Maggie Graham graduated from Waynesburg University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in public relations, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She works as a communications consultant in the greater Pittsburgh area for nonprofit organizations.
When she began her career at Waynesburg University, Graham knew she wanted to work in the nonprofit sector. She was a Bonner Scholar through Waynesburg and had the mindset to serve; so to her it made sense to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. Being active within the Department of Communication from the very beginning of her college career prepared her for the fast pace at her first internship. However, this experience taught her that her passion was not in the field on communication – Graham decided to pick up a second major in sociology.
She worked after graduation at the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PUSLSE.) During her time at PULSE, Graham gained professional and personal development skills, alongside participating in community service. Despite her originally not wanting to work in the communication field, she felt her position at PULSE was a great intersection between her two degrees. Not only was she working for a group at PUSLE, she also sought positions elsewhere working for Propelle and East Liberty Development Inc.
After the experience of working with multiple nonprofit groups, she chose to branch out on her own as a communication consultant. Graham wanted a change in office environment and the flexibility to make her own schedule. She found it was a hassle to get clients at first, yet currently has five long term clients where she is responsible for the social media accounts, copy for websites and brochures, media relations, annual appeals and reports and any communication to the public for these organizations.
Graham felt it was her call to use the skills she possesses to promote nonprofit organizations; the mission behind her work is her favorite part.
“[It’s] not just scheduling tweets,” said Graham. She helps spread the good word about the organizations to educate the public and encourage people to donate or get involved with events sponsored by her clients.
Graham says one must be dedicated to the work to be successful in the nonprofit sector. It is a lot more than office work; she works nights, weekends and events – like a tree planting, a ribbon cutting or a book launch. In order to be effective for this work, one needs to exhibit compassion, patience and flexibility on a daily basis.
Furthermore, Graham works for herself where she must be self-disciplined to obtain motivation to work. She explains that is equally important to be honest and organized as well.
At the time of her enrollment, the Department of Communication did not have a major in public relations nor did the department have a chartered PRSSA Chapter, but she encourages us to take advantage of the opportunities provided to us through the growth the Chapter has seen.
Amanda Troncone is a current freshman at Waynesburg University majoring in public relations. She is active in WUPRSSA where she serves as the service chair, Red Brick Communications, the Lamplighters and The Hive. During her free time, Amanda likes to write short stories and scroll through Pinterest. After graduation, she hopes to work with a non-profit organization.