The Heady World of New York Public Relations
When Elise Fitzgerald was a freshman at URI, she went to a club meeting every night: “I just wanted to see what I liked,” she said.
Today Fitzgerald, who has been a campus tour guide, intern in the Department of Communications and Marketing, Homecoming queen, and mentor for a 10-week course that helps freshmen succeed at URI, has jumped into the next stage of her life.
On June 7 the leadership studies minor began a paid internship in New York with Burston and Marsteller, a leading public relations and communications firm with operations in 92 countries.
Her numerous experiences at URI prepared her well. Fitzgerald completed two successful public relations internships with FM Global, a global leader in commercial and industrial insurance, a field marketing internship with Contiki Vacations that sent her on an all-expense paid trip to Europe, and a sales internship with Collette Vacation.
“The leadership experience I gained at URI helped me get this internship,” Fitzgerald said. “The program taught me to know my strengths, my weaknesses, and where I can grow. The leadership program allowed me to work with people with different opinions who came from diverse cultures and backgrounds. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without meeting the people in the leadership programs.”
Fitzgerald was a peer mentor for a three credit first-year leadership course called FLITE. She participated in the First Year Student Leadership Institute as a freshman and served as a ropes course facilitator, small group leader, and coordinator.
Fitzgerald also helped build WOWW (We’re Offering Women Wisdom), a mentoring program for freshmen women, and served as recruitment chair and vice president. She also performed in The Vagina Monologues and participated in Leadership Rhode Island, Relay for Life, Annual WOWW Domestic Violence Fundraiser, and Alzheimer’s Memory Walk.
Even with multiple activities, Fitzgerald’s academic performance remained excellent, and she graduated in May with a 3.67 grade point average.
—Dave Lavallee ’79, M.P.A. ‘87