This week we will be catching up with GVPRSSA alumna Sarah Dudinetz. Sarah is the former Podcast Director for GVPRSSA’s PR Hangover and is now making a name for herself in the professional world. Sarah landed herself a Social Media and Communications Specialist position at A.K. Rikk’s, which is a luxury boutique downtown Grand Rapids. “I was lucky enough to score a job within my field during a global pandemic–and it’s at the best place I could possibly work,” says Sarah. 

As we all know, finding a job amidst the pandemic is difficult and challenging at times. However, Sarah has learned a few tips and tricks throughout her job search after graduation. She used different job search sites like Indeed to apply for jobs in her desired industry. After applying to 25 plus jobs, she was most interested in the position at A.K. Rikk’s. “I knew I was especially interested in this position over others I had applied for, so I was very intentional in my research and application. For every bullet point of the job description, I took notes on how my past experience prepared me to do that, I read every single google review of A.K. Rikk’s, I had to think of how to pitch myself as a young, fresh college student… there was a LOT of interview prep,” says Sarah. Interview prep is important for not only understanding the position and company you are interviewing for, but to be confident in yourself during that interview. Like many others, Sarah did not see herself in the position that she is in today. Although she was in charge of the GVSU Alumni Association social media during her senior year at Grand Valley, so she did have a passion for it and a set of skills to apply to her current role at A.K. Rikk’s. 

Reminiscing the Past

One of Sarah’s favorite opportunities that GVPRSSA has brought her was being the host of PR Hangover. Due to her passion for podcasts, she decided to launch her own podcast, called Amplify the Arts. “I love getting to interview people, learn more about them, and share stories with the world,” says Sarah. Check out her podcast here. Additionally, one of her favorite memories was the Create-a-ton her junior year. “I was still new to PRSSA, and almost backed out because I hardly knew anyone, and spending 24 hours straight with no sleep working on PR with them was a scary concept. But that’s where I ended up bonding with everyone (crazy how much you can become friends when you’re held captive, slap-happy, doing face masks at 2 am, or making paninis while coming up with PR tactics),” says Sarah. 

Give Me All the Advice 

As a current graduate or future senior, advice for our future is highly appreciated. Sarah believes that it is important to calm down and enjoy your senior year. This may be your last chance to enjoy the academic environment so soak it up. Also with graduation and senior year, in general, comes pressure to find a job and your niche in this industry. “I also felt like I had to find the ‘right’ job, the ‘right’ place to live, and the ‘right’ overall plan. Turns out, there is no ‘right’ anything, and putting that kind of pressure on your decisions is more stressful than it is helpful! Just find things that are good–good experiences, jobs, places that bring you joy–and take the pressure of finding the one ‘right’ thing off of yourself,” says Sarah. Finding joy in what you do is essential to your success and happiness in that role. It may not be your dream job but those experiences at your first internships or full-time positions will mold you into the young professional ready to take on the Public Relations world. 

A friend of Sarah’s once described being in your mid-20’s as being “like Bambi on ice.” “No one is going to have it together, and you’re constantly going to be trying to get your footing–and that’s ok. It’s best to just embrace the chaos and learn from each little bit of it,” says Sarah. 

If you’re interested in connecting or catching up with Sarah Dudientz, check her out on LinkedIn

About the Author:

Emily Clevenger

Emily Clevenger is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she studied Communications, with a minor in Advertising & Public Relations. This was her first year involved in PRSSA, and her first year serving on E-Board as the VP of Public Relations. Emily plans to one day have a career in Public Relations or Communication in Grand Rapids, MI. In her free time, she is working for a non-profit organization called Bloom & Grow Coffee, cooking Pinterest meals, and spending time with her friends and family.