Public Relations Account Executive
Allen Hall Public Relations
Senior, Public Relations Major, Business Administration Minor
Dream job: Working at a public relations agency in Portland doing lifestyle public relations.
Role in Allen Hall Public Relations: As an AHPR account executive, Quinn helped the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art attract university students through special events and awareness campaigns. She’s also an editor, working with six different AHPR teams.
Best thing about Allen Hall PR: I enjoy having a real client and working with professionals each week. It’s fun to hear advice and get tips. Working with a client gives you something to talk about when you’re sharing your portfolio in a job interview. My friends at other schools are jealous because I get to graduate with a portfolio. As an AHPR editor, I also get to improve my editing skills and get more involved with the entire firm.
The value of hands-on learning: There’s a huge difference between hypothetical planning and actually putting that plan into action. You find all these holes you’d never know about unless you actually had to create it. Bringing it to life requires all those extra steps that don’t happen in the classroom.
“Coming up with this great idea is one thing. And then you go ‘this actually has to happen.’”
AHPR students learn how public relations agencies work—by running one
Allen Hall Public Relations (AHPR) is a student-run agency (emphasis on agency). That means actually applying what you learn from your course work. It also means dealing with clients who are anything but hypothetical, responding strategically to change, and overcoming unexpected—and sometimes unfair—obstacles. In other words, reality.
Applying for the staff is highly competitive, and the students are in charge of hiring and managing their colleagues. For nine straight months, they serve clients such as PeaceHealth, Olympic athletes Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton, and Cowbucker, an Oregon-based hat company. Client fees are used to fund professional development opportunities, visiting speakers, travel, and other expenses related to staff learning opportunities.
Students don’t get paid, but they do get credit. And they run the show. This is not a club or an extracurricular activity. It’s definitely not practice. It’s a professional opportunity and a source for portfolio gold—examples of work that were actually produced and made a real impact on a business or organization.
Their portfolios are impressive, but it’s often the people issues that pose the greatest challenges to students. How do you communicate, collaborate, and resolve differences? How do we regroup after failure and transform that into success?
You won’t find the answers in your textbook. But you may hear the questions in your next job interview.
AHPR helped hat company Cowbucker announce its partnership with Camp Kesem, an organization that supports children whose parents have cancer.
AHPR produced Valentine's Day Date Night at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, an event to help bring more UO students to the museum.
What Our Alumni Are Saying
“AHPR was the most valuable thing, in terms of career preparation, that I did at the UO.” — Karly Bolton
BS '12 (Public Relations)
Current position: Senior Manager, Corporate Communications for Salesforce
Benefits of Allen Hall Public Relations: You get real experience working with clients. You also learn how to work with and lead your peers, which is very important if you’re going to work in an agency setting. And your work is client-ready, so it’s very professional. Finally, the guest speakers and networking opportunities were invaluable.
What aspect of the experience has served you as a professional? You’re never done improving your writing, but Allen Hall PR helped me hone my writing skills. We had a lot of practice, and it was real—you were sending your work to clients, and that real-world environment propelled us all forward.
Case Study: PeaceHealth
AHPR helped PeaceHealth Rides launch their new bike-sharing program in 2018. Students helped plan events, develop and implement social media strategies, and generate news coverage.
Choose Your Own Adventure