Jacey Jenkins Turns Internship Opportunity into a Career
May 17, 2008
Jacey Jenkins, a 2008 graduate of Mount Union College, has built high aspirations for her future because of her experiences as a media studies major and involved student at Mount Union.
Jenkins has been hired as an account associate at Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations in Worthington, the largest public relations firm in the Midwest. She had a paid internship with the firm last summer, during which she was given the opportunity to create media lists, make clip reports and media audit calls, write news releases, research client competitors and write pitches to reporters.
Mount Union first attracted Jenkins because she was looking for a small, private college in Ohio. She visited many, but when she came to Mount Union she could immediately see a commonality between herself and the students. She and her parents were impressed by the College and its organization. When she stayed overnight as a senior in high school, her host Kerri DiNarda '07 was the individual who encouraged Jenkins that Mount Union was the right school for her.
As a freshman, Jenkins became very involved. She explained that her goal was to “meet new friends and get the most out of the college experience.” She became a part of what is now known as Campus Crusade for Christ, which began as a small Bible study, but has grown to have over 70 members. She also joined Emerging Leaders, which is a group that meets once a week focusing on different themes to help students strengthen their leadership qualities.
Her involvement with this group led her to become a Preview & Orientation guide, which is an individual who helps incoming freshman with the transition to college through sessions during the summer. The retreats in which Preview & Orientation guides are trained created some of Jenkins’ best memories at Mount Union.
Some of Jenkins’ other activities on campus include her involvement with the Association of Women in Communications, WRMU, Blue Key, Sophomore Service and Lambda Phi Ata, a communications honorary. She was also a Relay for Life team captain, during which she knew her time and effort spent were going towards a worthy cause.
Positioned as senior editor of the Dynamo, the college’s student newspaper, Jenkins learned what it is like to be completely in charge. She is grateful for what she experienced while working on the Dynamo and knows that these experiences will help her in her future career. Jenkins worked with faculty advisor Dr. Len Cooper on the newspaper’s greatest achievement this year, putting it online. She is proud that the staff was also able to keep the news more current by achieving a shorter production time, get the alumni involved through the website and refurbish the Dynamo office.
Jenkins was also able to expand her leadership qualities by holding a service-learning internship position with the Alliance Neighborhood Center (ANC) this year. She wrote press releases, created flyers and promotional items and compiling the 2007 annual report for the Center.
Her most enjoyable project for ANC was writing about the Math Club at Northside Elementary. For this story, she interviewed employers and observed the club’s activities. Her article and photo were published in the Alliance Review. Jenkins states that, “It was an honor to work for an organization whose mission is to help adults and children in need.”
Jenkins has been influenced by a number of her professors. She enjoys the connective student-professor relationships prevelant at Mount Union. One of the professors who helped Jenkins a great deal was Dr. William Coleman, professor of communication. In his class, she learned about mass media criticism, which opened her eyes and changed her perspective. She appreciated how Coleman did not force his opinions, yet was able to show his students how the world really works.
She is also thankful for what she has learned from Harry Paidas, vice president for public affairs and marketing and Melissa Smith, director of public affairs, both of whom she worked with in the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing and also had as professors. From Paidas, she learned the fundamentals of press releases, while Smith taught her InDesign. Both of these skills helped her tremendously with the Dynamo and in her internship, which led to her future career in public affairs.
Jenkins feels that Mount Union provides an opportunity to get plugged in as opposed to big schools that may have more limited accessibility to opportunities for students. For instance, Jenkins was able to be on-air at the radio station as a freshman, whereas bigger schools may reserve that opportunity for upperclassmen.
The diversity at Mount Union also allowed for Jenkins to learn lessons about herself. She explained that as a freshman, doors were opened for her to learn who she was and how she saw the world. Through the years, she has developed by building on the things she values most. She feels strongly that a residence hall experience is one that everyone needs to have in order to grow more independent and find out more about themselves as a person.
Jenkins’ advice to incoming freshmen is to get involved with something and stick with it. She also thinks that it is important for freshman to think and plan ahead and realize how much campus involvement can help them in the future.
Upon reflecting on her college experience, Jenkins said, “While being at Mount Union, I have had the opportunity to prepare myself for a future career, strengthen my character, give back to the community and make friendships that will last a lifetime. To me, there is no better way to spend four years. While it will be so hard to leave a place I have come to know and love, I will be ready to embrace the new challenges and adventures of life after college thanks to my experiences as student here.”