Ever since he started thinking about his career path, Khalil Bullock KLN '18 knew that he wanted to amplify the voices of Philadelphia's communities with his work. His love for interpersonal communication was evident while he pursued a degree from Klein College of Media and Communication in strategic communication with a concentration in public relations. Now, following graduation and two years working in the corporate realm, he has transitioned into a new role as the Urban League of Philadelphia's manager of administration and communication, in which he hopes to bring in increased engagement from the city's residents, especially young people.
Bullock's interest in public relations began when he realized that he wanted to broadcast the talents of his creative friends and peers. He views public relations as a vehicle for storytelling and carrying real change. After graduating from the Community College of Philadelphia with an associate's degree in communication studies, he moved on to Klein and found that his classes were useful in expanding the skills he needed for his field of choice. Gregg Feistman, assistant chair and associate professor of practice in the Public Relations Department, was impressed by Bullock's drive when he instructed him as a student.
"He was a really, really, really terrific student," Feistman says. "Very enthusiastic, very curious, always asking questions; [he] seemed very eager to learn and seemed to grasp things pretty easily."
Bullock's various internships helped him to determine what direction he wanted to pursue in his professional career. Right before graduating in 2018, he was introduced to the Urban League of Philadelphia through a public relations internship.
"When I worked there as an intern, I just loved how much of a family Urban League was; I loved how much they care for underserved communities and I loved how they made a way out of no way for so many families who are in poverty and just didn't grow up in the best neighborhoods," says Bullock.
David Brown, assistant professor of instruction in the Public Relations Department, was introduced to Bullock because of his connection to the Urban League. Brown was heavily involved in the organization as a young professional and sustaining member, and admires Bullock's aspirations for the Philadelphia chapter. He says that Bullock is helping to bring a fresher image to the National Urban League — which was founded in 1910 — showcasing it as an organization that welcomes young people who want to make a difference through professionalism, social activism and community service.
"That's exactly I think where Khalil is going to excel because he not only has a really good handle on the issues, but he also has a tremendous talent in communicating across various demographics," says Brown.
Although Bullock enjoyed his internship at the Urban League, he decided to make a switch from the nonprofit sector to corporate public relations. After graduating from Klein he worked with Tierney, a celebrated full-service communications agency headquartered in Philadelphia, for two years. However, he found that his interests were better aligned with non-profit work where he could make stronger connections with others. This realization brought him back to the organization that made a lasting impact on his life.
In his current role, Bullock manages the Urban League of Philadelphia's president and CEO Andrea Custis by handling her scheduling and other administrative affairs. In the communication realm, he assists Custis by prepping her for interviews and other public events while crafting press releases and taking charge of the chapter's social media.
"I'm happy to be able to take everything I learned from Temple and still do everything I love," Bullock says. "I didn't go to school for administration but I did go to school for the communication part … And I have Temple to thank for that because of the great program and the strategic communication department that prepared me for everything that I'm working on right now."
Bullock looks forward to the journey ahead as he works to discover how to best serve Philadelphia. With recent nationwide protests led by young people against police brutality and racial injustices, he hopes that he can contribute to the meaningful action and engagement sure to come in the city.