The Versatility of Public Relations

Let’s face it – it’s hard to find your niche when you first are deciding on pursuing a particular major or minor.

Students like senior Olivia Baxter, a music and public relations double-major, came all the way from Spencer, Iowa to Simpson College solely to get involved with the nationally-known music department. However, upon arrival she realized being a music major meant more than all the voice lessons and recitals – she had to learn to create a brand for herself and get her music to reach the right public’s. Cue Olivia to enter the public relations major where branding and public outreach is a primary focus of the curriculum.

Anyone and everyone who goes to Simpson College knows how talented and dedicated the students who enter in the Amy Robertson music building on a daily basis. And it’s like they rarely come out (PSA: they don’t). They have their own little community within the building and all the individuals who walk those very halls fill the building with personalized sounds and harmonies.

Read this weeks student feature Friday on Olivia Baxter and how her passion and success within Simpson College’s outstanding music department brought her to the public relations major and all the unbeatable opportunities she has received because of it.

What’s been your favorite memory studying within the multimedia communications department?

One of the most entertaining memories I have is from a PRSSA event earlier this year. A bunch of us members were on an agency tour in one of the Simpson “dad” vans trying to find our way around Des Moines and ended up getting completely lost.

We drove around downtown four or five times all yelling different things until we finally realized we had the wrong address and got everything figured out. It was great because as a music major, I don’t really get much exposure to other people on campus, and getting lost turned out to be a great way to get to know the other PR majors.

What do you feel the multimedia communications department has done for your professional and academic growth that you believe you wouldn’t have elsewhere?

One thing I couldn’t have received elsewhere is the attention from professors. With my busy schedule, sometimes I feel not as involved within the communications department as I should be. However, every professor I’ve had is willing to reach out to me. They all make an effort to get to know you on a personal level and that makes the learning much more fun.

Could you elaborate on your internship experiences?

I currently have two internship positions. I’m the public relations and social media intern at the Des Moines Metro Arts Alliance where I help develop content for our annual events and create media to be seen by the public.

I also work at the Des Moines Social Club as an education intern. There I helped create the concepts for summer camps, design content and I also assist my boss in maintaining all the classes and workshops that go on there.

Where do you plan to end up after graduation? 

I have a lot of varying interests, so after graduation my plans are still a little unclear. At this point, I would love to work at some sort of arts organization where I can use my PR skills but in an area that I can really connect with and make a difference.

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