Heather Pugh
Friday, February 25, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:03 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Heather Pugh has had two experiences at MU she’ll never forget.

The first was when her fiance proposed to her at the columns, close to where they met her freshman year.

The second was the first Job and Internship Fair for the Public Relations Club on campus — not because she got a job or internship, but because the fair’s success validated the amount of work she has dedicated to promoting the public relations profession at MU.

Pugh is a communication major in her third and final year at MU. After graduating in May, she wants to work in public relations, a profession she thinks is almost invisible at MU. That’s why she started the PR Club in the fall of 2003.

“Because there is no other outlet on campus for those interested in public relations, I feel it is the PR Club’s duty — and in turn, my duty — to help educate, inform and train students so they are prepared to enter the job market after graduation,” Pugh said.

Starting the club had its challenges. No department on campus wanted to recognize it as one of its student organizations, she said. For a school at MU to sponsor it, a faculty member from that department needs to be their adviser.

“I wish someone from the School of Journalism or department of communication would volunteer to be our adviser so we could be officially recognized by a department on campus,” she said. “We offer wonderful opportunities to students and request little from our adviser in the process.”

It took Pugh and club members four months to organize the club’s first career fair, which was in January. More than a dozen recruiters attended the fair.

Pugh said students and recruiters alike expressed their appreciation. In addition to directing the fair, Pugh’s club duties include securing speakers for meetings, keeping members informed of internships and updating the Web site.

But responsibility doesn’t end there for Pugh. She is also taking 27 credit hours this semester at MU; most students take 12 to 18. She’s doing this in order to graduate in May and get married in June.

Pugh said the key to keeping her sanity is taking time for herself.

“I leave time to myself every evening,” she said. “Even if I still have more work to complete, I put it aside and give myself a chance to relax. After all, what good am I if I’m too tired or stressed to do my work?”

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