The Washington D.C. Agency Tour celebrated its 10th Anniversary this year from January 31 to February 2, 2018. As a part of the tour, Grady students got to network with PR professionals, communicators and government officials at various nonprofits, agencies and government offices. Before heading back to Athens, the trip wrapped up with a UGA mixer involving local D.C. alumni.
The group of nine students visited: Edelman, Powell Tate of Weber Shandwick, the American Red Cross, Finn Partners and Porter Novelli. Students were also able to break off from the group and shadow the State Department, APCO, Sapient, Ketchum, MSLGroup, Twitter and Representative Buddy Carter’s office on their own.
Allie Vlk, Kiki Webster, Anna Alyssa McKoy, Chris Shea, Ivy Smith, Emy Cunningham, Ashley Sonyea, Jessica Twine and Lacey O’Brien were the nine students in attendance. They were accompanied by Victoria Cooper and AdPR Department head Bryan Reber.
“The D.C. agency tour was incredibly beneficial for both the students and myself. D.C. is where public affairs intersects with advertising, public relations, marketing and so many other things. We have an incredibly strong alumni network there, making it easy for a Grady student or recent grad to get their foot in the door somewhere,” Grady’s public relations academic advisor Victoria Cooper said. Cooper also noted, “It was apparent in almost every conversation with alumni and professionals in the field that this trip is a legacy of the ADPR department, and we have Dr. Betty Jones to thank for that. Her sacrifice and hard work these past 10 years has made this unique opportunity for our students both affordable and intrinsically valuable from a professional development standpoint.”
What were some of the student’s favorite parts of the agency tour?
- “The classmates and Victoria Cooper. Bouncing experiences and ideas off them was very enlightening!”
- “A good balance between freedom but also assistance getting from place to place.”
- “Visiting the Red Cross because of getting the opportunity receive media training. I liked how interactive the experience was.”
- “The networking was great and the places we visited were all informational. Now I have an idea of what kind of PR I’m interested in.”
- “Being able to visit a city and see if I could see myself living there. It’s one thing to hear about opportunities, and it’s another to really experience them for yourself before you graduate.”
Washington D.C. is a great city full of opportunities for Grady students and alumni. If you did not get to attend the tour this year, apply next year! Having the chance to learn more about different companies and organizations while also network in a large city is invaluable. Be on the lookout for more agency tours in the future.
*You must be a paying member of the PRSSA Drewry Chapter to attend agency tours.