2012 IWU Alumna will host public relations workshop

admin

Tia Patsavas

 

Next Wednesday, Oct. 29, Illinois Wesleyan University alumna Kristin Fields ’12 will host a public relations workshop for students, sharing how imperative networking is for the modern undergraduate.

Fields, who currently works as a digital associate at Weber Shandwick’s Chicago office, will present the workshop at 6 p.m. at State Farm Hall.

According to Erica Kucharski, senior English-Writing major and president of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society at Illinois Wesleyan, semi-annual career workshops help show students where an Illinois Wesleyan education can take them.

“We invited Kristin Fields because she was a very active English student and wisely used her time at IWU to enter the business world,” said Kucharski.

But the business world wasn’t where Fields had intended to find her future career. Upon graduating, the English-Writing major initially envisioned herself working at a literary organization.

Yet with the help of two fellow Illinois Wesleyan alumni, Fields had the opportunity to interview with Weber Shandwick, an award-winning, global public relations firm with offices in 81 countries.

“The reason I went into public relations was because I felt I could use my English degree,” said Fields. “I thought it was cool to be able to do something high-profile and still use my creative writing.”

After completing her internship within the consumer-marketing department, Fields was hired as assistant digital associate within the company’s digital marketing department and now works as digital associate for the firm.

“Day-to-day, I do a lot of what we call community management: I monitor client’s social pages,” Fields said. “I’m kind of in the trenches when it comes to community management.”

As part of her role, Fields posts content and responds to customer questions and concerns on the social pages.

“More recently, I’ve been working on a lot of digital strategy,” Fields said, which calls for more big-picture brainstorming.

On the surface, Fields’ current work at Weber Shandwick is drastically different from what she studied in her English classes. But according to Fields, the English foundation that she garnered during classes like her poetry workshops helped prepare her what she does today.

During these workshops, Fields recalls reflecting on her first drafts and thinking of ways to keep improving. That same process is “crucial in my client work, because we want to present them with the best,” Fields said.

While at Illinois Wesleyan, Fields was involved in the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and the spoken word group Lyrical Graffiti. She also served on the editorial board of Illinois Wesleyan’s creative arts journal, Tributaries, and was a writer and assistant news editor for The Argus.

Though Fields majored in English, students from many different majors could find their niche within public relations.

“As an English and theatre student who has recently discovered a knack for public relations, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to meet a professional like Kristin Fields,” said Hannah Dhue, senior English-Writing and theatre arts double major.

“Whether you’re majoring in theatre, philosophy, psychology, business, etc., we all learn skills that can be applied to this professional field,” Kucharski said. “ Plus, this is a great way to begin networking!”

And networking hits especially close to home for Fields: her alumni network helped launch her current career path.

“I really want to stress the importance of using your alumni network, using connections, and not being afraid to just kind of throw a note out there,” Fields said.