CAREERS: My Big Break

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


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