Kaitlyn Darr (ABJ 2009)
Kaitlyn Darr graduated from Grady College in 2009 with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in English. She is currently living in New York City.
What are you doing and how did you get there?
I am an Account Executive in the healthcare practice for Weber Shandwick in New York City. I support one of the top cancer medicines in the world and absolutely love the work I get to do: media relations, work with patients on a day-to-day basis, brainstorm new and exciting ways for people to learn about the brand, support medical meetings and help with big, regulatory milestones (e.g. FDA meetings and approvals).
On the surface, I got here because I answered a PRSSA listserv email from my current supervisor about the position. She's also a UGA grad and loves to have the the Bulldogs make their way to New York. However, I tried my best to prepare myself to stand out if and when an opportunity like this presented itself. During my time in Grady, I served as Director of Creative Consultants for a year and a half, which gave me a lot of great experience in public relations and management. Also, I had a variety of internships, including agency, non-profit and corporate. I always knew I wanted to be in healthcare, so two of my favorite internships were at Athens Regional Medical Center and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Being able to show my current employers my history in internships, as well as my love of healthcare, helped me get where I am now.
What is your favorite Grady memory?
As cliche as it sounds, I could list a thousand great Grady memories. The faculty and my fellow classmates gave me something I really had been looking for at UGA: a place to call home and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. Prior to finding PR, I had a four majors in a variety of schools across campus. When I figured out that PR was the place for me, with the help of Creative Consultants and Dr. Betty Jones, the only road one could really see was one that pointed up. However, I think one of my favorite memories is traveling with PRSSA members to Washington D.C. my last semester to go on Agency tours. The excitement of the city life and the opportunities available for Grady graduates in the world of Public Relations was never more apparent than when we took that trip. I think that was what sealed the deal for me and provided me with the confidence that I needed to go to a big city, try my hand at a big agency and hopefully make Grady proud.
What advice do you have for current AdPR students?
My advice for AdPR students is to figure out what you're really passionate about, where you want to live that passion and create a path to get there. It will take a lot: internships, writing courses (take extra if you can), network events (go to all of them), blind emails to contacts of contacts. But in the end, you'll figure out where you fit and you'll be extremely happy for putting in all the effort to make it happen.
Also, identify Grady alumni who are in the place you'd like to be and reach out. I have never once been turned away by a fellow Bulldog, and by the same token, I would never turn another away. We're a network that is strong and anxious to help each other--all alumni need is an email or a phone call to be an advocate for a talented Grady grad looking for a start.