Justin Smith

Getting There


Justin Smith


AGE: 31

Hometown: Palatine, Illinois

Education: Bachelor’s in journalism, communication studies, economics from Northern Illinois University

Previous position: Public relations specialist at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren

Current position: Public relations account supervisor

What do you like best about public relations work?

“Every day is different. No two days are the same.”

How will your previous work experiences contribute to this new role?

“At Reinhart, they have (18) different practice areas – everything from health care to real estate to food and beverage, and I was working in all of those practices while I was there. I’ve gotten a lot of experience in my career both in different industries and in different settings.”

Why did you move to Milwaukee after college?

“For work. It was purely a numbers game. I graduated college in 2009, at the height of the recession. I wanted to work and live in Chicago, but it was very difficult to find an entry-level job. I came to Wisconsin and Milwaukee hoping there’d be less competition and more opportunity. It’s worked out pretty well.”

What is your ultimate career goal?

“Whatever setting you’re in, whether you’re working for a company or whether you’re working for an agency, you just want to be someplace where you’re excited to get up every day and come in to work.”

What is your biggest regret?

“I imagine many professionals can relate to this, but I often regret not having enough time during the day to unplug, pause and think holistically and strategically about my role and how I can best serve my clients. I worry about not recognizing the next big idea until it’s already here.”

What are you doing in terms of personal development?

“The public relations industry is changing just as fast as the media industry is, and I have to keep current for my clients. I’m constantly looking for networking opportunities, webinars or conferences to stay smart.”

What is your favorite restaurant?

Third Coast Provisions.

What book are you reading?

“The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection” by Michael Harris.

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