A public relations major who played on Northwestern’s soccer team while working on the student newspaper and serving as a writing tutor, Graham got the internship of his dreams as a senior. He was placed with a sports PR firm in Chicago. That experience led directly to his current job, as his internship supervisor oversees media relations for the BNP Paribas Open, the world’s fifth largest professional tennis tournament. Knowing Graham was living in Southern California, he asked if his former intern could help out for the 2015 tournament. That led to a full-time position Graham loves.
What does your job involve?
I manage websites; design and send email marketing campaigns; and design advertisements, social media, website content and various other promotional materials. I also take part in app improvement and social media strategy.
How well did Northwestern prepare you for your career?
The PR major is designed to provide students with the underlying theory and rationale for work in the world, as well as opportunities to practice real skills through work with actual clients during practicums. Those hands-on experiences taught me a great deal about the nature of public relations.
What do you feel you gained the most from your NWC experience?
In one word, I’d say confidence. It will always be difficult to enter an unfamiliar setting or a new stage of life, but through my experiences academically, socially, spiritually and even athletically, I gained confidence that I now have a skill set and outlook to thrive no matter where life takes me.
What are Northwestern’s professors like?
The beautiful thing about Northwestern’s professors is they focus on more than just teaching a subject; they’re also interested in students as people. Professors are as excited about students’ faith development, maturation and expansion of worldview as they are about their field of expertise. That’s an amazing environment to spend emerging adulthood in.
What are some of your favorite memories from NWC?
Three highlights: friends, soccer and internship. I made many of my closest friends on the soccer team as well as in the communications program. In soccer, the simplest explanation is I was able to work really hard and celebrate successes with an absolutely quality crew. Lastly, the internship was really an amalgamation of all I had done in college and was an ideal capstone for my academic career.
Why did you choose Northwestern?
I was interested in a small college where I could further my faith, play soccer and participate in service projects. Northwestern provided all of that and, while I didn’t know what I wanted to major in initially, proved to be a fantastic place to pursue public relations.
What led you to pursue a public relations major?
I really enjoyed writing in high school, and that led me to enroll in a Media Writing class with Professor Ann Minnick. There was something exhilarating about working in or with media that made the course compelling. After the first week in Media Writing, I was hooked and knew public relations was the right fit for my skills and interests.
How has studying at a liberal arts college benefited you in your career?
With a liberal arts education, I wasn’t trained just to do a job; I was equipped with skills to help me in all situations. Given that kind of preparation, I have confidence in myself and my abilities even when I’m asked to do something new.