Media backgrounds prepare Rockeys for careers in other fields
Zack and Kelsey Rockey, both 2010 Baker University graduates, envisioned careers in broadcasting before pursuing professions in sales and public relations.
Taking a new path
In his role as an account manager with Golf Course Superintendents Association of America the past year and a half, Zack meets with golf executives across the country and internationally, expanding and maintaining relationships with a client base of more than 150 golf-related companies.
While at Baker, Zack was a member of the golf team and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He also was an admission assistant and orientation leader for the University.
“Working for an industry that I know has been a good fit for me,” Zack said. “We develop marketing plans and strategy, deciding where money is best spent. We’re always looking for ways for our clients to get their new products to our association’s members.”
Initially nervous about a career in sales after preparing to be a sports broadcaster, Zack has learned that the skills developed at Baker prepared him for a different path.
“This is a lot of media wrapped around sales,” Zack said. “Media helps to sell advertisements. Every day is different. Baker has prepared me to be able to have discussions on any topic.”
Working for KNBU-TV and KNBU-FM as student was beneficial for Zack. Also, writing helped him immensely.
“When you prepare for meetings and presentations, you have to write out your packages to effectively communicate and generate conversation,” he said.
A natural fit
Kelsey (Epperson) Rockey has been an account executive for Parris Communications since August 2012. She previously worked with the Kansas City-based public relations and marketing communications firm as an account coordinator and as an intern.
“I work with multiple clients a day, focusing on projects and events,” Kelsey said. “It’s exciting and upbeat, and the job varies daily.”
Parris specializes in strategic corporate communications, media relations and crisis communications. Kelsey contributed to several award-winning projects recognized by the Public Relations Society of America for community relations, events and observances and event planning.
“I learned so many things at Baker through studying mass media,” Kelsey said. “I was involved in a lot of things at TV and newspaper. It has been a seamless transition and natural fit for me.”
Kelsey credits an internship for leading to the full-time job.
“An internship and making contacts with other people are the reasons I received the position,” she said. “I now oversee our internship program at Parris and mentor the interns.”
Before her current career, Kelsey had dreams of being a sideline reporter for football games. She interned at Channel 6 in Lawrence until deciding on public relations.
“It’s exactly who I am and I discovered a career field that I enjoy,” she said.
The Rockeys will celebrate their second anniversary in June. They reside in Olathe, midway between their jobs in Lawrence and Kansas City, Mo.