Clark, who works as the project manager of campaigns and branding at Sachs Media Group in Tallahassee, graduated magna cum laude from Florida State in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Sachs Media Group manages complex, large-scale projects, including government contracts and Clark’s PMP® credential will be critical to managing these campaigns and projects.
“I found myself working on a lot of State initiatives and campaigns,” Clark said. “I realized very quickly that having the knowledge and understanding of project management – everything from negotiating contracts to resource management – was critical.”
PMP® credentials are uncommon in the communications industry, which make Clark’s achievement even more valuable.
“From my research and understanding, there weren’t many professionals in the communications industry who had PMP® credentials. Traditionally, PMP’s come from the world of construction, engineering or software development. I had never come across many in the public relations field who had a PMP® credential.”
Clark approached the Sachs Media Group leadership team for support to obtain the credential, which requires 4,500 hours of project management work, 35 hours of project management education and a passing grade on the rigorous 400-question exam, which she passed in November.
“In order to be better positioned to work on projects with the State and on other large accounts, I went to my bosses and showed them how this would help our company and expressed my convictions about where the communications industry was headed,” Clark said.
“The PMP® credential demonstrates that Jessica has the experience and education to lead major projects and project teams, and achieve successful project results,” said Michelle Ubben, Partner and Chief Operating Officer. “We value her hard work, positive energy and strategic approach to every project.”
Clark interned at Sachs Media Group before graduation, turning it into a full-time position, and believes that Florida State’s program motivated her to do so.
“One thing I really appreciated about the School of Communication at Florida State was the requirement to do an internship,” Clark said. “Knowing everyone else would get an internship, my competitive spirit was heightened and I wanted to beat my peers to those opportunities. Tallahassee has a great public relations community, but it’s not a big city so I knew I’d need to setup internships early.”
Coupled with a minor in political science, Clark’s education prepared her for working at Sachs Media Group, which is ranked as Florida’s No. 1 public affairs firm.
“I learned tried-and-true methods to accomplish strategic campaign objectives and be results-oriented for any client I would work with,” Clark said.
Clark is a 17-time Florida Public Relations Association Image Award recipient. She also is the winner of the 2014 Gracie Award® for Outstanding Interview Program or Feature, 2013 Dick Pope All-Florida Grand Golden Image Award for her work with the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs and 2012 Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Silver Award for Best Education/Public Service Campaign.
The School of Communication’s Project Management Center offers a graduate certificate program, which also prepares individuals for the PMP® exam. To learn more, visit: http://comm.cci.fsu.edu/graduate-programs/project-management-center/