Alumnus speaks out about life after RWU

Headshot of RWU alumnus Sarah Quinn.

Kaylee Pugliese, Photo Manager

Sarah Quinn graduated from Roger Williams University in 2017. She now lives in the upper east side of Manhattan working as an outreach specialist.

Q: What did you study while you were here?

A: I majored in Communication & Media Studies with minors in Architecture, Graphic Design, and Marketing. I also had a core concentration in International Studies.

Q: What clubs, organizations, or other leadership roles were you involved in during your time here?

A: At RWU I was a part of CEN, American Advertising Federation, Hall Council, an Orientation Advisor, a Tour Guide/Admissions Ambassador, and part of the Honors Program.

Q: Did you do any internships while you attended RWU? What were they?

A: I did three internships at RWU. My first internship was with WaterFire Providence, where I was a Branding/Merchandise intern, which basically meant I designed their merchandise store’s advertisements and then helped place them on various social media and marketing platforms. I interned on campus in the Admissions Office planning group campus visits and student shadow visits for a semester, and over one summer I had an internship at EquancyNo11, an advertising agency in NYC where I was a graphic designer.

Q: What was your favorite thing about RWU? What do you miss most/least?

A:  My favorite thing was the ability to challenge myself and seek out new opportunities for growth and involvement. The school always encouraged me to try new things. I’d say the thing I miss the most is the small campus giving me the ability to wake up 10 minutes before class and still be there on time, but I’ve always been a city person at heart, so I think what I miss the least is the little “bubble” of campus. If you wore a shirt twice in a week, people would definitely notice on campus!

Q: Do you have any specific memories that stand out to you from RWU?

A: One of my favorite memories from RWU is when Carol Sacchetti took me to the Potter League one day and we saw the dogs together! Carol always knew exactly what to say/do, and I’m so thankful to have had her.

Q: What are you up to now? Where are you living and working? What do you do in your free time?

A: I’m living in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and am working in Midtown at UNiDAYS! I’m an Outreach Specialist, so I identify new brand partners for our company and then contact them to discuss a partnership. I joined at a really cool time, because when I started we were in a tiny little 2-room office and had just graduated from “startup” status, and now we’re in a much bigger space with a huge team. I’m really lucky to have made great friends and mentors in my office, so a lot of my free time is actually spent with my coworkers, most frequently at brunch!

Q: What advice would you give to freshmen?

A: The advice I wish I had gotten as a freshman is that if you feel comfortable and safe, it means you need to push yourself. You can easily glide through college, get 8 hours of sleep every night, binge-watch a Netflix show each week, go to parties every weekend, and do just fine. But “just fine” isn’t a standard you should hold yourself to with pride. Most of my favorite things I did at RWU were done because I pushed out of my comfort zone and just WENT for it, even if they weren’t what the rest of my friends were doing, and sometimes I did them alone.

Q: What about advice for seniors?

A: As for seniors, I know you’ll feel compelled to slack off because it’s your senior year, but this is an important year that can set the stage for your life next year and beyond. My job told me that my thesis (which I poured hours and hours into during my final months, weeks, and day of college) was a big part of why they hired me. It’s never too late at Roger to try new things and take on new challenges! That said, sometimes you need to step away from your books and hit up Aidan’s on a Thursday night.

Q: What are your thoughts about internships and applying for post-graduation jobs?

A: I know that you’ll feel compelled to apply to a million different jobs and have a “quantity over quality” mindset. But remember that you worked hard and you deserve to go into work and love what you do every day so you shouldn’t waste your time applying for jobs you can’t actually picture yourself doing. Another piece of advice I’d give is that connections are everything! Become a LinkedIn detective. Find people from RWU who work at the company you want to work for, or even just send a random message to someone in a position you want. I went on some informational interviews that didn’t help me get a job, but helped me realize what I was looking for and gave me connections for the future!

Q: Is there anything else you would want readers to know?

A: Sometimes in college I was worried that I wasn’t letting myself be a “typical college student” because I was always taking a high number of credits, involved in many things, and rarely slept. But in hindsight, I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t spent my college years working hard. And college may be the “best years of your life” for some people, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only good years of your life! The next chapter can be scary, but it can also be amazing if you worked hard in college. Personally, I was so busy in college that now a 9-5 job feels like no big deal.