Shefali Vyas, MA ‘10, had four job offers when she graduated—in a recession. What was her secret?
“The fact that I had success after graduation was connected to AU in pretty much every aspect,” Vyas said.
Whether it was her coursework, internships, or the connections she made with professors and students, Vyas, a Digital Strategist and Interactive Producer for Ogilvy PR Worldwide, said that she was thoroughly prepared.
She said of her classes and experience in the Public Communication program at AU, “I did real-life work, my professors taught me what I should expect in the field, how I should present myself in interviews and at the job, and trained me to be successful.”
Vyas chose to do an internship for credit while at SOC, and met with an Ogilvy representative at an AU event. Upon graduating, Vyas had two offers from the public relations giant, as well as from two other agencies.
Pallavi Kumar, a professor and herself an AU alum, said that Vyas’ dedication was one of the things that set her apart.
“Shefali did three things really well, that I think helped her land a job someplace she wanted to be,” Kumar said. “She found an internship where she knew she wanted to work, she was extremely driven and organized, and she really made herself part of the culture and got involved in where she was working—she made herself indispensible.”
Based on her experience, Vyas has some advice to prepare students for the fight to find jobs in a slow economy.
“While you’re in school, find an internship and get some work experience. You never know how that will turn out,” she said. “And once you’ve started applying for jobs, just keep applying—I got four offers, but I applied to 40.”
Kumar said that SOC’s Public Communication program gives students a leg-up in the job-hunting process.
“AU students are coming to the table with a PR degree—they can say, ‘not only do I know what PR is, I know how it all works, how to write a campaign strategy, you don’t have to teach me,’” she said. “That’s huge compared to other students applying for these same jobs.”