I am a public relations professional, and I studied philosophy in college.
That’s not a sentence you often hear coming from someone working in the public relations field, but it’s true. My background in philosophy has helped me tremendously throughout my schooling, my many part-time jobs and in my current full-time position as a publicist with Bohlsen Group.
Studying philosophy isn’t what it sounds. Philosophy allowed me to learn more about other cultures, belief systems and ways of living. It taught me how to fully harness my ability to critically think and to look at a problem from a different angle than most would; it encouraged me to be creative while also being practical and thorough – skills used every day in the world of public relations.
When doing research on whether or not philosophy was a good choice for me, I came across a forum of college students asking professionals and other students whether a degree in philosophy was worth the time. One participant talked of a career event he attended while still studying philosophy. A CEO at that event said,
“I can hire a philosophy major and teach him everything he’d have learned in business school in six weeks. But if I hire a business major, I’ll never be able to teach him to think.”
Philosophy did teach me to think critically, to not take anything at face value and to constantly search for answers, even when there seem to be none. Whether crafting a strategic plan for a campaign with a complicated subject or identifying a client’s main message, I can utilize my critical thinking skills and constantly be exposed to new thought processes.
Working in public relations is something I love. It has provided me with a unique opportunity to utilize my love of learning and understanding while also engaging with different publics. I am able to not only work with clients from all walks of life, but also understand them and their goals on a more personal level and create content that will inform, persuade and entertain all types of audiences.
by Elizabeth Coomer