Communications students apply classroom concepts to real-world projects
Olivet Nazarene University’s student-run Inspired Strategies Agency is building community rapport by gaining hands-on public relations opportunities; adding monumental value to their educational experiences.
Inspired Strategies Agency (ISA) is a student-run strategic communications agency that originated in 2015 as part of the Department of Communication. Members of the agency provide local organizations, businesses and on-campus entities with services relating to public relations, videography, marketing training and business development.
By interacting with clients that are both on campus and within the community, the ISA staff is learning from a wide range of projects. This semester, agency clients include: the Center of Hope, ONU Human Resources Department, CSL Behring, the City of Kankakee and the ONU Earth & Space Science program.
Kyla Bledsoe, a senior public relations major and director of ISA, has been part of the agency since her sophomore year and now oversees daily operations, lends executive leadership to decision-making, and facilitates all agency meetings. She says that the agency strives to educate students with “professional development through experiential learning, faith centered ethics, servant leadership by way of community outreach, and business literacy cultivated through education.”
In addition to Kyla, staff members include an associate agency director, five account executives and junior account executives. Susan Wolff ’94, faculty adviser, states, “This agency is an incredible hands-on experience developing strong team building skills, time management training and confidence in networking.”
The students meet every Wednesday to collaborate on current projects and discuss completed tasks. Often, local business professionals join the meetings to share their career experiences and technical expertise.
“The experiences I've gained working in the Inspired Strategies Agency are what really made me start to love public relations,” says ISA associate director, senior Emma Vandermark. “I’m confident that my involvement in ISA has set me apart for internship opportunities and has helped me build my resume to prepare me for my future career.”
While projects cater to students who are studying public relations, strategic communication, corporate communication, multimedia, marketing and business, the agency is open to students of all majors and can be taken for one hour of course credit per semester.
For more information about Olivet and the Department of Communication, contact the Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-648-1463.
Photos submitted and used with permission