Meet a Hodger: Amanda Christian

Whether she is coaching travel volleyball or seeing her favorite alternative bands in concert, Amanda Christian has her finger on RVA’s pulse. After graduating from JMU in 2020 with a degree in communications, she joined The Hodges Partnership as an intern, then came back to join the ranks of former-interns-turned-Hodgers this fall.

With unwavering ambition, joining our team most recently from Virginia’s Wine Board, she has already propelled herself into a successful career in public relations. Without further ado, if you haven’t already, please meet Amanda Christian.

Why did you decide on PR?

I’ve always loved writing, so I first thought of journalism. In high school, I was a part of an internship program where students had the opportunity to follow a mentor for a semester, and I did it all four semesters, starting with the sports editor at my local paper. I enjoyed it, but I wanted to use my creativity in other ways, too. The next year, I assisted the Communications & PR Director at Frederick County Public Schools and got to see the broader side of communications. Both mentors went to JMU, so when I was deciding on schools, I was aware of how great the program was. I called the dean of the School of Communications at JMU and talked through some of the opportunities there like PRSSA and Bluestone Communications, the student-run PR firm, and was sold.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I’m a huge football fan (NFL Saints) and I go to a lot of concerts whenever I can! This fall, I went to more than 15 in and around RVA. I also play, coach, and ref at Richmond Volleyball Club. I’ve played sports all my life, so when I moved to Richmond two years ago, I joined a full-time team and now play twice a week in addition to coaching a boys travel team.

Favorite food spots?

I honestly don’t know if I could choose. I am a huge foodie and I live in Scott’s Addition, so I’m surrounded by great food. Some of my favorite nearby places are Fat Dragon, Wood and Iron, Stella’s Grocery and Zorch Pizza in Carytown.

What did you love most about JMU?

It sounds cheesy but the PR community. It was so close-knit and I got to know the faculty and students really well. I still have professors that I keep in touch with. I was also in the Honors College, which is another tight-knit community, so the connections were really great.

What advice would you give your younger self regarding this career?

I would give anyone who’s just starting out this advice: Value and foster the connections you make along the way. PR is all about relationships. Find a couple of strong mentors and soak up as much as you can from them. PR professionals have so much to learn from one another and those relationships often lead to more opportunities for success down the road.

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