My name is James Watkins and I’m a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, where I studied public relations and Arabic. This has been my first legitimate, measured attempt at blogging – so if you’re going to do anything at all while on this site, please cut me a break.
It’s been an inconsistent year here on WordPress. I was cut off from the internet last summer while working at Two Rivers Soccer Camp and battled faulty connections in Amman, Jordan this past fall. Upon returning to Eugene in January, I’ve been slow to return to the blogosphere. I expect that all to change in the coming months though, as I look to position myself for full-time employment and confront the “real world” decisions that arrived along with graduation in June of 2012.
I finally sold my soul and joined Twitter, so if you’d rather watch me embarrass myself through another avenue as I become acclimated to these social media outlets, you can follow me @jpatrickwatkins.
In addition to public relations, my academic and professional goals stem from an earnest appreciation for international affairs. I grew up in a family passionate about public service and giving back to the community – I hope to exemplify those traits on a larger, international scale by facilitating discussion and understanding between different cultures. I have dedicated several years of study to the Arabic language and was fortunate enough to experience the beauty and frustration of Arab culture firsthand while studying abroad with CIEE this past fall. I look forward to returning to the Middle East and working to improve the regional public relations industry, “in sha’ allah.”
Last year, I worked as a public relations intern with the Teaching Effectiveness Program at our University, where I applied classroom lessons to a department that offers instructional resources to faculty and graduate teaching fellows. During my time in Jordan, I played an active role within the Naseej Foundation, a developmental non-profit that works to empower marginalized communities in the Arab world and connect youth leaders with funding from national and international donors. I now work as an intern with Vox Public Relations Public Affairs in Portland, Ore.
On a personal level, I am a huge soccer fan and can often be found on the couch at 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning watching Liverpool on ESPN or a decidedly shady internet stream. Naturally, I love my Ducks – the level of community and school spirit here in Eugene was a considerable factor in my decision to attend school at the U of O. I don’t know where I will be in several months, let alone five years from now: All I know is that I’m open to any opportunity and will be enjoying every day of this spectacular, unpredictable life.