Melinda Hayton graduated Dec. 12, 2015, and less than a week later accepted a position at a leading public relations firm in New York City.
Hayton was a public relations intern at J Public Relations, which specializes in the hospitality, travel and luxury industries. After her internship, she accepted a full-time account coordinator position with The Brandman Agency working with international luxury hotels and lifestyle brands.
Hayton also does freelance work with Calvin Klein Underwear and Tommy Hilfiger.
She graduated from Appalachian with a Bachelor of Science in Communication, Public Relations with a minor in international business.
“Public relations is for the creative, the curious and the game-changers. Creating campaigns and working with brand names gives you the opportunity to make a difference.”
Describing the PR field as “incredibly broad,” Hayton said, “My education at Appalachian has prepared me with the best, giving me confidence in whichever direction I take. My experience with Appalachian is undeniably remarkable and one of a kind.”
Hayton came to Appalachian as a transfer student from UNC Charlotte and “was immediately welcomed by so many people,” she said.
To help her choose a career path and gain leadership experience, Hayton joined over 15 different organizations on Appalachian’s campus.
These included Appalachian Popular Programming Society (APPS), PEAKS Leadership, WASU radio station, International Business Student Association, International
Justice Mission, the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Appalachian Marching Band Majorettes. She also interned for Appalachian Athletics Marketing and Fan Engagement, Clear Channel Radio in Charlotte and Wine To Water International Aid.
“My studies and experience with public relations within the many organizations I volunteered with were able to teach me the skills I needed to succeed,” Hayton said.
“I would have never done as well in my major without the people I met and opportunities I had within the student clubs and organizations. I am incredibly grateful for the fantastic professors I have had over the past several years who truly care.”
Hayton encourages future PR majors to get involved in Appalachian’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. “I have been to national conferences around the country and made connections with people with Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Miami Heat, Oxfam International and many more organizations. There are so many resources available to you through PRSSA,” she said.