Forging a Path to Success: An Interview with freshmen public relations student Daryn Vucelik

Last week I talked about making a transition from the field of chemistry to journalism and how I felt the switch affected me as a person and as a student.  For me, the switch was revitalizing and, I feel, necessary.

While it took me two years of dedication to hard science to realize chemistry wasn’t my calling, some students come into the J school knowing what they want to do.

Below is an interview I conducted with freshmen public relations student Daryn Vucelik.  In the interview, Vucelik talks about the value of her training thus far at WVU and where she wants to go in the future.  Also, she briefly mentions that she may have a severe case of Beibermania! (Yikes)

Enjoy and feel free to share any stories you have regarding your school choices or any club/activities you feel are valuable to student journalists at WVU or elsewhere!

Tell me a little about yourself:

I’m a freshman public relations major here at WVU. I’m in the Honors College and live in Honors Hall. I love snowboarding, running, and hanging out at the beach. And I’m a huge Justin Bieber fan!

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in journalism?

When I first enrolled in classes at WVU, I was actually a double major in business and communication studies. The more I learned about each program, the more I realized I liked the concept of each one, but neither was really right for me. I did some research and found out the P.I. Reed School is an up-and-coming college with tons of opportunities. So it was about a month before fall semester when I switched to the J-school and decided journalism was what I wanted to do.

The School of Journalism offer choices among print, TV/broadcast, PR, etc…How did you know PR was the emphasis you wanted to chase?

I kind of stumbled upon PR while looking through the descriptions of WVU’s majors and realized it encompassed all of the logistics I love about business and all of the contact and connection making associated with communications. I love knowing that virtually every field has a PR component, so I can do anything from working in a hospital to promoting a baseball team. I like that freedom.

 Are you involved in any clubs or activities in the J school?

I’m a member of the Radio Television and Digital News Association (RTDNA). I’d like to join the Martin Agency (formerly Ad Club), but I’ll have to find a way to get myself out of bed for their early meetings!

(laughs) Good point!  Would you mind describing your duties and responsibilities in the RTDNA?

In RTDNA, I get to attend meetings where we have guest speakers who are professionals in different news media.

 What do you see yourself doing after school, and do you feel the SOJ is adequately preparing you for this career? 

I hope to go on to get a Master’s in Business Administration and after that, working my way up to the corporate level of PR work within a company. The SOJ is providing me with so much real world experience and information; I’ve gotten to meet successful advertisers, public relation company owners, even the CEO of CNN World Wide. Those experiences have given me a realistic idea of what to expect when I enter the workforce and will make me stand out to future employers.

 Thank you for your time! 

You’re welcome!

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2 comments
  1. When I started out at WVU, I was majoring in Exercise Physiology. Since the 3rd grade, I had wanted to be a dentist but decided math and science weren’t my forte. I have always been intrigued by crime shows so that led me to think maybe I should go into forensics, but then I found out that path was even harder! (I was a naive freshman). So I picked TV Journalism and I’m hoping I can become an investigative reporter, which will still involve me in crime. As a journalism student I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot and am confident I chose the right path.

    • thecoalfist said:

      That’s great to hear, and the more stories I hear, the more it seems that people are satisfied after switching to journalism. I definitely think the wide range of options and real-world experience you get in the J school is appealing to students, and for good reason. Thanks for sharing your story Ali; I’m glad that you’ve found a fulfilling major!

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