By Jaylen Christie, Student Relations/Scholarship Chair

Thanks to an endowment from PRSA Orlando, students majoring in public relations at the University of Central Florida have the opportunity to receive additional funding to assist their journey within the industry with the PRSA Orlando/Frank R. Stansberry Scholarship. This year’s recipient is Kimberly Smith, a senior majoring in Advertising and Public Relations, with an anticipated graduation date of Spring 2022.

Kimberly, 25, has big plans upon completion of UCF’s program. We caught up with her to learn more about her goals and thoughts on the ever-changing industry…

  • What does winning mean to you? I’m incredibly grateful to win this scholarship. It is an enormous honor and distinction to be selected by the highest caliber of communication professionals. 
  • How will you use the scholarship? This scholarship will be used to help pay off my student loans and cover the cost of books for the upcoming fall semester. 
  • What are your plans after graduation next year? I’m looking to accept a remote position within corporate communications or crisis communications. Is it too soon to hope that Deloitte, Google or IBM are hiring when I graduate? 
  • What’s your dream job? It’s a childhood dream, but I’ve always had aspirations to be the CEO of Disney. It would be incredible to shadow Bob Chapek for a day. 
  • Why do you feel communication is important? Communication is the vessel to share information. Communication is not only important, but it is essential for a functioning society. As communication professionals, we are responsible for sharing, relaying and spotting critical information for people. 
  • How do you think it has changed over the years? Communication changes daily and technology has shaped how we gather and process information. Communication has evolved from hieroglyphics and language to television and internet. Spoken or written words were the main channels of communication back in the day and now we communicate with individuals all over the world through video and audio.
  • Where do you think it’s headed? As communication resources are available internationally and the rate at which we communicate increases, I think communication will drive innovation. Communication is the need that fuels innovation in technology and other industries. It will become more efficient, more reliable and more accessible. I believe communication will need to focus more on global conversations. It’s headed in a direction to unite individuals, to raise awareness on issues and shed a light on the problems individuals face in the world. 
  • What is your favorite thing about PR and communication? My favorite aspect of communication is the constant growth and adaptability you have to have in this industry. While other professions have to navigate issues, communication professionals have to understand issues, communicate problems, offer solutions and respond to the public.
  • Why are organizations such as PRSA valuable? PRSA offers invaluable resources. It’s impossible to know everything, however PRSA offers an entire community with extensive knowledge willing to offer expertise and guidance.