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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Public relations alumni provide career advice, networking practice for URI students

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 1, 2011 – What could be more helpful for college students than hearing success stories from recent graduates in their fields of study? How about being able to network and learn from the professionals about internships and how to prepare for a career?

The University of Rhode Island hosts public relations summits throughout the academic year for students to learn about what to expect in the “real world” and how to make the most of their URI experiences.

The summits are geared toward students in public relations or similar fields, but since the speakers discuss transferable business skills, students in all disciplines are welcome to attend.

Regina Bell, who manages the public relations major in the URI Department of Communication Studies, created these summits in a collaborative effort with the Department of Communication Studies, Department of Journalism, and Division of University Advancement.

“The goal of the public relations summits is to provide students with opportunities to informally and conveniently network with industry leaders,” said Bell. “Since we created this program four years ago, several students have secured internships and full-time employment.”

All public relations summits are held in the Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Road, at 3 p.m. The first public relations summit, “An Afternoon with Alumni,” included recent URI graduates Danielle Baker, who is beginning a freelance career, Dominic Green, manager of content and branding at (add)ventures, and Matthew Lenz, executive assistant to Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. All speakers encouraged students to find multiple internships in diverse fields throughout the University. They also stressed the importance of networking and writing skills in this field and the business world in general.

Other summits this semester discussed the basics of a career in public relations and the event planning industry.

The line-up of future events for this semester is:

• “Managing the PR Crisis” on Nov. 7 with guest speaker William Fischer, president of True North Communication.

• “Social Media Rocks the World” on Nov. 30 with guest speaker Jeanette Palmer, account executive at Nail Communications.

Each summit focuses on a different aspect of the public relations field, allowing students to learn about the responsibilities of each field.

For more details about the public relations summits, contact Regina Bell at rbell@mail.uri.edu.

Pictured above:
NETWORKING SESSION: Recent URI graduates Danielle Baker, Dominic Green, and Matthew Lenz meet with public relations majors to discuss their success in the workforce at the first public relations summit this fall. A professional development opportunity for students, the public relations summits are an informal way for students to meet with industry leaders.

DEEP THOUGHTS: URI public relations majors Hilary Dillon, Amanda Read and Timothy Viall attend the first public relations summit this fall.
Photos courtesy of Regina Bell.