Alumnus Megan Henry graduated in 2012 and went to Baker University. While in high school Henry participated in Tennis and worked in Newspaper for all four years.
What have you done after high school?(College, jobs, etc.)
“After high school I attended Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, on tennis and academic scholarships,” Henry said. “Tennis career: freshman year I was the #3 women’s singles player; #1 and #2 doubles team (it switched a lot). Sophomore year I was the #2 women’s singles player for the fall season and then moved to #1 in the spring. #1 doubles team. Junior year I was #1 singles and doubles and team captain. Senior year I was #1 singles and doubles and team captain. Senior year, my doubles partner and I were ranked #15 for the NAIA division. At Baker I was also incredibly involved with my sorority. I served as VP of Chapter Development my sophomore year and this was a huge office to take on so young. I was in charge of Standards, which is the team that is in charge of all the rules. So I was watching membership conduct, in charge of rituals, and dealt with any issues people in the chapter had. Junior year I was VP of Public Relations and the alumnae relations chairman. In these roles I was in charge of our social media, internal and external PR, graphics, and I started a bi-monthly newsletter. Going into my senior year, I interned for Tri Delta’s executive office which was in Arlington at the time. It’s now in Dallas. I helped with their magazine and any random projects the communication team had. Senior year we don’t hold offices in the house, so I just got to have fun and be a member. I was also on the newspaper staff for a little bit. I want to say that was freshman and sophomore year. Sophomore year I was the assistant sports editor and then I quit to do our PR workshop instead of newspaper. Our school didn’t have a yearbook or I would have been on that staff. Baker being so small there was always something going on. Between class, Tri Delta, and tennis I had a solid schedule. We would attend other Greek events, support other athletic teams, and basically I went to almost any event the university hosted. Busy, busy, busy! I could go on forever about my college experience. I’m a big fan of Baker, the people I met, and the experiences I was afforded through the tiny school in a one stoplight town.I graduated in May 2016 and started working for Pennington & Company in July 2016. I accepted a position there before graduation but got to have a little bit of a summer before officially joining the adult world.”
What made you want to do what you are doing now?
“I’ve always enjoyed writing,” Henry said. “I hate talking about myself but love talking about others. I think it’s so neat that I’m able to talk to a complete stranger and then end up telling their story. Going into college I knew I wanted to major in PR so I was one of the few majors in the journalism program. (My senior seminar class had less than 10 people). The major is definitely growing now and that makes me SO happy. I chose PR because I thought it was the most versatile. I also really enjoy painting and hand lettering so with PR I’m able to incorporate that creativity into graphics. Basically, I’m really good at making things look pretty. Whether it’s telling a story through an article, designing a graphic, or rescuing a company that’s in a crisis, PR professionals do their best to make the people/brand they’re representing look good. I enjoy making things (people, specifically) look good and PR was a good fit for me.
However, I never imagined working with Greek life professionally. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Tri Delta experience, but I don’t want to spend my whole life surrounded by sororities and fraternities. I’m hoping to get into non profits or work for a small PR firm that really pays attention to detail and cares about it’s clients.”
What did you learn or experience in high school affect you in college and beyond?
“Academically, high school didn’t prepare me for much in all honesty,” Henry said. “I was a pretty good student, but definitely had my work cut out for me at Baker. We’re the, ‘Harvard of the Midwest,’ so my classes were incredibly hard. If anything I’d have to say high school helped me 1., get a tennis scholarship and 2., develop my writing style through journalism courses.”
Explain your job now, what you are doing, different aspects of your job.
“I’m an alumni relations consultant (ARC) for Pennington & Company, located in Lawrence, Kansas,” Henry said. “We are a Greek fundraising and consulting firm that helps sororities and fraternities raise money and build alumni relations. I’m talking huge campaigns to build multi-million dollar chapter houses. in this role I assist a senior ARC in representing 50 clients. Some of these clients are in large campaigns and others are, ‘friend raising.’ A big aspect of my job is preparing newsletter materials. So, our clients email us articles, I edit and format them and then we send them to our designers who actually create the newsletter. I also reach out to alumni for feature articles. Sometimes I’m talking to donors or big shot CEOs and other times I’m talking to someone who attended an event or is a stay at home mom. Another aspect of my job is designing email blasts, writing solicitation letters (donor focused), and coding gifts in our database. I’m not the physical fundraiser; I’m on the publication side of our company. But we have really talented fundraisers who have helped make up basically the go-to firm for Greek fundraising and consulting.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I want to do more with PR,” Henry said. “I want to feel like I’m making a difference, so that’s why I’m interested in nonprofits. Eventually I’d like to move back to Kansas City to be closer to all of my friends and find a non profit company there. I’ve also always had an interest in crisis communication, but I need some more experience to do that. I also love painting and would like to open a small craft store one day where I can sell all my paintings and various crafts. I also plan on adopting a ton of dogs. Three would be cool, seven would be great, and a whole farm worth would be amazing.”
What is your advice to current high schoolers?
“Understand how impactful words can be on one another,” Henry said. “They have they ability to tear someone down, but also raise someone up. I think too many times people will speak before thinking and don’t realize the impact their words can have on someone. A lot of students hate high school and it’s not because of the work, but because of the environment they’re in. I think a lot of people would enjoy their time in high school even more if they weren’t so self conscious about other’s opinions. Like my mom always said, if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it at all. So just focus on yourself and do what make you happy. And if you have the urge to spit out hate, suck it back in and do something better with your time.Also, just realize high school is only high school. College is so much better. I didn’t have a terrible high school by any means, but the friends I made in college will be my lifelong friends. I think people should just try to enjoy their time in high school and worry less about what other people think of them. We were all made to be different people. If you’re busy trying to be someone else, then there’s nobody there to be you. Also, I think high schoolers need to respect themselves, their peers, and their teachers more. Respect is not earned it is expected. Everyone should start off being respected, and you should only lose that respect for someone for good reasons.”