Cindy Kirchner is a one-of-a-kind public relations major at Illinois State University. Through her abundant school spirit and love of sports, Cindy has been able to bundle her personality and passions into an internship that will set her up for a professional career in sports public relations.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in the small town of Nashville, Ill. I have two sisters, Becky and Allison, and one brother, Joe. I also have two dogs, Miaya and Libby. I have been a cheerleader for almost my whole life. I am currently an Illinois State University cheerleader and captain. Being a cheerleader for ISU has been an amazing experience that has allowed me to make many close-knit relationships. I love this school, and looking back I would never choose to go anywhere else.
What are your responsibilities as alumni chair, and why did you pursue this position?
As the alumni chair, I am responsible for developing and maintaining relationships between alumni and current Chapter members. I am also responsible for developing the alumni newsletter that is produced every semester. The newsletter features current Chapter accomplishments and alumni updates. Being the alumni chair is a great opportunity to network with professionals who love ISU just as much as I do. It's great to see what alumni have done with their degrees and how they apply what they learned to the workplace.
Tell us about your time as a member of the ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
Last year was my first year in ISU PRSSA, and I’ve loved every minute of it. I have had many experiences and gained friends that have helped me grow as a person and professional. Last year, I took advantage of every agency tour, networking and volunteer opportunity. I am more prepared for the professional world because of the knowledge and skills I have gained through the Chapter sessions and committees. I have a better understanding of what opportunities to look for in the professional world and how important it is to stay connected with everyone you meet.
What internships have you had?
In the summer of 2014, I interned for Fabulous Affairs as an event coordinating intern. Fabulous Affairs coordinates weddings and creates materials such as invitations, programs and table cards. I assembled work for clients, made their invitations and programs, and met with prospective clients about design elements for their event. I enjoyed working with clients and seeing their ideas come to life in the finished product. I now intern for Redbird Athletics as a Red Alert/marketing intern. I run the social media accounts for Red Alert and have designed material for games. Since I have started working for Redbird Athletics, there has been an increase in game day attendance and engagement. I have an interest in sports public relations, and this internship seems like the perfect start to my professional career. It is a great work environment, and I am truly thrilled to have this opportunity.
What advice would you tell your freshman self?
Get involved ASAP! The sooner you get involved, the more opportunities you will have. I didn’t look for internships until my junior year and that was a big mistake. As a freshman, there are multiple opportunities to learn about the profession of public relations. It does not hurt to apply for internships and gain application experience.
By Chloe Kasper
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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.