Exploratory Studies Leads to Perfect Match in Public Relations

Shaylin Heller, public relations major at Rowan University, walks past the book store holding her laptop and wearing sunglasses

Shaylin Heller, a rising senior public relations and advertising double major from Frenchtown, NJ (Hunterdon County), has so much passion for what she does, you would never guess she came into her freshman year overwhelmed with the thought of choosing a major. “In high school, what I thought I wanted to study changed every other week!” she says. Through a summer program, she started her freshman experience weeks before the fall semester started. “It was basically a Rowan 101 class, but more intimate because it was over the summer with a smaller group of students, so we were really able to get the know the campus and its programs before anyone else,” she recalls. Shaylin wears a denim jacket and holds her laptop outside of Barnes & Noble.

Initially, Shaylin enrolled as an Exploratory Studies major, unsure of what exactly she wanted to pursue a career in. “The advisors in the program would reach out to me and give advice as I was trying to figure out my major and career goals,” she recalls. Her schedule was created for her through the program’s academic advisors, based on introductory classes that pertained to her general interests. Of the classes chosen for her, including sociology and music, her favorite class by far was Introduction to Public Relations. “I loved that class. My best friend freshman year was a PR major, and I noticed how passionate and driven she was about it. It influenced me to get more involved, because I saw how happy she was in the program,” she says.

One of the assignments in the introductory class was to interview somebody within Public Relations, so Shaylin drove to meet the CEO of the Little Words Project, which she was familiar with through a project with her sorority. She was an ambassador for the company, which allows you to pass on confidence and inspiration by sharing a bracelet with others who may need a reminder of their strength. “Talking to the CEO was inspiring, and it was so interesting to see what her life and career looked like. It made me think, ‘I can really picture myself doing this in the future,’” Shaylin says.

Shaylin walks in front of the entrance to Barnes & Noble. “I always knew I wanted to do something more on the creative side,” Shaylin reflects. “I’m a visual learner and I like talking to people, so I wanted to do something where I’d be in a fast pace environment and constantly meeting new people.” Becoming a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority confirmed her love of public relations, because of their philanthropic work and involvement with nonprofits. “Public relations is at the base of a lot of nonprofits, so getting involved with them really narrowed it down for me, that this is what I want to pursue.”

Flash forward to the end of her junior year, and Shaylin is currently searching for her dream internship, where she can apply everything she has learned the past three years. Her dream is to live in Philadelphia and work in the PR and advertising field. “Sometimes it can be hard to figure out which companies are real and authentic and will help you grow,” she says, “It can get a bit overwhelming, but it’s definitely helped me to come out of my comfort zone and narrow down my ideal job.”

“I loved having the opportunity to explore all the different fields – including ones I hadn’t even heard of before college – and being able to choose what I liked. It was less pressure, because a lot of people have the impression that you have to have a set major before even getting to college, so it reassured me that I didn’t have to know exactly what I was doing right away. Exploratory studies eased the pressure of not having that decision made yet.”

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Story and photography by:
Nicole Cier, rising senior writing arts major

Passing the Torch: Public Relations and Advertising Grad Gives Advice

Alex, wearing his graduation cap and gown, standing on the Bunce Green.
Alex wearing graduation cap and gown on bunce green

‘”Faculty are very helpful with connecting you to internships and job opportunities.” says Alexander Belli, a dual major public relations and advertising  graduate, who was a commuter from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County). 

“The best advice I could give for new students on time management would be to look at your schedule every night and to be prepared,” says Alexander. “The advice I would give to my high school senior self would be don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” 

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Story and photography by : 
Dean Powers, rising sophomore, radio/TV/film major.

Passing the Torch: Grad Says “Just Do It”

Allyson stands in her cap and gown on the Bunce Green
Allyson in her cap and gown standing on the Bunce Green.

“The best way to make friends is to ask for help and reach out to others,” says public relations graduate Allyson McDonough of Spring Lake Heights, NJ (Monmouth County.)

As a first generation college student and commuter who rents off campus, she shares her best advice to, “Go straight to Rowan and put yourself out there. Stop being scared and just do it.”

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Enzo Ronchi Discusses Organ Donor Day

young male student leaning over a railing with a contemplating look on his face

Organ Donor Day is meant to promote and encourage more people to become organ donors and acts as a social event that encourages the community, students, and faculty to come together. The event is designed to be family-friendly with carnival-like games, free food and beverages. There’s an opportunity to mingle and get any information you may […]

Students Win First Place in Marketing Challenge

kailey and tim of rowan university review their award-winning presentation

A semester-long commitment to a project showcasing public relations, advertising and marketing skills proved to be worth the hard work, as five College of Communication & Creative Arts students swept the first place prize at the Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge on March 4. The challenge, sponsored by a nonprofit called Marketing EDGE, provided students from colleges across the country with requirements with which to build their presentation around: create a multichannel campaign that appeals to the target demographic of busy moms in affluent suburbs in the US, and use multiple tactics to acquire new consumers. Tactics required included digital, non-digital, word of mouth, and guerilla marketing tactics.

Brittany and Megan of Rowan University cross the street in a crosswalk outside the communication buildingThe students — Kailey Bertelson (advertising), Brittany Eng (public relations, advertising), Megan Jean (studio art), Timothy Stanford (advertising), and Hannah Vendetta (public relations, advertising) — spent many long nights and weekends in the Public Relations & Advertising High Street building on campus, developing their campaign for BOXED, an e-commerce store and app that provides customers the convenience of purchasing household items in bulk online, and shipping to their door for an affordable price. The group’s winning campaign ran with the slogan “Two Day Shipping, More Two Day Weekends,” and included the optional addition of a video advertisement, featuring Hannah as a busy mom trying to balance maintaining a household and spending quality time with her kids. The judges loved the creativity and detail of the campaign, awarding the group, nicknamed “The Incredible Bulk,” first place and a cash prize of $2,000 to split!

We worked great as a team because each of us brought something unique to the group. I think that helped us stand out to the judges,” Megan reflects. The students share that their professors in their public relations and advertising classes prepared them by giving them the foundation to tackle projects with a strategic mindset and provided advice and expertise throughout the semester.

kailey and tim of Rowan University discuss their project outside the communication building as tim holds a rowan university umbrella“My Intro to PR and Advertising Research class prepared me the most for this challenge. A massive portion of the proposal was gathering the information that we needed, both secondary and primary,” Tim says. Brittany agrees that learning the techniques for research ahead of time in class definitely helped advance their campaign. “Our skills in media, design, research and writing are a result of our professors’ dedication towards bringing out the best qualities in their students,” she says. When the results were gathered and interpreted, Megan took the next step of designing their display: “I took everything that I learned from my graphic design professors to help put together the design. Once we had gathered all of our information it came down to getting it laid out to make it visually pleasing to the viewer,” she says.

megan works on her laptopAnd while knowledge and experience from classes definitely helped fuel the winning project, working together also helped each member of the group strengthen skills that they had not practiced before. Brittany admits that she came into the competition with little experience in research, but was confident that the competition would enhance her abilities in a real-world scenario — and it did! “Now I have experience creating and analyzing the results of a national scale survey,” she says, which is a major accomplishment for a college student.

Not only does their participation in a semester-long research project look great for future employers, but members of The Incredible Bulk can proudly say that their efforts came to fruition through their victory. 

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Story by: Nicole Cier, junior writing arts major

Long-Time Friends Talk Rooming Together in Holly Pointe Commons

Meet freshmen Carli Poeta, public relations major, and Alayna Inman, sports communication and media major, both from Pennsville, NJ (Salem County), who live together in Holly Pointe Commons.

Carli and Alayna posing in their dorm in Holly Pointe Commons.
Alayna (left) and Carli (right) have known each other since second grade

How’d you guys meet? “We met in our second grade class.” – Alayna

What’s your favorite memory of living together? “Just moving in and decorating together and deciding how to rearrange everything.” – Alayna. Carli adds, “Her mom is into interior design, so she guided our room decor.”

What’s a ritual you guys have? “Everything. We do everything together.” Carli adds that they’re basically, “Siamese twins, it’s scary. We usually stay up really late doing homework.”

What is the most annoying habit as a roommate? “We have the same bad habits. We both leave drinks out and throw clothes on the floor.” – Carli

Carli and Alayna applying face masks in the Holly Pointe Commons bathroom.
Carli and Alayna love relaxing with face masks.

What do you like the most about living together? “Comfort. I don’t feel uncomfortable with open communication.” – Alayna

What did you expect living together would to be like? “Everyone was saying that we’re going to hate each other, but it’s  completely fine.” – Alayna. Carli adds, “It feels like a sleepover every night.”

What was the biggest challenge of living together? “The only challenge Carli and Alayna posing outside of Holly Pointe Commons.we experienced was guest policies, specifically people staying the night. But we talked through it immediately.” – Alayna 

What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you guys? “Definitely when Alayna’s curtain kept falling on her.” – Carli

What will you miss the most about living together? “Rooming with someone new is like starting a new long term relationship.” – Carli

What advice would you give a future Rowan student about choosing a roommate? Both encourage future students to not be afraid of rooming with someone you know. 

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Story and photography by: Alyssa Bauer, junior public relations major

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