Describe your current position and what led to your job.
For the past three years, I have worked as the Communications Manager at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. Since DSCC is a small non-profit, I wear many hats: the managing editor of the bi-monthly magazine, Delaware Business, webmaster for www.dscc.com, assist the events manager with events, event photographer/videographer, write press releases, speech writer, etc.
Formerly, I was a business reporter at the Courier-Post newspaper in Southern New Jersey. As I began developing my skills for niche reporting, I was told about an opportunity to work at the Chamber where I could have more control over the editorial and design of a magazine. I was nervous about moving from journalism to communications, but I learned quickly and really enjoy it!
What has been the most rewarding/challenging moment in your career?
Each year, the Chamber hosts its largest event, Annual Dinner. One year, we had more than 1,000 people attend. We had worked for months in preparation for this event, which included producing a full-color, 90+ page magazine to distribute to everyone at the event, and as the evening ended, we all breathed a sigh of relief that it was a success!
Another rewarding moment came when I was an interning for a newspaper and was sent to cover a story in the city of Camden, New Jersey. The city was revitalizing a crime-ridden city block that contained a former drug den. Inside these dilapidated homes were squatters who didn’t know their homes were about to be demolished. The photographer with me on the story urged me to go inside and speak to one of the families. I was terrified to tell them they were about to be homeless. I’ve never felt such helplessness. I sought out a city councilman and during the interview, mentioned this family and the others living in these buildings. The city worked on getting them a safe and free place to stay that same day, and the city councilman kept in touch with me to let me know what was going to happen. I went from feeling helpless to feeling empowered that my work was helping people.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Read the newspaper every day.
What would you recommend to someone interested in working in your field?
I give two suggestions to our interns: develop your writing portfolio and learn simple Web editing skills.
What skills are necessary or what prepared you the most for your career?
Working for the student newspaper, The Review, gave me a broad understanding of covering different areas such as social issues, crime, business, entertainment and the university. This experience forced me to break out of my shell. You cannot be shy and be in PR.
What professional associations have aided in your professional development?
Delaware Press Association, New Jersey Press Association, and PRSA Delaware
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