Journalism Skills While Studying at Sea
By: Cassidy Burger
Fourth-year Public Relations major Audra DeLaney is the first BGSU student to participate in the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program. The program educates undergraduate students in a semester-long investigation on the sea with research and travel through the United States. While the program accepts applicants in all areas of study, DeLaney had no idea how much her communication skills would come in handy while studying the ocean.
“I didn’t think public relations would have anything to do with researching the ocean. I was completely wrong,” DeLaney said.
The Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program taught DeLaney more than just about the worked alongside students of all different majors and educational backgrounds, studying and completing research projects. Her journalism skills came in handy when contacting sources for one of her projects. DeLaney’s classes weren’t PR related, but she was able to utilize the skills she learned in the School of Media and Communication to help her and her classmates be successful.
“At Williams-Mystic I couldn’t get anything done without the input of other people,” DeLaney said. “I was able to help others with my strategic communication skills and they were able to help me with their skills.” The program taught her more about her major and was able to give her more of an insight as to what she wants to accomplish.
“I realized PR exists in many other forms than what we traditionally think. It’s not always working at a press secretary’s office or in a firm. You can use the skills you learn in the School of Media and Communication to come up with strategies, to write papers, to complete projects and it made me realize so many things in life are interconnected and that you are never really studying one thing.”
Between classes, researching and traveling DeLaney was also the social media intern for the program. After she complete the program, DeLaney stayed on staff as an admissions and communications intern. In this role, she helped update their website and write blog posts.
DeLaney had the opportunity to intern for multiple programs and companies she is passionate about and wants other BGSU students to have that same chance.
“Seek internships for places you’d really want to work. Intern for places you really want to, not places your parents or advisor wants you to,” DeLaney said.
DeLaney was lucky enough to participate in a program that truly changed her perspective on life and her career. The skills she gained during the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program and at the School of Media and Communication will be valuable for her career no matter where she works, whether there’s an ocean near or not.