YCP@Work: Dorie Heyer, Department of Defense
Dorie Heyer graduated with a B.A. in Mass Communication from York College in 2012. She currently works for the Department of the Army in the public affairs field.
What made you choose to pursue a degree in this field?
I was attracted to the versatility and diverse opportunities that a degree in Mass Communication provided.
Describe a typical day on the job.
A typical day is almost an oxymoron in my field. On any given day, I am drafting press releases, articles, and other print media. Often, I am responding to requests for information or interacting with media outlets to provide timely and accurate information to our audiences. I develop and prepare communication plans—both strategic and contingency plans. I write, film, direct, and produce multiple short- and long-form video productions. I develop, edit, and distribute various publications, including fact sheets, newsletters, and magazines.
I manage all of our social media plans and content. I research various programs and issues and prepare senior leaders for engagements with the public, press, and Congress. I develop plans and policies to establish best practices and protect critical information. I prepare briefings, training, and information papers to inform both internal and external audiences. I develop speeches and talking points for subject matter experts and senior leaders. I serve as a photojournalist, journalist, spokesperson, and editor.
How have you used your York College education since graduating?
I use it daily—the coursework and experience I gained in public relations, journalism, broadcast journalism, photography, visual information, videography, and production all play an active role in my ability to succeed in my career.
What is most challenging about a career in this field?
The most challenging parts of my career are time management, the ability to prioritize initiatives and quickly pivot from one focus area to another.
What do you like best about your career?
I absolutely love that I get to tell important stories daily and that I'm part of something much bigger than myself. I am grateful for the position I have and the responsibility that comes with public service.
What advice would you have for a student who is just starting out in this major?
I would advise current students to be open to gaining experience in different fields. There is a wide variety of opportunities that are available in the field of communications. York College offers a multitude of courses, programs, and activities that can provide students with insight into different industries and occupations. I would encourage students to use their time and resources available to become more well-rounded and explore opportunities.