Hi, my name is Tysonn McKinnon. I am a recent college graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and a minor in marketing from Auburn University, and this is my self-made website and ePortfolio. Welcome!

I was born in San Diego, Calif. Throughout my childhood, if I wasn't in school, I could be found engaged in Cub Scout activites, on a baseball diamond, somewhere reading or on a beach. I love the beach. It's like my second home.

When I was 12 years old, my family moved to the small town of Anniston, Ala. As you can probably imagine, this was a huge culture shock. Going from a bustling metropolis inhabited by millions to a sleepy town of less than 25,000? Yeah, that took some getting used to. To be honest, I never fully made the adjustment.

In high school, I worked and wrote. Writing, which had just been kind of something fun to do back when I was younger, became my primary creative outlet in a town that didn't offer much in the way of diversity. Always a dreamer, I wrote stories about everything from the future life I envision for myself to superheroes I created. It was also in high school that I really began to discover the full power of the Internet. Not having home access to a computer, I would make pilgrimages to the local library to soak up everything I could about the Internet. I became obsessed with customizing my Myspace page (that was the thing back then), and in the process, taught myself the foundations of HTML. This would later prove invaluable, as this website demonstrates today.

Fast forward a few years and I am now a proud graduate of Auburn University, a place that has been like a third home to me for four years. While in college, I gained so many amazing experiences, unbelievably great friends and new skills that it overwhelms me to think of it all today. My 15-year-old self, sitting in a corner with a notebook and dreaming of my future, would be proud of the person I am today.

At Auburn, I accomplished things in life I never would have thought possible... I experienced everything from having multimillionaire entertainers and politicians introduce themselves to me to having thousands of people read words I wrote for the campus newspaper to attending a sold-out poetry reading by the one and only Dr. Maya Angelou. I met childhood idols such as Bill Nye the Science Guy, cheered on the football team to its first national championship in more than half a century and had a one-on-one talk with actor Kenan Thompson of Saturday Night Live about French fries and the pressures of fame.

I learned so much I never would have expected. Originally a marketing major, I thought I'd leave college having read a few Shakespeare plays, knowing how to entice people to buy things and not much else. Instead, I learned skills ranging from tie tying to creating media kits using programs like InDesign and Photoshop.

I believe that the courses I have taken – which include Writing for Public Relations, Newswriting and Style and Design in Public Relations – have helped prepare me for success in the real world. I now know how to write not just as a form of entertainment, but if I need to whip up some press releases or brochures, I can do that, too.

The late, great Steve Jobs is one of my personal inspirations. He showed me that it is possible to have a real and profound impact on the world if you stick to your vision and dare to think a little differently.

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.... About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things.... They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." - Steven Paul Jobs

Fun Facts

I've gotten business advice from the founder of ESPN.

In the fall of 2011, ESPN founder and former president Bill Rasmussen came to my Auburn University to speak about the early days of his now multinational, multibillion-dollar company. After his talk, he welcomed students to take pictures and ask him questions. I asked him for advice regarding starting a business. He told me to never let go of my dreams and to tell everyone I can about them.

I've worked hospitality events for Grammy and Emmy-winning entertainers.

As a member of the student-led programming group University Program Council, I've shopped for, fed and provided amenities to Grammy-winning pop band Train and Emmy-winning educator Bill Nye, among others.

I was a member of five different campus organizations, worked three part-time jobs and was elected to three leadership positions during my senior year of
college - all while making the Dean's List.

My senior year was a hectic time. I can honestly say I didn't sleep much. But I kept my composure, aimed high and accomplished what I set out to achieve. My only regret? I made one B.