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Using Philosophy and Public Relations to Impact the Kingdom

  • By: Ansley Kary
  • Published:
group of interns at the headquarters of Operation Mobilisation

At Taylor, we believe in more than college degrees. We believe in Christ-centered, student focused development, and that’s why we are proud to be a liberal arts university. Four years spent at any college is an investment, but at Taylor these years will shape you as you are equipped with the tools to pursue life to the full

We take pride in the work and passionate spirit our students display daily. Elias Seeman ’24, double majoring in Philosophy and Public Relations, is just one example out of many that embodies what it means to live out this mission

Unique Internship with Operation Mobilization 

This past summer, Seeman worked for Operation Mobilization, a Christian nonprofit organization whose mission is to equip people from all over the world to reach those who have never heard the gospel.

Based in Georgia, Seeman worked with the Global Generosity team to aid in their fundraising efforts. His day-to-day consisted of learning the ropes of fundraising in a Christian setting. 

Seeman attended team meetings, worked on specialized projects, strengthened the donor engagement process , conducted interviews in preparation for a retreat, and helped improve OM’s  customer relationship management (CRM).

An Open Door through Career Fair  

Interestingly enough, Seeman’s internship position on the Global Generosity team was unique to him. This new opportunity for both Seeman and Operations Mobilizations came about through a Taylor connection. 

Each fall semester the Calling and Career Office holds an Internship and Career Fair in the LaRita Boren Campus Center in which students get a chance to build connections with possible future employers, as well as scout out potential opportunities. 

For Seeman, it was his chance to discover new Christian nonprofit companies. One of the companies at the fair was Operation Mobilization, where Seeman introduced himself to Regional Director Joni Brinkley. 

Brinkley wanted to hear about his passion for fundraising and Seeman mentioned that he was currently on the lookout for a summer internship at a nonprofit much like Operation Mobilization. Brinkley told Seeman that fundraising is not an area in which the company offers internships, but she would take his resume anyway. 

Months later, Seeman was shocked when a senior leader reached out to him, offering an internship in fundraising at Operation Moblization’s headquarters. The leader had seen Seeman’s resume and tailored a position based on his unique giftings and passions. 

Taylor as the Training Ground  

As a double major in two vastly different fields, Seeman chose his majors for the skill sets they offered, rather than aiming for a specific career path.

“Philosophy teaches you how to read, write, and think critically better than any other major,” Seeman said. “PR is a lot of people skills, presentations, and learning how to run the public side of things.”

Through his internship at Operations Mobilization, Seeman was able to see how his choice to diversify his studies benefited him in the long run.

“The comments that I got most often down in Georgia were that I have an ability to process a lot of hard information well and then synthesize it into effectively written documents,” Seeman said. “That is all philosophy. It is cool to see God honoring the skills that I’ve learned through my philosophy major here at Taylor.”

During the summer, Seeman was asked to research and present a 20 page, executive plan for a team-wide retreat for the Global Generosity team. For this particular project Seeman relied heavily on the skills he has earned through his Public Relations major. 

“Public Relations really prepared me well for learning how to interview people, take good notes, and plan,” Seeman said.

Beyond the diversity of his two majors, Seeman also credits Taylor University as a liberal arts school for his internship success. 

“I do not think I would have been as prepared as I was if I had not been in a liberal arts setting,” Seeman said. “I think that the different classes I had to take helped equip me well for the variety I encountered in the workplace.”

A Call to a Career in Fundraising 

As freshmen Communication majors, students complete a course called Introduction to Communications. This course is designed to set the tone for their college years by exposing them to possible career paths, different guest speakers, and creating a 4-year plan. It was through this course that Seeman was introduced to Amy Hartman, Regional Development Manager at Hope International, another Christian nonprofit. 

As Seeman talked to Hartman about her work on the fundraising team at Hope International, he discovered his own career aspirations and how his majors fit together. He began to feel a call towards fundraising, especially since it checked all of those boxes and has the potential for a partnership with a Christ-centered nonprofit. 

“I’ve always wanted three things out of a career,” Seeman said. “I want to do something with people. I want to do something that I enjoy, in an environment that I enjoy. Thirdly, and most importantly, I want to do something where I know I’m making a tangible impact for the kingdom wherever I am.”

After the Internship

Reflecting on the summer, one of Seeman’s greatest highlights was a dinner for the interns hosted at Todd and Cindy Shinabarger’s home. Todd Shinabarger is the Chief Information Officer for Operations Mobilization and he and his wife Cindy are Taylor alumni. 

“It was so cool to see how immediately there was a Taylor connection, even though I didn’t know them previously at all,” Seeman said. “They were so happy and willing to talk with me and share about their life simply because we both went to Taylor.”

Although Seeman is still a junior, Operation Mobilization has expressed interest in working together again in the future.

Learn More 

The Taylor University Philosophy program equips students to tackle life’s largest questions both critically and holistically. Through cultivating a supportive yet rigorous environment, students are challenged through discourse, writing, comprehensive arguments, evaluating divergent takes on difficult issues, giving a strong foundation for the next steps on their career. Philosophy majors statically outperform all other majors on the GRE (graduate school admissions test), excel on the LSAT (admissions test for law school) and more! 

The Taylor University Communication Department excels at creating connections not just on campus or across the country, but around the world. Equipped with skills to enter any setting including leadership, interpersonal and team-based communication, writing, graphic design, branding, image rhetoric, and many other topics our students are exactly what employers are looking for.