May Medallada is a 24-year-old account executive at Beck Ellman Heald, a public relations firm in La Jolla, Calif. She is a graduate of Towson University in Baltimore, Md., with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication: Public Relations and Advertising.
Prior to joining the Beck Ellman Heald team, she was an intern promoted to junior publicist at Ideal Publicity, a full service public relations and marketing agency in Baltimore, Md. It was through her experience at Ideal Publicity, where she first began learning the ways of PR agency life. Raevyn Jones and Shanae Newman, the founders of Ideal Publicity, offered her a rare opportunity to learn all the inner workings of the agency. From the day she started, she was involved in all aspects of the agency from contributing campaign ideas, promoting and executing client events, drafting social media and blog posts, drafting press releases and media pitches, and everything else in between. There was not much separation between interns and full-time employees; everyone had an equal role in making contributions to the Ideal Publicity team, and all ideas were encouraged and appreciated. May worked with small business and non-profit clients.
She also previously interned in the social media department at MGH, a “modern marketing firm” (advertising, public relations, marketing, and social media all rolled into one great company) and Ivorian Hope, a non-profit organization in Gaithersburg, Md., benefiting the people of the Ivory Coast in Africa.
Her interest in mass communication was sparked in high school during her participation with her school’s daily television news show. She was involved with the program for two years in various positions as writer, reporter, director, and anchor/host. The position she spent the most time in was as a main news anchor/host, and her early career goals involved being a news anchor for local and national news stations. Her involvement in the television program allowed her to receive a scholarship to attend American University‘s School of Communications summer program in Washington, D.C., during the summer prior to her senior year of high school. During this program, she was introduced to college-level communications courses for the first time.
After her high school graduation in 2006, May moved to Baltimore, Md., to attend Towson University. She lived on campus her first two years at college. She pledged a sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, in the second semester of her freshman year. After joining her sorority, which was full of girls who were heavily involved in other aspects of campus life and leadership, May was inspired to pick up several other extracurricular activities. She was an orientation leader for new freshmen students, a residence hall front desk worker, a building manager in the university union building, a director in the Student Government Association, a director of the Campus Activities Board, a National LeaderShape Institute graduate, a member of the Council of Student Leaders, an executive board member for the Commuter Student Organization, a member of Alternative Break Connections, and a Towson University Leadership consultant. During this time, she was able to hone her leadership and communications skills, build many networks within the university, and form close relationships with other student leaders, professors, and administration.
May’s most notable college experience was her involvement with the Campus Activities Board, the programming board of the Student Government Association. She began as a programming chair, planning a few events per month and directing a small committee to assist with the planning, promotion, and execution of her events. She planned bus trips, comedy shows, concerts, cultural lectures, and other free or low-cost events and activities for students. All of her events were filled to capacity and/or sold out during her first year with the board. The following year, she became the director of the organization. Her roles as director included: hiring and supervising an executive board of eight people and a general member committee of 50 to 75, assigning and monitoring team member’s tasks, planning and leading three weekly meetings (advisors meeting, board meeting, and general member meeting), allocating and managing a $350,000+ budget, and acting as a liaison between the student body and the administration. Her favorite event to be a part of was Tigerfest because it was a $150,000+ event that had 8,000+ people in attendance, so there was much more planning involved than all the other events. It was a rewarding experience for her to start planning this event from the ground up and watch it come to life.
It is apparent through May’s past experiences that she has natural leadership abilities, ambition, and drive to always succeed in all of her endeavors.
Today, May manages the daily PR activities of 6 clients and consults on the social media activities for all of her firm’s clients. She works with non-profit, small business, healthcare, and hospitality clients. She hopes to one day start her own bi-coastal PR firm with one of her good college friends who is a fashion PR professional in NYC.
May currently lives in La Jolla, a beach community in the northern city limits of San Diego, Calif., with her boyfriend, Matthew, and their Yorkshire terrier “baby,” Bananas. When she is not working, she enjoys going to the beach, lounging by the pool, writing, reading, traveling, practicing Bikram yoga, cooking, going out to restaurants and trying new cuisines, watching movies, blogging, staying up-to-date on current events and industry trends, attending client events and other fun cultural events, and spending time with her boyfriend, family, and friends. You can read more about her 3,000+ mile move from coast to coast on her personal blog, 95toThe5.com.