In 1, Graduation, Public Relations

Convocation for the School of Communications will take place at 2 p.m. on April 27

Graduating senior Ellen Huish did not know exactly what she wanted to do in Public Relations when she started the program. However, with a goal of attending law school in mind, she knew PR would develop and broaden her skills.

Huish said, “I knew PR would give me a lot of experience in research, writing, strategic planning and social media because that’s what you need to be relevant in any career path. That’s why I chose PR and it has proven to be true in more ways than I could have imagined. For example, we focused on research and that relates to what I want to pursue after law school. Those skills have proven very valuable.”

Through coordinating, researching and creating content for real clients, Huish said she has enjoyed hands-on experiences in practical settings. Her collaborative team conducted research for MultiLing and traveled to their headquarters to give a presentation to executives. She also wrote articles and created social media content for the BYU School of Communications. As she prepares to graduate, Huish is completing her senior capstone project working with Marriott Mexico in social media consultation for their hotels in Mexico.

Huish said, “There were a few times when we had things go wrong, pressing deadlines we had to meet or had things change and these gave me a lot of experience learning what careers in PR are like. Sometimes things do change and the client wants something different and you have to adjust.”

In addition to on-campus learning, Huish also participated in three study abroads during her undergrad. She went to London with the Department of Theatre and Media Arts and New York and New Zealand with the School of Communications.

“In New Zealand,” said Huish, “I told stories about the different religions, people and cultures there. In New York it was a similar experience, we got to tell stories about diversity. Those three experiences have made my BYU experience one thousand times more beneficial. I gained exposure to different people and the way they live.

“There’s a lot of diversity in Provo, but it was so valuable to go to these countries and meet these people in their world. We talk about experiential learning — what better way to do that than leaving Provo to venture out and work in the field? I learned so much from them.”

Through her major, Huish has gained skills in web development, Adobe software and other creative applications she did not have prior experience in. She was able to learn these skills from scratch to create final products and now uses these abilities in her everyday life. Huish said she now has her own website, uses Adobe Premiere for her job and is currently working as a Facebook ad manager.

Huish will continue her studies this August at the BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School. “I don’t know what I want to do with law yet but I have a strong interest in the first amendment, the press and communications laws,” said Huish. “That’s why it’s been a great experience working in a communications field and with communications professionals. I would love to find a niche where I could merge the two.

“Right now at BYU Law and in the legal world, there’s a lot of up-and-coming legal technology. Technology and legal professions are now mixing, so gaining skills in web development and design will be useful for lawyers. I know I want to tie communications and law together. How? I don’t know but I want to discover that in my next three years.”

 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

“I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to go to law school since I was a little girl because my dad is a lawyer. Law school was always been the dream; I can’t remember not wanting to go.”

Where do you find inspiration?

“I have favorite spots on campus where I always study at or go to when I have to get work done. There is something about routine that helps me.”

What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome at BYU?

“I came home from my mission early. I got sick two months in, came home and didn’t go back. I thought I’d go back and I just never did and there were a lot of perceptions, comments and stereotypes that fell onto me as a result of that. Being in an environment where everyone serves a mission and talks about how great it was and how much it changed their lives was difficult because I didn’t have that. My mission was great but it wasn’t what everyone else experienced. I had to come to the realization that my path — my mission — was my own and it didn’t have to fit what everybody else was doing. It taught me a lot about finding my own path and being ok with it as well as being more compassionate and understanding of others who share this similar experience.”

What is your favorite snack to eat?

“They sell peanut butter chocolate muddy buddies in the vending machine. You get a big bag and they actually fill the bag, it’s not just mostly filled with air and they’re only 90 cents. Also, the new Papa Johns in the Cougareat is great. When that opened, it was over for me.”

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