I am sitting here with perma-grin on my face after creating a presentation for the GVSU Public Relations Student Society of America. The group asked me to speak on the Nitty Gritty of PR, in other words, what you don’t learn about in the classroom. You know, the long hours, coordination, logistics, wrangling, headaches, stress, etc.

But…you know what…I really fucking love my job. I decided instead of words, words and more words, I would show my experience in pictures. I have spent the last 2 hours looking through and inserting photos into the Prezi and it dawned on me…I have had one hell of a career so far.

Sure there are long hours, annoying people, unexpected surprises and more but holy shit the stuff I have gotten to be a part of…wow. Here are my major takeaways from my 15+ year career:

  1. People, so many people. I have met some of my best friends that started out as acquaintances, reporters or clients. I met Susan Ford Bales when I worked on a project for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum – she was as awesome and intelligent as you would expect. My partner in crime, Adrienne Wallace, became the #2 of 8THIRTYFOUR and we experienced Lights in the Night Grand Rapids, Bissell Pet Foundation Howlween Hoof & Woof, Unity Bridge of Holland, multiple events, press conferences, speaking engagements and more.
  2. Experiences. I was able to travel to New York City with a client after setting up meetings with Seventeen Magazine, SELF magazine and more. Sure it was in the dead of summer and easily 100 degrees in the City but it was like I was in an episode of Sex in the City…but not as well-dressed.
  3. Clients. 8THIRTYFOUR has represented companies that have appeared on Shark Tank, are global, were launching a kitty litter product, were opening an ER and more. We once took on a client that wanted to launch thousands of lanterns into the sky over Grand Rapids – what a bunch of nut jobs.

This easily makes up for the sleepless nights, zero work/life balance and crushing stress. I would do all of it again in a heartbeat.

Take some time in the next week and just reflect on all you have done and accomplished. It is pretty damn impressive, be proud.

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