Rising junior Abigail Bainbridge is studying journalism with a concentration in public relations at the Media School and found ways to get involved on and off campus.
The undergrad is minoring in creative writing and communication, along with public advocacy, and knew early on that she shared a love for both research and public relations.
In early August before classes had begun, Bainbridge attended the first job fair of the school year. As an eligible federal work-study student, she sought a position that could be close to her field.
That’s when she came across WonderLab. The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology is an award-winning science museum based in Bloomington located on the B-Line trail.
The museum is home for all people interested in science, and that’s something Bainbridge sought. Soon Bainbridge came to find out that there was no specific position open for her interest, she still reached out to the marketing and communication director.
Bainbridge sent out an email and wrote, “I want to write for you,” and attached her resume. She knew she was shooting a long shot for a nonexistent position, but did it anyway.
Next thing you know, Bainbridge got a call back for an interview with Aleisha Kropf, the current marketing and communication director for a possible position.
“She took a chance with me,” Bainbridge said. As an incoming freshman, she had no previous professional experience writing, but Kropf believed in her and created a new position.
Bainbridge would now hold the position of editorial intern. The new job would consist of two significant areas: press releases and blog posts.
WonderLab hosts events for people of all ages through hands-on-learning experience. Through WonderBlog, Thoughts Behind The Wonder. Bainbridge writes on the different exhibits. Researching the history, origin, and connecting readers to other resources are part of the job.
“I was fascinated with the animation station,” Bainbridge said.
Aside from her time at WonderLab, she works alongside The Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects (TheJUMP+) on a research project. Bainbridge is a public relations major but has found that PR intertwines with research.
“I define research as having gathered objective information to back up an argument,” Bainbridge said. “It’s saying ‘I can say this because…I have done the research.’”
Making use of her time, Bainbridge also runs the official IMU, IU Health Center, and IU Student Affairs social media for the University. She works alongside Kelley School of Business rising junior Leah Gregory.
Both of the social media outreach coordinators split duties in creating the dynamic of engagement and incorporating a strong creative format for the nine social media accounts.
Bainbridge pushes her current RA students to seek opportunities, even when they are not directly visible.
“All you have to do is reach out,” she said. “Shoot your shot. There are possibilities, reaching out to professors you don’t know, as long as you’re interested in the same research.”
The Office of Engaged Learning connects students with faculty and opportunities to work alongside professors. To learn more information on who to reach out to, visit https://engagedlearning.indiana.edu.