The deadline to publish the next issue of the paper loomed over them. With red pens in hand, The Huntingtonian editorial staff made last minute corrections to their stories.
Amanda “Mandy” Kent spent her senior year as the editor-in-chief of the Huntington University newspaper. Little did she know, those late nights of editing and designing would pay off in the long run.
Due to her experience working with the design and layout software for the campus newspaper, Kent, a 2011 public relations graduate, found a position as the publications specialist in August 2011 at the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives helping to design and edit the monthly newspaper, Electric Consumer.
“I looked for jobs like crazy after graduation,” she said. “I feel blessed to have this job because, through the content of our publication, we are providing helpful information to people throughout Indiana. Finding a job that I felt was meaningful and worthwhile was a key factor for me in my job search.”
Kent receives articles and pictures each month from 11 different rural electric cooperatives throughout the state. Her job is to edit this content and design each of these co-op’s local pages. She works with three other staff members to produce a publication that reaches 226,000 people.
“The people I work with have been very welcoming,” she said. “It’s like a family here. Within the first month, I felt like I belonged.”
Once graduation ended, Kent packed her bags and moved to Indianapolis to first begin an internship at Bingham McHale LLP. The law firm employs more than 140 lawyers. The firm offered her an internship in the marketing department.
“This experience opened my eyes to what it is like to work for a large company,” she said. “My past experiences had all been in smaller settings, so it was great to get a corporate experience in the heart of a large city.”
She assisted the marketing department with daily duties and special projects to enhance the company’s good will and public image. Kent then learned of a position at the Indiana R.E.C.
“I believe that the editing I did while at Bingham McHale helped me land my current job,” she said. “I was able to take samples of the editing I had done for the attorney profiles to my interview, and I think the small details of that project stood out to my interviewers.”
Kent’s time in classes, the campus newsroom and internships prepared her to enter the job market with confidence and a professional demeanor. Through her liberal arts education, she was able to also acquire skills in business and sociology, which she was able to integrate with her public relations degree.
Not only did HU prepare Kent for life after graduation and the job market, but gave her something she will always treasure — quality friends.
“One of my favorite memories from college would have to be ‘The Last Lunch’ my Huntingtonian staff and I had during the last week of my college career,” she said. “I grew so close to the members of my staff while I was the editor. They became my colleagues and my friends. They all signed a card for me — that is something I will always treasure, as a reminder of all the time we spent together in the newsroom.”
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