Aker Ink Head of Publicity Katie Brashear recently participated in a fireside chat with John Nicoletti, Executive Director and Professor of Practice for Arizona State University (ASU) Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Katie — a Cronkite School alumna — shared with students about her PR career journey and current role with Aker Ink.

“My path in public relations was a little unique,” Katie said. “While most students fresh out of school tend to take the agency path, I was fortunate enough to land my dream job as a freshly minted professional doing high-end fashion PR for Neiman Marcus. That unique experience was truly formative.”

While discussing her post-college journey, Katie dove into the value of mentorship and real-world experiences, including her involvement with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Katie recalls joining PRSA — a leading professional organization serving the communications community with more than 400 professional and student chapters in the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico — as a junior at ASU. “Since then, I have served as a board member and events committee member,” she said, “and I’m now a mentor in the Mentor Connect program.”

Katie went on to explain how becoming involved with industry organizations such as PRSA and mentorship early in her career helped set her up for success. By engaging with like-minded professionals in the PR world, it helps open doors for employment opportunities, builds a solid support system and provides pathways for learning new skills.

At the close of the fireside chat, Katie invited questions from students. In addition to several queries about how to land a first PR job, other topics of conversation covered by Katie included interview tips and how artificial intelligence impacts the media world.

As a postscript, Katie offered this sage advice to journalists and PR career hopefuls: “We are in the business of relationships, communication and storytelling,” she said. “We must be accurate and factual and honest in our work. Be a consumer of news. Find something you are passionate about. Find a mentor. Ask questions.”