Public relations graduate secures dream job during time of uncertainty
Erin Kelly, '20, secured her dream job with the help of the College of Liberal Arts and its career services office. Here is her story.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a town south of Charlotte, North Carolina. During my senior year of high school, I chose Auburn for its unique traditions and the wide alumni network that the university had to offer. After deciding to major in public relations and minor in leadership, I made a strong effort to connect with my professors and advisors in the College of Liberal Arts. Four years later, I could not be more thankful for the people I met, the organizations I joined and the experiences that I find to be irreplaceable. However, I missed Charlotte and wanted to return to the Queen City after college, so I decided to apply to various companies in the area and found the best job for me.
Now that you've graduated, what are your plans?
Starting in August, I am going to be working for Red Ventures in Charlotte, North Carolina. Red Ventures is a portfolio of digital companies and was founded in 2000. I will be working on their creative team as a copywriter and am looking forward to researching, learning and being challenged.
How did you utilize CLA Career Services during your time at Auburn and why should other students use it as a resource?
I took full advantage of CLA Career Services during my years. Brittany Kennedy was critical in helping me prepare for my job search. I went to her drop-in office hours twice a month to ask for advice in the areas of interviewing, resumes and cover letters. Brittany helped me determine in what industries I was interested in working, what cities were most appealing to me, and what workplace setting I would thrive in. She was thorough in helping me analyze personality and career tests to see what would be the best career fit for me. I went on the career treks to Atlanta and Nashville during 2019, which helped guide me in the direction of what I wanted to do after graduation. In addition, the career treks widened my network and prepared me for job interviews. I would recommend going to every employer speaking session because even if it wasn’t a field I was interested in, I was able to ask questions about what it is like to be an entry-level candidate and get career advice.
How has the College of Liberal Arts prepared you for your new career?
My coursework was paramount in my job search. I was able to put together a strong portfolio, which included work from my classes and summer internship at a PR, marketing and design agency. The College of Liberal Arts helped me find my internship and land it. I was continuously checking emails from Ric Smith and applying for positions that felt right for me. Without my internship, my professors pouring time into me, and a strong curriculum, I would not have felt confident enough to be where I am today.
Tell us about your minor and certificate. Did these help you stand out/land your new job?
I minored in leadership and received a certificate in Mediterranean studies. The certificate in Mediterranean studies was my opportunity to diversify my coursework with classes that were outside of my comfort zone. I took two French language classes, a world literature class, and study abroad courses in Italy. More than anything I wanted to gain a global perspective that was not offered anywhere else in the state of Alabama. I am moving into my career in a world that is constantly changing, in addition to an increasingly multicultural society. I wanted to learn how to work with and lead alongside diverse individuals and groups. A majority of this knowledge came from my experience with the leadership minor, in and out of the classroom. I served as a Leadership Fellow during my senior year to grow and enhance the minor. I worked with Mrs. Julia Wiard and loved that all of my work in the leadership minor was hands-on, allowing me to draw from my leadership and personal experiences. I believe my knowledge and experience from studying abroad, learning in open-discussion classrooms, and working with the leadership minor helped me stand out in my job process.
What was your favorite experience at Auburn?
Such a difficult question! My favorite experience was the entire summer of 2018. I was able to help welcome hundreds of new members into the Auburn Family. That summer, I served as a parent counselor for Camp War Eagle, University Program Council’s first director of Welcome Week, and one of Auburn Panhellenic’s recruitment counselors. Every day taught me what it means to live out the Auburn Creed. It was so rewarding at the end of each of those experiences to see the lives I was able to impact, all in the same town of Auburn.
Give a piece of advice to a younger CLA student.
During your junior and senior years, I recommend not wasting your winter breaks. I made a LinkedIn profile during my freshman year and updated it constantly. I decided to reach out to Auburn alumni that were willing to give advice to a current Auburn student (me!). I went to the search bar and narrowed it down to people who went to Auburn, currently live in Charlotte, and work in the PR/marketing fields. I reached out, asked them to get coffee, and took notes while we were there. These alumni gave some of the best advice, continued to check in with me often, and loved hearing about how much Auburn has changed since they went to school. Being bold enough to get coffee with strangers in the field was one of the best decisions I made, and I would recommend it to every CLA student.
Congratulations on your new job, Erin! We are so proud of you. You, too, can gain a job or internship with the help of CLA Career Services. Visit our website to learn more.