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Whitney Stringer

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’07 Communication Arts and Sciences | Principal/Founder, Whitney Stringer PR & Events | Washington, D.C.
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Whitney Stringer

Liberal Arts Major: Communication Arts and Sciences

Liberal Arts Minor: Spanish

Other Minor: Business

Hometown: State College, PA

Current Location: Washington, D.C.

What enrichment activities did you participate in as a student?

To feed my interest in media, I interned at the advertising department for the Centre Daily Times where I crafted advertising campaigns to promote the newspaper to fellow students. I also took part in an education abroad program at the La Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, where I studied Spanish language and culture. During that semester of my junior year, I was also able to travel throughout Spain and Portugal. My favorite city to visit was Madrid, and the experience was by far my favorite enrichment activity. I recommend that each and every student study abroad if possible.

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

My first job was with Oscar Mayer. After learning about their “Hotdogger program from their visit on campus, I was selected to drive the famed Wienermobile. For one year I criss-crossed the country behind the wheel of the 27-foot-long hotdog as part of their long-standing marketing program. One highlight included partnering with American Idol to host mini auditions in search of the next Oscar Mayer commercial star. This is where I gained my love for public relations. I got such a thrill from working to secure earned media coverage that I knew this was the right path for my career.

What was your favorite class and who was your favorite faculty member?

My favorite class was a rhetoric class with Professor Deborah Atwater where I learned the tools and power of persuasion. I also learned how to craft a speech. 

How did your liberal arts education and skills prepare you for life after graduation?

My liberal arts education and skills taught me the importance of having a broad understanding of topics and to see matters from many perspectives. This has been highly useful in my public relations work, because I can think about how issues might impact communities in a number of ways and tailor messaging appropriately and bring in a variety of voices to weigh in.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

Networking has been a major factor in advancing my career. I volunteer with a number of Penn State Alumni Association organizations and sit on boards that give me a chance to meet and interact with a lot of great other alumni. Remember that networking is a two-way street. It's not just about meeting someone that you think can do something for you, look for opportunities where you can help someone else as well. Also, peer-to-peer networking is just as important as networking with “the big fish.

What role have mentors played in your career progression?

Mentors have helped me to recognize my self-value and play up my best attributes to my advantage. Some of the best lessons I've learned from mentors are that it's always okay and best to be my authentic self, and to negotiate for more!

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