By Giana Machado of The Center for Divorce Education
This week, we are shining the spotlight on senior McLean Scearce. While not a member of Allen Hall Public Relations, Scearce has played an influential role in the university’s communications during her four years at Oregon and deserves to have her work be highlighted.
Scearce worked as the communications intern for the Student Orientation Programs. In this role, she has facilitated all outward-facing communication efforts for the Student Orientation Programs and helped create and write content for Introducktion, a weekend event in which new incoming freshmen can explore campus and learn what it means to be a Duck.
Check out what Scearce had to say about her time at the UO and her advice for others:
Why did you choose to study public relations?
Scearce: I came into college undeclared and initially, was interested in business, but after talking over options with an advisor, she recommended I take some journalism courses. Kathryn Kuttis was my J100 professor and that was when I got my first taste of PR. As I took more classes and learned more about what PR was, it seemed like a good fit – I’d be able to work with businesses but on the storytelling side of it.
What advice would you give someone considering a major in the SOJC?
Scearce: Talk to the advisors in the SOJC. If you tell them your concerns or what you’re interested in, they’ll reassure you and introduce you to the many clubs and communities within the SOJC. Also talk to your J teachers – I didn’t really know what I was doing but every professor I talked to was so helpful.
What SOJC faculty member has helped you the most?
Scearce: Dean Mundy. He’s my faculty advisor, and anytime I needed anything at all, he was so quick to help me. He’s just so understanding and so nice. I took J350 with him, and it really reassured my interest in PR.
What’s something valuable you’ve learned during your time at the UO?
Scearce: I’ve learned the value of collaboration and using available resources. The SOJC provides so many tools to the students and has so many professors who are willing to act as a resource. I’ve been able to grow so much as a professional over the years just by taking advantage of what’s available to me.
If you could go back and give your freshman self advice, what would you say?
Scearce: Don’t be afraid to do something you’re interested in. I think back to when I was 18, and I was scared to put myself out there. I wish I would’ve done more without being afraid I’d look stupid.
Scearce: I’m proud that I’ve maintained a strong work ethic. I can see it most in my grades – I’ve been able to keep them up all throughout college. I’m graduating with honors, so I’m pretty proud of that!
How do you feel about virtual commencement?
Scearce: Although it’s disappointing we can’t have an in-person graduation, I’m really happy that the university is still trying to make it special given the circumstances. No one could have seen this coming, so I think it’s awesome the university and the SOJC are still making an effort for us.
What would you like to do after graduation?
Scearce: I’m not entirely sure yet! The dream is to move to Seattle and work in some realm of communications or higher education.
What industry of PR are you most interested in?
Scearce: I would say food since I took a bunch of food studies courses. It’s hard because there are so many industries that interest me, but I think it would be cool to work in food and beverage or work in-house for a restaurant.
And finally, what will you miss the most?
Scearce: The community around the university. Everyone has so much school spirit, and you can tell that people love being a Duck. And of course, I met my forever best friends, so not seeing them will be hard.