If you ask Brianna Bell, the world challenge is synonymous with opportunity. Bell is a senior in the Accelerated-Degree B.A. / M.A. Public Relations program in the College of Communication and the Arts, and her sights are set on a career in the music entertainment industry.
Drawing on her love for writing, editing and planning live events, Bell saw the Public Relations major as the perfect fit. The program afforded her the opportunity combine these passions with her appetite for concerts and live music, launching her on the career path to earn two degrees. In fact, Bell is on track to complete both B.A. and M.A. degrees in four years, one year ahead of the accelerated five-year schedule. She will receive her Bachelor's in May 2018 and her Master's in May 2019.
Taking advantage of every opportunity offered by the College and the University, Bell has already filled a professional portfolio with extensive experience. She works with the Litore Agency, Seton Hall's student-run Public Relations firm where she works with other Seton Hall students to create campaigns and raise awareness for local artists. Her biggest achievement to date however came this fall when she landed an internship at international media corporation, Sony.
We talked with Bell about her Seton Hall experience and her plans for the future.
It seems you've always known what you wanted to do. Tell us about your inspirations – what motivates you?
From a young age, I have always loved live music. Whenever possible, I attend concerts. I've met people who work in the entertainment industry and learned about what they do, be it business, promotion, event planning. I was inspired to follow in their footsteps.
The idea of success motivates me – I strive to be the best in everything that I do so that I may live up to the future vision I have of myself. I aspire to be like Joseph Carozza, Senior Vice President of Media Relations for Republic Records.
Carozza is known for managing public relations efforts with clients such as Ariana Grande and Enrique Iglesias, among others.
What drew you to the Public Relations (PR) major and Dual-Degree program?
I switched to PR my second semester at Seton Hall. I did some research on the field, and saw it could best fit into my plans to work in career entertainment. When I started taking classes, I knew I made the right choice. Writing was always my strong suit, so studying a subject area that emphasized that passion was perfect. I am sociable, outgoing, confident and comfortable talking to others – all traits necessary for a public relations professional.
When I learned of the Accelerated-Degree Program, I saw it as a challenge I was willing to accept. It was a chance to further my education and specialize in the field I wanted to pursue after graduation. The Public Relations program makes you more marketable as an individual – and having a Master's sets you apart from other job candidates.
As a senior, you have some impressive professional experience in your repertoire already. You are currently working directly with a nonprofit, Pass It Along, on top of your experience with student organizations such as PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America).
As part of my Public Relations II course, we work for real clients with real goals, developing real ways to implement tactics. Right now I am working with Pass It Along, a nonprofit organization designed to empower youth and foster leadership and volunteerism in young adults. Part of my role is helping them with social media, press placement and promotion of ticket sales and donations for their annual fundraiser.
I've also worked with both PRSSA on campus and with the Litore Agency. As a member of Litore, I was able to work alongside another Seton Hall student interning at Warner music with a campaign that promoted artists to the local community. It was this implementation and evaluation experience on my resume helped me land the interview with Sony Music this fall.
That must have been an exciting moment. What was that process like?
The internship application process included creation and submission of a two-minute video where I talked about my interests and what I would hope to gain from the internship. I mentioned my clientele and talked about how my educational experience would fit the needs of their department. I wanted to learn more about artist management and music promotion, so specializing in this industry was a great opportunity. After that, I received an email saying that Sony would like to meet with me for an interview, and eventually, I was offered the internship.
Brianna will be working with RCA Records, an American label owned by Sony. She will monitor publicity by developing press reports for RCA records, record print and television media mentions, and help with event planning.
What's next for you after graduation?
Professionally, I hope to work with a record label either in New York City or Los Angeles, as a celebrity publicist for a high-profile music artist.
Academically, I want to attend law school on either the East or West Coast – close to Los Angeles or New York City. I want to continue my interest in music, and ultimately, to become entertainment lawyer.
For information about the accelerated Public Relations B.A./M.A program in the College of Communication and the Arts, please contact Professor Kristen Koehler.
The author of this feature, Olivia Lason, is a Public Relations alum from the College of Communication and the Arts, currently working toward an MA in Public Relations.
All images included with this article were taken by Seton Hall alum Katherine Cahalin. A Visual and Sound Media major in the College of Communication and the Arts, Cahalin graduated in 2016.
Categories: Arts and Culture