Skip to main content

Meet Dara Collins

Job Title & Employer
Marketing Co-op, PJ Dick-Trumbull-Lindy Paving
Major
Journalism
Minor
Multimedia
Graduation
April 2020
College Activities
The Globe, Pittsburgh Center for Sports Media and Marketing
Scholarships
Presidential
Hometown
Johnstown, Pa.
High School
Richland High School
Hobbies & Interests
Music, writing, animals, traveling

"I learned so much about Adobe Creative Cloud, and I can work with InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop better than ever before. I spent most of my time creating social media graphics for events, holidays, employees, email blasts, etc. I also shot video on job sites, which was probably my favorite part of the experience."

Dara Collins

How did you land a co-op with PJ Dick?

This opportunity fell into my lap! I knew a student who completed a co-op at PJ Dick the summer before, and she said great things about her supervisor and the job. Then, Dean Paylo presented a new opportunity to me originally as a writing position, but when he showed me the job description for a marketing co-op I was even more intrigued. With a minor in multimedia, I've been trying to practice more aspects of communication other than writing, and the job description listed a focus on social media, which is something I have been dying to learn more about.

Tell us about the work you did for your co-op.

I did a little bit of everything at PJ Dick. As a student who heavily focuses on writing in the classroom and in extracurricular activities, I didn't do much writing while completing this co-op – and I was totally fine with that. I learned so much about Adobe Creative Cloud, and I can work with InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop better than ever before. I spent most of my time creating social media graphics for events, holidays, employees, email blasts, etc.

I also shot video on job sites, which was probably my favorite part of the experience. I wore a hard hat and steel-toe boots, but I walked through these dusty and dirty construction sites with a camera in my hand and another one slung across my chest, and it was awesome. I now have a new appreciation for construction.

What factors made you choose Point Park University’s School of Communication?

I originally heard about Point Park through a co-worker at my first part-time job in my hometown. She graduated with a sports, arts and entertainment management degree, but she stated she had worked closely with the School of Communication at times, and it's a great program. I dug through Point Park's website, took a campus tour and there was no looking back from there. I fell in love with the campus and the genuine nature of the faculty who spoke to new students and parents. Three years later, I'd pick the same school again.

How have Point Park’s classes and faculty helped you excel in this co-op?

No matter what major you are in the School of Communication, I believe the faculty do an amazing job of allowing students to become well-rounded young professionals. Perhaps it's been my personal interests or the fact that I have a minor in multimedia, which requires me to dip my toes in the other disciplines, but I believe I have a very well-rounded knowledge of multiple aspects of communication. I do not believe it is absolutely necessary that I enter the workforce in a journalism-related job. I believe I could land a job in another discipline because of the variety of work I have completed at Point Park, and I owe much of my success to the activities completed in-and-out of the classroom, but more importantly, the connections I've made in this city through the faculty at Point Park.

What are your career goals?

If you would have asked me this when I first came to school, I'd say I want to be in sports journalism. Then, my future plans changed when I started to write more feature articles about music and movies, and they changed once more when I began working in marketing positions like the experiences I've completed at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh as an intern and now PJ Dick. My goals have changed every year in the last three years, and if you ask me my goals now, I can't guarantee they'll even be the same by the time I graduate. However, to speak my current goal into existence - my dream job is to work in the music/concert industry. While I'm certainly not a musician, I'd love to work in marketing for a venue or a large-scale festival.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If there is an opportunity you think you might enjoy even in the slightest, do it! I've said yes to so many bizarre opportunities, and the worst thing they can teach you is that you don't ever want to do that again. For instance, live television is not my thing, and I know that because I shadowed at AT&T SportsNet. It was a very cool experience, and it taught me a lot about television - and I got to watch football every Friday night and have access to Heinz Field for an entire day. But more importantly, it taught me what I don't want to do. Knowing what you dislike is just as important as knowing what you do like, so say yes and you might find your niche.


More About: School of Communication, multimedia, Richland High School, journalism, co-op program, Center for Sports Media and Marketing, scholarships, The Globe, internships