Dedicated and committed, Chelsea Cummins and Samantha Scribner have made the most of their undergraduate education in the Department of Communication at Waynesburg University. Taking advantage of every opportunity and seeking additional opportunities on their own has been the norm for the dynamic duo, even as early as their freshman year. As a result, both Samantha and Chelsea have embraced their jam-packed schedules and ever-evolving “to-do” lists, because the two know that those translate into valuable experiences and success.
As sophomores, the two senior public relations majors were involved in the process of establishing Waynesburg University's Public Relations Society Student Association Chapter, supporting their upperclassmen officers through the process. Since the chapter's inception, the women have continued to act as leaders, offering networking opportunities and hands-on experiences to chapter members.
Expanding on the establishment of the chapter, the dynamic duo saw the benefit of the creation of Waynesburg University's Public Relation Week, which includes activities that feature well-known speakers and distinguished public relations practitioners.
“We have invested countless hours and worked diligently because we know that the hands-on experiences and connections that come from networking will set us apart in the field,” Samantha said.
Skills learned in class and their experiences from their positions with the Office of University Relations, Advancement and the Alumni Office have helped them to tailor their career aspirations through the exploration of a variety of media.
“The beautiful thing about the public relations major, like many things in life, is that opportunities are afforded to every student, and whether or not you excel is on you,” Chelsea said.
This summer, Chelsea served as a project coordinator at Judith Kelly + Associates, a marketing communications firm in downtown Pittsburgh, where she assisted clients with media relations, writing, event planning and social media. After a month of interning, she was added as a paid employee and will continue to work there after graduation.
“It was interesting to apply concepts I've studied, as well as learn a different side of public relations. My supervisor trusted me with many important projects, including being the point person in planning an annual event for our biggest client. Overall the experience was and continues to be an amazing opportunity, especially for an entry level position,” she said.
Likewise, Samantha had the opportunity to put her skills in motion through an internship with Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation in Pittsburgh. She served as the external affairs intern, utilizing multiple public relations skills. She also planned an industry-wide event for more than 7,000 people and was responsible for creating and maintaining a content schedule for the corporation's social media presence.
“My internship helped to solidify my passion for public relations. In no other profession can you reach such a large audience to educate, inform and persuade people about a cause you truly believe in,” she said. “To be confident in your skills and to have people trust and believe in you is a great feeling.”