Saturday, February 11, 2006

Burson's Mike Lake Rocks

Our thanks to Mike Lake, chairman of Burson-Marsteller's Southwest division, for bringing the benefit of his more than 25 years of public and private sector PR experience to the students in our Advanced Communication Skills class last Friday. Mike managed to cover a wide range of information, from an excellent overview of local and global PR operations today, to concrete tips for graduating seniors looking for jobs and/or internships in the field. He even brought handouts of Burson's writing test given to job applicants. All much appreciated.

Students are asked to respond to Mike's lecture with comments and questions posted here. I've asked Mike to read your blog comments, so heed his advice and polish your basic writing skills. (Good advice, Mike!)

Note to students: Ordinarily I would have advised you to refer him as Mr. Lake, but in class he asked students to call him Mike, so feel free to address him as Mike when you're blogging.

16 comments:

Nicole Cerrone said...

As graduation rapidly approaches, I found Mike Lake's presentation very helpful. Having a list of contact names and numbers but no email addresses, Mike reassured me that it is okay to pick up the phone and contact those people. It was reassuring to hear that you do not need to communicate only through email; the old way of communication is still effective. Thank you, Mike, for offering your suggestions and being available to help SMU students who are preparing to work in public relations.

Caroline Zivley said...

Thanks Mike for all your real world advice about interviews. I especially appreciated the writing test you handed out to us that you give every intern at Burson-Marsteller. I'm glad I can now check up and make sure I am on the right track in my writing skills! Also thank you for handing out your personal information, it really shows you truly believe networking is an important part of PR. I look forward to speaking with you in the future!

Perrin said...

Mike, I especially appreciated the section of your presentation where you broke down the interview process and gave us a glimpse of what PR practitioners are looking for, what impresses them during interviews and the pros and cons of interviewing etiquette. As a junior, I am beginning to apply for summer internships and think you delivered some of the most pertinent information possible. The overview of the field as a whole was helpful and I’ll keep it in mind when applying to firms. Additionally, I was especially impressed with the level of preparations you took before speaking to us. You obviously knew exactly what has been going on in our class making your points much more relatable and valuable. Thank you for your time and hope you visit our humble PR class again.

Lauren Shults said...

Mike,
I would like to thank you so much for sharing your invaluable advice with us on Friday. The things you taught us, are things that we do not learn in the classroom. I will take your advice and use it during my interviews while scouting out jobs. Thank you again.

Sincerely,
Lauren Shults

Jessica Jackson said...

Mike,
I wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak with our class Friday. You gave some insight into several unanswered questions I had concerning the job application process and the best ways to go about an interview. The tips you provided were definitely beneficial and will not be forgotten. Thank you again for your time and advice.

Sarah Gray said...

I thought Mike Lake did an excellent job when he spoke to my class. I honestly had no idea what it took to enter into the PR world. The diagram and overview he gave of the different positions in his company really gave me an idea of how long it would take me to get to a certain position. His talk was also a wake-up call. I'm a junior and about to embark on the popular job search. The talk he gave let me know where I need to be when I graduate and start looking for work. What I took from the hour was that I need to keep fine tuning my writing skills and keep getting involved. Thanks Mike!

Ashley Anderson said...

I’d like to thank Mike for being so upfront and honest with us in regards to interviewing and presentation. One piece of advice that I found particularly helpful is when he explained the importance of sending a hard copy of a resume to companies. Many people have told me that an electronic copy is enough these days, and I have always been skeptical of that.
Another thing that I learned from his time with us was the importance of preparation. Before coming into our class, Mike had researched our class blogspot and read over several student blogs. He knew what our class was about and what we were thinking in regards to the PR world. He also took the time to answer several questions which we had addressed on our blogs. His level of preparation inspired me to do much better background research before interviewing at a company. Thanks, Mike!

Kim Holland said...

Mike,

I appreciated the diagram on the difference between working for an agency and a corporation. Although it has been discussed in several of my CCPA classes, your visual aid made it click. I also found your many tips on important skills to be very informative, especially the part on recognition of duties. It's something I've had experience with from new co-workers who felt they deserved the same responsibilities as veteran workers, yet I never thought of it as an important skill until your presentation. Thanks for visiting our class. I have a small favor to ask of you. If you have time, please visit my blog at kimhollanddance.blogspot.com and make comments. I would greatly appreciate the input.

Thanks again,
Kim Holland

Ashley Whisnant said...

This was my second opportunity to hear Mike Lake speak to one of my classes. The SMU CCPA program has been so helpful in introducing us to people who are out in the field; people we can learn from, admire and ask for advice from. It was awesome to hear his input on our class and what we have been doing with blogs. I think by inviting PR practitioners to visit our blogs and read our material we are being forced to post something we're proud of. Mike really outlined his company for us and helped us get a feel for the kinds of things we will be doing if we join an agency. He encouraged us to get internships and put ourselves out there in order to really figure out where we belong. I think he gave an awesome presentation and was so gracious to offer his availability both for questions and/or informational interviews.

Maggie Johnson said...

Thank you so much for taking time to talk to our class. I found a lot of your interview tips very helpful. I did not realize how unprepared I am to go into the industry. Although I am only a Junior I feel like I really need to start getting my stuff together. The writing test was also extremely helpful. I appreciated you taking time to look at our blogs and find out about us before you came to visit. Pointing out that many of us had errors and typos in our blogs was a little bit of a reality check for me. I thought about this project as just another class assignment but realizing that anyone can access what we are writing has made me want to be more careful.

Diana said...

Mike, your presentation of tips and suggestions during our communications class last Friday was as insightful as it was humbling. Your preparation for this visit by visiting our student blogs did not go unnoticed. I, along with my classmates, appreciated your advice on how to obtain internships and positions in the public relations field. After your presentation, I was encouraged and felt more prepared to go forward in this field. Thank you!

Becca Burnitt said...

Mike-
Thank you so much for coming to speak to our class on Friday. Your presentation was very well planned and extremely informative. I was especially pleased with the information you gave us concerning interviewing for internships and sending out resumes. I have applied for a few internships with PR agencies in the Dallas area and I have had problems getting a response or even getting called in for an interview. Your advice was extremely helpful and I really appreciated being able to hear what the agency's reaction is when they receive a resume or conduct an interview. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed with trying to get my foot in the door and get started with a career in PR, but you really helped me out and made everything seem not so overwhelming. Thanks for your help!

Cheryl said...

Mike,

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come to our class. Your presentation was very insightful, and your perspective on internship interviews interested me the most. I didn’t realize the importance of preparing questions for the employer before the interview, and I definitely will remember your tips when I begin my search for internships. I also found myself paying extra attention to catching writing errors after you explained how easy it is to be overlooked by making writing mistakes.

Thank you again,
Cheryl

Rick said...

I think this blog is great! Keep up the good work ...

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Mike Lake said...

Future PR professionals: I appreciate your kind words following my presentation to your class. I'm glad you found it interesting and insightful. For those of you beginning your efforts to find a job, think of the quote by Abraham Lincoln, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing."

If you are interested in an internship at Burson-Marsteller this summer, remember our deadline for submitting you application/materials is March 15th. We will be hiring two paid interns for the summer. Matt Averitt is our intern coordinator. His email address is matt_averitt@dal.bm.com. Good luck, Mike