Hiking Into Public Relations

By Claire English, Intern

Growing up in Oregon, camping was an annual summer tradition for my family. These trips were my favorite part of summer — it was where I first developed a love for the outdoors and adventure. But it was on one special summer trip through part of the Pacific Crest Trail with my dad where my love for camping evolved to now include backpacking.

Claire English pacific crest trail

When you plan a backpacking trip, there is a lot to consider: how many miles you are hiking per day, where your next water source will be, how much you need to bring, and how much you want to carry. Being the well-organized and outdoor-loving person I am, backpacking is right up my alley, and this meticulous planning and organization has also weaved its way to become a part of my professional life. I believe that the right kind of organization and planning will provide you with a smooth and steady trail to your destination, but of course keeping in mind that there can be unexpected occurrences along the way.

I accepted an internship position at The Hoffman Agency two days before graduating from the University of Oregon, and I felt confident to set out on the trail of PR, however had no idea what to expect when entering the professional world. Like most internship experiences portrayed on TV, I figured I’d be doing coffee runs, organizing schedules, and sorting mail. But that’s not the case at Hoffman. I suddenly found myself diving in headfirst to the world of media lists and bylines.

In my first week at Hoffman, I was intimidated by agency life — but the team at Hoffman turned out to be great trail guides. They gave me tasks I had never done before and looped me into ongoing email chains. I quickly realized that no matter how much I tried to prepare myself for this trail, it was near-impossible to cover every bit of ground and I would be bound to make mistakes along the way. Navigating the professional world can be full of setbacks, especially in an entry-level role, but the Hoffman team has guided me in the right direction with constant help and feedback while also pushing me out of my comfort zone.

I have come to learn that mistakes are a crucial part of growth in the professional world. No matter how much you have planned for the journey, you will at times find yourself stuck at a crossroads. But what is more important is that you learn from mistakes and keep your head held high. I could not be happier with my first week at Hoffman; I was introduced to a team that was more than happy to help guide me along the way. Having now a better grasp of the trail of PR, I am eager to continue this journey with such fabulous trail guides and endless learning opportunities.

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