It’s True What They Say: Expect the Unexpected

Company Culture, Public Relations Posted Feb 26, 2021 by Samantha Sheehy

Landing your first job during a global pandemic is not easy.

I’ve always been a planner and, as we all know, this past year has been far from predictable. So, while my road to CHEN PR may not have been a part of my original master plan, I can truly attest to the saying “everything happens for a reason”.

I am a huge country music fan and my favorite artist is Kelsea Ballerini. In high school, I had the opportunity to meet her a few times and was fascinated by how an up-and-coming artist in Nashville could reach me in a small town in New Hampshire. After doing some research on Kelsea’s team, I came across her publicist, Jensen Sussman, who runs a boutique PR agency in Nashville and represents other artists such as Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Morgan Wallen, and Gabby Barrett. It was so exciting to see how public relations, a field I had never heard of before, combined writing and storytelling with strategy and creativity.

Whatever that was, I wanted to do it.

After this realization, I was then accepted into an accelerated dual degree “3+1” program at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut where I would complete my undergraduate degrees in three years and my masters in the fourth year. I double majored in public relations and media studies with a minor in music and am currently finishing up my master’s in interactive media and communications. (T-minus 2 months to graduation! Woohoo!)

During my time at Quinnipiac, I was eager to get as much hands-on experience as possible. I interned with an advertising agency in its PR department, the marketing department at Live Nation Entertainment, and worked in promotions at iHeart Media.

In March 2020, I traveled back home to New Hampshire looking forward to my last spring break and a week off from senior capstones and club meetings. Two days in, I got the exciting news that due to a growing virus we were going to get an extra week of vacation…or so I thought!

A few days later, we received the update that campus had been shut down for the remainder of the semester. All classes would be remote. Just like that, everything I had planned for the remainder of my senior year came crashing down. I completed my internship with Live Nation remotely, delivered my capstone presentation via Zoom from my childhood bedroom, and watched my graduation ceremony on the TV in my living room.

With this added obstacle, the job hunt seemed daunting. Numerous companies were feeling the impacts of Covid-19 and were not in a place to hire. One night while scrolling through LinkedIn, I came across a job listing from my former classmate and current CHENer, Claire Mutty. I reached out to Claire about the position and heard about the amazing culture at CHEN PR. I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of that talented PR crew.

While I’m only a few days in, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. The CHEN PR team has welcomed me with open arms. From hand-delivering my laptop and delicious cookies to my home in NH, to a beautiful flower delivery on my first day, the agency has made me feel like a part of the family even from 50 miles away. Then again, I guess we’re all miles apart as we await the end of the pandemic WFH all-the-time model!