Student Spotlight- Sarah Cunningham

Student Spotlight

Sarah Cunningham
sarah

Major: Public Relations

Minor: Spanish

Certificate: Public Affairs Professional Certificate

Hometown: Cumming, GA

Campus Involvement:

  • Carolyn Caudell Tieger Fellow, Media Relations
  • Peer Learning Assistant, Introduction to Public Affairs Communications

Name of your position and company you worked with this summer:

State Advocacy Media Intern, Planned Parenthood Federation of America/Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington, D.C.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years / What’s your dream job?

In 10 years, I hope that I’ll be living and working in Washington, D.C. as a public affairs communicator. I would love to be working in a fast-paced environment where I’m given the opportunity to be collaborative and creative. I think I would really enjoy working at a PR firm or as the communications director for a congressperson!

What skills did Grady College teach you that you were able to apply to this position this past summer?

One of the most valuable skills I learned at Grady is that it’s okay to ask questions. Working on the communications team at Planned Parenthood is very fast-paced and demanding, people are running a mile-a-minute and it can be hard to keep up. It was absolutely essential that I was willing to stop and ask questions so that I could deliver a quality end-product that my supervisor would be able to use.

What advice do you have for students wanting to work or intern at this company or in this kind of position?

Be bold and know your worth! You’ll never land a coveted position if you don’t apply for it.

What Grady classes best prepared you for your position this summer, and how so?

While I’ve learned so much from all of my Grady classes, I think that two of the most valuable to me this summer were JOUR 3190: Reporting and Writing Across Platforms with Lori Johnston and ADPR 3960: Advanced Public Affairs Communications with Professor Joe Watson. My introductory journalism class taught me how to be direct, clear and compelling in my writing and gave me fluency in AP Style. My advanced public affairs class with Professor Watson expanded upon the introductory course and gave me the skills I needed for a summer in D.C.

What skills did your position this summer teach you that you will apply to your career after UGA?

At my internship this summer, I learned skills like Cision, building media lists and how to pitch to reporters, but I also learned how to be flexible and how to work as part of a team. The folks on the media team at Planned Parenthood are unparalleled in their craft: I learned so much just from being close to them day-in and day-out.

The University of Georgia AdPR Department loves hearing about successful students like Sarah. Keep up the good work! 

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