You’re going to be faced with some unique challenges which your program probably didn’t, and couldn’t, prepare you for. Some of them are hurdles that all young employees will face, but others are specific to the PR industry.
Moving forward, you will be asked less often to write a traditional press release, and expected more often to get the word out (in promotion, preventative and crisis communications) using the web-based communication tools available online (aka social media), such as Twitter, Digg, Facebook, etc.
My plan is to continue gaining PR experience in a variety of fields over the next five years and all the while I will be working hard to build my network of contacts, setting myself up for future business. When I do take the plunge and go fully self-employed I will already have all kinds of work lined up.