Arriving at Temple as a transfer student, Lauren Marhefka (’18) had not yet found her niche in public relations and was looking to learn more. “At the time, I was really struggling with transferring to Temple and was still not entirely sure what PR really meant or encompassed. I heard about PRSSA and PRowl through classroom visits and immediately both sounded like great opportunities to learn more about the field outside of the classroom and from peers who were in the same situation I was!”
After joining the organizations, Marhefka continued to get more involved, attending events such as PPRA’s Careers 101 and PRSSA’s TU Invitational. She also landed several internships with Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Eagles and Wells Fargo Center. As she gained more work and leadership experience, she also gained connections with her peers. Some of her favorite memories from her time in PRSSA include all the times other members came to her for advice about her experience, how to network and prepare for interviews, and other help. “Those little moments solidified that joining PRSSA was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. The first day I walked into a PRSSA meeting, I had no clue what I was doing, what to expect or what I could learn. In a very short amount of time, people were looking to me as a source of help and advice, and that proved to me that I was growing as a person and professional and that PRSSA really was teaching me everything it possibly could.”
After graduation, Marhefka packed her bags and headed for Florida, where she landed a job in her dream industry: sports marketing. She now works as the Marketing Coordinator at Spectra Venue Management for the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center at Florida State University. She accredits much of her success today to her leadership positions in college. In PRowl Public Relations, she worked her way up from being an account associate to the Director of Finance her senior year, as well as Director of Fundraising in PRSSA. “Serving on the e-board for both PRSSA and Prowl is one of the main reasons I am able to successfully run an entire marketing department for a major collegiate sports arena by myself. I have the confidence to know I can perform to the best of my ability and put my best work forward.”
Since working in the industry, Marhefka has noticed the field has been heavily influenced by social media. “Being in the sports and entertainment industry especially, social media drives everything for us from ticket sales to monthly metrics and more. It keeps our business booming and so when something goes wrong, chaos breaks out.” Because social media platforms have been known to crash, they can be a risky method for sales and outreach. “You may think you know how to use social media for business but once in the position, it is an entirely different ballpark.” For current students, Marhefka suggests taking Temple’s class on social media marketing to stay ahead of the curve when entering the industry as a professional.
Another piece of advice she has for students is to not be afraid of the ride life puts you on. “You might not fully understand it at the time, but embrace it and learn from it. Never did I expect myself to change my major, transfer to Temple, or end up in Florida fresh out college. However, I would not be the person and professional I am today without every twist, turn and change that came my way. Things might not always go according to your plan but there is still going to be something you can learn from it.”
She also has plans to continue her education in the future. She will be returning to Philadelphia to pursue her master’s degree in Sport Business through Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management. PRSSA is lucky to have another alumna return to the nest, and Marhefka wants members to feel free to reach out to her for advice about networking, interviews, the sports and entertainment industry, or to make another connection!
This blog post was written by Peyton Pflug, Secretary.