Makayla Adams '22

By Makayla Adams ’22

Although COVID-19 has halted a lot of professional development opportunities for students, my connections at Oglethorpe have allowed me to continue growing my resume and skill set.

After losing out on a summer internship at an Atlanta company due to COVID-19, Oglethorpe’s University Communications enthusiastically allowed me to continue interning with the Pegasus Creative student communications agency, even after the school year had ended. Still having a job during these tumultuous times has been great, and the role has continued to teach me new skills and knowledge to take into my career — including, for better or worse, a glimpse into real-life crisis communications.

Through my membership with Oglethorpe’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), I was able to enroll in the PR Council’s Agency Ready Certificate program. The PR Council offered this free program after seeing a need for undergraduate students to continue building on their public relations skills while many are unable to work because of COVID-19, and was a relevant addition to my resume.

The certificate program consisted of 35+ hours of live courses taught by PR firms such as Carmichael Lynch Relate, Clear Strategy Partners, Edelman, FleishmanHillard, Global Strategy Group, and more. The biggest takeaway I received from the program was hearing the perspectives of so many people working in a variety of departments within PR agencies. From data analysis to graphic design to advertising, I was able to learn about the plethora of opportunities in pursuing a public relations career.

The knowledge I learned through the Agency Ready Certificate program has made me a more informed communications student and has given me additional skills to offer when I apply for PR jobs in the future.

The PR Council is not the only organization that saw a need to help students during these trying times. General Assembly (GA), a global network of campuses that offer courses designed exclusively for employer needs, adapted to the times and began offering online courses for free to students interested in a variety of professional career fields.  University Communications Senior Director Renee Vary introduced me to the opportunity, and I enrolled in GA’s online Introduction to Digital Marketing class.

The two-hour live course was led by Insight DCS CEO and Lead Consultant Kristy LaPlante. The class explored the components of brand building to see how modern marketers drive successful campaigns using content, email, social media, paid advertising channels, and more.

And, the expanded remote learning opportunities are continuing into the fall semester. Oglethorpe recently announced a partnership with LinkedIn Learning that gives all Oglethorpe students access to thousands of courses that are relevant to students’ majors and will help to expand professional development.

Sometimes, especially during a pandemic, creativity counts when looking to build your resume. Having good connections helps, too.