"Now is a great time for women in particular to reassess what they want out of their careers," Boston University associate professor of strategic communication Monique Kelley tells Doug Simon. "In communications and beyond, women really are re-evaluating what they want and are in the power seat for driving change."
For Kelley, part of that change entailed moving from a spot leading neuroscience communications at Takeda to a full-time acaedmic post at Boston University, where she is also faculty advisor for the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter.
"The environment was a little more inclusive and also more equitable for what I really wanted to give back to the industry and society," Kelley says.
Kelley has also been able to remain an active player in the PR area by forming her own conslutancy and continuing to work with clients.
With so many things going on at once, Kelley says "I need to prioritize to make sure that I give the best to students, the best to my clients, but also the best from a personal standpoint."
One strategy that works for her is making sure that she sticks to a schedule. "It's about how do we make sure that we're spending that time wisely, not wishing for more time that we know we're not going to get."
Kelley also stresses the importance of balancing a more regimented schedule with a sense of flexibility. "I find the more that I'm able to have a plan but be flexible when those surprises or unforeseen things come up, that just helps me to be able to navigate it a little bit better and recognize that not everything has to be urgently done at that moment."
For those just starting out, she says "it's never too early to lead with your value. Whether it's your value as a connector or your value as something specific—a knowledge or a skill that you have—always lead with that."
She also advises people to expose themselves to opportunities to learn and network. One example of that is the series of district conferences that PRSSA offers. The Northeast region conference, on Feb. 25, "will be hosted at BU, but it's open to all students in the northeast".
"Network, meet people, learn and grow," she says to Simon, "and you never know if your next opportunity for PR, you might get through someone you met at the conference."
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