As a student majoring in advertising and public relations, I often get asked about my studio art minor. Usually, these questions are about how I decided on a studio art minor, what I’ve gained from it, and why I even elected to take on a minor in the first place. As an indirect result of these conversations, I am an advocate for students taking on a minor.

I believe that having an additional subject of interest to study can make your college experience more enjoyable and fulfilling. After all, your college years can be the best opportunity to invest in learning about subjects you are passionate about. Additionally, taking on a minor also expands the breadth of your professional knowledge and experience as you enter your career field.

Public Relations Students and College Minors

A career in public relations can be one full of twists and turns. From the day-to-day variation of agency work, to the need for industry-specific expertise of in-house PR; it is important for PR professionals to take their education seriously. Because of this, the opportunity of expanding an education through a minor is even more valuable to students majoring in public relations. 

Now that I have made my case for taking on a minor, allow me to share a couple methods for selecting a subject to study.

Career Goal Compatibility

Maybe your main goal of your college minor is to enhance your chances at getting the type of PR jobs you want. In this case, the minor you may choose depends on your career goals. Perhaps you are interested in working for a small agency and need the entrepreneurial skills of a business minor, or maybe you are looking to do PR in the travel industry and would value earning a hospitality and tourism management minor to gain more in-depth knowledge about the industry. Taking your professional goals into consideration when selecting a minor can help you even more in getting to where you want to be in your career.

Gaining Hard Skills

An additional method to choosing a minor is by taking note of your weaknesses. What do you struggle the most with in your public relations classes? For example, If you have struggled with every press release you’ve ever written, a writing minor would provide you with the guidance and experience to improve. Personally, I took on my studio art minor because I wanted to know more about the tools and techniques that graphic designers use in order to be of more value in visually-focused campaigns. I have found that many of the hard skills I have gained from my minor have been integral to successes in my work and classes.

Given the nature of the industry, public relations professionals must be adaptable and always willing to learn. Taking advantage of a career-benefiting minor is a great opportunity to begin your lifelong learning process. This is why I believe, if you have the time and resources to do so, taking on a minor can better prepare you for your future career – wherever it may take you.

About the Author:

Jesse Schmitt is a senior this year pursuing a degree in Advertising & Public Relations with a minor in Studio Art. She serves on GVPRSSA’s executive board as the CEO of our student-run, nationally affiliated PR firm: GrandPR. Additionally, Jesse is currently working as an Applied Research + Consulting Student Associate at Steelcase.