Now that Labor Day has passed and college football is underway (Go Jayhawks!), I’m thinking back to my own college days and some of the lessons I learned there that are playing out here in the real world.
As for most communication students, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was drilled into me during my college career and with good reason: it provides a simple explanation of human motivation and growth. As I get deeper into my professional career, I’m realizing more and more it’s not just an academic theory.
When I first began my internship at SPM Communications, research and fundamentals of PR were what I most needed (amma right, supervisors?!), the agency provided plenty of guidance and opportunity to improve in a controlled environment. (Safety.) Once my research abilities were in-hand and a full-time position was bestowed, the agency life made me feel secure and welcomed. (Love and belonging.)
But within the hierarchy there is no time for rest. Soon new challenges were presented, and once completed, “agency pyramid development” was attained. Eventually I was given an intern to mentor. (Esteem) Though I might not have realized I needed this to understand my craft at a deeper level, SPM knew that once I taught, my understanding of my work would grow, a new teammate would be educated and the agency would be stronger. The hierarchy encourages, challenges and fills in the gaps as we continue the journey to reach the pinnacle, the “self-actualization” of PR.