Monday October 24, 2016

Student Profile: Erin Frey

Erin Frey recently had an article published in the USA Today College Guide about how she fell in love with the University of Dayton. Frey, an energetic, outgoing junior from Cincinnati who is majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing, also reported about Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to Washington D.C. for University of Dayton Magazine. In addition, she works as a University social media specialist, creating content across multiple platforms.

How did you go about having an article published in the USA Today College Guide?

Cilla Shindell, University director of media relations, sent me an email asking if I wanted to write an article for USA Today and I said “sure!” I kind of had this idea from having older siblings about how I hated college visits and did not want to come to look at UD, but then I did, fell in love — the rest is history. My article was titled, “A long march through colleges can lead you to the right destinations.”

Tell me about your experience covering Pope Francis’ visit to Washington D.C. for University of Dayton Magazine.

This was unreal. Pope Francis was performing a canonization mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for Junipero Serra. There were like 50,000 people there and it was overwhelming but so cool. TIME magazine was there; Al Jazeera was present. Because Pope Francis has been so accepting, my editor wanted me to write about “why millennials suddenly care about the Pope?” I decided to walk around and talk to people my age. I tweeted what I heard and saw and I filled an entire notebook. Watching him canonize a saint 50 feet away from me was life changing. One of the cool things about the Mass was that all of the petitions were read in a different language by someone with a disability; it was just so special. My favorite thing from trip was after Pope Francis addressed Congress he came out and blessed the crowd that gathered outside the capital and said, “As I continue on my journey, I ask that you pray for me. But even if you don't believe, I just ask that you send me best wishes.”

What social media platforms do you manage for the University?

I make Snapchat stories for clubs and at various events. But if a club wants to take over and broadcast their own event, they are more than welcome. I also started a Buzzfeed account for the University. I have only written four articles, my most recent being on Dr. Spina. I really wanted to find a way that would encourage students to read more about the University, and Buzzfeed seemed like the perfect platform. I do all of our live tweetings at events. I also am writing blog posts for LinkedIn about career development from a student’s perspective and what career services does to help.I have touched all handles, but Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Buzzfeed are my main platforms.

Would you say all that you do on campus is well preparing you for the future?

Definitely! I think a lot of life is learning how to talk to people, listening and being a good person, and that is what social media helps me do. With all the different things I do, I am just trying to represent UD in the best light and trying to showcase all the awesome students. I love UD so much; it is the greatest place. I view my job as a way to to show off how awesome everyone here is.

What made you choose public relations as a major? Why a marketing minor?

Writing and people have always been my passions. I needed to find something that lets me work with both. There was something about public relations that just really drew me in. For marketing, I think I just wanted to learn the “why?” Public relations is the reacting and building these relationships. Marketing is understanding why you are building these relationships. And asking, “Who is your target audience?” I look at marketing kind of like the science behind public relations.

How has both the University and the city of Dayton benefitted you throughout your time here?

UD has been awesome and there is just something about this place. When I stepped on campus I really felt that I could make an impact here. I feel so honored I get the opportunity to represent Dayton and do the things that I do. The opportunities this job has given me are ones I do not think I would have had anywhere else. Dayton is so special, I feel so blessed and lucky. I know I am decent at what I do, but I feel like a lot of it is just meant to be.

What are your long-term goals?

One of my longest dreams is being the publicist at the White House. Even just being a publicist of a company that I really believe in. I just want to feel like I am making a difference, making people feel valued and sharing their stories.

- Dawnn Fann '19

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