GUEST WRITER: Victoria Adamczak - How to find your way into PR at a young age
Let us introduce our new segment at NIKA - Guest Writers! We feel that we are surrounded by so many inspiring, powerful, and incredible people and we want to make NIKA a bigger platform and share their stories. First out is, Victoria Adamczak. Let's go!
My name is Victoria Adamczak, I am 23 years old and I live in Stockholm. Things that bring
me joy and inspiration are: the spring, a really good podcast, and a glass of red wine. My
topic for this guest writing is ”How to find your way into PR at a young age”
Let’s just begin with the fact that I’m at the absolute beginning of my career. I just celebrated my first year as a real grown-up – no school, paid vacation, pension, you know the drill. But my story in PR began a little earlier than that. It started one day when I decided to contact a person I admired on Instagram. I think it was a feeling of being stuck, in that sense that I wanted to do something. I wanted to run, but I didn’t know in what direction or even which road I was supposed to take. I had followed him for a while, and the thought had crossed my mind – I could do a journey like his. Long story short, he agreed to meet me for a coffee and two weeks later I began an internship at his newly started PR Agency.
To be frank I didn’t even know what PR was and it actually took me a while to get it. I studied B2B sales and marketing for two years, but I knew after my first week as an intern that PR was my thing. Since we didn’t learn anything about PR in school, I had to do the utmost to get something out of my internships. Six months after my ended internship at the agency Redgert Comms I put on my best clothes and entered almost any fast-fashion loving girls dream company – Nelly.com
And then came my first real “career bump”. I loved Nelly, my colleagues, the fashion industry - but they didn’t have an open position that fit me when my internship came to its end. I applied for a role as a part-time showroom assistant. To be frank, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted – but I desperately wanted to stay in any way possible. I didn’t get the role. Instead, I got fixed-term employment for a more fitting role, but it was only for a couple of months. It was something, but it wasn’t a long-term solution. I remember this time as one of the most stressful times filled with anxiety. I was about to graduate, I didn’t want to leave Nelly and I was about to be unemployed in the coming months. Not at all what I expected for my presumptuous career.
While still being on Nelly I started looking for other jobs. I had no idea what kind of role I was supposed to be looking for. How junior am I, how senior am I? I wasn’t very self-aware at the beginning of my job search, and how could I, I was a little nestling. I applied for jobs such as PR Manager at big international companies and got offended when “they didn’t even have the audacity to answer my application”. How cute.
One day my phone rang. It was a nice guy from an Agency called *wait for it* Agency. We struggled for a while, the phone call broke multiple times – his phone died, then I was in the elevator. Anyhow it ended with a google calendar invite - an interview for the role “PR Assistant/Office assistant”. My grand confidence was a bit hesitant, from PR Manager to Office assistant. Well, no pain no gain, right?
I went to the interview and entered the most tasteful office I have ever seen. Expensive designer furniture and a big black marble egg. I slowly realized after a couple of interviews that I desperately wanted this job. It was going to be hard and I wouldn’t be some kind of wonder child with nice clothes. I had to work hard, probably many more hours than I was comfortable with and everyone would be ten times smarter than me. But I would be able to work with some of the best people in the industry. If I really wanted to learn and become the best, this is the place to do it. Instead of fashion, I will work with some of the biggest companies in the Nordics, some even in the world. My worries about the office assistant part disappeared as quickly as it came.
The head of the Agency called me a couple of days later. “I’m afraid to tell you that we can’t offer you the role you applied for” my heart dropped to the floor. “But - we see you have potential and would like you to start as a Junior PR consultant right away, how would you feel about that?”
At that moment I felt a thousand feelings at once. Excited, terrified, relieved, powerful, and proud. And one year later I still feel all those feelings at times. But as with love the feeling of being newly in love (in Swedish we have a word for it: nyförälskad) has developed into a more secure relationship. Which is a very beautiful thing.
As I began this guest writing with. I’m still at the very beginning of my career. And (reminder to self) I’m only 23. One thing I’ve come to learn during this past year: Everything doesn’t have to go so freaking fast. Remember to breathe, enjoy the ride and as soon you start to feel bored – grab that feeling by the balls and push yourself into the next adventure.
To wrap this up, the most valuable things I have taken with me so far:
1. Appreciate and take advantage of being junior when you have the possibility. There is no better timing to learn and be allowed to make mistakes. Learning by doing is fantastic in many ways, but the fastest way to grow is to watch someone better than you and absorb. It’s not efficient to reinvent the wheel (as we say in Swedish).
2. Do things that are uncomfortable and scary. That’s when you grow and great
opportunities will be a side effect. That is almost a promise.
3. Only take career advice from people you are ready to trade places with. If you feel
stuck or confused, ask someone that has been in the same situation or lives a life you
strive to live. Moms and friends often have wonderful advice when it comes to private
things, and sometimes even work. But a basic rule is to talk to a role model or a
colleague you would trade places with if you need career advice.
Last but not least, I would like to end with my favorite quote, which is: “There is a crack in
everything, that’s how the light gets in” by Leonard Cohen.
You can get in touch with me on Instagram: @victoriaadamczak or through email
email@example.com. I hope you got something out of this and I wish you a great summer!