Home > Editor Profiles, finals > Learning to write and sell paved the way for Pavelka

Learning to write and sell paved the way for Pavelka

By Alexis Libal
University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Mary “”Maggie Pavelka believes writing is a skill transferable to any job.

As a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Mary “Maggie” Pavelka was confident she didn’t want to go into traditional advertising work.

 And she didn’t.

 Instead, she has worked for nonprofits, the Peace Corps and, now, a consulting firm in Washington, D.C.

Pavelka was born and raised a Husker.  She attended Lincoln Southeast High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations.  

On campus, she took advantage of opportunities for paid internships and believes that other students should too.  One of her internships was marketing with the UNL athletic department while another was at the Lied Center doing events and outreach.

The skills she learned in those internships applied to to her jobs after college. Learning to write well and acquiring other skills as a student helped lead her to where she is today. 

“I could write and talk to anybody,” Pavelka said.  “I think those two hard and soft skills are incredibly powerful in whatever you want to go into.”

Pavelka’s first job out of college was at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (an advocacy and outreach organization for type one diabetes).  At the foundation, she did a lot event planning and volunteer management.  She applied her design and creative thinking skills to recreate the website.  She also got experience with hosting events, meetings and radio interviews.   

After working with the foundation, Pavelka’s next journey was in West Africa with the U.S. Peace Corps for two years.  She didn’t know she would end up living as far away from Lincoln as she does now, but she did know she wanted international experience.  

For the past five years, Pavelka has lived in Washington D.C., working for Deloitte.   Most people know Deloitte for its tax and audit branch.  However, she works in the consulting arm of Deloitte, which assists businesses.   As a manager, she helps her team of employees become better writers and designers.

“One of my best assets during college, and I didn’t know it at the time, was that I had friends across every major,” Pavelka said.  “D.C. was a place I figured out might be right for me because a heck of a lot of those people I knew ended up here too.  And again, it wasn’t on my radar until after school. I think that’s the best thing students at any school can do is understand where everyone is headed.”

Pavelka said the change in media has had an effect on her job.  Her team is often given the task of assisting with digital media management.  They have created new approaches for clients seeking media help.  It’s important to build a workforce that understands digital content.

“I believe there is less focus on social media as one thing and far more of an attempt to understand the digital landscape, which is far more inclusive.”

She does not know if D.C., is her final stop as her firm is looking to expand, which may lead to more opportunities for her.   She loves being able to lead teams and sees herself as an editor for her team.  The team works hard to engage closely with their clients.  They want to produce the best material possible for their clients.

She was a big fan of taking classes in and outside of her major because she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do.  For example, one of her favorite courses was art history.

Pavelka said students should take classes in and outside of the journalism school, which will give them transferable skills.


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