Leading with Excellence in Public Relations

March 23, 2016

When Laura Daronatsy first started at Biola, she was unfamiliar with the field of public relations. She knew that she had a myriad of interests and narrowing down a major would prove difficult. Laura decided to give journalism a try, and enrolled in the required freshman seminar course. It was in that class that she learned about different journalism-related fields, including PR.

“Public Relations is a combination of five things: journalism, communication, business, art and psychology. This stood out to me because, oddly enough, those were the five subjects that I had considered majoring in! After that, I took an entry level PR class and was hooked,” Laura recalls.

Since changing her major to PR, Laura has taken the student PR world by storm. She quickly became involved with the Biola Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is an organization dedicated to equipping and empowering the upcoming generation of PR professionals. Laura’s leadership experience at Biola allowed her to attend national conferences and gain real-world work experience. In her junior year, Laura landed a position on the PRSSA National Committee as the Publications Editor in Chief. This experience opened new doors for her and allowed her to work alongside peers from leading universities across the country.

At the end of her junior year, as she thought about how she wanted to use her final year at Biola, Laura decided to take a shot at the PRSSA National President position and entered the race. “I wanted to see where I could take the society as president, and was so thrilled when I found out I won the election,” Laura says. As National President of PRSSA, Laura is the face of student public relations and frequently represents PRSSA at various functions.

“Because of PRSSA, I am given the opportunity to travel and attend conferences all over, which is wonderful. Every time I come back I am always more thankful for Biola, I realize how much of a special place it is,” Laura says.   

Laura firmly believes her Biola education helped propel her into a national leadership role, because it has helped to solidify who she is as an individual. “My time at Biola has given me the time and space to sit back and think about things that matter in life. Just taking the time to think about the things that are the core of who you are, and getting to be in a close community with other believers, all these definitely make such a huge difference in my growth,” she says.

The practical skills she gained through her PR classes also helped Laura be ready for a flourishing career in the PR world. In June, she will move to Denver to begin a job at Lockheed Martin as part of their communications leadership development program, where she is excited for the challenge this role will bring.Someday, Laura hopes to move to Washington, D.C., and enroll in the Media Entrepreneurship program at American University, with the end goal of launching a magazine for teen Christian girls.

Regardless of where she ends up, Laura knows her excitement and confidence as a PR professional will continue to grow, and she is eager to make an impact in her workplace. “What I love about PR is the opportunity to bring people and ideas together, especially in regards to faith. We’re working to influence people’s ideas, opinions, beliefs and behaviors. As a Christian, that is so key in this world and I love that I get to be a part of it,” she says.

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