As this is my first post, I wanted to make sure that it represented the theme and overall purpose of this blog, which is to help other YoPRo’s like myself, through not only my experience, but other’s as well.
I’d like to introduce to you Ligaya Malones. She’s originally from Kauai, Hawaii and a 2005 graduate of Kauai High School. She plays volleyball and loves to sit down and talk about an array of things from the latest movie to what makes the world turn? But her greatest passion would have to be her love for food. She is constantly refueling her petite tank with an endless food supply that consist of many things, but her favorite being cupcakes. Currently Ligaya resides in both San Diego and Los Angeles.
Like many young adults going from the safe haven of high school, to the harsh reality and on your owness of college it can be a confusing time. Where’s this building? No attendance? How do I make new friends? When can I go home? And also like many young adults embarking on a new academic adventure, we go in with a preset notion of what we want to do. The same was true with Ligaya.
“I originally was going to do the journalism route, but realized I wanted something that was more than just writing,” she said.
Public relations offered her the chance to be in a dynamic field that involved the creative writing that she found so alluring. She loved how PR is always changing and evolving, especially with the “Big Bang” addition of Web 2.0. Arguably the main role of any successful public relations practitioner is the ability to cultivate relationships, which for Ligaya was a natural fit given her friendly demeanor.
A 2009 graduate of Cal State- San Bernadino, Ligaya felt that she would have been in an entry-level position by now. The economy and a competitive market forced Ligaya to spend several month post-graduation working a non-PR job, while applying for the only thing that seemed to garner any type of response: internships.
“Finding a way to stand out when you’re competing against mid-level and senior-level executives for Junior-level openings is hard,” she said. “The ratio of job applicants to openings is a lot greater than in years past.”
She worked for a boutique PR agency in San Diego as well as Edelman in L.A. before landing her current internship at Golin Harris. Internships are now becoming the trend. As a recent CNN article points out, “Is an internship the new entry-level job?” For many newly graduates, internships are in fact one way to get a foot in the door.
“[Internships] give you a chance to see exactly where you want to go in your PR career,” she said. “There are so many sectors.”
It’s true, Public Relations offers many different avenues, where the goal is often the same, but the target audience and product is as rangy as a coloratura. By now, however, Ligaya knows which sector she believes she belongs in. An avid reader of Travel + Leisure magazine, Ligaya fancies herself working in that industry as well as the consumer sector and even social impact, doing cause marketing. The added bonus for her is that all of those are often linked.
Ambition, like imagination is endless. Her ambition in particular can be summarized by a motto that her former volleyball coach use to drill into her head: relentless pursuit. That attitude will serve this burgeoning PR star well in her career and in realizing her ultimate goal.
” Eventually I’d like to become a consultant, and be involved more in the strategy,” she said. “I want to be the type of person in the industry that other people look to for information.”
Ligaya has come a long way since the beach bumming days back in Hawaii. Now on the brink of landing her first entry-level job, she realizes and appreciates the struggle and sacrifice it took to get here. She attributes a lot of her journey to a close network of friends and professionals who helped her navigate the unchartered and choppy waters. She said that to her gaining traction in this market requires tapping into contacts you’ve made.
“Take a good look at the network you’ve already built and see how they might be able to help,” she said.
Leveraging your professors, may be a great place to start for those who haven’t accrued a large network yet. Ligaya found mapping out a skeleton of places she wanted to work for and professional who had the types of jobs she wanted was imperative. ‘If you have a basic structure, you can start reaching out to those companies and professionals.’ Also utilizing social media platforms like twitter, with users such as HAPPO there as a guide for networking. LinkedIn as well; it’s designed for such purposes as connecting to like-minded individuals and forming relationships.
As for this like-minded young woman it’s clear she’s on the right track as a YoPRo. She takes her craft very serious and is determined to do what needs to be done in order to see the investment she’s made in herself yield a big return.
If you happen to be PR YoPRo and want to be my next featured Spotlight, get in touch with me!