Kristina Green sees her public relations job in terms of percentages. She rattles off the breakdown of her work for the Lake Michigan Credit Union(LMCU) without hesitation—60% volunteerism, 30% support to the credit union’s southwest and southeast regions for sponsorship and philanthropy, and 10% for various employee and community giving campaigns.
The 2012 graduate said she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do while she was in college, but she knew Grand Valley had given her good skills. It was through several experiences that she saw the possibilities for her career path.
“In my junior year I realized that social media could be a career,” says Green, who worked for four years at the GVSU Career Center and started their social media in her junior year. She was also the Vice President of Public Relations for the GVSU Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA) chapter and an account executive for GrandPR, the student-run PR firm. “I also did social media as an intern at Quicken, and that led to a job. I found out that writing is varied and fun and energetic.”
Working at LMCU since 2017, now as Senior Community Relations Specialist, Green does
even more types of writing and many other duties. Her main task is to get LMCU staff involved in the communities where they work.
“Volunteering has been embedded in LMCU since 1933 when it was founded as Grand Rapids Teachers Union,” she says. “The founder really wanted to give back and our main cause today is education.”
Green found a software called “YourCause” that she uses to get volunteers to sign up, track hours, send reminders, and offer related articles. She says the tool is a one-stop shop for corporate volunteering and gives her great metrics.
“Volunteering is good for the community of course but also for LMCU,” Green explains, describing the ‘LMCU Community Crew employees wear when working in the community. “Volunteering allows staff to give back and they have a more invested approach to the organization. They come back from a volunteer activity more engaged and refreshed.”
Besides volunteering, Green has also been involved in community philanthropic and sponsorship activities and events. For example, the organization helped raise $17,000 for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and collected 3,500 bags of school supplies.
Green advises current students to get involved on campus, network, and use resources, starting with professors. She says she’s grateful to have learned a lot of skills in college, but it’s the people and connections that really pay off.
This job is what I feel like is what I was set to find,” she says. “At the end of the day, community relations is about supporting the community which is a passion of mine.”