By: Paige Griffee

Deciding on a specific major can be tricky for many students, however, Jay Alford’s path to discovering her calling came very unexpectedly.

Alford, a senior public relations major, has been involved in several areas of school over the course of her academic career such as being captain of the Mystics Dance Team, being a Students of Color Initiative mentor and founding the Missouri Western Dance Company.

Alford started her college career at Lincoln University in Jefferson City but when things didn’t turn out as planned she returned to her hometown of St. Joseph. After working multiple jobs in areas such as retail, serving and counseling Alford realized that’s not what she wanted to do with her life.

Alford, who started at Western in 2015, said she changed her major five times before deciding on public relations. Her interesting journey began with the relationship she has with her grandmother.

She and her grandmother bonded through watching the TV show Wheel of Fortune together.

In 2017, they auditioned to be on the show, having high hopes they would get a call back.

As luck would have it, they got the call and shortly after got on a plane to Florida.

The filming of Wheel of Fortune took place at Disney World, where Alford had the chance to speak to one of the producers of the well-known show about how she got into her field of work.

She realized the producer had also been a public relations major, sparking her interest in career options.

Having this opportunity reminded Alford of whom she is and encouraged her to continue in the field of public relations. She loves talking to people and networking-a great combination for the field of work she’d like to go into.

She shared some pointers for anyone who is having a hard time discovering what it is that they want to do with the rest of their lives.

“My honest advice would be don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Alford said. “Shadow people to figure out what it is you love.”