Thriving as a marcom professional during the pandemic

    By Amanda Kalina, Denver Communications Professional and a PRSA Colorado Member since 2001
    [email protected]

    Well, 2020 was not the year I had envisioned. Right as the COVID-19 lockdowns started happening in the United States, I was in the midst of transitioning jobs. 

    Job searching in and of itself is stressful, but combined with a pandemic, at times it was a lot. I quickly started taking advantage of all the professional development webinars and courses I found through various organizations. But as the pandemic continued to worsen, I knew taking online classes would not get me through professionally as I searched for my new role. 

    One of my friends was keeping busy being a personal grocery shopper through the company Shipt. Given the state of the world at that moment, I thought I would give it a shot. I was hired as a Shipt shopper at the end of April 2020. I absolutely loved my time as a Shipt shopper and continued to work there until February 2021.

    In that time, I shopped 1,000+ orders and was rated one of the top shoppers in the area. Shipt grew overnight and experienced many changes to keep up with the demand of online shopping. I enjoyed helping serve a critical need and my customers rated me well on my “communications skills.”  

    I also signed up as a volunteer on several marcom projects throughout the year, including the PRSA PR Paid Forward campaign. Additionally, I stayed very active on my personal social media. My sorority, Phi Mu Fraternity, held their National Convention virtually last summer and awarded the Denver Alumnae Chapter, which I lead as President, with several awards for work done over the last two years, including Outstanding Alumnae Chapter Public Relations Efforts.

    I also leaned into a good friend of mine, Carey Conley, a speaker and entrepreneurial coach who helps empower women through life visualization. She guided me get true on my vision for myself, which I discovered I knew and was living.

    The greatest takeaway from our pandemic year, is there is always a way to give back in the marcom world even if you aren’t getting paid for it.

    As of today, I have a new temporary job through June, serving in an internal communications role for an international company. I learned of the opportunity through a headhunter I have been working with since early in 2020 before the pandemic. I am very thankful I’m enjoying what I’m doing.

    I love the marcom industry and will do what I can to continue to contribute. I may be back in the Shipt ranks this summer depending on the marcom roles available. But as long as I am making a difference, I will be satisfied. I will also have a great story of how I lived out the pandemic! 

    If I can ever be of service to anyone in the PRSA Colorado group, please reach out. Helping one another is important.

    Best wishes!

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