Meredith Stinson (AB ‘18) first stepped onto the University of Georgia’s campus with plans to go to law school. However, her political science courses quickly taught her that it was the intricacies of government policy and not the law that interested her most. Open to a new career track, Stinson was intrigued when friend of the Public Affairs Communications (PAC) program and seasoned public affairs practitioner Brian Robinson came to speak in one of her classes. Stinson instantly knew that she wanted to pursue a career in public affairs communications. With new dreams of becoming a director of communications on Capitol Hill or the next Olivia Pope, Stinson applied for the GradyDC program. That application prompted her to get involved with the PAC program — a perfect certificate for her dual major in public relations and political science.
As a PAC student, Stinson jumped on every opportunity she received to network with visiting practitioners. At one point, Stinson had gone to so many guest speaker luncheons, she was sidelined in order to give other students a turn. Stinson affirms that the relationships made with her peers and visiting practitioners have been invaluable tools in her career. Not only does she still see some members of her PAC cohort at the Georgia State Capitol today, but her network also helped Stinson land her current job at The Ray Highway.
“It is so valuable to have professors with real-world experience. The PAC program has that. Professor Watson knows what firms and organizations need. He structures assignments that teach applicable skills and invites practitioners that help students build their networks,” said Stinson. “Those skills and relationships have been integral to my professional success.”
Now serving as the Director of Communications at The Ray Highway, Stinson combines her interest in policy with public relations by promoting The Ray’s mission and advocating for their state policy interests. From writing press releases to placing op-eds to creating infographics, Stinson uses the hard skills learned in PAC to further the organization’s vision to build zero carbon, zero waste and zero death highways across the country.
Stinson looks forward to continuing her work supporting the safety and sustainability goals at The Ray. She recommends that current students take advantage of any networking opportunity that presents itself.