Headshot of Amberli Kelly (profile article/ please don’t put on librabry for public use)

Meet Amberli Kelly, a UCF Alumna & Public Relations Manager Who You Can Learn From

Meet Amberli Kelly, a UCF alumna and public relations manager. She graduated from the advertising/public relations program with a minor in political science at UCF in 2013. She's actively working as a senior account manager at Republic Havas, a multicultural agency based out of Miami. Her love for the public relations field stemmed from her passion for writing as a young girl, and she's had a diverse career, working in online reputation management, advertising, marketing, and public relations. As a Nicholson School of Communications alumna, she's also a part of the Mentor Program, guiding young students like myself in the world of advertising and public relations.

Amberli Kelly with husband at UCF (profile article, full permission, not for public use)

Her Campus at UCF: You have been working in public relations for a while. When did you discover your love for that field and why?

Amberli Kelly: I have always loved storytelling and knew from a very early age that I wanted to do that. First I wanted to be an author, then an editor, then I wanted to own my own publishing house, then journalism and I finally landed in PR. I love the opportunity PR gives you to really craft a story of who a brand or person really is. It’s exciting work and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

HCUCF: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What year did you graduate from UCF?

AK: I’m originally from Miami and I graduated from UCF in 2013. I'm a very proud Knight and will tell everyone I meet how amazing UCF is and what an incredible experience I had while attending.

Amberli Kelly with Husband at UCF (profile article, full permission, not for public use)

HCUCF: Did you always see yourself working in public relations or was that a career choice you took after careful consideration?

AK: I actually hadn’t considered PR and was pretty serious about journalism until I was about 18. A professor actually mentioned it to me and I looked into PR some more. I was hooked and never looked back.

HCUCF: Let’s talk a little about UCF, how did your experience as a student shape you into the person you are today?

AK: I really had the best time at UCF. The Ad/PR program is second to none and really prepared me for my career. The classes I took were challenging enough to make sure you were engaged in what you were learning, and the student life was really fun and always had things going on.

HCUCF: Are there organizations or clubs you wished you joined while attending UCF?

AK: It’s funny, but I sometimes wish I might’ve rushed a sorority to push me way out of my comfort zone. Aside from considering that, I do wish I had participated more in intramural sports.

HCUCF: Anyone who is interested in PR knows the importance of internships. Was there one that impacted you and/or that you still remember vividly?

AK: Every single internship opportunity I had was invaluable to me. I was writing press releases that were getting hundreds of thousands of hits and really getting insight into the workings of the industry. By the time I graduated I felt confident that I was more prepared than many others interviewing for the same entry-level jobs that I was, because I already had some experience under my belt.

HCUCF: What are some pieces of advice you wish you received while attending UCF that you would like to share with those who are interested in PR and advertising?

AK: Your time at UCF flies by, so I would say to try as many things as you can without fear, because when you look back on your time there you don’t want to think “I wish I had done or tried that.”

HCUCF: Social media has had a tremendous impact on our society. Do you think social media has positively impacted public relations?

AK: This is a fun question! There are a lot of things that have changed the PR landscape through the years, and social media is absolutely one. I think that used as a vehicle to share a message, it absolutely can work in a company’s favor, but by the same vein it's misuse could cause a crisis situation. While I don’t think social media will ever take away from traditional PR, I do think that it has given PR several new channels to reach audiences that might’ve been much more elusive before social media.

HCUCF: Looking at where you are today, did you plan to work where you are currently, or did it happen naturally?

AK: I did not necessarily see myself exactly where I am today and a lot of that has to do with opportunities that I’ve jumped at. My experience at UCF certainly helped me get my foot in the door and I will always credit that to my successes.

HCUCF: Lastly, where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? Do you wish to stay in Miami or would you eventually want to move?

AK: This is a tough one. Miami has always been home, I was born here, I was raised here, and my family is still largely here. That being said, I would consider moving for the right opportunity. In 5-10 years, I’d like to ideally have started my own crisis communication agency.

Amberli Kelly headshot (granted full permission for profile article and image use, please don’t post for public use)

Keep up with Amberli here.