Allison Gilbert ('13) | Advertising & Public Relations
From Houston, Texas
For many students, the first year of college can be overwhelming. Foreign environments, new experiences and unfamiliar faces can make the experience a time of extreme uncertainty.
Despite the upheaval that comes with heading off to college, senior advertising and public relations major Allison Gilbert believes a student's first year should be exciting - not scary.
As a senior, I can say that four years flies by. So take advantage of building relationships with people here, take advantage of the education you'll receive, and most of all take advantage of the spiritual impact that ACU can have on your life.
Gilbert serves as the student director for ACU's First-Year Program. In that capacity, she helps organize Welcome Week and Passport orientation for new students. Gilbert has a passion for helping new students feel at home. In a way, she views her work as a chance to give back.
'ACU is different'
"I would like to think of working with first-year students as a way of giving back, because ACU has given me an unbelievable amount of opportunities and experiences," Gilbert says. "I want to share those experiences with first-year students to show that ACU is different than any other university."
When working with new students, Gilbert tries to emphasize the wide variety of opportunities new students have to get connected on ACU's campus. And while she does emphasize finding ways to get involved on campus, she also encourages students to develop bonds and relationships with friends that can last a lifetime.
"ACU has so many resources to offer; take advantage of the resources. As a senior, I can say that four years flies by. So take advantage of building relationships with people here, take advantage of the education you'll receive, and most of all take advantage of the spiritual impact that ACU can have on your life," she says. "Your time at ACU can be some of the best times of your life."
For Gilbert, the ACU experience is rooted in community. She believes that aspect can help new students feel right at home.
"For me, I love the community of people at ACU. Whether it is with peers or faculty and staff, the people is what makes ACU a vibrant place to learn and to grow," she says.
An important part of her community has been ACU's Journalism and Mass Communication Department, where she has gained hands-on experience as an account director with Morris & Mitchell, the student-run ad/PR agency.
Her experience at Morris & Mitchell helped prepare Gilbert for an internship in Dallas last summer with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. What she learned during her internship is in turn helping her work more effectively with her new Morris & Mitchell clients this semester.
While interning for NOCC, Gilbert was given a variety of responsibilities. She did everything from making social media posts on NOCC's Facebook and Twitter to researching information used to create a PR communication plan for National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
She also helped create a public service announcement aimed at helping men recognize the importance of early detection of ovarian cancer. "That was really cool because talking about how to recognize ovarian cancer isn't just about raising awareness for women; it's also about raising awareness for men, who have so many women in their lives such as mothers, sisters and wives."
"I really like how the JMC Department requires students to have those real experiences with Morris & Mitchell or KACU or The Optimist and then requires an internship to graduate," she says. "The professors spent a lot of time helping me compare things I learned in my studies to the real world."
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