Media Matters Blog

Posted on March 8th, 2022 by Emily Turnier
Image of Shayla Pinner for blog post

Shayla Pinner, M.A. in Public Relations alumna, is the Director Of Marketing and Development at Dress For Success Indianapolis.  

When Pinner was a master’s student at IUPUI, for a year she worked full-time while also completing an internship at Eli Lilly. We asked her about that experience as well as details about her current job.

1. What was it like to work full-time while also studying for your master’s degree and doing an internship? How can students be successful at an internship, especially those who are working another job at the same time?

“It was hard! I won’t sugarcoat that. As an intern at Lilly, you are hired as a contractor so you have the workload of an employee. I constantly reminded myself that it was temporary and necessary to reach my next level. What helped me was setting clear expectations of myself but also knowing what was expected of me on the job and not being afraid to ask for help. My husband had to cook more, I scheduled blocks of time where I focused on school, and I had to limit some fun things. I recommend asking for help with tasks at home, kids, etc., and ask your employer for flexibility. Basically remove as much of your load as you can. And give yourself grace.”

2. How did you land your job at Dress for Success Indianapolis?

“My job was posted on I submitted my resume and a recruiter reached out to me and helped me connect with the organization. I was a previous volunteer with the organization so I was very familiar and supportive of its mission. I think being so familiar with the organization helped me land my role because I was asked many questions about the mission. I also had all of the requested skills in the job description and could confidently speak to them.”

3. What are some of your typical job duties?

“I am responsible for grant writing, brand reputation, and marketing. My day-to-day includes media and public relations, social media management, grant writing and research, and communications strategy.”

4. What is the most difficult aspect of your job? What is your favorite part?

“The most difficult part is finding the right avenue to reach the audience we want to serve. This is also my favorite part because it requires creativity and learning new trends and tools.”

5. How have your previous work experiences helped shape your career?

“My experience includes video production, event planning, and communication strategy in nonprofit organizations, a PR agency, and a Fortune 500 company. I believe this makes me stand out because I have a vast skillset in marketing and communications across multiple industries.”