For our first Alumni Spotlight of the year, I, Troy Heatwole, asked the 2019-2020 PRSSA Kent President Sophia Iannelli a few questions about her time here, as well as what she has been up to.
What is your current job, and what does it entail?
I am currently a marketing specialist for Mike Albert Fleet Solutions in Cincinnati, OH! Our company has five lines of business (fleet solutions, car rental, vehicle subscription, used car sales and truck & van equipment), and I lead our marketing efforts for rental, subscription and sales. My tasks vary day to day but include social media management, email marketing, display/video advertising, influencer management, website optimization, graphic design and internal communications.
Favorite PRSSA Memory?
My favorite PRSSA memory would have to be the travel. I was lucky enough to attend International Conferences in Austin, TX and San Diego, CA, and National Assembly in Portland, OR. Those trips not only grew me as a PR practitioner, but also allowed me to bond with my fellow PRSSA members and create what I know will be lifelong friendships!
What skills did you learn at Kent State that had the biggest impact on your career?
Relationship building. It is the foundation of public relations and vital in almost any career. Kent State’s PR program, especially the faculty, prioritized what it means to build strong, trustworthy and meaningful relationships with colleagues, peers, mentors, stakeholders, audiences… the list goes on.
Advice for PR students?
Don’t underestimate the value of courses that might seem daunting or “unnecessary.” There is always a reason you are in those classes and there are always important lessons to be learned. Try to find that value before the semester ends; once you figure out the “why” you’ll understand those courses are anything but unnecessary.
Advice for Seniors?
Don’t wish away your last year! The closer graduation gets the more excited you become for all the classes and work to be over. I know you’re all self-diagnosed with Senioritis, I was too, but I promise once it is over you will miss it. Take the time to appreciate your final months in college and the people around you.
Thank you so much to Sophia for doing this interview. Her time at PRSSA Kent made a big impact on the program, and we hope she does that same in her future endevours!