Most journalists laugh when I tell them I got into PR for academic
reasons. As a communications major at St. Mary's College of California -
fixing library computers and servers between classes for pizza and CD
money - I thought to pursue the one career where I had to understand how
the media works. An internship at a wine-and-food specialty agency,
Brown-Miller Communications in Martinez, CA, amply proved to me that PR
fulfilled my career requirements in that academic sense.
In terms of choosing an industry in which to ply my then-nascent PR
skills, I didn't have to look much further than my source of income at
the time: information technology. Thus, hi-tech PR presented itself.
This epiphany was my "big break."
If one remains serious about a communications career, there really is no
better place to make a living and do a fair amount of in-field research
than working at a PR agency. I see my career as the natural extension of
the tenets and theories that I learned in college, and a chance to
develop a number of my own. Should I decide to pursue graduate work in
communications science, my years in the agency world have offered the
best possible preparation.
Phil Gomes is a senior associate at Phase Two Strategies in San