Alumna Excels: Simplifying Medical Info Through Copywriting
Through actively pursuing opportunities to make connections and market herself, Kent State alumna Grace Petitijean, ’21, has found a fulfilling communication-based career she is passionate about. As a Copywriter for FCB Health New York, part of the IPG Health Network, Grace takes high-science medical content and crafts messages that tailor the information to be understood by the general public, ensuring everyone has equal access to health information.
In her role, Petitjean, who majored in communication studies, works collaboratively with clients and her team to bring health advertisements to life through a process full of brainstorming, writing and editing. These advertisements are shared through communication channels that include TV, social media, radio, newspapers, websites and billboards. She works specifically on the writing portion of these advertisements, something that involves lots of research and making meaning out of the medical information she references.
“One of the projects I’ll always have a heart for is a newspaper ad I worked on for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” she said. “It’s published in a handful of publications across seven different states. I was able to drive to Michigan and buy my own copy in person – it’s pretty awesome to be an officially published writer!”
Petitjean says her coursework and experiences in the communication studies major have made her stand out as a young professional amongst her colleagues.
“One of the most important skills that makes me stand out at work, especially for my age, is being able to interpret research and data and give an accurate summary based on the findings,” she said. “My Communication Research Methods class really set me up for success – I’m able to keep pace with those who have practiced summarizing research for years!”
In addition to her research skills, Petitjean appreciates the opportunities to learn interpersonal communication skills and frequently practice her public speaking skills. Knowing how to effectively communicate with her clients has helped her grow in her career much quicker than she expected.
As a student, Petitjean admits she didn’t have a clear picture of her dream career, as she had various interests, so she realized the importance of networking early on.
“Making connections, marketing yourself, reaching out, and making great impressions gets you so far in life,” she said. “I took an internship that had nothing to do with what I was interested in, but I went into it with an open mind and practiced everything I could. Here, I ended up making a connection that referred me to my current job.”
She encourages current students to pursue any available opportunities and take the time to explore their options.
“I said yes to everything I could, explored options, and told myself that I would find myself in the right place when the time came,” she said. “Being confident in myself and how I presented myself to a room was enough. I didn’t need to be confident about where exactly I would end up because I knew I was making the right relationships to guide me to the right place.”