By: Christopher Hartz
Elizabeth Edwards always wanted to return to Eastern Illinois University to pursue her Master’s degree. That return presented itself in a way she couldn’t have imagined so soon.
“I’m doing PR work for a school,” said Edwards “I’m promoting education, how great can that get?”
Edwards, who graduated from the journalism program in 2013, was deeply involved in her time at Eastern Illinois University. Throughout her tenure she was the Editor-in-Chief, city editor and news editor for the Daily Eastern News, as well as giving her time to the Agency where she worked on The Journalist and the Wavelength.
“I saw myself being a PR writer for a large corporation” said Edwards.
Since graduation, Edwards made a brief two-month stop at the News Tribune in LaSalle, IL after deciding that ideally she wanted a PR job, but since she could loves to write, was willing to work for a newspaper.
“I wanted to do nonprofit work” explained Edwards when asked what she envisioned herself doing after graduation.
“A lot of times in PR, companies are looking for 3-5 years of experience after graduation”. During her short time there, she was approached by Eastern regarding a PR opportunity, where they remembered her from her internship as well as connections she developed along the way.
In her current role as a Media Relations Specialist in the Department of University Marketing and Communications at here at Eastern Illinois University, she is responsible for finding stories throughout the campus that promote programs the school has to offer. In addition she also is charged with the task of writing press releases and marketing writing.
More specifically she has been working on an ad to promote the new masters art education program and to try and lure prospective students to want to participate in the program.
When asked where she sees herself in the future, “I’m hoping to pursue a Master’s degree in Communication Studies here at Eastern” she explained while going into her other goals, “I would like to improve as a writer” Edwards said, “broaden my contacts here at Eastern as well as promoting and getting Eastern’s name out there.”
Being a recent graduate herself, Edwards heavily promoted students should be participating in student activities, “If aren’t going to be active, then you aren’t going to get a job” she explained. “I would spend every summer working for a paper or a small PR firm” she directed towards students.
“I didn’t have big time internships, but I was able to gain the experiences that you might not get at a big firm.”