Media Matters Blog

Posted on June 8th, 2022 in Alumni, Alumni Spotlight, Blog, Public Relations Jobs by Emily Turnier
Picture of Mikaili Azziz for blog post

Mikaili Azziz, B.A.J. ’22, graduated in May, and is already working as a PR coordinator at BLASTmedia, a national B2B SaaS public relations agency. In fact, she had been working part-time at the agency even before graduation. We asked Azziz about her full-time job, and her learning experiences while a student at IUPUI: 

1. You landed a full-time job right after graduation – congratulations! What advice do you have for current PR students?

“Thanks! For me, the first key to securing a position fresh out of college was completing both internships and part-time jobs in the field while still a student. If you can manage to get your foot in the door, you’re one step closer to a full-time offer. In my case, I was part-time for about two months until I was offered my current role. The second key is to apply for jobs early. I started applying a couple of months before graduation.”

2. You started as a PR Assistant at BLASTmedia and now you’re a PR coordinator there. What is the difference in those two roles?

“The main difference between a PR assistant and a coordinator lies in the level of responsibility (and workload). As an assistant, I was limited to three clients/accounts — now, I can manage up to five. Coordinators are also client-facing, meaning there’s lots of direct communication with client contacts. As an assistant, you might be a bit more behind-the-scenes. My work day has become a bit busier since the transition, but I’m getting a ton of experience!”

3. You completed three internships while you were at IUPUI. How did you land these opportunities?

“I landed one of my internships on Work and Learn Indiana (formerly Indiana INTERNnet), a database that pulls local internship opportunities. I created my profile and started applying to relevant openings. Before I knew it, I was getting interview requests. I also had success when I applied on job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn.”

4. How did you keep up with both your internships and your classes?

“I’ll be honest: Juggling internships and classes took me some time to adjust to. To keep my week running smoothly, I made sure that whatever days I had classes, I was off of work. I also blocked off one full day every week where I could focus solely on assignments. Eventually, I settled into my schedule.”

5. You concentrated in studying public relations at IUPUI, but you were also a newsroom intern at the Indianapolis Recorder for a summer. What was that experience like? Did that internship help you in any way with your current PR position?

“Ironically, interning in a newspaper environment showed me what it means to be a great PR professional. Working at the Recorder was a peek into the life of a journalist. They get hundreds of email pitches from PR folks every day — and though some are great, most are not-so-great. I learned how to write solid pitches and press releases by observing common mistakes, and listening to what catches a journalist’s attention. I walked away with a competitive edge — and I also had the experience I needed to transition into a PR coordinator role.”