Avery Whitehead interned at Precision Strategies as a Communications Intern this past summer. She is from Baltimore, MD, and is a Political Science and Public Relations major minoring in Women’s Studies and obtaining a Public Affairs Professional Certificate. She has been a campus tour guide at the UGA Visitors Center for two years, and is a member of Sigma Pi Alpha, a political science honor society. She is the President of Kappa Kappa Gamma, involved with SGA, and co-founded Sparke for Clarke – a UGA student-run academic and college preparatory initiative to mentor at-risk Clarke Central High School students.
What is your dream job?
At the end of the day, I will always involve myself with some form of political communication. After working with Georgia Democrats during the 2016 election cycle, I realized the detriment of ineffective and poorly targeted communications tactics. I believe there exists many untapped minds that hold the key to tomorrow’s problems yet simply don’t have a platform to create change. My dream job would be, in any sense, to allow these individuals a platform. To provide focused, smart communications strategy and to implement it with originality. One day, I hope to own or partner in a political consulting firm which primarily focuses on running democratic women for vacancies in the House and Senate.
What skills did Grady College teach you that you were able to apply to this position this past summer?
Aside from the bread and butter PR foundations I’ve garnered throughout my time as a Grady student, I was able to arrive in Washington with a very real sense of what was expected of me as a PR professional. Too often, college students engage with assignments that don’t ask them to place themselves outside of a classroom setting. This simply isn’t the case in Grady. Students are challenged to wade into their surrounding community, locate and secure clients, and develop comprehensive campaigns using their growing skillsets.
What advice do you have for students wanting to work or intern at this company or in this kind of position?
Persistence! It doesn’t matter where you’re applying or what position you’re attracted to, the individuals at these companies are busy. In order to cut through a sea of applicants, persistence and brevity in communication make a lasting impression. Know what you want, communicate your unique strengths succinctly, and don’t allow yourself to fall through the cracks.
What Grady classes best prepared you for your position this summer, and how so?
I owe most of my confidence in this field to Professor Watson’s Public Affairs Communications course and Dr. Reber’s Public Relations Communications course. In both, I developed 40+ page campaign proposals using independent research, one-on-one communication with a client, and a tactical approach ensured only by being a student in the Grady College.
What skills did your position this summer teach you that you will apply to your career after UGA?
Be smart and be original. Any minute not spent on work should be spent getting smart on what matters to your clients. Don’t reuse tired PR methodology, break new ground.
The AdPR department is lucky to have hard-working students like Avery, keep up the good work!