Public Relations Major to Speak at URI Commencement Ceremony
Let’s congratulate Colin Rumbel, the 2017 Commencement Speaker. Who is Colin and what makes him tick? As a freshman, Colin Rumbel watched the student speaker of the University of Rhode Island’s 2015 commencement ceremony take the stage and re-energize a very tired crowd. From that day forward, Colin knew he wanted to speak on that stage when he graduated in 2017. Through his four years at URI, Colin made sure to write down every great memory and saved them for his speech at commencement.
As a public relations and communication studies major he aims to remind his peers to believe in themselves and give themselves the credit they deserve because they are URI graduates. Colin spent his four years at URI setting high goals for himself and he encourages his peers to leave URI and do the same. Colin says, “Don’t let realistic expectations get in the way of your aspirations.” And Colin did just that.
Colin has some advice for incoming freshman and he said, “Keep your door open both figuratively and physically, get to know new people and experience new things.” During his time at URI Colin followed his own advice by being an orientation leader, an active member of his fraternity, and was involved in various community service projects.
So, what’s next for Colin? After Commencement, Colin will be considering his career options in the communication and public relations field.
A special congratulations to Colin!
Touching base with PR program graduate
Alexandria Haughey graduated from URI in 2013 and since then has been very successful in the public relations and marketing industry. Shortly after graduation Alexandria began working at Conde Nast as an advertising assistant with Allure Magazine. Since then she has worked her way up and is now an account executive for Conde Naste’s women’s collection which include the magazines Glamour, Allure, Brides, Teen Vogue, and SELF.
As an account executive she works to sell advertising for both print and digital media specifically ads for food, beverage, and spirits. Every work day is different for Alexandria so she has to be ready to adapt to the fast paced changes of her work environment. She spends most of her time outside of the office meeting with clients and working on various advertising and PR campaigns. Alexandria has steadily worked her way up in the company and she says, “Be bold and brave and not afraid to let everyone know you want to move up.”
Alexandria encourages students to take advantage of the resources they can find on campus. Going to see guest speakers are great networking opportunities that can open the door to many more opportunities. Alexandria recommends that students do as many internships as you can because they will also lead to great networking opportunities and experience.
PR student uses classroom skills to help build an online presence.
Rebecca DiLorenzo is a public relations student who has been steadily building an online presence in the fashion world. Rebecca started a beauty and fashion blog in February of 2016 as an assignment for one of her writing classes. Rebecca says, “I had always dreamed of becoming a fashion blogger, and I never really had to courage to get out to try it. I am so happy and grateful that I did, because I love it.”
Rebecca knows that social media is a growing part of the PR industry and she is learning more and more about it through her blogging. Her experience at URI has helped her develop her written communication skills which allows her to connect with her followers. Her blog can be found at allthingsbeauty.me/
Rebecca has also paired her personal experience as a blogger with professional experience from her various internships. She has worked running the social media for a small boutique called Elle G. She has also had an internship with RMO which is a small Rhode Island PR firm. Rebecca currently is working with Seventh House PR in New York city. Regarding her internships Rebecca says, “They teach you so many things you wouldn’t learn in class to prepare you for the real world.”
This summer Mystic, Connecticut is the center of make-believe murder investigation, and one of our own public relations students is a part of it. Eric Cohen is working on the set of TV show written by Victor Franko this summer as a PR intern. He is working collaboratively with a team running the social media pages for the film. Together, the team has created Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter pages.
Eric is completely in charge of the Twitter page for the film and his work can be seen here, https://twitter.com/MysticTheSeries. Eric works daily to come up with creative content to help populate the page. Eric has always been interested in the arts specifically and this internship solidifies his decision to pursue a career in the film industry. Eric’s main passion is music, but he is discovering the film industry given this internship.
Eric continues to be very excited about this internship. Passionate about the arts, this internship allows Eric to showcase his social media skills and actively contribute to the success of this unique film all about a murder mystery
PR student juggles two internships to get closer to achieving his goals
If we know anything about public relations students at URI, it’s that they are masters at balancing a heavy work load. PR student Owen Sammarone is no exception. This summer, Owen is balancing two internships in the communication field. One with Seton Hall University athletics and the other with Rutgers University athletics.
Owen has always wanted to work in the sports industry and he made sure to get his foot in the door early. His freshman year he took a trip to the Ryan Center looking for a job with the athletics department. Owen has since worked the head student manager for the URI men’s basketball team.
His varied experience with a Big 10 and a Big East school will help him achieve his long term goals. After graduating, Owen hope’s his internship experience will lead him to a job as a graduate student assistant for a college basketball team as he works towards his MBA. He says, “I’ve always been interested in sports, so I want to be around something I enjoy in my future.”
A graduating PR student has landed a job with iHeart Media through networking
The farewell to URI is bittersweet for Holly Crenca, a 2017 graduate from the PR program. She is moving on to an incredible job with iHeart Media as an account executive. As an account executive, she will put her communication skills to the test by developing new business opportunities for the company and maintaining client relationships. iHeart Media is a global media company specializing in radio, digital and on-demand entertainment and information services.
Holly first heard about the open position through a contact she met by networking. He had previously helped her get a position working with the New York Jets and when this opportunity arose he contacted Holly directly for an interview. Holly says, “Having a network is super important and can open many doors for you”. After going through four interviews Holly secured the position with iHeart Media.
Although Holly is parting with URI she has some wise words for new students to remember. Holly says, “Work hard. It’s not easy work hard and get everything you can out of it because you will be rewarded in the end. Work hard, stay positive, and be hopeful.” Holly encourages students to get involved and make connections just like she will continue to do at iHeart Media.
Let’s wish Holly the best of luck at her new job!
PR Student has an unforgettable internship experience with Rockatorium Records
When public relations student Angelina LaCarruba received an email describing the internship at Rockatorium Records she thought it was her lucky day. A public relations internship that combined her love of music and her interest in photography was the perfect fit for Angelina. This past spring Angelina took behind-the-scenes photos of concerts and created weekly posters for upcoming Rockatorium artists.
Angelina had the opportunity to participate in something really special during her internship and that was recording a song with an artist, Andrew “Moon” Bain. This experience helped Angelina find a focused career path for after graduation. She says “This internship really solidified what I want to do in PR and that is work in the music and entertainment industry.”
This internship allowed Angelina the opportunity to explore her interests and improve upon the skills she has gained at URI. She was able to build a close relationship with Ray Gennari, the owner of Rockatorium Records. Building relationships in the professional world is the main reason Angelina chose public relations as her major. She says, “I want my work to be based on people and growing relationships.” And she did just that.
PR Student: Rachel Beusee-Kauffman
As a triple major, URI student Rachel Beusee-Kauffman has a lot on her plate. Balancing the work of her film/media, communication studies and public relations majors is a big task, but Rachel handles it with ease. Not only does Rachel have a rigorous academic schedule, but she also is actively involved on campus. Rachel has been a RAM in the freshman dorms since she was a sophomore and is currently working in the English department’s office for the summer.
Throughout her time at URI Rachel has also had a few internships that has helped her gain experience in the PR field. Last fall, she worked with Rockatorium Records. This past spring, she worked with Narragansett Beer Company. Her internship with Narragansett Beer Company has resulted in a job as a promoter. Rachel has worked hard to be a well-rounded student with a variety of experience and skills. She says, “I chose my majors because I am interested in them and they will help make me marketable in any field I choose.”
Rachel has great relationships with professors within her majors thanks to her involvement on campus. Having a rapport with her professors has helped her become successful. She thinks that other PR students should get involved on campus so they can benefit the way she has. She says, “PR can be whatever you make it, so get involved and try new things to help you figure out what you want to with your degree.”
Public relations student chooses interesting topic for independent study.
A public relations student, Miranda Luce chose an interesting topic for her independent study this past semester. Miranda researched the damaging effects of tourism on the Great Barrier Reef. This an interesting stance to take since PR professionals often work to improve tourism, but Miranda felt it was important to note the problems so we can fix them.
Miranda chose this topic because she has always had an interest in marine sciences. She actually started at URI as a marine biology major. In her Sophomore year, she decided to change her major. After speaking with different advisors she found that PR fit her other interests well. That was that, she declared her major as PR.
After graduation Miranda is looking to go into advertising in the medical field, but she can see herself working in the environmental conservation field. She thinks PR would be a great way for her to join her interests of marine biology and writing. Miranda says, “PR can be a positive way to educate people about their impact on our surroundings.”
When senior public relations major Gary Azera called the Narragansett Beer Company asking if they had any open internship positions, he was thrilled when he was offered an interview. As the marketing intern, Gary is often asked to contribute his ideas and thoughts to his supervisors about their new products.
Gary’s main responsibility is managing the Narragansett Beer email and responding to customer inquiries. He also helps manage their social media accounts.
When Gary was enrolled in PRS340 with Regina Bell, he was assigned a project where he analyzed Narragansett Beer by researching the company’s target audiences, products, marketing tools, and history. That project opened his eyes to this company as a possible future employer. “When I showed the person interviewing me my analysis, it was apparent they appreciated my knowledge about the company,” Azeera says.
Finding an internship can be difficult and frustrating at times, but Gary’s advice is inspiring to anyone in the Harrington School. “Don’t give up. It can be difficult to find an internship sometimes. If you don’t get hired, just keep on trying. Make sure you are applying for positions that you’re interested in and that you really want. Internships are very hands-on, and they can help you find out what you like and do not like to do.”
Senior public relations and writing and rhetoric major Bill Matson landed an internship with TRP Associates LLC. as the Proposal Writer and Marketing/Sales liaison for his firm. Bill is in charge of writing complex sales proposals for every RFP the company has responded to since January. Bill also collaborates with the marketing firm that TRP hired for rebranding the company’s image both locally and nationally.
Bill and his boss play at the same golf course. One day, they struck up a conversation about business when his boss mentioned he was looking for someone to write proposals for contracts. Bill shared he is double majoring in public relations and writing and rhetoric. That conversation resulted in Bill writing a proposal; the first step in the interview process. Bill was hired.
According to Bill, the main thing he has learned from his classes is to always put himself in a position to win. “I’ve always strived to be at the top of my classes grade-wise, and that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t taken control of my own academic success, especially in group work settings. My public relations and writing teachers have held me to high standards, and I always try to exceed them,” says Matson.
The best advice Bill has for Harrington School students is to network as much as possible. “Do anything in your power to make a personal connection, whether it’s with your client or your boss. Push yourself to the limit, and take on challenges. Develop some business sense and experience, because it will be invaluable. Public relations and business are directly related, so go out there and find an industry that you can benefit from with your skill set,” says Matson.
Laura Giarrusso -NBC 10
Laura Giarrusso, a senior public relations and film double major, is currently interning at NBC 10 at the assignments desk. Laura has been lucky enough to be sent out with two different reporters and photographers to complete stories that later aired on the news. Much to her delight, she is able to shadow producers of the 5:00 p.m. show which provides her the opportunity to learn more about producing and the news environment. Another aspect of her internship involves taking calls from Rhode Island residents about possible stories. Laura then refers appropriate stories to her supervisor for final selection. Laura continues to be appreciative of the opportunity to be part of the process in determining what stories will eventually appear on NBC10.
Last semester, Laura was enrolled in PRS 340; one of the assignments was conducting an informational interview with a professional in a career field that related to public relations. She reached out to a producer at NBC 10, Suzanne Nadeau, and conducted an informational interview. Nadeau suggested that Laura apply for an internship at the assignment desk.
According to Laura, she feels that all of her classes have prepared her for the real world in some way. “The most significant classroom experience that has helped me in my internship is the level of professionalism that some of my classes have asked of me. My busy class schedule has also taught me the importance of time management in the professional world and how important it is to be organized,” says Giarrusso.
The best advice Laura has for Harrington School students is to never wait for someone to tell you what to do. “Don’t think that an internship or your dream job is just going to fall into your lap. You need to make it happen. Ask questions, even if you think they’re irrelevant to what you need to do. Be in the moment and think about what’s going to make you happy, not what’s going to make you the most money.”