November 18, 2007

Amanda’s Story: How Did I End Up Here?

Posted in Amanda, Beginnings, College, Public Relations, Stories, Students tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:34 pm by Amanda Gravel

I could go on for days, but here’s my abbreviated story:

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I was one of those incoming freshman at Boston University who decided to be an English major.  (Feel free to make a face at your computer screen and/or laugh.)  I knew I liked writing, and there had been a few books here and there that I enjoyed, so obviously English was the perfect major for me.  Or so I thought, until I remembered that a big part of going to college is to get a job when you leave.  Alarming.  As soon as I could, I switched over to the College of Communication.

I joined COM during the fall of my sophomore year.  I knew I didn’t want to be a journalist and I certainly had no interest in film or television, so I was left with a advertising or public relations.  I didn’t REALLY know what PR was, so I figured advertising was a good choice.

That spring, I took a class called Writing for Mass Communication with Michael DowdingLife changing.  I learned so much about public relations and about my own strengths as a communicator, and I also gained one of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life.  Michael wisely took me aside one day and told me that I HAD to change my major to public relations.  I was made for it- it would be ridiculous of me not to go into this field.  I figured, “What do I have to lose?” so I switched.  Why not, right?

During my junior year, I worked as a public relations and publicity intern for the Brain Tumor Society in Watertown, which was a moving experience.  My supervisors Dawn Grenier and Josselyn Salter were amazing, and I got the first taste of truly contributing to a real-life cause in communications.  I decided I really liked this PR stuff, and worked at Cone, Inc. over the summer in the Brand Marketing Group on some exciting accounts. At Cone I met a bunch of smart, savvy professionals like Amelia Ott, Jen Newberg and Amy Russ, who helped me to develop my PR skills and confirm for me that I had made the right career choice for myself.

I’ve always wanted to do something with my life that would get people talking, change the way people think, give people something to think about…  For me, public relations and social media combine everything I love to do–I thrive on inspiring conversation and influencing public opinion.  PR 2.0 is absolutely an exciting, creative and gratifying field, and I’m proud to be a new kid on this block.

So, to echo what Maria said, that is meA girl inspired by people who wants to inspire publics.  As my good friend Chris Brogan put it at Jeff Pulver‘s recent real-time social networking event in Boston, I guess I kind of am “the future.

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