“Have confidence in your dreams, they are the soul’s longing for expression”
When I was younger I wanted to be a doctor. Or a veterinarian. Or a teacher. I wanted to help people and change people’s lives for the better. I wanted to feel like people depended on me.
As I neared my senior year of high school, I realized I get queasy around needles and I passed out just watching my 75-pound chocolate lab Roxy get a shot. My doctor and veterinarian dreams were done. I also spent two summers nannying and realized that I could not possibly work with children all day. So just about to apply to colleges, I was left with wanting to help people.
As I unwillingly began the college application process, I came across Syracuse University. I was looking at different programs and started reading about the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. I called my mom into the room, and had her look at the different majors. I asked her what she thought about public relations.
“You can’t do that,” she said. “PR is so cutthroat. You’re too nice for that.”
As it turns out, mothers are not always right.
In my almost two years at Newhouse, I have turned my dream of helping people into a reality. In a field where most outsiders think we all run around the city, attending black-tie affairs and drinking cocktails like Samantha Jones, it’s sometimes hard to show people the good that can be done.
The aspect of public relations that I am most interested in is Community Relations. I want to work for corporations, reaching out to their publics and helping the surrounding community.
I am currently an Assistant PR Director for the on-campus publication, What the Health magazine. I help promote special events like our “Love Your Body Day.” I have shadowed people in the Philadelphia Phillies Community Relations department, which is responsible for raising money for various charities, providing mentorships between children and the players, and even working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to give VIP tours to terminal patients.
My latest endeavor is interning with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. My grandma had MS for my whole life and being able to raise awareness for MS and plan various walks and bikes to fight the disease has further shown me how versatile public relations can be.
All of these experiences have proved that PR can be used as a tool to make a difference in the world, or if not the world, at least to one person. I am so excited to continue pursuing a degree in public relations and see where it can take me.
P.S. My mom now believes that I am cut out for a career in public relations.