Everyone loves stories. Learning from others, gaining insight, and sneaking a peak into someone’s life is all a part of the fun in Communication! We learn from others, whether it be through a blog post, a Tweet, a photo, or a face-to-face conversation. We constantly tell our stories and today, Jamie Lawlor, UD mass communication alumna from the Class of 2014, shares her’s.
Interested in telling your story? Email our independent study student, Keri Betters, today: firstname.lastname@example.org
What year did you graduate from the University of Delaware?
I graduated from UD in May 2014 with a major in mass communication, concentration in public relations and a minor in advertising!
Where are you currently employed?
I’m currently employed at AstraZeneca as Manager, External Communications in their Fort Washington, Pa. office (but their US headquarters are just a quick drive from UD in Wilmington, Del.)!
What are some of your every-day responsibilities?
This is actually only my first week on the job! I’ll be working with the company’s U.S. Diabetes business specifically and supporting the delivery of public relations strategy for the portfolio of diabetes brands. Just like any public relations job, there’s really no “typical day” and my responsibilities will range from developing external communications (like blogs or press releases), creating social media content, coordinating internal communications (such as Town Halls and videos), and supporting various other tasks to enhance the overall reputation of AstraZeneca’s diabetes franchise.
How did the University of Delaware prepare you for the workforce?
Starting out at UD, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. Ultimately, the plethora of diverse opportunities at UD helped me narrow it down to figure out what I wanted to do. I was exposed to so many activities and areas of study and when I discovered PRSSA, I realized that communication was the major for me. From there, I discovered my passion for the industry and was inspired to get internships and grow as a professional. The combination of UD’s education, variety of extracurriculars and the comm. department’s emphasis on internships really prepared me for the workforce.
As a longtime PRSSA-UD executive board member and last year’s PRSSA-UD president, what is one skill and/or experience that you’re thankful for post-grad?
I’m so grateful that PRSSA-UD allowed me to emerge as a leader. Prior to getting involved with the organization, I was pretty timid and never saw myself as someone who could lead others. Through the opportunity to lead a group of peers, serve as a mentor to other members and be responsible for overseeing the success of a professional organization, I really discovered my ability to be assertive, accomplish goals and ultimately found out who I really am and what I want in life. Leadership is a valuable skill in any workplace and that experience will translate into every opportunity I pursue in my career.
From one Blue Hen to another, do you have any advice for current COMM students?
Do things outside of the classroom to supplement your education! The communication program is so amazing but it really helps when you add to that by getting involved in extracurricular activities, being a leader in an organization and having internships. It’s not enough to just have a degree – do something to set yourself apart.
What is one piece of advice you received that has helped you get to where you are today?
NETWORK! Building connections is one of the most important things you can do. The relationships I created through PRSSA led me directly to where I am today in my career – through that connection, I landed my internship at AstraZeneca, which led to my position now as a post-grad.
What is a favorite memory from your college years?
There are so many… But I’d say one of my favorites is when a group of us from PRSSA-UD traveled to Philadelphia for the PRSSA 2013 National Conference. It took endless hours of determination to raise the money to go and being able to finally get there showed me how our hard work paid off. We got to meet students from all over the country, attend amazing professional development sessions and even got to present about our Chapter to more than 200 peers. I felt really lucky to experience that and will never forget it!
What is a favorite memory from a Communications class you took and who was the professor?
Any day in Professor Bartoo’s Intro to Public Relations class! She brings such a fun energy to class, always keeps you on your feet and really challenges you to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world.
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