I saw the big bus pull up as I was wrapping up a new business meeting in our conference room. Actually I heard it first – the hydraulic woosh of the breaks and then the rumble of the idling engine. It was that time of year again: Professor Lisa Sisk’s bright, young University of South Carolina PR students would be pouring into our office to learn about working at a boutique PR firm (smiles everyone!). They come to visit a range of PR businesses – large and small. I can’t even remember how many times they’ve come, but they’ve definitely left their mark: We’ve hired quite a few of them – yes, they’re that good.
I like to speak off the cuff so they get an authentic experience. I remember the year we landed 10 new clients in one day – hours before they got here. For us it marked the end of the Great Recession, which was both terrifying and exhilarating. This year it was all about our latest client, Dale Chihuly. I was taking our former client, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges to see the exhibit later that day so that elevated my coolness by like a million.
We’re small and mighty here and, to that end, we stay very busy. As challenging it can be to take the time away from a new business meeting or onboarding 10 new clients – I’m always so happy to see Lisa and so blown away by her students. They are much more present and plugged in than I was when I was their age – they come to us fully educated about our firm and our clients. And they ask great questions. They’re confident and poised and seem to really know where they want to be. I know I’ll be getting tons of thank you notes and resumes from them. Eventually we just may hire one.
As much as I love the doing part of this job – the teaching part is equally as rewarding. Today’s students are tomorrow’s hard-working publicists and I’m thrilled that they include us on their tour.