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The real world: 4 secrets your professors won't tell you

What really happens behind the desk of a marketing coordinator? My name is Katie Butler, and I graduated from Purdue in 2013 from the Brian Lamb School of Communication. While writing endless works for my COM 204 class, I always wondered what it would be like when I graduated. Would my sorority work matter? Will I really be sitting all day? Most importantly, would there be cake? Here are four secrets that my professors never told me about the professional world.

1. You will wear multiple hats.

Sitting in my public relations classes, I constantly heard messages like, “Marketing is completely different from public relations.” To a certain extent, this is true. However, you will use both in your professional role. As a marketing coordinator, I am constantly juggling advertising, marketing, business development, social media and public relations projects. Each day is completely different from the next and always an adventure. Keep this in mind when selecting your course load – diversify your schedule!

2. You will refer back to your college notes.

Sitting in my 7:30 a.m. Introduction to Public Relations class, I never imagined I would be dusting off those notes again. However, the first few press releases in my career were written by referencing those PowerPoint slides. Keep those babies!

3. Extracurricular activities do wonders for social skills.

As savvy collegiates, I’m sure you are involved at Purdue outside of the classroom. Greek life, communications organizations and Purdue Old Masters were some of my favorites. In these communities, you learn how to talk to strangers, work towards a greater good, and celebrate small and big wins. Course work gives you the skills to perform at your job. Activity involvement gives you the social skills to excel forward in your career.

4. Looking for a post-graduation role will take time.

It is okay to not have a job secured by the time you walk across the Elliot stage. Find the job that is best for you. It will take time! You will learn about amazing companies, different types of jobs and where in the world you can live. It’s an exciting time of possibilities and opportunities!

Your Purdue education will take you places and be a conversation starter for life. If you have any more questions about the real world, feel free to contact me at And for the record, we do celebrate everything with cake.

Blogger Bio: Katie Butler is a graduate of Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts and majored in Public Relations and Rhetorical Advocacy. She serves as the Marketing Coordinator for Weinstein Spira, named by Houston Chronicle as a Top Workplace. Katie gained invaluable experience at Torch Energy Solutions and Alliance Magazine prior to joining Weinstein Spira. In 2016, Katie was awarded Rookie of the Year from the Association for Accounting Marketing. She also created her own business offering a variety of branding services that can be discovered at

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