Credentials and competence matter in any profession. One Illinois State University graduate, Grace O’Brien ’16, who is from Barrington, is the first from the institution to earn a Certificate in Principles of Public Relations through the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations is an entry-level certificate designed to demonstrate that a university graduate of a public relations program has a fundamental level of knowledge entering the profession. Beyond a university diploma, the certificate is an important credential about a graduate’s competence specifically in public relations that helps that graduate have an advantage in a competitive job market.

“Even though I just graduated, I still love finding ways to continue learning more about public relations,” said O’Brien, who graduated with a degree in public relations from the School of Communication. “Preparing for the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations helped me review and learn even more about public relations management and planning, and it felt like a necessary step to take for me as my college experience was ending.

“I highly recommend this certificate for any student interested in furthering their education in public relations.”

O’Brien is currently working on the marketing team at Dom & Tom, a company that develops mobile apps. After obtaining at least five years of experience in the public relations field, she plans to earn the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential from the PRSA through the UAB.

Professor Pete Smudde, associate director of the School of Communication, can be reached at (309) 438-7339.