“Get involved so much that you learn what breaks you – but please don’t actually break!”
Alumna Myreete Wolford (B.A. in Communication and Information Sciences in Public Relations ’14) is a Business Development Manager at Ketchum in Chicago, IL. As a graduate of C&IS, Myreete is passionate about writing, public relations and the supportive team at Ketchum.
Read below to see Wolford’s insight into her current career, the lessons she’s learned along the way and how C&IS helped her create her story.
What is your official job title?
I am a Manager of Business Development at Ketchum and support the development of North American and global growth for Ketchum. In this, I provide strategic pitch counsel, creative storytelling, marketing development, and c-suite organization for opportunities within the pipeline for this Top 5 PR Firm. Internally, I am a mentor for our “center team,” where I focus on sales-minded personal and professional development for our entry-level team members.
Why did you choose C&IS for your studies?
A few reasons! I love[d] to write, I respected the progressive and forward-thinking nature of C&IS and I knew that having a nationally ranked public relations program on my resume could take me places – and it has!
What lessons from C&IS have helped you throughout your career?
C&IS has an incredible number of resources for students and in that, involvement and opportunity arise. I gained real-world experience, networked with professionals who could speak to my credit during job interviews and beyond, and learned how to own my strengths and polish up my weaknesses. I was involved in so much within C&IS and can pinpoint the lessons learned from each extracurricular activity:
How can students make the best use of their studies?
Get involved so much that you learn what breaks you. – but please don’t actually break! Honor your commitments, be kind and never leave a classmate hanging – you never know who in your classes will be your client or colleague one day. Use so many of C&IS’ resources that you leave college with a wide array of skills, not just those you learn in a classroom. Learn video production, design, media relations/pitching, coding – you name it, it will help! Get an internship or marketing job during college so you can have a real understanding of how your studies apply to your future career (Hint: It’ll make you care more). Beyond networking, make true friendships that last – no one else will understand your job like your communication friends.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
Public Relations covers a lot of ground – do informational interviews to understand the pathways available to you. Within my role in Ketchum’s growth, I sell the services we provide and do it all behind the scenes. A role like mine is not widely available at many agencies, but without “New Biz,” a firm couldn’t survive. If you’re interested in my field, begin by cultivating your long-term relationships now. Find a mentor, not just a person to try to get you a job. Don’t be entitled nor expectant – work your bums off for what you want and what you get. No matter what, handwrite thank you notes to everyone, always.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Rewarding is the energy your work gives back to you. Rewarding is hands down, it’s my team. There is something in the water here at Ketchum… your colleagues become your family – people you’d give anything to support. Rewarding is looking back at the last few months knowing that three of my direct reports were promoted, that we won a great number of new business – business that our account teams are proud to work on, and then going home every day amped up about what we get to accomplish tomorrow.
What motivates you?
Motivation for everyone is different. For me, it’s my faith. My motivation is bringing my best to work every day all in order to show Love and Grace to others.
Thank you, Myreete!