by Juliana Dellamarggio
For senior public relations and communication studies double major, Kristen Colucci, graduation is only weeks away, but she feels ready to meet the challenges of the real world. She has had “probably over 20 jobs” her whole life, but has found her passion in the boating industry.
Colucci’s first internship was with Raskin Productions working under Patricia Raskin, a local broadcaster and producer in the fall of her junior year. Raskin was producing her own radio show and started a podcast just as Colucci started her internship. There, Colucci was tasked with promoting the podcast, writing her bi-monthly newsletter, and coming up with social media content. She readily admits,however, that she had “no clue” what she was doing since it was her first-ever experience in the communications world.
In that same semester, Colucci was enrolled in COM 351, Organizational Communication Skills, taught by adjunct professor Gail Alofsin. In class, she not only learned all about the world of communications from different professionals who came into the class, but learned more about what Alofsin did at Newport Harbor Corporation, where she is the Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Community Relations for the Newport International Boat Show. Colucci approached Alofsin about a potential internship and, in the summer of 2018, she got started working alongside Alofsin planning the 2018 Boat Show.
“Working for Gail was the catalyst for everything that has happened in my life and career,” Colucci said. “I really found my niche in the boating industry and just loved how busy and fast-paced it was, and that I got to talk to so many different people.”
After her internship with Gail ended, Colucci began an internship with PMC Media Group, where she created social media content calendars for two accounts, compiled social posts, scheduled posts on Hootsuite, and wrote blogs for PMC.
Colucci went on the Career Rhode Trip to New York City during the winter J-term in 2019, which she credits as her most memorable moment during her time in the Harrington School. While on the trip, she was able to network with many professionals from over 30 companies like CNN, CBS, and Thomson Reuters. On the last day in New York, the group visited Condé Nast and met with Alexandria Haughey, account director of the company’s Beauty Collection and member of the Harrington School Executive Advisory Board. When Colucci spoke with her, she realized that the two had almost the exact same life, including being from the same hometown. In that moment, Colucci said it was the first time she thought it could be her working at Condé Nast, and realized she was ready for the next chapter.
While working with Alofsin, Colucci had the opportunity to connect with Jennifer Jones of 55 Mulberry, a boutique marketing firm that handles marine clients. Colucci and Jones instantly connected and Colucci began working remotely for 55 Mulberry. She was then asked by Jones to help work with her on the Harbor Point Boat Show, a luxury boat show in Stamford, Connecticut. Colucci travels to Stamford two days out of the week and does a little bit of everything for the show, including site logistics, food and beverage coordination, and booking entertainment. Colucci was even able to organize and speak at a press conference for the show, which she notes was an incredible experience.
After graduation, Colucci plans to continue working at 55 Mulberry, as well as helping continue to plan the Harbor Point Boat Show. She credits the Harrington School for giving her many different opportunities to network with professionals, including on the Career Rhode Trip and the Harrington Mentoring Program and encourages students to take advantage of any opportunities that are given to them.
“If you get any opportunity to meet with someone or apply for something – do it,” Colucci said. “You never know what will come of it.”