By: Alexis Smith (@alexis_rochelle)

One of the most neglected responsibilities of young professionals, when they’re going through the motions of being a college student, is researching their next step. While the focus is often put toward properly executing an interview and how to lock down a position, it is equally important to do your research about where you see yourself too. To gain more insight into just this, Grand Valley’s PRSSA chapter had the opportunity to tour two firms in Downtown Grand Rapids last week.

First Stop: Lambert & Co.

The first firm that we visited was Lambert & Co. At Lambert, we were welcomed into their office to not only tour and experience the space but were presented with valuable information about and the history of the agency, what a day is like at Lambert, and insight into their client wins. 

Beyond learning about what a position at Lambert & Co. looks like from a distance, we gained valuable advice from recent college graduates about their path to working at Lambert and how to prepare for a position such as this one. At Lambert or any agency, you are juggling with multiple clients who come from different industries. Therefore, it’s best to know what you’re passionate about and what your strengths are. While there may be an opportunity to test out different things that you’re curious about or build your expertise, you should know your current skill set like the back of your hand.

Next Stop: Happy PR

Similarly, at our second stop of the day, we were welcomed at Happy PR with a few of the same key points. In an agency, your day will never look the same as the next. Juggling with multiple clients and deadlines for each can look overwhelming at a distance. Although, this is where finding a team and a place of work that suits you is most important. 

Happy PR wasn’t always branded with the colorful, bold and welcoming identity that it holds today. Emily Richett, the founder of Happy PR, told the story of her powerful breakthrough moment that she needed to create an agency that would make her coworkers happy (pun intended). It’s powerful to be able to go to work every day and enjoy it so it’s important to consider interviewing for places that will make you excited to contribute to. 

Although, in order to find yourself in company culture as great as both Lambert and Happy, a few strong takeaways stand. 

  1. Sharpen your skills. Know what you do well, and make it even better. Specifically, you need to know how to write in this field so practice as much as you can.
  2. You’re going to have a lot to learn. Therefore, you’re going to need to be able to take constructive criticism well so you don’t make the same mistake twice.
  3. Have a personality, but know how to read a room. Standing out is something that will land that job, but as with everything, there is a time and a place. 

Final Thoughts

Thank you again to Lambert and Happy PR for the opportunity to explore and learn from some strong players in the field. It was a great experience!


Alexis Smith is a senior at Grand Valley State University studying advertising and public relations. She is a member of PRSSA at GVSU as well as an Account Associate for Grand Valley’s student-run PR firm, GrandPR. Alexis has a passion for all things consumer PR, internal communications, and graphic design. When she has a free moment, you’ll likely find her exploring Grand Rapids restaurants and concerts.