Kaitlyn Chock graduated in June 2014 from the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. She is currently an Associate Account Executive at Mobility Public Relations in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Originally a humanities major, she was uncertain of her career goals. With encouragement from a close friend, she attended a Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) meeting. While listening to the two guest speakers, she was inspired to add both public relations (PR) and communication studies as majors. Kaitlyn says her involvement with PRSSA turned out to be “invaluable because of the networking opportunities it provided.” She also participated in other clubs and programs, including the Portland Senior Experience (PDXSX), the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO), the Student Alumni Association and Allen Hall Public Relations (AHPR).
Kaitlyn recalls searching for internships and entry-level positions. She found that getting an internship could be tricky. “You need them to get experience but you also need experience to get them,” she says. Her experience in AHPR was instrumental in helping her get her first internship. “It was a great segue into the industry.” It gave her experience working “with real clients in a relatively low-risk setting.” An internship is an opportunity to build industry skills, but, Kaitlyn says, “the biggest thing we can get out of internships is learning how to thrive in a job … you’ll pick up the skills you need quickly, but internships teach you etiquette.”
Kaitlyn stresses the importance of building a personal and professional network to help with the job hunt. Building relationships with several PR faculty was invaluable to her. With their help, she learned how to take criticism, improve her overall PR skills and build network connections. Her involvement with PDXSX also helped her build connections.
“Participating in the PDXSX was one of the best career-related decision I made,” says Kaitlyn. “PDXSX is the reason I have the job I do now.” The program helped her make professional connections, and supported her transition from being a student to being an employee.
Kaitlyn is extremely happy with her current position. She particularly enjoys her work environment and her colleagues. Her daily job involves activities such as social media monitoring and content creation, media coverage tracking, press list building, research and design. She reminds job seekers to be aware of potential work environments. Because a person spends more time with his/her co-workers than anyone else, Kaitlyn advises students to never “underestimate the importance of work culture.” She suggests that no matter where one begins “attitude informs your success … no job is ‘perfect’ … it is okay to feel frustrated sometimes.” She adds, “Stay true to yourself and allow yourself room to grow.”