By: Macy Rosen
The PRSSA Kent Chapter brought a little magic to Kent for Monday night’s meeting! In the first meeting of the semester, four PRKent alumni, who now work for the Walt Disney Company and Parks, spoke about their experiences with Disney. Jay Shannon, Director, Public Affairs and Executive Engagement; Paige McCalmon, Project Integration Manager; Kelli Fitzpatrick, Senior Story Editor; and Peggy Korecko, Senior Application Support Analyst; all shared their PR magic within Disney. All of our speakers had great information and advice for our staff, students, and alumni.
Priscilla DeCapua, ’08 Kent State School of Media and Journalism alum, did an amazing job guiding PRSSA Kent while putting this meeting together. She collaborated with our very own VP of Professional Relations, Kayla Polansky. As a freshman PR major at Kent, I lovewatching and learning from the upperclassmen members and alumni of PRSSA Kent. They are amazing role models and really set an example for the underclassmen who are interested in being board members in the future.
I found the most important takeaway from the meeting was networking. Networking is known to be the core conversation of Public Relations careers and many other communications careers at the PRSSA meetings. Each speaker emphasized the importance of connecting and networking and gave examples of how it has helped them get to where they are now.
On the topic of job interviews, the speakers gave us great tips and advice:
McCalmon: When you’re asked what your strengths are, have specific examples of why you are good at each trait.
Korecko: Make a connection to the interviewer and be yourself.
Fitzpatrick: Keep your skills sharp (Ex. Write for fun, take opportunities to make connections).
Shannon: The interviewer doesn’t owe you a job, sell yourself and be authentic.
All of the speakers seem to enjoy their jobs at Disney and shared their mix of daily tasks and experiences during the meeting. We heard about scriptwriting, cast events, executive roles, travel opportunities, tours, and more! The most important point that the speakers made was the opportunities they have received and continue to receive through Disney. McCalmon and Shannon reflected on their opportunities, as they began in lower-level positions, and are now currently in executive and HR positions.
McCalmon, ’93 Kent State PR graduate stated, “PR was the one major where you could end up anywhere.” This statement really spoke to me because as a PR major, it can be hard to know where you’ll end up. This group of speakers gave our viewers so much confidence in our majors and school.
Overall, I found this to be a fantastic meeting. It is so gratifying to see our very own alumni working for such a magical, world-renowned organization. It’s a magical day to be a part of PRSSA (Kent)!