With the back to school season in full swing, our team decided to take some time to remember our “glory days.” While we all still consider ourselves students as we are continuously learning from one another in the office, there was once a time when we used to pull all-nighters and cram for finals. And while we remember both good and stressful times, having these experiences has inevitably shaped us into the professionals we are today.
I went to college at the University of Rhode Island, and was luckily on the receiving end of a multitude of memorable, wonderful lessons while I was there. One professor in particular sticks out because he would constantly challenge us to think for ourselves, to see the many sides of every story/problem, and to find answers that are not necessarily in the books. This is one lesson that has stayed with me in my professional and personal lives.
Samantha Lins – Senior Account Manager
Studying Global Communication & Media at Ramapo College provided me with a variety of opportunities and experiences that I am grateful for. Studying abroad in Florence offered me an experiential learning opportunity that I could have never received on campus. However, serving as an editor for the Ramapo News, being accepted as a panelist at the Eastern Communication Association, and the variety of classes I took during my college career have shaped me into the critical thinker and professional I am today.
Katie Crocilla – Assistant Account Executive
During my Sophomore year at SCAD, I took my first animation class and it was taught by Professor Troy, who started the class with, “If you do everything I ask, you get a C.” I saw it as a great challenge, because there was no way I’d accept getting a C. I worked extremely hard and pushed myself to do better with each and every project. He was the best teacher I had and after that class, I signed up for all the others he taught. To this day I hold myself to the “Troy expectations,” and always look for room for improvement.
MJ Thompson – Senior Digital Marketing & Design Manager
As someone who studied journalism and English at NYU, I always knew that I wanted to be a writer, but didn’t expect to fall into marketing after graduating. During my time at NYU, I was fortunate to have had distinguished journalism professors who not only taught, but continued to be active writers during their time as professors. One in particular, Professor Ted Conover, sticks out in my mind, as he was an experienced undercover reporter and took on an undercover assignment for Harper’s Bazaar during my time there. I remember feeling so inspired by his efforts to not only set an example for the impact that non-fiction writing can have, but also to go above and beyond his daily profession to pursue his passion. His efforts have not only inspired me to continue writing, but have impacted my career by remembering to always have faith in writing as an art and transformative medium – whether writing a creative piece or digital marketing content!
Melissa Hunt – Senior Digital Marketing Strategist
I went to school at Monmouth University. I don’t think I can pinpoint one specific experience that impacted my career. My whole experience at Monmouth University prepared me for life in the real world. Every class I took, the clubs I was apart of – they all taught real-life experiences. Almost every class I took junior and senior year stressed the importance of a professional online presence, a portfolio of work, and how to network. Being a member of the PRSSA, I was able to attend several networking events and coordinate and execute my own on-campus events. I think Monmouth University, in general, made me the professional I am today.
Amanda Erdmann – Digital Marketing and Operations Analyst
I received my Bachelor of Arts from Rider University and my Masters in Communication and Information Studies from Rutgers University. After having a difficult Freshman year in design school, I transferred to Rider as a Sophomore and sought to study Public Relations. Because I was coming in later than the rest of my class, I made a point to become friendly with all of the professors in my department. I would stop by during their office hours or even if I saw their office door open, just to say hi. By doing this, I got to excel quickly in the program and could regularly turn to any of my professors for advice, including when I was deciding if I should attend graduate school. I wasn’t quite ready to start job hunting and I knew if I didn’t advance my degree right after undergrad, I would likely not go back. By them encouraging me to continue on to graduate school, it led me to meeting people that are still my close friends today. Plus, through meeting these people, I got my first job in the field. I am thankful for the openness I had with my professors and the relationships I formed in graduate school, which have shaped me to be the professional I am today.
Beth Gard – Senior Manager, Public Relations and Client Services
One of the greatest experiences of being at Syracuse University, Newhouse School, was working as a feature writer for the Daily Orange newspaper. The camaraderie, talents, and energy of the people I worked with made a tremendous impact on my passion for journalism and the written word. It also set a standard of excellence that carried through all of my professional experiences since then.
Rachel Litner – Chief Strategy Officer
I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, and while there I was the Editor in Chief of the school newspaper, w27, as well as the Chair of the Student PR Firm and Vice President of our PRSSA chapter. Assuming these responsibilities simultaneously helped me gain leadership and time management skills, and was an invaluable, real world complement to my education.
Dan Kulp – Vice President
At Monmouth University, there was one class that stood out and impacted my career path immensely. I took a communications course that challenged the class to record several public speaking exercises and broadcast the videos on YouTube. The professor organized each project to act as a contest, with students being encouraged to present with flair, as each class voted on the overall “best presenter” across all of the professor’s classes. I was a sophomore at that point, so I wasn’t completely comfortable with public speaking yet. Once I heard there was a competition involved, though, that quickly changed. My competitive nature led me to come up with some crazy and creative ideas for involving the class in my presentations, and when the videos of my presentations were uploaded to YouTube, I was chosen as the most effective speaker for all three of the contests my teacher organized. After that class, it became clear to me that public speaking and communications were strengths of mine, and that influenced me to choose PR as my minor, which is now the major focus of my career at lotus.
Olivia Munafo – Account Executive
We hope that you enjoyed reading about our college experiences that have impacted our careers today. Please share which college experiences have impacted your professional lives below!