By Janese Silvey
Greetings from Stephens College!
For those who don’t know me, I’m a new writer in the marketing and public relations department here. It’s my fourth day and I’m already in love with this place. It’s been too cold to take a full tour but the scene from the third floor hallway windows at Lela Raney Wood is absolutely gorgeous. (My office has an interior window so I have to sneak trips down the hall every once in a while to enjoy the view…which is no problem because the coffee pot is on the opposite side of the building.)
I come to Stephens after about 13 years as a journalist, the past seven of which I’ve spent at the Columbia Daily Tribune. For the past four years, I’ve covered higher education, mostly about MU issues but enough about Stephens to know this is a special place.
The one thing I enjoyed at the Tribune that I wanted to bring with me was a blog. I love the conversational style of blogging and hopefully you will too.
This gig also is giving me a new lens that will let me finally answer the age-old question I had as a reporter: “What do PR people DO all day, anyway?”
As a reporter, if I saw one press release come from a PR person in a week, it was almost as though I thought that person spent the entire week on one story. In a fast-paced newsroom, that’s not acceptable.
Turns out, there’s plenty going on behind the scenes working to get information to potential students, alumnae and other audiences.
I spent my first day, though, learning all of the things I did not know and was amazed to find out about Stephens.
For instance, the average class size here is 12. Yep, 12. That’s amazing considering a lot of schools don’t think twice about packing hundreds of students into one classroom.
The education these women are getting sounds amazing—and I’ve barely scratched the surface learning about the programs. I can’t wait to tell you more as I learn about them. For instance, there have been some changes to the way general education is offered here that will provide incredible experiences for students.
Not that they aren’t already getting incredible experiences. Like amazing internships. We’re not talking about fetching coffee for someone; we’re talking a summer at Vogue and Teen Vogue helping editors and writers prepare for stories. We’re talking Sky Robinson, a senior who worked as a production assistant on the set of “The Way, Way Back” with Steve Carell. Yep, THAT Steve Carell, as in “The Office” and a ton of movies, including “Dan in Real Life” (Love that movie).
And Michelle Niewald is currently interning at College Lifestyles, an online magazine for college women. The magazine featured her this month as part of its “Major of the Month” series.
Niewald’s major? Public relations. You can read about some of her amazing educational experiences here: an internship at a NYC-based agency, working at Creative Ink, the student-run professional ad agency at Stephens. This woman knows what she’s doing.
Which comes in handy for me. Michelle, if I get stumped on something PR-related, I’m totally looking you up.