Faculty, Quality Courses and Hands-On Opportunities Enable Public Relations and Advertising Students to be Critical Thinkers, Problem Solvers, Strategists Wednesday, June 3, 2020
"What differentiates us from other programs is how exhaustive the experience is. Not only do students learn the theoretical and practical underpinnings of the work they are executing, but they also develop critical thinking skills that turn them into real assets for companies. Our students don’t just simply know how to write a press release; they are critical thinkers, problem solvers and strategists."
Jenna Lo Castro, Ph.D., assistant professor
Why should you choose to major in public relations and advertising at Point Park University?
You should choose to major in PR and advertising if you’re looking for the full package.
This program is jam-packed with courses and opportunities that transform students into well-rounded and well-prepared graduates. Classes are structured so that students are provided with a comprehensive education in PR and advertising.
In an industry that is constantly evolving, it is vital that students are equipped with a diverse skillset. This program hones that skillset through quality courses and hands-on opportunities such as internships, co-ops and practicums.
What makes Point Park's PR and advertising program distinctive?
What differentiates us from other programs is how exhaustive the experience is. Not only do students learn the theoretical and practical underpinnings of the work they are executing, but they also develop critical thinking skills that turn them into real assets for companies. Our students don’t just simply know how to write a press release; they are critical thinkers, problem solvers and strategists.
Tell us about the hands-on opportunities students have in this program.
As soon as students join the Point Park community, they are able to get their feet wet.
Our two student-run clubs, PRSSA and Ad Fed, offer some really robust programming and networking events. Students are also encouraged to take on leadership positions within the clubs which gives them a chance to assert their creativity and manage projects.
Inside the classroom, students just don't read a text book and take a test. They work with real clients, address real issues or challenges and produce quality campaigns.
And we can't forget about internships! Completing an internship is a program requirement. Since the university is in an ideal location (Downtown Pittsburgh) and the School of Communication has strong community ties, we often see graduates leaving Point Park with several internships under their belt. This gives them a serious edge in a competitive job market.
Camille Downing, M.A., lecturer
Where have graduates of your program landed internships, co-ops and/or jobs?
Our students come out of the program with so many opportunities to work in a variety of fields. Over the years, our students have completed internships or worked at almost every agency in town as well as many of the nonprofits and corporations.
Companies who have hired our students typically come back to us when it is time to hire again. They consistently tell us that our students are incredibly prepared to hit the ground running thanks to their courses and their hands-on experiences with internships, student media and organizations, shadowing and volunteer opportunities.
We have had students make a splash on the local, regional and international stage. For instance, one of our grads, Miles Ritenour, led the PR team for Bud Light and their highly successful Dilly Dilly campaign. Another grad, Dan Hart, is the manager of media services for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Plus, Kim Roberts is the communications manager for the Heinz History Center.
- Career-Ready: Internships Provide Real-World Experience for School of Communication Students
- School of Communication Alumni Success Stories
Why is the Downtown Pittsburgh location an advantage to PR and advertising students?
Being located in Downtown Pittsburgh allows students to learn from the very best in the industry right outside the doors of the university. In essence, the location is an extension of the classroom that provides a unique opportunity that is not as readily available or accessible at many other universities.
The professors in our department have strong working relationships with PR and ad professionals in town – it’s not unusual to have industry leaders stop by to speak to students in class, at the PRSSA and Ad Fed meetings or other school-sponsored events.
Agency tours are a regular activity at Point Park and professionals often reach out to the school to ask for volunteers or students to help with projects.
The location also opens up opportunities for excellent in-class client work that takes book learning about obscure companies to real-life work for local companies like VisitPITTSBURGH, the mayor and county executive’s offices, the Center for Organ Recovery and the Sojourner House.
Plus, the experts in town are often willing and anxious to grab lunch with students to provide guidance or to mentor them as they navigate their college experience. These relationships and networking opportunities are invaluable to students when they graduate.
Bob O'Gara, M.A., professor emeritus
What should prospective students and their parents know about this program?
Your PR and advertising career begins the minute you arrive at Point Park University with meaningful coursework guided by experienced professors and complemented by enthusiastic fellow students who share your career aspirations.
Outside the classroom you are challenged by assignments and professional activities that motivate you to dig deeper into the real world of strategies and tactics that connect you to the real world and build a stunning portfolio that is your professional identity.
The university gives you connections to the national and local professional organizations to serve you as a student and as a professional with employment, professional development and mentoring. Our students, early on, develop friendships and connections that last a lifetime.
The Point Park PR and advertising degree is forged over decades of success and is poised for even more contributions to the missions and visions of the corporate, nonprofit and government institutions in our future.