I am the public relations and social media specialist for the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, a nonprofit support agency for arts and culture in The Palm Beaches. I not only get to combine my love of storytelling and art, but also work with an outstanding team that shares a passion for education.
After graduating from PBA, I took a full-time position as the web content producer in Palm Beach Atlantic University’s marketing department. I updated content for PBA’s website and co-managed the social media channels. That was the best first post-graduation job I could have asked for. Before that, I interned at the Palm Beach Daily News and at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Both internships gave me valuable experience that helped launch my career in communications.
I wish that I knew just how much time would be spent at work. I think many students assume they’ll have so much more free time as a “working” adult; but in reality, most of your day is spent at work. That’s why it’s important to find a career you truly love! As a Type-A personality, I put everything I am into everything I do. That means it can be a challenge to find the ever-important work/life balance. You have to fight for it.
"Gain as much experience in college as you can."
My professors in the School of Communication and Media and the School of Arts and Sciences taught me how to think critically about current events and global issues. They also taught me how to thrive in a world with an ever-changing media landscape, and what authentic, impactful communication looks like. A big college highlight was exploring the Galapagos Islands in 2015. I documented the trip for PBA’s marketing purposes, which were supported through the Rinker Center for Experiential Learning. I had the amazing opportunity to focus on travel and eco journalism and experience one of the most beautiful places in the world. And although I was a transfer student, I was very involved at PBA (dance, choir, the Communication Club and The Beacon), so I learned how to manage my time.
Gain as much experience in college as you can. Seek out excellent internships and network with professionals in your field. While you are figuring out what is right for you, don’t forget to enjoy the process. You don’t have to love every moment – that’s why it’s called work! However, you want to be excited about your job and the opportunity to learn all that you can. As you look back on your career, you will reflect on how each experience helped you grow professionally, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
A few of my professors in the School of Communication and Media that I now call friends continue to mentor and inspire me, such as Dr. Stephanie Bennett. Working with people who are either equal to or better than you is always important if you want to improve your skills and be challenged. I am also a member of the national Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and serve as a board member for the Palm Beach chapter. I work with and learn about best practices and industry trends from exceptional public relations professionals.
Spotlight posted in June 2018. For current updates from Hannah, visit her LinkedIn page.