I attended Lakeside High School in Atlanta where I was part of the gifted program. I was a member of Beta Club, Key Club and the highly competitive yearbook staff. In addition to my gifted courses, I took several AP Classes such as AP United States History, AP Microeconomics, AP Environmental Science and AP Psychology. As a member of the yearbook staff, I was in charge of all promotional, advertising and publicity efforts for the yearbook during my senior year. That was when I first got a taste of public relations and realized I wanted to continue with it in the future. I graduated from Lakeside in May 2012 with honors and distinction.
After high school, I went on to continue my education at Auburn University. I wanted to go somewhere close to home but also far enough that I wouldn’t be sticking with my high school friends only. One of my biggest goals coming to college was making new friends and meeting new people, and I succeeded.
I initially majored in journalism, because I wanted to pursue something that would allow me to write. However, I wanted to utilize my other skills and strengths such as business, management and marketing. After thorough research and speaking with my advisor, I changed my major to public relations during the second semester of my freshman year. I haven’t had any regrets. The deeper I went into the curriculum, the more I realized it was the perfect fit for me.
The public relations curriculum had several required courses: Campaigns, Case Studies, Style and Design, Survey Research Methods and Writing for PR. Campaigns and Survey Research Methods required students to work with clients. Case Studies focused on two things: analyzing and strategizing. We analyzed public relations crises throughout the year and learned what was right and wrong with the management of them. We also learned strategies and tactics on preventing crises and how to handle them when they occur. Writing for PR focused on learning how to write the different types of writing that pertain to the field: feature stories, biographies, SWOT analyses, opinion editorials and press releases. Style and design was about learning how to produce different kinds of public relations material. Throughout the semester, we had to write eight articles for three different news outlets, create a 16-page magazine, develop a social media release, create a tutorial, make a brochure and make a website to showcase all our hard work.
In addition to those courses, public relations also required at least nine credits of business classes. To meet the requirements of the public relations curriculum, I took the following business courses: Management, marketing, finance, accounting, macroeconomics, business law and human resource management.