AdPR Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Hawkins

Caroline Hawkins graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and a minor in art history. She currently resides in New York City.

What are you doing now and how did you get there? I am currently living in New York and working at LaForce + Stevens, a full-service marketing communications agency. Most of my life I knew that after graduating from college I wanted to be in New York. Things all seemed to fall into place my junior year when I was searching for summer internships. Networking with older friends, I heard about LaForce + Stevens and their competitive internship program and made the decision to go for it. Luckily, there were quite a few Grady grads already working at the company who I met during an interview for the internship. They gave me guidance and ended up pulling me in to work on their Consumer-Lifestyle team as a summer intern. I had an amazing experience and kept in touch with my team throughout my final year at UGA, landing a full time job with the same team immediately after graduation.

What is your day-to-day like at LaForce + Stevens? (Any interesting projects that you can share with us?) On the Consumer-Lifestyle team, we have quite an eclectic and fun group of clients. We work with brands in the fashion, wine and spirits and personal care industries, among so many others. Not only do we have work for our day to day clients, but we also get pulled in as the red carpet team for many exciting events. This being said, no day is ever the same and nor would I want it to be.

Although things are constantly changing, there are some daily staples that come with PR. Scanning the press to stay up-to-date on what is being said about our clients is key. We all media monitor daily to ensure we are on top of things. Additionally, we are continuously establishing relationships with producers, editors, bloggers, freelance writers-- you name it-- to let them know about all of the interesting things we have going on and to secure placements for our clients. Event planning, client meetings and internal brainstorm sessions are just a few of the other things that go on at our office. I would have to say the most fun parts of my job is seeing ideas we've thrown around come together as a full-blown campaign or event that we can all get behind from start to finish.

What part of your Grady experience (classes, professors, etc.) has been helpful in your career today? Looking back, Grady was helpful in so many different ways. The variety of courses we were required to take really set us up for success. While there were a few classes I may not have fully appreciated at the time (no name dropping here!), in retrospect it is clear that each and every course was there for a good reason and has benefited me in my own career in more ways than I can explain. The most important part of Grady is in my opinion the professors. While some of the courses we took are probably offered at other universities, the professors at Grady really wanted to see us succeed and to truly understand what we learning, not to just take a test, make and A and head on our way. That is something I will always appreciate.

What is your favorite Grady memory? One of my favorite Grady memories is going to Dr. Betty and Dr. Barry Jones' home with other Grady students for soup dinners. This is a great example of how amazing the faculty is and how much they made me feel appreciated, even at a school as large as UGA. I will always think about sitting around the Jones' kitchen table with my class chatting about life and graduation and UGA and how great our experiences at Grady had been.

What advice do you have for current AdPR students? The most important piece of advice I have to give is to network like crazy. I know we've all heard it before, but I would not be where I am today without some friends along the way. Make the most of the fact that you are an AdPR student at Grady College, one of the top schools of journalism in the country. Talk to alumni, older students, professors or really anyone you think may provide you with sound advice on your career path and life in general. Lastly, you are young and you should enjoy it. Take a path that really feeds your fire and don't be afraid to try something new and a little bit out of your comfort zone. 

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