Alumni Spotlight: Savannah Highsmith

Savannah Highsmith

Savannah Highsmith is a May 2012 graduate who majored in public relations with a New Media certificate and a communications studies minor.

What are you doing now and how did you get there? I'm an assistant account executive at Edelman in the Atlanta office, working in the consumer practice. It's only been two months since I graduated and started working there, but I've already learned so much! I interned with Edelman the summer in between my junior and senior years, which helped get my foot in the door.

What is your day-to-day like at your job? (Any interesting projects that you can share with us?) Absolutely crazy -- but in a good way! Never a dull moment, that's for sure. My biggest clients are Brawny paper towels, Quilted Northern toilet paper, Masterbuilt (cooking products like grills, fryers, steamers) and Adobe (as in Photoshop, inDesign, etc.). Speaking of interesting projects -- I'm actually on a flight as we speak to NYC for Brawny and Quilted Northern! Both brands are participating in the annual BlogHer conference, a trade show for female bloggers. So exciting!

What part of your Grady experience (classes, professors, etc.) has been helpful in your career today? I certainly wouldn't be where I am right now without Grady! I'll never forget the lessons I learned from Dr. Sallot in PR communications -- she taught us to "write tight" and that has been so helpful. And getting AP Style drilled into my brain daily by Dr. Sweetser (and many others) has actually paid off in a big way! I think the most valuable thing I took away from Grady, however, is my participation in the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Both of those organizations allowed me to explore the PR/communications industry while still in school and they both opened up so many doors for me. In fact, it was at an IABC Atlanta event my sophomore year that I met my first contact at Edelman; she has remained a close friend and mentor to this day!

Expect the unexpected. You never know where and when that opportunity of a lifetime will pop up, you just have to be ready when it does!

What is your favorite Grady memory? This is a tough question, but I think my absolute favorite memory has to be Grady graduation. It was a night I'll never forget, where we all came together to celebrate all we had accomplished and it was amazing to see how far we had all come since we had been accepted into Grady just years before. It was also so wonderful to see how close we had all become and to know that the relationships we had formed were going to enter the "real world" along with us.

What advice do you have for current AdPR students? Get out of the classroom. Get out of your comfort zone. Explore and discover as much as you can about the industry. Go to networking events, not just on campus, but in Atlanta, New York -- wherever -- and learn as much as you can. Network as  much as possible, but don't just do it to get a job or internship, do it to forge meaningful relationships that will be mutually beneficial all throughout your career. And lastly -- expect the unexpected. You never know where and when that opportunity of a lifetime will pop up, you just have to be ready when it does!

No comments: