After a long year of growth and determination, sophomore member Ashlyn Gramm has every intention of making this year her year. After declaring her major as public relations, this Bloomington-Normal native has put her dream of incorporating the study of Public Relations and Physical Therapy into action as a post-graduate career. Through Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, Gramm hopes to continue to refine her skills in public relations, as well as open herself up to new opportunities, following some of the best advice she has ever received- meet this week’s Member Monday, Ashlyn Gramm!
Tell us about yourself.
I am a townie! I grew up in Bloomington-Normal and have been around the ISU campus since I can remember. My major is public relations, but I am planning to continue onto Physical Therapy school after I graduate. I live at home with my mom and younger brother, but I probably spend more time on campus than I do there. I am involved in the ISU Young Group, ISU PRSSA, and the Pre-Heath Society on campus.
Let's do a little bit of reflecting: Now that you're a sophomore, in what ways do you feel you have grown since freshman year?
I think I have definitely grown my confidence this year. I came in as an undeclared student freshman year, and it frustrated me that I could not figure out what direction I wanted to pursue. That frustration led to a lack of confidence, which led to more frustration, and so on. But the faculty at ISU has been great in helping me figure out where my passions lie and how to then act on them.
The combination of your major and post-graduation plan for Physical Therapy school is very unique! How do you plan to combine aspects from these two fields in your desired future career?
It is definitely a unique combination! Not many people would come up with pairing together public relations and physical therapy! The goal right now is to graduate with a public relations degree and continue onto becoming a physical therapist. As I learn more about public relations and physical therapy, I have realized how closely related they are. A lot of public relations revolves around pitching and convincing your client that you truly believe that what you are wanting for them is in their best interest. The same goes for physical therapy, only it is more medically focused. Typically, the issues that arise in physical therapy situations are the result of miscommunication, and my goal is to bring an increased knowledge of the communication process from a public relations standpoint and make my physical therapy practice much more effective.
Since becoming a member of ISU PRSSA, what have you learned?
I have definitely learned more about the public relations field since joining ISU PRSSA. I honestly did not know much when I applied to the program. If for some reason, I do not go on to becoming a physical therapist, PRSSA has helped me narrow down what field within public relations I would prefer to have a career in.
What is the best advice you have ever received and how has it affected you?
I think the best advice I ever received was to not be afraid to try things outside your comfort zone. If you try something and hate it, then you basically end up right back where you are right now, no harm done. But if you try something and love it, then you have one more awesome thing to do with your life. Honestly, a lot of the decisions we fret over are pretty trivial, so we might as well stop spending time worrying about whether or not we'll like something and just try it out.
Questions composed by Chloe Kasper
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.