What do journalists need? Reliable sources. That’s where public relations major Emily (Mohler) Hemming ’13 comes in. An associate director of media relations at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, she’s the liaison between her employer—which happens to be one of the top business schools in the U.S.—and the media.
“A large part of my role is building relationships with journalists so they will consider Wharton as a reputable source when working on stories,” explained Hemming.
Each day, she monitors the news to find timely topics relevant to Wharton’s experts and pitches story ideas to the media. “I also handle inbound requests, lining up faculty experts to speak with journalists on a deadline, if the outlet or story angle aligns with our mission,” she said. “That’s just a glimpse of what I do, but one of the things I love most about this job is that there’s really no typical day.”
So, how’d she get there? After graduating from Messiah, she spent five years working at the Harrisburg and Philadelphia offices of Tierney, an advertising agency. Then she saw the job posting for Wharton.
“I reached out to a friend and fellow Messiah alum who worked at Wharton, and he passed my resumé along to the hiring director,” said Hemming. “A few months and interviews later, Wharton offered me the job. In addition to classroom learning at Messiah, the career development office taught me to create compelling resumés, prepare for interviews and, most importantly, network. These tangible and intangible skills have followed me every step of the way on my professional journey.”
These accomplishments come as no surprise Nance McCown, Messiah’s associate professor of communication. “The same passions that carried her through college—a keen interest in building effective relationships, a desire to forge connections between ideas and people, and the hard work and drive to pursue goals—are now carrying her to her next vocational steps,” said McCown. “I’m excited to see her journey unfold.”
Hemming says she hopes to advance to a management role in the next five to 10 years. In addition to her full-time job, she is pursuing a master’s in organizational dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania. “Essentially, I’m studying how and why people think, experience and behave in an organizational setting,” she said. “As I shift from building public relations campaigns to building teams of people, this program will allow me to develop the necessary leadership skills.”
— Rachel Hungerford ’22 and Anna Seip