Name: Emilie Hechtner
Degree: Strategic Communications
Year of graduation: December 2013
Emilie Hechtner knew she longed for a career that would serve a purpose, a purpose she gets to fulfill every day working for Water4.
Hechtner started college as a marketing major, but it never quite fit in with the dreams and goals she wished to accomplish. She had many interests in her first two years of college, and she wasn’t sure what to major in. She knew she had a love for nonprofit work.
After her internship at Make A Wish Foundation of North Texas, she came back to OSU her junior year and switched from marketing to strategic communications. Hechtner also took an internship at a public relations firm named Gooden Group, and her love for nonprofit work evolved even more.
“It wasn’t work for me when I was there,” Hechtner said. “That’s when I realized I was in the right profession.”
Hechtner worked for the Gooden Group for two months after graduating and then an unexpected opportunity arose. Hechtner found herself traveling to Ghana for eight months where she was a public relations coordinator and house mentor for at-risk teenage girls. She helped the girls with their English and worked on donor relations and communications while the girls were at school. Hechtner said it was a rewarding job and an amazing experience.
“It was hard, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Hechtner said.
When Hechtner came back from Africa, she took a job at Water4. She had observed it with a passion from afar and was ecstatic to take a job with it. Water4’s purpose is to provide safe water for people in developing countries. Handling all digital media and let the public know about the things Water4 is doing is a big part of her job. Hechtner said she uses her strategic communications degree every day. She has even teased for being a grammar nerd because of her knowledge of Associated Press style.
Hechtner stressed the importance of taking internships. She said 50 percent of how prepared she was for her career was because of her experience with internships. Being patient and never losing sight of long-term goals is her biggest piece of advice for graduating seniors.