When Kelly Reed, Public Relations Consultant for Indiana Wesleyan University’s Alumni Relations, came to IWU as a freshman, she was pre-declared and unsure of her future. As she has spent time at school, God has granted her focus and clarity for life following college and has developed her passion for service and communicating with others. Growing and developing through her time at IWU, Reed has transformed from a slightly overwhelmed freshman, to a soon-to-be graduate with her dream job already lined up.
This journey began several years ago, with all her professors telling her to declare a major in Strategic Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Unsure, Reed added a few classes to her schedule to see what she thought.
“Everyone I met in my classes and in the program encouraged me that I would love this area of study,” Kelly recalled, “and I did. I immediately fell in love with what I was doing. As soon as I started taking communication classes, I knew this was a field I needed to pursue. I loved it.” You can see the passion she has for this field through her website and blog.
Additionally, Reed began working for the Alumni office as a storyteller, which allowed her to realize her aptitude for communicating people’s stories in written form. She started out assisting them in their event promotion with graphic design, and developing their social media. This year, Reed has developed her position into the Blog Manager of the IWU Alumni Blog.
“We hadn’t had this position before, so it was really neat to develop it myself,” Reed explained. “I’ve been blessed to work for Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement, because he sees potential in people and gives them opportunities.” Initially, she started writing stories about alumni and friends of IWU, but as she approached her senior year of college, she saw potential in her job and decided to use it as a platform for her senior seminar project.
“Communication majors are required to complete a 90-hour project experience related to their field,” Reed explained, “Because I was passionate about my job already, I wanted to develop the IWU Alumni Relations even more.”
For this project, Reed analyzed the messages the Alumni Association was sending through their types of posts, implemented a plan to improve them, and re-evaluated her work at the end. “I tried to make sure we were hitting core values of the school and the Alumni Association, such as Christ-likeness and service,” Reed explained.Reflecting on her time as a worker at the Alumni Office, Kelly mentioned how her job has prepared her professionally for her future. Last summer, Kelly interned at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, where she worked as the Communications Intern; the work she did closely resembled the type of work she does at the Alumni Office.
“Working with Rick (through the Alumni Office) has been amazing; he knows how to handle social media, and he understands the importance of engaging with people. Being a Blog Manager has helped develop my writing skills, and has really helped me strategize and see the big picture,” Kelly mentioned.
Following graduation, Reed is excited to implement these skills as she takes her first full-time Public Relations job, working for the Billy Graham Association as the Public Relations Specialist. She will begin this job part-time as she finishes out school at IWU in the spring.
“This is my dream job,” Reed mentioned, enthusiastically. “I can’t believe that I have been given such an amazing opportunity straight out of college. For the past three years, I’ve been telling everyone that I want to work in Communications for a large Christian non-profit organization, and now that’s coming true.”
Reed explained that for her job, she will be working in media relations, blog management, social media and more for the Billy Graham Association in Charlotte, North Carolina. Looking forward to graduation, Reed mentioned how excited she is to use the training that she has received and to be part of the organization.
“The staff members are all mentors to me, I love working with them,” Reed said. “Also, I’m very excited to use the skills that I’ve been developing over the past few years.”
This summer, Reed is also planning to get married. Her fiancé, a ministry major, is looking forward to pursuing a career working as a youth minister.
“Aaron and I are both seeking to do ministry full-time, just in different ways,” Reed mentioned. “We’re excited to pursue this together.”
Written by Katherine Arch, Story Teller for Alumni Relations. Katherine Arch is a Senior English major at Indiana Wesleyan, and a member of the Track and Cross Country teams. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories and celebrating their unique divine potential in written form. Katherine also operates a website called “Join the Ranch” at jointheranch.weebly.com. It is about pursuing God’s purpose for her life and vocation.