Even if you feel under-qualified for a job, apply for it anyway, is the advice from fourth-year student Alexandria (Allie) Strader, sister of Alpha Xi Delta and member of Public Relations Student Society of America. Strader has completed her second co-op with RIT University News and focuses on her bright future in public relations following graduation.
Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I’m from Greece, N.Y.
Q: What brought you to RIT?
A: I was really unsure of what I wanted to do with my life when I was in high school. I chose RIT because it was really close to home—exactly 20 minutes—and I liked that the university offered a career exploration program that enabled me to take classes in the different colleges to get a feel for what I enjoyed learning about.
Q: What was the most valuable thing you gained from your recent co-op experience?
A: I learned a lot about time management. Every day was very different; I was able to meet and work with people from many different backgrounds. I also learned a lot about things like science, engineering and technology—topics I never really explored before.
Q: How many other co-ops have you completed and where?
A: I completed one other co-op before working at University News. I interned in the public relations department at Pulse Marketing Group in Fairport, N.Y. It was kind of my dream job.
Q: How have these co-ops enhanced your learning experience at RIT?
A: I’ve been on co-op for two academic years, while taking classes at the same time. I’ve learned the importance of balancing class projects as well as meetings, writing press releases and managing social-media accounts all in one day. They’ve also helped me apply things I’ve learned on the job to class discussions and group projects.
Q: How do you think the co-ops will benefit you after you graduate in May?
A: I’m much more confident in myself as a person and as a professional. I am no longer afraid to approach new people or try a new idea. I’ve learned the importance of flexibility and adapting to change—two things I think will make me a valuable asset to any company.
Q: What are your plans when you graduate in May?
A: I’ll be back at RIT this summer to work on my senior thesis. Maybe I’ll do another internship. Until then, I plan to network with young professional groups and get involved with public relations in any way I can. I’d love to direct a public-relations department within an agency some day though.
Q: What is something that most people do not know about you?
A: I am a huge animal lover. If I could own seven animals, I would.
Q: What activities are you involved in on campus?
A: I am a sister of Alpha Xi Delta, and I’m also a part of Public Relations Student Society of America.
Q: Any advice you would give to other RIT students?
A: Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs, even ones that you feel under-qualified for. It’s always a good idea to ask lots of questions, too. Employers love students who show a real passion for what they’re learning. Volunteering to do things, even past 5 p.m. or on weekends, always helps, too. Taking notes and making lists is always beneficial.
Brittany Remington compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.