PR in the Big Apple

Public relations posing in New York City where they were able to travel over spring break to make classroom connections with real world companies like Nike, Coca-Cola, Yahoo and Walmart. Courtesy of Stephen Whyte
Public relations posing in New York City where they were able to travel over spring break to make classroom connections with real world companies like Nike, Coca-Cola, Yahoo and Walmart. Courtesy of Stephen Whyte

UVU’s Communication department together with the Center for Engaged Learning provided several students with the opportunity of a lifetime in the “PR in the Big Apple” trip over spring break.

Seven UVU public relations students were selected to travel to New York City over spring break to make classroom connections with real world companies. The PR firms visited included those that provide services to Nike, Coca-Cola, Yahoo and Wal-Mart.

“PR in the Big Apple was a first-of-its-kind engaged learning experience for PR students at UVU,” said Stephen Whyte, a faculty member in the Communication department. “While in New York City, UVU students were exposed to the most cutting edge PR tools and techniques required to be competitive in today’s marketplace. In addition to interacting and meeting with public relations executives who are the leaders in their field, the reputation of UVU’s PR program was elevated among the prominent New York City PR firms and professionals.”

“Every trip similar to this one I was involved in while I taught at North Carolina resulted in a job or internship for at least one student,” said Dr. David Scott, chair of the Communication department.

One of the companies visited was MKG Productions, a nationally recognized event planning company. MKG Productions has provided event planning for J. Crew, MTV, “Sports Illustrated” and other internationally recognizable names. Meeting with the president, Maneesh Goyal, students learned about the company and the industry, and were able to explore different possibilities for careers after UVU.

Students also met Murad Askarov, U.N. ambassador to Uzbekistan, and Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, ambassador to Bangladesh, expanding UVU’s image internationally.

The program was made possible by a grant from the Center for Engaged Learning at UVU. The center has a mission to give students a hands-on learning experience.

“The NY PR trip, led by Stephen Whyte, is an excellent example of UVU’s engaged learning model,” said acting director of the CEL Vince Fordiani in an email. “Students got to see how their learning inside the classroom is applied in a professional setting by those who are considered the best in their respective industries. UVU students also benefited by making personal contacts with professionals that can lead to internships and jobs for themselves and future UVU communications students.”

Students applied and were selected after an interview process before the trip. The cost to students was small thanks to the grant from the CEL.

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