Alicia Wagoner Informational Interview Paper My career

Alicia Wagoner
Informational Interview Paper
My career goals have definitely become clearer after being in the environment and probing for a
better understanding from the perspective of someone in the industry. Prior to conducting these
informational interviews, I had a general idea of what I wanted to do. However, I’m passionate about
finding a career that I know I’ll enjoy and a general understanding didn’t provide me with that
confidence. What started out as a broad scope of marketing, got narrowed down into public relations.
Through this, I have been able to narrow it even further down to lifestyle PR. One PR firm I spoke with
dealt a lot more with business technology matters and so I was able to contrast the two firms specializing
in different things. Though they were both PR, I was pretty turned off by one but had much greater
stimulated interest in PR after interviewing with the lifestyle PR agency.
What I learned about the process of conducting an interview is how important it is to do it in
person, and how to present questions that really help you with your career goals. During the last of my
three interviews, the woman wanted to do it over the phone because she was very busy. However, after
some convincing, she was able to work things out to meet with me. I walked away from it wondering
what it would’ve been like over the phone and I know with certainty that the dynamics would’ve been
different and those dynamics influenced unplanned questions that turned out to be very valuable to me. I
don’t think they would’ve been dealt with over the phone. Also, I had some planned questions but would
often realize into the interview that some other things came up that prompted other important questions.
For example, one interviewee often used the term ‘media pitches’ and I wasn’t sure what that even meant.
I didn’t want to sound stupid and make my ignorance known but it seemed to be a major part of the job
and for my own benefit I needed to know what that meant and I’m glad I asked!
For future students I would advise them to listen to all the other advices to not wait till the last
minute! I sat in class and heard the warning from other students in the past and I still didn’t get a move
on. The deadline came a lot faster than I anticipated. I would also advise them to stay in contact with
those they interview. Two of the people I interviewed had been people I had made contact with briefly in
the past. My name was already vaguely familiar to them and it speaks even louder about you and your
persistence when you remain in contact, especially on LinkedIn.