Future PR Stars List: Student Edition

[tweetmeme source=”worob” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

I realize it’s sort of a contradiction to write a post about future stars with a reference to a video from 20 years ago, but I love 80s rock music and this is what I chose 🙂

Over the last several weeks, I reached out to students with many postings via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook in an effort to put together a list of future PR stars. Those that contacted me, and there was approximately 75 students, were told to send me a 1-2 paragraph submission on why they are a future star. In the spirit of April Fools, one thing I failed to mention to them was that anyone who submitted a response would make the list.

While many showed interest, only 26 actually took the time to write a submission, and those students are highlighted today. However, I do not want to penalize any students that may have missed the post or simply didn’t have the time to respond (though I gave them three weeks..). So if anyone still wants to be included, I’ll make this a running list and you can reach out to me via Twitter for more information.

Without further ado, here are the submissions from 26 students who are future PR stars:

Elisabeth Rosario – @emrosario – I once had dreams of becoming a Financial Advisor. This may not sound very glamorous to most people but helping people manage their finances was, and still is, fulfilling to me. However, I eventually discovered that what I truly love about my job at the bank is that I get to interact with different people every day, building and maintaining positive relationships with them. How else would they trust me to help them?  I do still work there, but luckily something clicked this year just as I was about to officially declare my major at Baruch College. I realized that much of the skill set necessary to excel at my current occupation, can be applied to the public relations field. This includes communicating clearly, establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships with the public, and understanding psychology. Currently I am an intern for a boutique PR agency, and I am enrolled in a public relations course at school, both of which are helping me gain experience during my last semester of college. Needless to say, I am enthusiastic about jumping into the industry and applying what I’ve learned when I graduate this May!

Kimberly Ciesla@kimkabob – Passion is a feeling many professionals look for their entire lives. I was fortunate to find it at my first public relations event my freshman year of college. But what makes my passion for PR different is the lifelong goal I’ve had to do something great for my industry. More recently, I’ve realized my passion can be funneled into changing the skeptical outlook on the industry, even if it has to happen one company at a time. The challenges and constant changes in the industry makes PR appealing for someone like me who loves to learn. But most importantly, I care about my image. You can’t truly do public relations and manage brands and reputations if you don’t first care about your own. A junior at Rowan University, I was recently elected to the 2010-2011 Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Committee, the most prestigious student public relations organization made up of 307 chapters in the U.S. and Argentina. I’ve worked my way from public relations student, intern and general member of PRSSA to a leader—first on a chapter level, and soon to be on a national level. Throughout my time in PRSSA, I’ve pushed through adverse problems and have created a more unified chapter and executive board team by remaining true to my leadership strategies and mission to provide value to our members. I’m excited to spread my enthusiasm for PR, and to show the profession what I can offer upon my graduation in May 2011. (Here’s my blog if you want to include it: http://prperfection.blogspot.com).

Debbie Ebalobo@debalobo – How many PR students have headed one of the largest PRSSA chapters in the country, given away 2000 Butterfingers as one of four Butterfinger FUNterns in the country, lived in the Big Apple working at a creative agency, and have had over six internships? I’ve done all that and more in the two years that I’ve been a PR student. My name is Debbie Ebalobo and I hope that you will consider me as a future star in PR.  Along with my various internships, I’m also an advocate of diversity in communications. I’ve founded over three diversity related organizations at college. Moreover, in my two years as a PR student, I’ve been the president for three organizations on campus ranging from the Asian Student Association to the UGA chapter of PRSSA.  I am currently a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Comparative Literature and a New Media Certificate.

Allison Brill@abrill – I am a well-rounded, experienced soon-to-be college graduate. During the past four years, I have worked in fund-raising, event planning, journalism and new media. Through these varied experiences, I have can offer employers a varied skill set, mold to client’s varied needs. For more details about my past experience, please check out my LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/allisoncbrill – I am passionate about social media! Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and  location-based applications offer real-time case studies of successful PR and the social community has served as another classroom. With today’s immediacy of information sharing, social media skills are ESSENTIAL for success in the communications industry and I am confident in my understanding of the social media environment. I give back. In addition to a rigorous academic schedule and internship experience, I am also highly involved in my community as a member of the largest campus philanthropy in Georgia and a highly selective leadership program. I am also involved in UGA’s chapter of PRSSA, serving on the 2009 UGAConnect Social Media and Public Relations Conference planning committee (www.ugaconnect2009.wordpress.com) and PRWorkout 2010’s Social Media Panel. Experience, passion and community outreach are crucial ingredients for future  success. Mix in unyielding optimism (which, in this economy, is the only constant for a college senior…) and I am well on my way to “Future PR Stardom!”

Kristin Ballard@kristinballard – This semester I competed in the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition, for which our team implemented a grassroots, hyperlocal campaign for the U.S. Census Bureau in Athens, Ga. During the informative research phase, I designed and (with the help of my team) deployed both an online and an oral bilingual survey that measured levels of trust, knowledge and supportof the United States census. After determining the focus and direction of our campaign, I led our robust social media effort- utilizing Facebook, Twitter and YouTube- to raise awareness about the 2010 census and its importance. Our campaign reached more than 700,000 individuals through media placements and more than 167,400 individuals through events and speaking engagements. I stand out among my peers because of my excellent written communication skills and extensive social media knowledge, both of which I utilize while working at my internship at the Georgia World Congress Center Authority in Athlanta, GA. At the GWCCA, I write press releases, manage our social media accounts, design brochures and fact sheets, assist with event-day coverage, communicate with media during press conferences and develop talking points for the Authority and its three venues. I believe I am a rising PR star because I know the ins and outs of writing, researching, pitching and deploying public relations and social media campaigns.

Zoe Oreck@zoeoey – Currently, I am living in Washington DC with a UGA program called the Washington Semester Program. I am interning for Senator Mary Landrieu while taking an independently study. For this class, I  have started a blog about social media and politics called “Politics and the City.” Though I have never blogged before, I continue to learn the ins and outs as well as develop a personal blogging style. To write this blog, I do research using YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Mashable and any other applicable social media outlets. For the subject of my posts I usually draw on current events, but most recently, I posted an interview with a new media coordinator for Johnny Isakson’s campaign. The reason I’m doing this blog is to show how social media is changing the face of politics, which I believe is an important subject for the future of public affairs. I am a junior PR major at Grady College of UGA. I cannot express how much this program has taught me. It’s given me the skills to pursue several PR internships and challenged me to be more active participant in extra curricular activities.Since my Sophomore year I have had two public relations internships with the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation and the New Orleans CVB. I have also worked with student-run public relations firm Creative Consultants. Through this organization I worked with Athens-based party planner, Epting Events and Ecuadorian non-profit, the Macquipucuna Foundation. From these opportunities, I have discovered all of the great things PR can accomplish for a company or organization of any size or purpose.

Mikinzie Stuart@Mikinzie – I’m not a PR student. I didn’t even choose public relations as my future career until the end of my junior year in college (I’m currently a fifth-year college student graduating May 2010). Most of my peers had 2-3 years of PR knowledge and experience before I even picked up a public relations book for the first time. Knowing that was intimidating, but it made me work that much harder to catch up to my peers. Recognizing how much I needed to learn, I reached out to and connected with both peers and professionals from across the nation. While the professionals in my network have given me a tremendous amount of advice, it is my peers that keep me motivated to try harder and be better. It is because of the things I have learned from my peers that has made me as successful as I have been in such a short amount of time. Learning from these up-and-coming PR rockstars has taught me how to rock along side of them. It is because of them that I am an up and coming PR star.

Samantha Ogborn – @SJOgborn – I want to start off by saying that I know nothing. I really don’t know anything! Not only have I been told this multiple times (let’s clarify – in mass student groups, not directed solely at me, thankfully) but I also really do believe this. Up until my senior year in college, I thought I was on the fast track to becoming an advertising aficionado. Yet my advertising internship last summer left me feeling confused and thinking “what now?” I wasn’t experiencing the exhilaration, energy, passion, all of the above. Then, not even by choice, I got caught up in the whirlwind that is PR.Where I once felt a void, I began to feel satisfied, and innately hungry for more at the same time. The past 6 months have been filled with mentoring and trial-and-error. While I might not know anything, I can guarantee that I’m a hard worker and absolute avid learner. My unrelenting interest for this industry is here to stay. So with that said, I’ve grown particularly fond of taking on sponge form as I strive to find a career that will teach me everything I need to know. I’m a great writer (slight…ok, big grammar freak) with integrity and drive. I love to bring comedic relief when necessary, or maybe not so necessary. I can stay productive under pressure and am not afraid to offer up ideas when needed. The point is – I possess what I’d like to think are viable qualities, now all I’m looking for is a teacher to take me to the next level!

Han Ma@han_ma – I am a Penn State senior majoring in public relations/advertising and international studies and my goal after graduation in May is to obtain an entry-level position at a PRWeek top 100 agency. To succeed in public relations, one must possess a flair for creativity, harnessed writing talent, persevering initiatives and the ability to effectively implement and sustain mutual relations. All of which are attributes that I feel I possess and have demonstrated throughout my career. Through my various experiences, I’ve had the opportunity to refine and expand upon my harnassed skill sets while gaining valuable insight in several different realms of PR (event planning, media relations, digital, corporate branding, and non-profit). Being an aspiring PR pro, one knows that the digital frontier is the revolution for the PR industry. With that said, I have an affinity for social media and all the sharing, learning, and networking it offers. But in addition to digital, I have interests in the sports and entertainment sector, as well as having always been a huge advocate of CSR and philanthropic endeavors (“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others” – Pericles).

Lois Paula Verzosa@lpverzosa – My name is Lois Paula Verzosa, a new media enthusiast with a passion for advocacy; an opportunity-driven, public relations pre-professional and leader with exposure in strategic corporate communications and relationship marketing in government and community relations. This has provided me exposure in the public sector, nonprofit, hospitality, health and tourism industries. Experience in strategic messaging for economic and environmental initiatives, tenant/consumer relations, aggressive community relations, and the development of relationships through online media advocacy are practices I can offer and wish to enhance. It’s become increasingly apparent that new age technology is what will dictate the socialization of a brand or an organization with its publics, and I’ve grown highly supportive of its power to enhance the profession. I respect discipline, and will always apply the theoretical foundations of public relations to its practice. But, I am a social engineer who embraces the evolution of public relations and the fields now integrated with it. Although I am still a novice professional, one thing is certain – that my passion to grow remains the same.  My sense of urgency and willingness to put forth all effort to bring honor to my work, as well as to those whom I am representing, is always of high value. I thrive on the success attained from being an influence in the execution of a vision, and am even more inspired when its purpose is fulfilled. 

Samantha McCain@samemac – I believe I will rock the PR industry as a newcomer because I know what it means to truly communicate with a person and/or group of people.  Listening and planning are two of the biggest skills to have as a PR professional – and will prove to be a gateway in my career.  I am driven, which means Iknow what I want and that is to make a difference and serve others through my passion for public relations.  Every one has a story – and I believe the best facet of PR is to tell that story. I also have a direct line to reality, allowing me to see the bigger picture while focusing on small details.  I know that I am not perfect and I do not fear making mistakes – it’s from these that we learn. All plans have a possibility of going awry, but having foresight and knowing possible results keep me on my toes!  I do not deserve nor am I entitled to anything; but I believe with amazing work ethic, I’ll be able to achieve what I desire.

Marissa Bentivoglio@MBenti – I would consider myself to be an up and coming PR pro because instead of simply being a student of PR for the last four years, I have been actively applying what I’ve been learning to projects with companies such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_wgC_RguQQ) to organizations including Dublin City Council. I’ve also assisted a variety of businesses and groups with PR and social media outside of class.  My enthusiasm and interest in what others are doing has lead to projects like setting up and writing the a blog for an international art fair stemming from a chocolate tour in Paris (http://hotartvip.wordpress.com/). I have applied my skills to businesses from the chocolate factory where I am currently interning (http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com) to a small geriatric care management business. I am constantly learning and networking. The important thing is that I know PR is not stagnant, so even though I am graduating in May from Champlain College, I will be always student of PR as the field evolves.

Bridgette Haxton@bhax – As a public relations junior, I’m learning the nuts and bolts of the industry. What sets me apart from the rest is my willingness to learn, confidence in myself and the output of my work along with the experience to prove it. I have interned at several places including: a small non-profit in Dallas serving as their community relations coordinator, Captain Hope’s Kids; Cause Branding at Richards Partners, the PR branch of the largest independent advertising agency, The Richards Group; and currently in the Office of Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry.  Slowing becoming social media savvy, I’m active on several networks including Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin and FourSquare. More than that, I’m observing and analyzing the ways organizations use the networks to accomplish set objectives. New to the blogging scene I’m attempting to create information useful to public relations students. Simply put, at the end of the day, I love public relations.

Rowena Briones@RLBriones – With five PR internships under my belt while in my undergrad (mostly in non-profit organizations), I decided to go straight to graduate school to pursue my master’s degree at the University of Maryland. While there, I not only studied PR, but I also practiced it, conducting PR activities for the Center for Risk Communication Research, along with working for various clients as a part-time research analyst for ICF Macro, a consulting firm. Now two years later, I have fallen in love with the academic side of public relations, wanting to conduct research to strengthen the practice of PR, along with teaching and mentoring students to be amazing future PR practitioners. Though I am about to graduate in May, I have decided to continue my education and pursue my Ph.D., while continuing to work in an in-house PR agency to enhance my skills. Thus, because of my various perspectives as a professional, student, and educator, I think I can bring something unique to table – both for PR education and the PR profession. 

Brittany James@Bitty_Boop – I am a PR star in the making because not only am I very enthusiastic about the development and learning of social media but I also enjoy teaching others the skills I have learned. Over the past year I have immersed myself into social media and along the way encouraged the use of tools like Twitter and Google Reader to my peers. Along with my involvement in social media, I have made great connections with people that are also in the PR industry, that have developed into relationships and sometimes resulted in face to face meetings. With each day, my eagerness to learn and grow with my peers and professionals increases. I am always up for a new challenge and employers should definitely take note to the tremendous potential I bring to the table.

Adam Burns – @adamburnspr – I am currently studying Public Relations at Leeds Metropolitan University and when I am not studying I am either running the PR department for our Students Union or working as the News Editor for national PR magazine Behind the Spin.  I am also a member of the Ptarmigan Bell Pottinger Academy a placement which I won in a competitive pitch between all PR students at my university.  My dream is to work in social media on campaigns that can change lives. My proudest achievement in PR is my Big Boys Should Cry campaign which aims to raise the awareness of mental health amongst young male students.  The campaign is in the process of being rolled out to every university counselling service in the U.K. We have already had an increase of male students attending counselling at Leeds Met of 50%. To view my E-portfolio please visit www.adamburnspr.weebly.com

Holly Hitchen@hhitchen31 – For the last two years I have worked hard to develop my pr skills. Through my internships with Duffy & Shanley (Providence, RI) and Cronin & Co. (Glastonbury, CT), as well as my volunteer work with Concepts for Adaptive Learning (New Haven, CT) I was given the opportunity to explore the ins and outs of public relations. I drafted and pitched press materials to local and national media, organized special events, and researched initiatives for clients including Deep Water Wind, Dorel Juvenile Group, and Brahmin Handbags. I also developed social media platforms for various clients at both agencies and over the last year have jumped into the world of social media. I believe social media will change the way public relations operates and therefore the relationships I am building with social media gurus will become invaluable over the next few years. Most importantly, I am able to take initiative with the projects given to me and complete them with a high degree of resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and reliability.  Unlike many communications professionals, I love chemistry and it is my love for science that has led me to the healthcare sector. My background in chemistry will provide me with a leg up on many of my peers who have focused solely on public relations and communications. I have a great deal of enthusiasm for the pr industry and can’t wait to combine my two passions – chemistry and public relations. I believe my combination of pr experience, self-sufficiency, and chemistry background makes me a rising star in the world of healthcare public relations.

Caitlin Heaney@caitlin_heaney – I’m graduating on May 16 from WVU with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish. I have a lot of experience in PR, I worked with WVU’s National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health in my PR class last year and now I’m doing PR for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Morgantown.  Last year I was the PR Director for Public Relations Student Society of America and this year I’m the Vice President, both of which have given me a lot of experience.  I have organized a Battle of the Bands last year and am working on one for this spring and all of the proceeds will be benefiting Relay for Life.  I’ve only been in this major for three years and in this short amount of time I’ve realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I love the feeling you get after putting together a successful event but I also love helping others, which is why I decided to volunteer with the American Cancer Society.  Cancer affects one in four people and if I can make the students of WVU aware of this then I feel like I have done my part.

Katherine Caringola@Pink_Katillac – A good PR “up-and-comer” should have experience, leadership qualities, an awareness of the world around them, confidence and be engaged in their industry. An exceptional PR “up-and-comer” should have all of these plus a passion for learning.  I have interned at Mullen Advertising and WQED Multimedia; I am the president of my school’s communication honor society, vice president of PRSSA and secretary of Advertising Club; I stay up-to-date on local, national and international news developments; I carry myself with pride in my work ethic without developing arrogance; and I read industry papers and communicate with PR professionals almost daily via social media.  What I believe truly sets me apart from other entry-level workers is my willingness to learn. I have a need to do things correctly, so criticism is something that I thrive on and not something that I view as a personal attack. I have respect for the “elders in the PR tribe” (to paraphrase a metaphor from Kelly Cutrone), and I look forward to soaking up as much as I can because I know that it will only make me better.  I have a solid foundation, but anyone can write a press release. To become truly great in this profession requires humility and respect.  I believe this, combined with my other skills, is what will take me from college graduate to PR
pro.  To learn more about me, please visit http://hirekatcaringola.wordpress.com/.

Andrea Clift@AndreaClift – I’m a New York University graduate student in the Public Relations and Corporate Communication program, specializing in PR management.  The program was named the “PR Education Program of the Year” by PR Week in 2009. I’ve worked with travel, hospitality, and lifestyle clients such as BluePrint Cleanse, Stingaree Nightclub and Restaurant in San Diego, NIKA Water, THE US GRANT Hotel, and Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort. I am currently working at Quinn & Co PR in the real estate division. I have secured placements in outlets such as HotelChatter.com, the LA Times, MediaBistro, About.com, and Broker’s Weekly. I’m a savvy social media expert, I have helped build and continue to Twitter campaigns and Facebook accounts for clients including THE US GRANT Hotel, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, and Side Bar.

Dana Lewis@danamlewis – I graduate summa cum laude on May 8, and already have 3 years of experience while completing two bachelor’s degrees in public relations and political science with a minor in the Computer-Based Honors Program at The University of Alabama. I’m not silent observer of our industry, but rather an active participant and also an instigator in the niche fields of health communications and social media. Not only did I co-found the #hcsm Twitter chat, but I have moderated and developed this award-winning community over the past year. I also co-founded and organized the first international unconference on social health, held in Austin, Texas on March 11.

Liz Leismer@lleismer – As a graduating senior at DePaul University in Chicago, my journey in public relations began about a year ago when I discovered that my love for writing, relationship building and my outgoing personality could successfully mesh together in order to create well-rounded PR pro.  I may not be a “pro” yet, but my approach to PR is one that will put me on the map.  This is why: I’m in this field to learn and to share with others what I’m most passionate about.  I’m not one to sit on the sidelines when discussing as issue or subject at hand – rather, I delve into the issue and bring new, fresh ideas to the table. I believe that the “out with the old, in with the new” approach needs to be replaced by an approach which renovates the “old” all-the-while introducing new tools and concepts. In this constantly evolving field, one thing is for certain – almost every idea can be made into a great one; it is really a matter of how this is carried out.  As a rising PR professional, I will ensure that every idea, every voice on my team, and every project I touch will be heard. 

Kairi Soosaar@kairisoosaar – I am a 25-year-old ambitious young woman from Estonia, a former Soviet Union country. Having lived also in Japan, France and the United States, speaking 5 languages and formed tight relationships all over the world with people from different cultures, I am easily able to put myself in other people’s shoes and am confident in communicating with individuals from different backgrounds on any subjects. I am constantly hungry for new information and experiences and I confess to being a social media- and traveloholic. I am a few months away from my Bachelor’s degree in PR and media from the Baltic Film and Media School (Tallinn University, Estonia). I am currently a reserve correspondent in Estonia for Agence France Presse. I write press releases for Expats.net (a portal to survive in, and get around the Baltic States) and I collaborate with Next Level Agency in bringing international artists to venues in Europe. I have freelanced in organizing and doing PR for events in different genres, at Club von Überblingen and beauty salon Pikk40 in Estonia. In the near future I will be joining the new luxury lifestyle brand “Royale” in Monte Carlo, to help with the organizing and PR of VIP nightlife events in the Principality of Monaco, and later in key international cities around the world. The reason I should be considered a future PR star is that I have big passion for this job, and to me public relations is the best thing one can do with clothes on =) Per aspera ad astra!

Betsy Soler@bsoler – I’m currently a senior at Florida International University (FIU) majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Hospitality.  I serve as VP of New Media and Technology at the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at FIU. I maintain my chapter’s web presence and teach other members how to integrate technology and social media into their PR approach. I’m also a Jr. Account Executive at C-Com Group, Inc., a full-service Hispanic marketing agency. I work on their public relations and social media accounts. Prior to my current position, I was an intern at LeaseTrader.com, Miami Fashion Week and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. I was also a correspondent for the Daytona Beach News-Journal at the age of 16. My work has been recognized by various institutions and I am a recipient of the prestigious Ev Clay Award 2009.

Tabish Bhimani@TabishB – I’m a crisis communicator, trying to keep myself a secret to be unveiled after I graduate from Concordia University’s prestigious Communication Studies program in 2011.”I thrive under pressure,” says Tabish, who is no stranger to large audiences. He has a tendency to be able to take people into confidence and instill excitement that is contagious. “Be mindful, consistent, and anticipate. The best way to do this, is to listen intently, ask relevant questions, and nod and smile often. That is the best way to achieve synergy.” Other than the usual academics, Tabish is a media relations volunteer for the World Partnership Walk (www.worldpartnershipwalk.com) and is participating in this year’s Google Online Marketing Challenge. He is also currently working on developing a metric instrument to calculate the effects of natural disasters across the board. Social upliftment, health care, and education are important to Tabish, and helping poor communities help themselves is at the heart of most volunteer work that he has done. Tabish likes to meet new people, and loves putting a smile on faces. “When someone smiles with their eyes because of something I said or did, that makes it all worthwhile. That’s part of being a meritocrat.”

Ray Lapena@raylapena – I am a senior public relations major in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. In May, I’ll be graduating a year early to work at GE Energy, within GE’s Communications Leadership Development Program (CLDP). I currently intern at Clear Channel Communications in Syracuse, managing the online development and social media strategy for The AMOS Project. I managed a team of five digital interns to create a new Web site that will be launched this week, and have created a Facebook Page, Twitter account, and new blog for the project. This is my fourth internship. On campus, I am the PR Director for a student-run theater organization called First Year Players. I manage a 12-person PR team and sit on the executive board which oversees more than 60 staff members. This year, we received front page coverage on the Daily Orange for an “impromptu” dance, and have seen more than a 30 percent increase in the number of auditions. I also give campus tours, recruit prospective students, and peer advise Newhouse students. I can be found on the web at raylapena.com, Twitter, Posterous, and LinkedIn.

Congratulations to all!


This will be an ongoing list of students that submitted entries following the initial posting:  

Harrison Kratz@KratzPR – I am sophomore at Drexel University, and despite my age, I have been extremely active in building my career in public relations. My most note-worthy venture in PR has been the start of my own Public Relations and Talent Management firm, Kratz PR & Management. In the first three months, I have signed six clients ranging from Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Miami, FL. I manage a team of writers, talent consultants, and writers, and we are in the process of signing two more clients.  My story has also been featured on buckshappening.com. Although new, this experience has been incredible and I find myself learning more and more about PR every day. Aside from my personal endeavors, I have held two internships in the past year.  I interned at Sharla Feldscher PR in Phialdelphia as an Assistant Public Relations Coordinator for Blindness Awareness Month during the summer of 2009.  I also assisted with the event publicity for Mitch Albom’s latest book release event that featured Tony Bennett, Bob Costas, among others for “Have a Little Faith”. Immediately after the completion of my time with Sharla Feldscher PR, I spent six months as the Public Affairs Intern at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center in Philadelphia. I have been offered future internships at the Yankee’s minor league affiliate Trenton Thunder, as well as the Philadelphia Phillies. Currently, I am a member of the Drexel University PRSSA chapter.  I am still in my first year as a member, but I am Head of Regional Networking for my branch and I have served as our chapter’s National Delegate to the PRSSA National Assembly this past March.  Through PRSSA, I’m an Account Executive for our student-run firm, 33rs Street PR in which I’ve handled two accounts this year.  Connecting with my fellow students and PR practitioners though PRSSA has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in PR, and I cant begin to explain how much they have taught me in such a short time. I am using my youth and determination to get ahead and take advantage of any opportunities that are available.  That being said, I still have a lot to learn, but I know I am on the right track and I am excited to continue my career in public relations for many years to come.

John Ready@johnjready – I am a New York University graduate student pursuing an M.S. in public relations and corporate communication.  My background is primarily in nonprofit, healthcare and biotechnology.  I am currently combining all three to organize a communications audit and provide consulting services to one of the world’s leading stem cell centers.  Our Master’s program was named “Education Program of the Year” according to PRWeek for the two consecutive years I have been enrolled. I make the best of my 4-hour round trip commute by studying Ukrainian and working on my blog entitled The PR Purview. Future PR topics I would like to explore are investor relations and crisis communication.I completed my undergraduate degree at Western Connecticut State University where I graduated magna cum laude, majored in professional writing with a concentration in public relations and was among the first class to obtain a Bachelor’s in professional writing within the state of Connecticut.  While at WCSU I also wrote freelance for a northern Fairfield County hospital that ranked among the top 5% according to HealthGradesÒ.

Steven Wang – @anqinglaowang – Why I want to do PR? Warning: You are going to enter an area that has nothing to do with PR. As a non-traditional “star” I didn’t know what is PR several weeks ago and haven’t done any PR internship. Okay, I can see you scratching your head now. But this is not an April 1st fools’ day prank. Really? Let me tell you a story. This February I attended conference about business strategy after crisis, and one of the speakers was a successful serial entrepreneur and a multi-millionaire. As soon as the break began, you can imagine what happened: a long line formed before him and MBA students waiting their turn to “blow him off”. I was the end of the line and at my turn I just told him how much I like 80’s House music and how horrified I found that Lady Gaga was shamelessly copying some classic House music. I could see his eyes glittering and the conversation lasted for 15 minutes! When back home I sent him an email to follow up. He replied in 5 minutes, and gave me his cell phone number. I am now helping him arrange a DJ gig in Beijing this summer. Of course, he also referred me to his connections. I am reading an article by @ValueIntoWords. She was amused that job seeker seldom asks what employers want. I believe PR is just like seeking job, sales or everything in the world: you can get everything you want if you help people to get what they want. I may not have PR title, but I have done PR things from the first day after graduation. I know what I want to do in my life, every day I am always interested by all kinds of people I meet, their pain, stories and life. And also I know what I don’t do. As a PR pro said, the most important thing to PR is “never lie”. With authenticity and curiosity, I believe I have solid foundation to become a future PR star.

Keegan Shoutz@kshoutz – For me being a future PR star isn’t about just going to class and accomplishing projects and assignments. It’s about taking initiative and learning as much as you possibly can from every situation. As President of my university’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, I have made some great connections with alumni and other professionals in the PR field. I’ve found it very beneficial to utilize all resources I can get my hands on, whether that means connecting with professionals via Twitter, or setting up informational interviews. I am graduating in May 2010 and am currently finding numerous opportunities such as this to get my name out there. I have landed both interviews and internships by becoming a part of the PR-related conversations that are happening all around us. My advice to anyone else looking to land that dream job is to stay involved. Find out what you’re really interested in and do whatever you have to do to get involved. Being self-motivated is a great trait to have and your employers will realize this upon speaking with you and learning about your past experiences. I look forward to continuing my job search and discovering further all of the aspects of PR I still do not know. I will never stop learning as this industry is constantly shifting and keeping me on my toes. I live each day to fullest and learn from those willing to share; this is why I am a future PR star.

Mengwei Deng@Wei2 – I’m currently a senior at the University of Oregon pursuing a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Business. I truly love PR because I have the chance to interact with so many people and make their lives better. I can help people build and maintain relationships, create positive brand images, gain brand reputations and more. Through my various of experiences, I have had the opportunity to intern in an Australian PR agency in Beijing, worked on diverse projects – from gold mining to food consuming, property management to high tech. I have also interned in an Asian media research center in Singapore working on projects to understand news source usages in both traditional and new media in Asian countries. My international background and experience proved that I can adapt to new environment quickly and work efficiently. Most importantly, I love learning. Working in PR industry means that I always need to keep learning because I will meet different clients from different industries that need me to help solving different problems. That’s what exactly I love to do! Therefore, I believe I’m a future PR star.

Jenna Brossman@Jbrossman – As a recent Summa Cum Laude PR grad, my dedication and passion for the industry can easily be seen. While a student at San Diego State University, I showcased my ability to succeed by excelling in all of my classes while adding further skills to my skill set as an active member of PRSSA. Additionally, given the short time that I’ve been in the field, I have a wide breadth of PR experience having worked for an agency, the Hotel del Coronado and two nonprofits within the last two years. Although the aforementioned facts are good building blocks for a successful PR professional, the traits that will make me a PR star include the value I place on relationships and an understanding of how the industry is changing. I realize that to truly be successful in PR, your relationships have to come first; your number one priority has got to be building trust with all of your stakeholders which can only happen by genuinely caring about and engaging with each and every one of them. Furthermore, I understand that the methods of communication are constantly evolving, and in order to stay engaged, a successful PR professional has to evolve too.  I take pride in the fact that I’ve successfully practiced what I preach, and I’m certain that these qualities coupled with a genuine love for the practice will serve me and my clients well as I go forward in my career.

Dana Fisher@DanaSFisher – I am a Carolina Gamecock honors senior, and I am your company’s future PR star. The beauty of the previous statement is that even though I don’t yet know what company or with what type of PR tasks I’ll be charged, it is still true. I am up for a challenge. Don’t worry that you’ll be giving writing, social media and client coordination responsibilities to a newbie; I have internship experience in those areas and I am always ready to go the extra mile to get results for my employer and client. My current internship with Riley Communications, a public relations and marketing firm in Columbia, involves writing press releases, media advisories, blog posts and local and national pitches. I also conduct research and media monitoring and provide event support. The bulk of my event experience comes from my Condé Nast summer internship with Self magazine. There, I researched, planned, executed and evaluated events of all sizes. If you want a chic office baby shower for a VIP client, I can make it happen. My endless ambition, strong writing skills, and outgoing personality will make me your next PR star!


20 comments on “Future PR Stars List: Student Edition

  1. Thank you so much Andrew for reaching out to me to be apart of this amazing opportunity. With posts like these from PR pros, it makes me appreciate our wonderful Twitter community so much more.

  2. Great list Andrew… It is wonderful to see so many of the fantastic students I’ve met during #PRStudChat highlighted. I’ve learned new things about even those I thought I knew well already! And you have managed to introduce me to some amazing students I did not know!

    I’m sharing this list with the #HAPPO community as well! Our April 30th event is focused on helping entry level job seekers, and this is a resource for recruiters!

    Congratulations to everyone who made “the list” for all that you have accomplished. I look forward to watching your careers!

  3. Congrats to everyone on the list! 🙂 I’ve connected with you a few of you already but can’t wait to connect with the rest of you! Tweet me! @kshoutz

  4. CONGRATS to those listed as Future Stars! I already know a lot of those on the list and can’t wait to meet the others. Let’s start a conversation.. @JasMollica.

    And special shouts to Andrew for the lists… you are right, it’s the way to go.

  5. Hi Andrew! Haha, I love the April Fools idea!

    Along the same upbeat note, let me thank you for the confidence you and the rest of the PR community (which we all are part of) have shown in us “stars.” The song too makes me feel excited!

    This is a great start to my day/afternoon and I look forward to connecting with the wonderful people who have made this list and who have commented.

    Thank you once again!

      • Then on that note, we can’t express our gratitude enough for providing the opportunity! I’ve mentioned it numerous times, but ‘thank you’ will never suffice.

        As stated by the others, I’m looking forward to further connecting with the students and mentors I’ve met through this community, as well those I have still to meet. This is definitely a great start to the home stretch of our college career and first steps into our future!

  6. Great list Andrew! I converse with many of the fellow students on this list and know that they will all do great things! I can’t wait to connect further with those I do not already know!


  7. I’m one of the students who was interested in your list but did not send my bio. I admit I didn’t send it, because I figured that many students would be considered “Future PR Stars” above me. Either way I enjoyed reading the bios and your sneaky approach! I was wondering how you could decipher who the best of the bunch were.

    My blog is http://smequine.wordpress.com


    Carly Siegel

    • Hi Carly – Anyone that sent a submission was included in the post, so I didn’t have to pick/choose who to include/not include. Shoot me a DM on Twitter and I’ll send you info.

  8. Pingback: Do’s and Don’ts of a PR Internship « PR at Sunrise

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