When Samantha Duffy earned her degree in Communication from Purdue University North Central in May, she had a job waiting for her. She went directly from the classroom to start work as a Social Media Specialist at the Gypsum Express Ltd Michigan City terminal.
Today, the Medina, Ohio native enjoys her job and is returning to campus to share her knowledge and experience with Communication students in one of the same Public Relations class that she took in order to help them better understand the career choices ahead of them.
Duffy knows exactly what the students are facing as they ponder their futures, “I decided to be a Communication major because I appreciated the vast opportunities this degree provides,” she explained. “I knew this field would enhance my natural skills and really reflect who I am as a person.”
As a Communication major, she decided to hone in on a concentration in Public Relations after a junior year Public Relations class service learning project that involved working with the Valparaiso Police Department K-9 Unit to help create, promote and execute the 5K Guardians of the Night Run Fundraiser.
“I realized that this kind of work was exactly what I wanted to do – and I was good at it,” she said. “It was such a great feeling to see how successful the event was and how much the officers appreciated my work.”
As a PNC student, Duffy worked hard to learn as she could about her field, to network and make the right connections and to position herself for success. She was a public relations intern and blogger for the PNC Career Center, she volunteered with Junior Achievement, was vice president of Lambda Pi Eta Honors Society and was a member of the Purdue University Northwest Mascot Selection Advisory Task Force.
In her spare time she enjoys playing sports, going to the beach, working out, going out with friends, fishing and traveling.
Duffy admits, “I like the feeling of pride you get after seeing the final product of your hard work. When you see the pieces you have created being utilized to produce results, or the way someone smiles when they are enjoying an event you helped put together – it is truly a rewarding feeling. I also like the people you get to meet along the way and the relationships you build with individuals and organizations.”
At times, her life as a student was a fine balancing act, making sure that she tended to her school, home, work and social activities. “I utilized down time at home for assignments rather than watching television. I was lucky enough to have a job that I could go out with my friends after work,” Duffy explained. “During my last two years at PNC, I started using a planner and that was the best way of keeping me organized and on top of things. I also owe a lot to coffee and Red Bull.”
Duff said that as a student she was fortunate to become close with PNC faculty members who had “a huge impact on my journey.” She thanked Carrie Higgins, continuing lecturer of Communication, “who aided and supported my passion for public relations” and she noted that that the Introduction to Communication Research Methods class taught by Dr. Daniel Wilbur, associate professor of Communication, was among her favorite experiences at PNC.
“I loved all of my communication professors,” she continued. “In my opinion, Communication is the best department and anyone who has the honor of being a student should appreciate how lucky they are.
“All students should take advantage of what PNC has to offer. What you do here determines what you will do when you leave. Work hard at your classes, participate in the Career Center and club events, get to know your professors, do nice things for others without expecting something in return and when things get crazy just remember to breathe. Lastly, have as much fun as possible – the work will never end, but college does.”