A journey down a winding road of challenges and opportunities presents itself daily for many students. College is full of new, fun, and challenging things and this year COVID-19 was thrown into the mix. One alumna is turning these challenges into opportunities by applying skills she learned at the university to real-world scenarios in a pandemic-stricken country.
Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin Danielle Shea traveled North to attend the University of Wisconsin Green Bay (UWGB). She graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication with emphases in Public Relations and Organizational Communication. While in college she was a Resident Assistant, Community Advisor, and the Director of Communication Week. Danielle truly took every opportunity while in college.
As A Student – Be Involved and save your materials!Courses like Social Media Strategies, Organizational Communication, and Cases In Crisis Management, helped her prepare and manage in her position as Marketing and Communications Director of the Dubuque, Iowa YMCA/YWCA (Y). “These classes helped present real-life scenarios for me,” she said, “when it came to coming up with key statements on the fly, talking to the press and understanding how to communicate internally.” In addition, now that most fitness programs are being presented virtually through social media, “engaging an audience and keeping them connected is huge during this time.”
But her classes were only part of her success at UWGB. “Students should be involved outside the classroom and take every opportunity they can,” she added. These opportunities coupled with the in-classroom experiences helped form her thought processes and made her a better individual. Being involved with one opportunity led to another and helped her understand what she wanted to do after graduation.
Internships also helped. She did two at ‘GB: The first was as a Communication Intern at Camp Tekakwitha; she was a camp counselor as well. Her second internship was a Marketing Intern at the Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists. These two internships gave her a well-rounded set of experiences that she uses in her job today.
In Her Career Applying things she learned to real-life scenarios?
Right now, it is hard for volunteers to help with non-profits like the Y, as many organizations must follow guidelines when it comes to essential operations. But in the coming weeks and months organizations will be re-opening in some capacity. Danielle has been working on a communication plan to successfully accomplish re-opening the Y.
Understanding the legislation around COVID-19, including the Paycheck Protection Program, has been one of her many challenges. Communication, therefore, is important. Over the past week she has been pulling out old coursework to reference. Audience charts, KISS charts, and GOST charts all came into play when drafting her plan for the reopening. When staff do return we must make sure the returning staff, members, and the community are safe while following guidelines of social distancing. Danielle said, “what you do in school is definitely comparable to the real-world.”
What does this mean to me? Want to learn more?
Danielle’s key to success is a two-word phrase that is talked about daily in the Communication Department: Continuous Improvement. She uses it everyday in her role with the Y and suggests college students embrace it as well. All throughout her college experience CI helped her to become better, and it can help you as well.
To learn more, listen to PRSSA’s full interview with Danielle on NEW PR. Also, make sure to check out her LinkedIn and online portfolio, both of which she said were very important to her success when it comes to landing that post-graduation job!
Written By: Matthew Knoke 54.7 | 9.8
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