Michael Griffin '12 - Management/Communication

 

"Eye-opening."

That's the first phrase that comes to mind for Michael Griffin, a double major in management and communication, when asked to describe his time at Curry.

"I've had a variety of experiences both on and off-campus and it's really eye-opening just how different I was in high school to now."

A member of the Class of 2012, Michael has taken advantage of much that Curry has to offer, and in applying for and getting a public relations internship in the Office of United States Senator John F. Kerry this semester, he's showing no sign of slowing down.

"Because of my interest in current events and politics, I knew that I wanted to do a PR internship in that field. I received an email from the Curry Center for Career Development about the internship, researched it and applied."

He was soon contacted and asked to interview for the role. Prepared with an "incredible" letter of recommendation from Communication Department co-chair, Robert MacNeil, "it turned out to be one of the best interviews that I've ever gone through."

The internship coordinator gave him the position on the spot and since then he's been busy corresponding with constituents via phone, email and mail and also helping behind the scenes to prepare for events and interviews involving the Massachusetts senator and former United States presidential candidate.

"The experience, contacts, and overall knowledge I've gained during my internship at Senator Kerry's Office have really helped to prepare me for post-graduation life."

And besides sharpening his writing and speaking skills, a must for a career in Communications and PR, he's been able to help people who are contacting the senator with difficult issues and concerns. "Knowing you've made a difference to someone is a very rewarding feeling!"

Michael also chronicled his experience in the senator's office on Curry's Center for Career Development blog.

This is his second internship. During his junior year Michael worked as Media Relations intern in the Massachusetts State Police's Office of Media Relations in Framingham.

"That was an unbelievable experience overall. I was the first intern that they had there and I loved that every day was different than the last."

Besides attending press conferences, updating traffic reports and responding to media inquiries (for example, when a boat capsized in the Charles River and the State Police's marine unit responded, touching off a flood of questions that his office fielded), Michael had one "memorable" day in particular.

His boss had set up a tour of a local television station and while they were there, the Burlington Mall had to be evacuated for what turned out to be just a man with an umbrella.

"Everyone at the station was looking to [my boss] and the State Trooper we were with and asking 'What do you know?' It was also really nice to meet the folks that we were regularly on the phone with updating day to day."

When he's not interning or taking the Curry shuttle into Boston for fun, Michael is keeping busy on campus.

As a sophomore, he joined the Curry College Public Relations Student Association, an organization that provides Curry students with opportunities and skills for the future.

"I've had heightened responsibilities each semester that I've been involved in CCPRSA, for example, I was the vice president in the fall and I'm now president."

The group is responsible for bringing in experienced PR professionals from all different backgrounds, as well as strategizing on how to best promote these speakers - and as president, Michael helps make this happen. The group recently held an event on campus titled "Your Career In Public Relations," which featured four panelists from various companies, including Curry College alum Erika Kuzmicz '11.

Participating in CCPRSA is "a great opportunity to hear [the speaker's] stories and to learn how they ended up where they are currently and it directly corresponds with what we are going to do in the future as PR pros."

Michael is also a member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society and the Communication Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta. And he was recently accepted into the Alexander Graham Bell Society, which is an honor for students who make the dean's list each and every semester at Curry. Not to mention he's a Speaking Center Associate and a star of the men's soccer team.

Most recently, he was asked to speak at Accepted Student Day, delivering a speech to over 2,000 accepted students and their friends and families.

 

Academics are also a big part of Michael's Curry experience. "Everything that we do at CCPRSA and the Speaking Center, for example, has their foundations laid out for us in our classes."

"At Curry they do a really good job preparing us for both participating in these campus organizations and groups and for what we are going to do once we graduate." It all comes together.

For example, "every management class you're up doing a group presentation or a solo presentation and that's based off of research that you did to write your paper."

Its proximity to Boston and the "vibe" that he got when he was on campus for his first tour, inspired Michael to choose Curry. One academic program in particular also piqued his interest.

"I found out about the school because I initially wanted to be a journalist and it has a strong communication program, which really attracted me."

The themes of change and growth that Michael talks about when describing his time at Curry are borne-out, especially when you consider that since arriving at college, Michael has lived both on and off-campus and has chose a new career path - different from journalism but also one that's perfect for him.

"After the first semester I took an 'Introduction to Mass Communication' course with Professor Kirk Hazlett and I was introduced to PR. I saw how I could combine public speaking and writing and that there was also the business side of it that I really liked."

At the end of his freshman year he then decided to pick up a management major. "I think that was the right call because I love both [communication and management.]"

After graduating he plans on applying to graduate school and working on a Masters of Science degree in Global Marketing/Communication and Advertising.

And when asked about finding that perfect career after grad school Michael says he'd love to do in-house PR/Communication for a financial institution in the Greater Boston area.

"Then I can take all the things that I've learned from my management major and apply it while also working with the communications/marketing department to help them communicate effectively."

"That'd be having my cake and eating it too."

 
 
 
 

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