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Danielle Chylinski '17 Harnesses Positive Potential of Social Media

By Kenneth Stratton '19 MONDAY, JULY 1, 2019 - 12:00 PM WNE100

There’s not a day that goes by where political tweets aren’t making headlines and family feuds aren’t taking place on Facebook. In the age of social media, a large part of life is now spent typing away and staring at screens.

For Danielle Chylinski ’17, social media has shaped and defined her career. She understands the negative downsides, but believes when used positively, it allows people to connect, share stories and better the lives of others.

“We have been handed this piece of gold...to be able to share ideas, perspectives, positive sayings, experiences, so we can learn, build and grow from one another and just live our best lives,” Chylinski said of social media. “There is so much negative but we cannot let it consume our time and energy,” she added.

Chylinski graduated from Western New England with a degree in Communication – Public Relations, and made the most of her Golden Bear experience from day one.

“I was touring colleges with my mom and within minutes of being on campus at Western New England University, she turned to me and goes ‘This is so you. You need to be here,’” Chylinski recalled.

While on campus, Chylinski worked in the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development, served as a first year seminar assistant, an orientation group leader, and an open house associate. She also established an online presence for the school newspaper, The Westerner, and was president of Student Senate.

“I’ll never forget being student senate president,” Chylinski shared. “I was terrified, happy, excited, proud, worried…feeling every emotion as I said ‘yes, I’ll run,’” she recalled.

Chylinski maintained a full and busy schedule as an undergraduate, and said she couldn’t imagine a post-grad lifestyle any other way. After graduation, she joined the Alzheimer’s Association’s Connecticut Chapter as a communications and public policy coordinator, quickly earning the promotion to communications manager.

“All of my good habits that I gained in college quickly shined through in my daily job tasks once I was hired full time,” Chylinski remembers. “Western New England University built that confidence in me to own what I was doing, my work, my presentation, and myself,” she said.

During her time with the Alzheimer’s Association, Chylinski held large leadership positions to assist in organizing and planning several Walks to End Alzheimer’s, with a goal of over a million dollars. Responsibilities included hiring interns, working with local media partners in Connecticut, securing emcees, sharing stories on social media, and overall, making sure the programs ran smoothly.

“My main goal was just to reach as many people as I possibly could. I knew the power of social media and I wanted to fully use that to spread the word about what Alzheimer’s disease is, who it impacts, how prevalent it is today in our world, and how so important it is that we find a cure,” said Chylinski.

Chylinski remains involved with the Association, serving part time as a communications associate, but now works full time as the promotions and marketing manager of the minor league baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats. She said that “never in a million years” did she expect to work for a baseball team, or even in the sports industry.

“The best thing about the Yard Goats is that it’s so much more than just baseball,” said Chylinski. She elaborated, saying “each individual is coming to Dunkin Donuts Park to have a great experience, and that’s what makes my job so awesome. I am tailoring and creating content for every one; whether you’re 12 or 60, boy or girl, a big sports fan or someone who’s just along for the ballpark food and drinks.”

Chylinski believes businesses that don’t adapt to and accept an online presence won’t be able to make it long-term in today’s environment. “People are now looking for experiences, and if they feel that your company won’t give them a positive one, then ‘thank you, next,’” she proclaimed. “Social media now plays a very large and quick role in a consumer’s decision-making process,” she added.

“I’ve always seen the value in social media, social networking, having a significant online social presence, and being aware of the impact and inspiration that you can have by just being genuine and authentic when sharing your story,” Chylinski said.

At work and at home, Chylinski harnesses social media for good – whether it’s sharing an inspirational quote on her Instagram story, or showing off Dunkin' Donuts Park on Facebook. Social media has strongly influenced her career and she’s excited to see how it will continue to shape her future.