Life as a public relations major: Q&As with current seniors

By Caitlin Fratkin

As acceptance letters begin arriving, high school students across the nation commit to the university that will become their new home in a matter of months. To provide some insight into what life as a public relations student at the University of Oregon is like, we caught up with a few current SOJC PR seniors.

Katie Dawes, Senior, Double Majoring in Public Relations and Media Studies

What are some extracurriculars in which you are involved? Do you hold any positions? How has your involvement impacted your experience at UO?
I am an account executive for Allen Hall Public Relations (AHPR) and copywriter for Allen Hall Media. I am also lead registration assistant at Continuing and Professional Education. Getting involved with AHPR helped me decide what I want to do for my career. I found that I love working in media outreach and I would not have figured that out without the experience AHPR gave me.

Have you had an internship? If so, with whom and how was your experience?
I interned Summer of 2018 at BLND Public Relations in Hermosa Beach doing social media and public relations for consumer and lifestyle clients. I loved working at BLND constantly learning and performing hands on tasks. Because it was a smaller boutique firm, interns were able to gain a wealth of knowledge. Being a block from the beach didn’t suck either.

What is one piece of advice you might give to an incoming freshman?
Get involved! Take advantage of what the university has to offer. There are so many clubs and organizations to join and you can 100 percent find your passion if you step outside your comfort zone.

What does it mean to be a #Duck?
Being a Duck means learning how to get by with excessive amounts of rain! Duh?

What’s next after graduating?
After graduating I want to get a work visa and practice public relations in Australia. I have a family out there and why not do what I love in a new and exciting place?

Daniella Espino, Senior, Majoring in Public Relations

What are some extracurriculars in which you are involved? Do you hold any positions? How has your involvement impacted your experience at UO?
I am an account supervisor in Allen Hall Public Relations working on the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. I am also volunteer coordinator for the University of Oregon chapter of Camp Kesem which recruits, trains and selects counselors for this very special camp. I served as the social chair for my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, my sophomore year. Being involved has tremendously impacted my experience. I have really expanded my network of peers and found some incredibly passionate friends along the way. I am not defined by my extra circulars but I set the perimeters of how I define them.

Have you had an internship? If so, with whom and how was your experience?
Yes, I interned last summer at CBS television network in Los Angeles in the marketing department as a media planning and marketing intern. I absolutely loved my experience because they have an established program where they cater to the interns who are curious students that hope to be in the entertainment industry one day. The position was not necessarily public relations but I was able to prove to myself that the skills I’ve learned in my classes are transferable to other positions under the umbrella of journalism.

What is one piece of advice you might give to an incoming freshman?
Join an organization for fun like intramural sports or a service group because you will enjoy having a community outside of academics. There are plenty of opportunities to grow in the journalism school so don’t sweat it early on in your career.

What does it mean to be a #Duck?
Being a Duck means opportunities beyond your imagination. Sounds cheesy, but as a first gen kid who had very specific details on what I wanted in a college, I picked UO because I could see myself growing as a person here with the endless amounts of possibilities whether they were academic or extra-circular.

Jillian Rogers, Senior, Majoring in Public Relations

What are some extracurriculars in which you are involved? Do you hold any positions? How has your involvement impacted your experience at UO?
I’m involved with the competitive equestrian team and the sailing team. I did Duck TV for three years as a sports reporter and social media for Duck TV Sports. I’ve also been an account supervisor for AHPR and a member of UO PRSSA. Being involved has drastically changed my experience at the UO because I felt more connected to the university. My freshman year, I thought about transferring because I didn’t feel like I belonged at the university. But after I joined my two club sports and got more involved with extracurricular activities, I can honestly say I’ve had the best experience.

Have you had an internship? If so, with whom and how was your experience?
I’ve had two internship with two drastically different companies. I was a public relations and events intern with Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center which is a clinic that provides healthcare to low income and migrant farm workers. That internship gave me a lot of perspective because I never saw myself working in healthcare but the experience of working in-house and for a clinic I believe makes me more well rounded as I enter into the public relations field. The second was as a public relations and events intern for Portland Fashion and Style Awards Show that hosts an award show once a year that acknowledges local talent in the fashion industry. While both internships gave me insights on how to plan events and in-house public relations skills, they were both drastically different, not only in the industries they are in, but how they run their companies and the type of promotion needed.

What is one piece of advice you might give to an incoming freshman?
One piece of advice I would give to incoming freshman would be to get as involved as you can. It sounds cliché, but it really changed my experience. I went from wanting to leave the university to dreading graduation.

What does it mean to be a #Duck?
Being a #Duck is a sense of community. Within the journalism school, you become a family as you go through the classes and years together.

What’s next after graduating?
I decided to make a big change and move to Austin, Texas after graduation and so I hope to find myself at a public relations agency there.

Are you a prospective UO SOJC student? Learn more about admissions or how to schedule a visit and follow SOJC PR on Twitter for real time updates on events, programs and general department happenings.

One comment

  1. Casey Hickman

    Wow that was so interesting! I especially liked the part about Jillian Rogers, she seems like a talented young professional. Thanks for sharing!

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