Kaitlin: Finding Me at BU

When I first came to BU, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist.  This dream came from years of being editor of my high school newspaper, and wanting to “spice it up a little” with lights, sounds, and video.  I imagined myself studying for hours on end how to be the best. I thought about those really intense classes where the professor tells the students that they have 45 minutes to go outside and write, record, and produce a story that could go on air.  I envisioned taking my career to the Air Force and becoming the best damn broadcast journalist they’ve ever seen.  I wanted to be there.

Then the worst happened.

I went on air for my first time with BUTV and absolutely hated it.  I hated the idea of having to get my hair to look perfect on camera and wearing more make up than I’m comfortable with and making sure the color of my shirt didn’t fade into the green screen.  So, I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do.

I didn’t know too much about public relations, but what I did learn from my COM 101 class, I loved.  I was particularly drawn to the idea of working in the music/entertainment industry.  Who wouldn’t want to follow around their favorite band for the sole purpose of making them look good?  After a meeting with my very own COM Ambassador who gave me a little more information on my perspective major-change, I decided to do it.

Over the course of a few hours, I became a PR major.

This was really exciting for me.  I joined BU’s awesome section of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and did a really awesome job with it.  I learned a ton about what it means to be in the PR field, even before taking any PR-centric classes.

My favorite thing about PR was the social media aspect.  By watching intently my junior and senior friends, I started to pick up really quickly how to be an effective presence online.  My Twitter bio changed to include my aspiration to be a PR professional, I found myself making tons of connections on LinkedIn, and yes, I even got a Facebook after refusing to do so for a while.

In a way, I became obsessed with it.  I found myself celebrating each and every like or new follower I got, to the point that it started taking over.  I don’t think this is necessarily a negative thing, maybe because it still kind of does rule my world, but I’ve certainly recognized that over the past few years my online obsession transformed quite a bit.

I noticed this the other day when I went to my Twitter page.  I noticed that my bio still included information about me being the Vice President of Public Relations at BUPRSSA, a position I passed down at the end of last year.  I started to evaluate why I decided to step down from this position, and from PRSSA in general, and it became glaringly obvious to me.

No longer did I care about retweeting about the latest in mobile technology, or connecting with the top agencies on the web, or writing posts about how to effectively manage your social media profiles.  Those things seemed so boring to me, and without really noticing, I started to pay more attention to the things I was really drawn to.  Now, if you look at every single page I manage, they include posts on yoga or healthy eating or recovery.

I certainly don’t see this change as one that demonstrates disinterest in PR or ingratitude for the Student Society.  In fact, I attribute all of my success online to everything I’ve learned on my PR journey so far.  There’s no way I would’ve been known as a “yoga and health guru” or been able to grow my blog following to thousands of people without the things I learned in PRSSA and my classes at BU.

It took a little while to really find my place, but I’m certain that I have.  I’ve found deep passion in the things I’ve learned here in Boston, which I can bet is a serious goal for each and every one of the professors we cross paths with.  There’s going to be humps in the road, plenty of them in fact, but don’t look at them as mountains you won’t be able to climb.  Instead, try to see them as speed bumps, there for control and safety in getting you where you really need to go.

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