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Erika Sloan ’11

The Value of Internships

Journalism major Erika Sloan realized the value of her URI internships when she landed a job before she had even graduated.

As an undergraduate, Sloan interned for two semesters at NBC 10 WJAR-TV, worked in URI’s Department of Communications and Marketing, and spent another summer interning at News Talk 630 WPRO & 99.7 FM.

During her internship at NBC 10 last year, Sloan rode in a chase plane alongside an aerobatic aircraft at the 20th Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show at Quonset Point.

The former president and co-captain of the URI women’s gymnastics team, Sloan began her job search early because she knew she was entering a challenging economy. An online posting for a public relations/Web content coordinator at the corporate office of Fellowship Health Resources, Inc., in Lincoln, R.I. caught her eye.

“At my first interview, I was told their ideal candidate would have five to ten years of public relations experience,” said Sloan, who graduated with highest honors. The agency’s communications team was so impressed with her internships that after two interviews, the job was hers.

Her role at the mental health and substance abuse agency, which has more than 60 programs in nine regions, continues to evolve. She communicates with all regions, writes stories for the Web site, sends press releases, pitches stories, and oversees the agency’s Facebook page.

Sloan, who planned on a career in broadcast journalism, thought that the health industry would be interesting: “It’s the perfect first job; everyone is willing to help. I’m learning so much, and I’m using many skills that I developed during my time at URI.

“I share stories of recovery and promote our services across the East Coast. While publicizing our programs, support groups, and clinics, we educate the public about many common mental health illnesses. There’s a stigma about mental health; I want to help break this misconception. FHR empowers people to rebuild their lives and restores hope.”

—Danielle Sanda ‘14

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