Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2020
B.A., Public Relations
Why did you choose Westminster College?
My senior year of high school, I was in a play. I went to a high school that was rather competitive in both sports and the arts. I realized that I had missed out on some opportunities because I wasn’t one of the “best.” But the play? They let anyone interested be part of it, and that was the kind of culture I wanted for my collegiate experience.
What have you been up to since graduating?
My professional life has been mainly spent in the account management department of PR and advertising agencies with the exception of two years in corporate marketing at PNC Bank during which I completed my MBA in marketing at the University of Pittsburgh. I have volunteered my time with the March of Dimes, Every Child and Pittsburgh Yoga Collective. I live in Shadyside and love to cook, read and travel. My most memorable trips have been to Santiago, Shanghai, Greek Islands and Thailand. I am also lucky to have friends in various cities in Pittsburgh that I am able to visit. And I am happy to be close to my parents as well as my brother, Doug, and his wife, Catherine.
What Westminster professor influenced you the most and why?
When I chose Westminster, I was considering a journalism degree that was unavailable. After speaking with someone from the English department, I was then directed to Dr. Deborah Mitchell. I truly had no idea what public relations was at the time, but once she spoke to me, it sounded perfect. Reading, writing and communication were my fortes. While I am not with a PR firm now, the skills I learned were truly transferable to all of the positions that I have held.
How well did Westminster prepare you for your career?
Having an internship as part of the Westminster academic program was extremely helpful as the real-world experience was as valuable as any classroom time.
What internships or student research projects did you conduct during your time at Westminster?
I did internships with Intern at Skutski & Oltmanns and Firehouse Agency.
Were you involved in any student organizations at Westminster?
Student Government Association, Dance Theatre, Zeta Tau Alpha and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
What significant life lesson did you learn at Westminster?
You need to make your own fun and find your own way. Westminster provided support for this, and I have found people along the way who have continued to support this, both personally and professionally. But going to a smaller school that didn’t have a major city offering endless entertainment meant that the friendships I developed were strengthened by the unique experiences that we found. And while the school offered support for finding jobs, it was the networking that I did that made the most impact.
How has Westminster’s alumni network benefited you?
I received my second internship because of a graduate that I knew while at Westminster. That truly solidified my career choice and was significant in leading my first job search and, ultimately, a long-term career path.
Knowing what you know now, what piece of advice would you give to yourself on that first day on campus?
Have fun! And get involved! You will have to work hard in your classes. But your Westminster education will be so much more about the people you meet and the experiences you share.
Learn more about Westminster’s Public Communication & Leadership major.