Alumnae Relationship Paves Way to Dream Job


Abbey Haslam (Left) and Krisinda Corbin at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

By: Nicole Esbenshade
October 12, 2015

The sayings “it’s all who you know”, and “hard work pays off”, have never been truer than for Krisinda Corbin and Abbey Haslam; two Shippensburg University Communication/Journalism alumnae who now work together in the Commonwealth’s capitol. From their very first college class together, Corbin and Haslam share a relationship that has been so successful, it practically paved the road to dream jobs for the women.

Now Haslam and Corbin want to help other Communication/Journalism veterans benefit from the same kinds of relationships. The two have started a Facebook group called Shippensburg University Communication/Journalism Alumni and are trying to reach as many alumni as they can. The idea Corbin says is “to create a network where Ship C/J alum can connect with people whom they haven’t talked with since college, and provide the opportunity for current students to be a part of that network as they work to finish their degrees and enter the job market.”

Abbey Haslam Krisinda_Corbin

Abbey Haslam Krisinda Corbin

“It’s important to maintain good working relationships with your peers in the Communication/Journalism program as well as outside of the program because you never know who you could end up interacting with someday.” says Haslam, and she should know. When Haslam landed a job in the House of Representatives her boss was impressed with her work ethic, professionalism and abilities. Later an opening appeared in Haslam’s department and her boss approached her to see if she knew anyone else from the Communication/Journalism Department at Shippensburg who might be interested. Haslam immediately thought of Corbin and, in just a short while, Corbin was working at her own dream job!

That is exactly what the two alumnae want to model to C/J students:

to understand there are people who sat in their seats before them who are now living the dreams they imagined while students at Shippensburg University. And maybe more important, that the community found within the Communication/Journalism Department should not end after college is over. Corbin and Haslam’s goal is to “open the lines of communication between graduates of the program and current students.”

State capitol steps

State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Students could certainly follow in the footsteps of success if they emulated the two women’s career journeys. The two shared many of the same classes, but forged separate paths until they crossed again at the Capitol. Corbin a 2011 graduate of the program took full advantage of the opportunities available to her in the program. She landed a Public Affairs internship in the summer before her senior year with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Washington D.C. She assisted her mentor with writing, editing and reviewing press releases, planning media events in Washington D.C. and New York City, and prepping information for experts conducting media events. On campus, Corbin was involved in SUTV, WSYC and PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America.) With all that experience, she knew at graduation she wanted to work as a PR representative in an official government-related capacity.

Haslam also took full advantage of all the program’s career development opportunities. She was a member of the PRSSA leadership team, the president of the student-run public relations firm (SUPR), and was on the Public Relations branch of The Slate. Haslam took an internship with Keystone Partnership in Harrisburg, PA. (The Partnership is a charitable support branch for all Keystone Human Service agencies.) In the internship, she worked on planning and executing fundraising events such as Chocolate Ball, Chocolate Fest, Black Tie & Tails, and the Keystone Golf Tournament. She arranged volunteers for the events, sold tickets, and contacted regular and prospective donors.

Now, the two are Communications Coordinators for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. They handle the communication needs of seven members of the House of Representatives, which can include press releases, press conferences, social media, community events, email blasts, website maintenance, video and radio interviews and much more. They produce written communication outreach materials for the representatives, speeches and editorials using the AP Style of writing and create public relations plans to promote high-priority initiatives.

State capitol dome1

Capitol dome in Harrisburg, PA.

The Shippensburg University Communication/Journalism Facebook group is having its first official gathering during a tailgate party at Shippensburg’s Homecoming on October 17. Everyone is invited to stop by the tent behind Seth Grove Stadium beginning at 10 a.m. and connect with Communication/Journalism alumni.