowledgeable professional. My suggestions include creating an online portfolio, writing for blogs and using Twitter. (2) Network. This doesn't mean taking business cards. It means building relationships with these people and taking interest in them.

G2G: Thanks Rachel. We are honored to have you as a featured "Great Grad"!