Computing the Future: How I Got into Public Relations

The more time I spend at Bluestone Communications, the more I realize how perfect public relations is for me. I love it. I love it even more than I initially did since that first introductory PR class, but how I came to be in this field isn’t quite that conventional.

I started at James Madison University majoring in computer science, thinking I’d graduate and announce to the world, “Yeah, hire me! I’ll program that video game for you!” because I always saw myself as a tech-savvy person. However, I hadn’t the experience or the patience for coding, and I ended up floundering my way through a tough semester. So, after receiving some rather abysmal grades, I decided to switch majors, and my semester (or 10 minutes as I’ll jokingly tell people) in computer science was over.

What now?

I had to completely reevaluate what I was good at and what I liked to do before I picked a new major. It was weird. I didn’t think I’d ever have to do that. I thought computer science was it. It was supposed to be a one and done type of thing and everything would naturally fall into place. Now it’s back to the old drawing board, as they say. I thought about how much I love music, how much I love playing piano and guitar, painting and writing. I also thought about the volunteer work I do and that’s when WHRO, a radio station back home, came to mind.

WHRO has been a big part of my life the last few years. Reading is just as fun now as it was back when I started in 2014.

WHRO was the main reason for going into PR because of how much I enjoy volunteering there. That volunteering consists of reading the national and local news on the air. Of course, to fill that broadcast time with content and events, researchers at the station have to collect information from newspapers in Hampton Roads, and a big part of PR is keeping up with the news.

There was also something so cool about being able to be a part of a radio program. I love being able to just talk on the air and having been told that I have a voice for radio over the last few years has only bolstered my confidence in my speaking ability, public and otherwise.

After all this consideration, and doing more research about public relations, I decided to switch to communication studies where I’d eventually apply for the PR concentration.

I hadn’t ruled out music though. I didn’t see myself as a performer, but more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person. I thought it would be cool to relate the music industry to public relations by promoting and producing other people’s music, and so I thought I’d find out more about all that through becoming a music industry minor. It also just so happened that the communication studies major required everyone to have additional credit hours through an optional minor. It was a pretty easy decision there.

Now I am in my last year at JMU, and I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out. It’s hard to think that I’d fly from one end of the spectrum to the other so quickly in terms of my major change, but that’s how I got started in public relations, and I don’t regret the change at all.

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