Money makes the world go round, and nowadays, there are more and more ways to be involved with it, aside from making it. Financial communications is a way for public relations students to become involved in the field, representing various companies within the field, whether it’s a bank, money management service or much more. In the third article of the Intern Talk series, two PRSSA members share their experience working within the finance industry.
Role(s): Financial & professional services summer fellow at Ketchum.
Education: Rising junior at Boston University with a public relations major and business administration and management minor, co-founder and co-host of the paPRazzi podcast.
PRSSA Background: Member, account executive for PRLab, Boston University’s Student-run Firm.
About her role at Ketchum: “This past summer I interned at Ketchum, a global public relations and communications agency, as a summer fellow with their Financial and Professional Services team and their Financial Communications team. There, I was able to work for clients such as Deloitte, Target and Frito-Lay.”
“I love working in public relations within the finance industry because it combines my passions for communications and business. The finance industry is incredibly interesting and fast-paced, you might work on crisis communications one day and then media relations the next. I also find the regulations and technical sides of the sector fascinating.”
Role(s): External public relations consultant for ICBC Bank.
Education: Student at the University of Argentina de la Empresa studying communications and public relations, also studying social sciences including philosophy, sociology and psychology.
PRSSA Background: National Publications Committee, Member working on digital communications, newsletters as an academy mentor and developing a job mentoring program.
About his role for ICBC Bank:“Some of my responsibilities include project management, media relations, press releases and columns, media training for spokespeople, event planning and consulting.
It is very interesting to work in the banking industry. I was able to study, read and produce information of great value to help people. The main difference compared to my previous work in other PR industries was having to familiarize myself with a different area of journalists and technical knowledge. Suddenly, I went from visiting technology plants and working with engineers, to meeting banks and working with economists.”
PRSSA Skills in Action
Both members credited their previous experiences, some facilitated by PRSSA involvements, with helping prepare them for their roles in the finance industry.
Mia describes how not only her Chapter, but also her Chapter’s firm PRLab, benefited her in her role at Ketchum. “[With ] my role as an account executive for Ben and Jerry’s Boston through PRLab, I learned so much about the public relations industry and agency life. My PRSSA Chapter’s weekly speakers and networking events also helped me prepare for my internship,” she said.
Federico shares that his previous experience in the government prepared him to work in the industry, as he believes the area shares similar aspects of formality and etiquette. I also had experience working with another Chinese company, which made me familiar with their culture going into the role.” He also shares that “PRSSA brought me a lot of information and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t a member.”
Learning Career Perspectives
Gaining real-world experience is a necessary part of being a student in the public relations industry, and these experiences can help one become better prepared to take on future opportunities. Federico shares, “Working in financial public relations made me realize that each industry has its details, codes, channels, cultural elements, opportunities and philosophy. Industries are always different.”
Advice for PRSSA Members
After hearing about their experience within the finance industry, I asked Mia and Federico if they had any advice for students that would like to follow in their footsteps. They each shared some of their approaches and values that helped lead them to where they are today.
“Be proactive! Take initiative and make connections because you never know where it might take you. As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
“From my PRSSA experience, my advice is to get involved in spaces of interculturality, networking, and diversity. From my financial PR role, my advice is to get involved in economics and financial issues, information and to take advantage of all the opportunities that banks offer.”
Thank you to the participants in this article for sharing their experiences and advice! Our fellow PRSSA members have accomplished amazing things with their motivation and their experience from their PRSSA Chapters. I’m excited to see them continue in the field.
If you are interested in the finance industry or were inspired by this article today, feel free to connect with the participants on Linkedin. Your network truly is one of your greatest assets; join PRSSA’s LinkedIn group and check out Champions for PRSSA to connect with more students, professionals and possible mentors.
The PRSSA Internship Center shares many internships in various industries, including some listed exclusively for PRSSA students. Be sure to take advantage of this platform as many internships are now open for applications.
If you’d like to be featured in a future article, make sure to follow VP of Career Services Melina O’Neal on LinkedIn to be notified when she is looking for PRSSA members to interview about their experience in various industries. Thank you for reading!
Melina O’Neal currently serves as the vice president of career services for PRSSA National. She is a fourth-year student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania pursuing her master’s degree in communication studies after graduating in 2023 with her bachelor’s degree in media & culture. Previously, she has served as a District Ambassador and National Publications Committee member for PRSSA National, alongside her responsibilities as vice president and treasurer for her collegiate Chapter. You can connect with Melina via LinkedIn, Instagram or X.