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From UC Graduate to Marketing Rockstar: Kelsie Petersen's Journey to Success

By Joey Mazzone, FOC Intern, Communication Major,

University of Cincinnati Class of 2025

Kelsie Petersen, a spring 2023 graduate of the public relations major, is currently in her first year as a marketing coordinator at McGill Smith Punshon Design (MSP), a Cincinnati-based design firm. Kelsie started her university career at Indiana University, where she was able to kick-start her passion for the field but was sent home after just a few months due to COVID-19. This change in Kelsie’s life inspired her to prioritize making relationships with her professors and network and also gave her the idea to transfer to the University of Cincinnati.

After graduation, Kelsie worked as a bar manager before landing an entry-level job at MSP. At MSP, Kelsie works as a marketing coordinator but dips into whatever areas she thinks she can help with. Her main role at MSP is to assist with curating master documents that MSP creates for proposals with their partners. The plethora of coursework Kelsie took at the University of Cincinnati is something she explains helped her attain this skill. Kelsie also helps with the HR processes and photography, for which she has been able to obtain a drone license.

“Coming into MSP, I was able to gain a lot of experience right away. Being new to the AEC (architectural, engineering, and construction) industry and working my first job out of college posed a bit of a challenge, but once I got here, I realized how much I could learn. I have since partaken in project site visits and hard hat tours (the renovation of UC’s Siddall Hall), joined a marketing networking group, SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services), and obtained my drone license. As a marketing coordinator at MSP, I get involved in many parts of the AEC industry. I manage social media, proposals, photography, videography, website building, and much more. Our firm provides six different services, and I get to be a part of each of them every week, learning something new each time!”

While at the University of Cincinnati, Kelsie was involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), where she could network with other faculty and students to get involved on campus. Kelsie credits her professors at the University of Cincinnati with striking her with the initiative to understand how important it is to be able to communicate with all generations. This skill allowed her to build great relationships with all levels of faculty, rounding out her network and getting her into the position she is in today. Kelsie also completed two internships, which she explained that her network at the University of Cincinnati helped her obtain. Faculty at the University of Cincinnati lit a fire for writing for Kelsie as she credits them with her passion for the field.

Kelsie stressed that even at an entry-level position, she understood that marketing yourself is an essential key to success in the field of communication and public relations. She explained that interviewing is essential for early career professionals, mentioning presentation, effort, and ambiance as key attributes to market yourself. Kelsie explains that the internships she completed while at the University of Cincinnati helped her round out her skills and that working with faculty, whether it be research or other opportunities, is a great way to build up a young professional resume. She gives a piece of advice to current students, explaining that it is important that they start early, build connections, put themselves out there, and how it will be a major advantage.


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