BS in Journalism: Public Relations
Colleen Ford is an EWU alumnus, who graduated June 2019 with a BS in Journalism and Public Relations. She currently runs the blog for AMLI Residential, a nationwide residential development corporation
How has the English program at Eastern shaped who you are as a professional?
I worked for The Easterner for a year as the web editor. Learning Search Engine Optimization tactics and becoming familiar with graphic design, AP Style and the editing process gave me the qualifications needed to get my current jobs. I run the blog and Instagram for a nationwide residential development corporation, and I also do work for a nonprofit that protects endangered rhinos in South Africa.
What projects have you worked on that you would like to highlight?
I was part of the EWU Women’s Rugby team while I was at Eastern, and through doing that I got to volunteer for the 2018 Rugby World Cup in San Francisco as a media volunteer. I got to see behind the scenes of a global event, and I followed international media workers around as they interviewed players, wrote their stories, took photographs and created content in a variety of different languages. If you have a sport or event you want to go to, there are always ways to make that happen if you dig around a little bit. Plus, you’ll learn some really cool skills along the way!
Right now I’m running the blog and Instagram for AMLI Residential, and I’m having a blast writing about all sorts of topics. I think the high points so far have been getting to write about my own travel experiences, because I entered EWU wanting to learn how to become a travel writer. Now, I’m getting paid to write about my favorite experiences, and I can do that from anywhere in the world.
The AMLI Residential blog allows Colleen to write stories about local history, design and decor, recipes, fun facts and weird laws, and everything else in between.
How have your EWU experiences shaped you?
I learned that I can be good at what I do. I worked hard to learn and I saw the results of that hard work. My professors answered all the questions I had and pushed me to be the best I could be. I have the confidence to try new things and to push myself in my work, and I know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
What important lessons or tips do you have for future students?
Your likelihood of getting a job in your field is directly linked to how well you apply the skills you learn in class. When you graduate, employers are going to want to see examples of work you’ve already done. When I was interviewed for my current job, I never had to show my diploma, but I did have to show my portfolio of work. If you don’t get involved with clubs, organizations or the newspaper, you won’t have much to show.
Find something you’re interested in, like I did with The Easterner and with rugby, and you’ll get so much more out of your college experience than if you didn’t! Plus, you’ll make some valuable friends along the way.
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
Experience truly is the most important way to learn and improve! I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I had to try new skills at Eastern, and I wouldn’t feel nearly as confident in the “real world” if I never got to apply what I learned at The Easterner and through my internship.