PR Week – #BridgeTheGap: Alumni Panel Session Recap

Session: Young Professionals/Alumni Panel

Presenters: Jeff Canning, Taylor Bombalski and Nate Regotti

Recap: During this session, three Waynesburg University alumni related their experiences thus far in the communication field. Coming from all different backgrounds—journalism, public relations, sports broadcasting—and working in all different sectors of the field, the professionals gave advice to students about classes, networking and being adaptable in a constantly changing work environment.

Key takeaways:

  1. Networking is the only way to be successful. Regardless of what career or area of communication, it is important to constantly build professional relationships. First impressions matter, and it is impossible to know when a given connection will prove beneficial.
  2. Get your message out as fast as possible—no matter what organization you are representing. It is important to be agile in a fast-paced work environment—aware of changes and ready to communicate with media professionals at all times—or someone else will gain control of the story.
  3. Remember to be adaptable and flexible, because in the communication field, things change quickly and often.
  4. Be personable and confident. Your success in the field will depend on your ability to communicate with others and build positive, mutually beneficial relationships, so be your best self.
  5. Have the confidence to stand up for yourself and disagree with the client when necessary. Remember: you are the professionally trained communicator in the work environment. Have faith in your skills, and have the ability to respectfully refute ideas that take the organization in the wrong direction.

Teghan Simonton is a sophomore with a dual major in public relations and journalism. She serves as the content coordinator  for Waynesburg PRSSA and as managing editor for the award-winning Yellow Jacket student newspaper. She is an active member of Red Brick Communications and the Society of Professional Journalists. In her free time, Teghan is a member of the cross country and track teams.

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