By: Hannah Belt
Our PRSSA chapter recently had the opportunity to tour BrunnerWorks agency in Pittsburgh, PA. This was my first time ever visiting an agency, and it was so much better than I expected.
We arrived early Friday morning and first were given a tour of the office. It was completely modern and newly renovated. I didn’t expect to see that kind of atmosphere at an agency, and it was really interesting to see how they’ve incorporated creative environments into their workspaces.
Following the tour, we spoke to two employees at Brunner, Jordan Mitrik, a PR Specialist, and Ashley Jones, a PR Content Manager. As young professionals early in their careers, Jordan and Ashley gave very relatable advice for our own professional journeys. They both had somewhat unconventional paths to their positions at Brunner, and I felt like I was able to learn a lot from both of them.
Ashley also had a different path to her position at Brunner. She went to Carlow University and studied English, Secondary Education and Special Education. At the end of her time in college, she realized that is not the career path she wanted. Ashley decided to move to New York City to become an editor and writer. Eventually, she moved to Pittsburgh and started working at a small agency as a copywriter and content curator. This agency is where she became involved in the field of public relations, which helped her gain the experience she needed to land the job at Brunner. At Brunner she is now responsible for helping brands figure out their voice and determine what they want their image to be. While her journey to where she is now wasn’t the most conventional, she loves where it ended, with a job at Brunner.
Hearing Ashley’s and Jordan’s backgrounds really helped me realize that I don’t need to have everything planned out in terms of my career. You can do everything right and still have something unexpected change your course. You can also be going down a different road and have something drastically change, but still end up successful. I think a lot of times we put so much pressure on ourselves to figure out where our end goal is and what we need to do to get there. What’s more important is developing our skills to become the professional we strive to be.
Our visit to BrunnerWorks opened my eyes to a whole other field of PR that I previously wasn’t interested in. I’m looking forward to more experiences like this in the future and encourage all PRSSA members to take advantage of them!