How a J-Alumnus went from PR Student to PR Professional

Shane ArmanBy Shane Arman (@ShaneArman)

Professor Julie Henderson’s Planning and Management Case Studies in Public Relations class is heading down to Chicago today to tour the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. The tour will be given by Journalism Department alumnus Shane Arman. Read about his current position at the firm and how his time at UW Oshkosh helped him get his ideal job.

It feels like five years ago, not just five short months ago that in Public Relations Campaigns 455 at UW Oshkosh, I was wracking my brain at 9 p.m. on a Thursday night over the final PRSSA Bateman competition book. It’s experiences like those at UW Oshkosh that prepared me to land my dream job. After graduating in May 2010, I began an internship in public affairs at a global public relations agency, Burson-Marsteller ,in Chicago, Ill. and started to put my UW Oshkosh education to the test.

Before I began at Burson-Marsteller, I paged through the biography booklet that profiled all 40 interns at offices across the U.S. My intern class included alumni from Harvard, Yale, Northwestern and other schools that would have never allowed me to grace their campus. Full-time employees included former presidential advisers and some of the most decorated communications professionals in the business. I admit I was intimidated.

But I soon understood that my time at UW Oshkosh, along with the people I’d met, the experiences I had, and the skills I learned, gave me confidence and positioned me to succeed.

When I started at Burson-Marsteller, it was amazing to see the things I read in books, saw on PowerPoints and stressed by professors like Dr. Henderson, come to life every day…

  • I used my teamwork skills and knowledge of goals, strategies and tactics to help prepare and present a new business pitch in front of Harold Burson, the most influential public relations figure of the 21st century.
  • I used the networking skills I learned through extra-curricular involvement in clubs like PRSSA to help me land a full time position with Burson-Marsteller in the Brand Marketing practice.
  • I used what I learned about the media from UW Oshkosh’s Journalism Department, from reporting, to editing, to being on a deadline, to understanding news value, almost every day of my job.
  • I used the pesky research skills I learned from UW Oshkosh’s Journalism Department to find valuable information for clients and provide evidence for campaign proposals. I was surprised to learn that my co-workers use some of the same research tools I used in college – like ProQuest and Factiva.

Today, the clients I work with include Discover Financial, Hormel Foods, and Hain-Celestial. My specific job duties focus heavily on working with the media, including drafting media materials, creating media lists, developing creative pitch angles, pitching reporters, monitoring media and compiling client reports.


Shane Arman
Shane Arman at PR firm Burson-Marsteller


What I do on a daily basis is fueled by my education, my experiences and the relationships I developed as a journalism student at UW Oshkosh. And I feel indebted to the all the professors, fellow classmates and others that made it possible.

Shane Arman is a UW Oshkosh journalism alumnus, class of 2010. He currently works at Burson-Marsteller in Chicago, Ill. as a client staff assistant in the brand marketing practice. He is happy to provide recommendation letters, offer career advice or answer any questions you have about public relations in general. He can be reached at


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