The Short, but Winding Road: How My Chaotic Start to Post-Grad Life Led Me to Hoffman

Man standing outdoors in graduation regalia.

The offer to intern at The Hoffman Agency came at the perfect time.

After I was laid off in the fall from my most recent job at a tech startup, things were looking bleak going into my fourth month of unemployment. I was struggling to land interviews, and the few that I did get ended in rejection or radio silence.

As I contemplated giving up hope and settling for a job outside of my field, Tori Quinn came to my rescue with a LinkedIn message: an invitation to a 30-minute interview for the Spring internship at The Hoffman Agency in Portland.

While the B2B tech PR world is an industry that’s relatively new to me, I was certainly no stranger to Hoffman during my time at the University of Oregon (UO).

Hoffman’s reputation in the Pacific Northwest was very present within the walls of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC). The PR program at the SOJC was very low intensity during my enrollment because the faculty heavily encouraged getting hands-on work outside of the classroom. With Hoffman being close and often hiring UO alums, my professors made sure to plug the agency whenever they could.

Finding time to intern at Hoffman during school would’ve been ideal. But coming in as a transfer student and only spending two years at UO left me short on time. My days at UO were filled with 18-credit course loads, part-time work at the rec center and podcasting for the school paper.

Call it fate or luck, but things came full-circle, and I ended up at Hoffman post-grad.

As is the case with most internships, the early stages have come with both excitement and nerves. Despite coming up through a very reputable PR program, I find everything about Hoffman to be unfamiliar territory for me.

Working in a physical office space, handling multiple accounts, even using interface platforms like Microsoft Teams is treading new ground. What I have found most helpful is reminding myself that this is a learning process, and both the agency and I knew this when I was brought aboard. Reminding myself to breathe and take things one day at a time has slowed things down and left plenty of room for excitement and a willingness to learn.

Man standing on football field holding his hands in the shape of an O.

There are many exciting things I look forward to learning over the course of this internship.

Having worked a handful of jobs over brief stretches, I feel like I know a little bit about a lot but have yet to delve into a specific facet of the industry. Media relations is one of the aspects of PR that got me interested in the first place, so I’m excited to work more in that area and apply it to my accounts.

I have already been exposed to a baffling amount of tech jargon in my first few days, something I also look forward to understanding more of. Although I previously worked at a tech startup, terms such as “semiconductor” and “DERs” might as well be a foreign language. But getting up to speed is something I know will happen quickly.

Above all else, I’m most excited to work in an agency.

Regardless of where my career goes, I know that if I’m in PR, balancing multiple accounts and communicating with clients is a skill I will need to have. I can think of no better place to do that than Hoffman. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time outdoors and taking my dog on hikes. I’m also an avid sports fan and love watching new shows and movies with my girlfriend.

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