You’ve made it into your school’s public relations program — congratulations! Now it’s time to plan your classes and schedule to make sure that you graduate with the right skills and internship experience.
Enrolling in a minor can give you valuable skills from your undergrad experience. But why is it important? Do employers care about minors?
Griffiths is the career director at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He helps students with resume reviews, interview preparation, writing cover letters and anything else you may need to get hired after graduation. He also gives students career advice how to best reach their career potential.
Many public relations students fall into a general business minor, which gives students tangible assets about business concepts like finance, accounting and economics.
“If you love PR but you want to do the business management or the client management side, business is a great minor,” Griffiths said. “You can do general business, business strategy or marketing. They are all great minors to have if you’re looking for the client relationship side of PR.”
Maybe that’s not your thing. Maybe you want a new challenge or want to cultivate different skills. Here are some minors that are different from the typical list your counselor might give you and may just give you a step up against your classmates.
Coding isn’t just for geeks anymore.
Students who enroll in the digital humanities and technology minor learn how to use technological skills like web publishing (HTML, CSS, Java Script), print publishing (Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft), web information technologies and localization.
“If you like the creative side of PR and like designing things but don’t want to be an advertising major, this is a great minor.” Griffiths said.
These skills are becoming critical in the world of PR. Employers revere students who can speak “code.” Being proficient with the Adobe programs is becoming a required skill on many job descriptions.
“You learn how to do print media, website design, how to use the Adobe suite,” Griffiths said. “It’s really useful and gives you a really great skills set that broadens your opportunities in the world of PR.”
Are you up for a challenge and want to learn skills that will make you stand out? Digital humanities and technology might be your new passion.
The phone is for you. It’s Mother Teresa.
Are you passionate about service and nonprofit companies? Check out a nonprofit management minor! The minor prepares students for employment and volunteer opportunities within the nonprofit world. You will learn practical skills such as fundraising and working with volunteers. This minor can give you valuable leadership experience to highlight on your resume.
Do patterns make you heart skip a beat?
A design minor teaches concepts of visual arts and design, while paired with strategic planning. With a solid base in design, there will be greater opportunity to have a meaningful impact in whatever internship or job you are pursuing.
Hope to travel the world?
“International relations is great if you are interested in international business,” Griffiths said “Or if you want to work with refugees or anything that deals with cultures outside of the United States.”
International relations is great for PR students interested in public policy and is a great steeping stone for graduate programs such a law, public policy and public administration.
An editing minor combines the skills of grammar, English, composition and design to assist authors in their writing process.
“Editing is a really solid minor as well. A lot of students have had a positive experience with that as well,” Griffiths said. “You can gain really practical skills.”
These skills can be greatly useful to PR professionals as wiring and visual elements are a big part of the job.
When researching minors, it’s important to have a goal in mind. Doing a minor just to give you extra credits and closer to graduation won’t really help you in the long run.
“If you go into it with the intention of ‘I’m taking these classes to develop some skills that I can use in a job or career after graduation’ that’s when your minor really becomes meaningful,” Griffiths said.
Make your minor work for your future. It’s not even finding internships, it’s simpler.
“When you have an assignment in a class of one of your minors, ask yourself, ‘If I do this assignment right, can I put it on my resume? Can I do this assignment to highlight different skills on my resume or LinkedIn profile or am I doing it just to get points?’” Griffiths said.
A good minor can make your resume stand out. To find out more information about the unique minors at your school, visit your school’s career adviser!
Cosy Burnett is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in digital humanities and technology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She also plays on the nationally ranked BYU women’s volleyball team. To learn more about Cosy, connect with her on LinkedIn.