Bridging Classroom Learning with Real-World Public Relations

Before embarking on my internship with Hodges this semester, my understanding of public relations was mostly confined to the pages of textbooks and lecture halls. And while the knowledge I’ve gained in the classroom has laid sturdy groundwork, it lacked the crucial element of real-world application. From The Robertson School to The Hodges Partnership, each step of the journey has taught me valuable lessons about blending education with hands-on experience.

My journey at the Robertson School began with a deep dive into the theories and practices of media relations and social media. In the classroom, we studied the intricacies of building relationships with journalists, crafting compelling pitches and navigating the evolving media landscape. Concepts such as target audience analysis, message framing and media pitching strategies were emphasized, yet their practical significance only became apparent when I had the opportunity to apply them in a real-world setting.

Media Relations

One topic that particularly resonated with me was the idea of “newsworthiness.” In class, we discussed various factors that determine whether a story is deemed newsworthy, such as timeliness, proximity and human interest. However, it wasn’t until I was tasked with developing a media pitch for a client at Hodges that I truly grasped the importance of this concept. As I crafted my pitch, I found myself constantly evaluating the newsworthiness of the story angle and adjusting my approach accordingly. This experience highlighted the direct link between theoretical knowledge and practical application, reinforcing the notion that what may seem abstract in the classroom can have tangible implications in the real world.

Social Media

Similarly, my coursework in social media provided me with a comprehensive understanding of platforms, algorithms and engagement strategies. Yet, it was my hands-on experience managing social media accounts for the Robertson School that allowed me to truly appreciate the complexities of this field. From crafting engaging posts to analyzing metrics and trends, I gained invaluable insights into the power of social media as a strategic communication tool. This laid the groundwork for my work at Hodges, where I leveraged my understanding of social media dynamics to develop targeted content and drive audience engagement. I was able to develop a nuanced understanding of these concepts that would later prove instrumental in my internship experience at Hodges.


Transitioning into the fast-paced environment of the public relations industry, I quickly realized the importance of not only applying theoretical knowledge but also leveraging practical skills such as networking. Pushing myself to connect with others at professional events served as a confidence builder. Recognizing familiar faces and forming connections, whether through casual conversations or exchanging LinkedIn connections, became second nature.

These networking experiences not only enriched my academic and professional journey but also opened doors to unexpected opportunities. What’s particularly special about “growing up” in the public relations industry as an undergrad is the robust PRSA chapter filled with professionals eager to offer guidance and support. Leveraging this network proved invaluable as I navigated internships and charted my career path in PR.

As I continue to grow in this dynamic field, my story is a reminder that theory and practice are not separate—they’re intertwined. In this intersection lies the path to success.

Hodges Interns

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