On the way home to Appleton, Wis., from a weekend of college tours in the Twin Cities, Gina D’Agostino and her mom took the River Falls exit to take a look at the UWRF campus.
“Oh my gosh, I love it here,” she remembers thinking. “It felt like home.”
That chance visit set the stage for her journey as a Falcon. Gina wasted no time diving in, she had a job interview to be an Athletic Department social media intern in her first few days on campus. That was the first of four internships that would help prepare her for a marketing communications career after graduation.
As a sophomore, Gina applied the skills that she’d learned in graphic design to an internship with Menasha Packaging where she developed and edited food and hygiene packaging.
“I also worked in the Career Services Office which helped me gain confidence and skills that I’d need as a professional,” she said. “I also started attending the Career Fair every semester starting my sophomore year.”
These early internship experiences lead to even bigger opportunities in Florida. Gina’s third internship was with NBC Sports Group at the Golf Channel. This combined her love of golf - she’s on the UWRF golf team - and marketing communications.
To top it all off, she landed an internship with Walt Disney World the next year. There she even found time to do an undergraduate research project about marketing, merchandise and promotion.
“All of these experiences have helped me to discover that I want to work more in the hospitality industry,” Gina notes.
Gina will start her career as a front office agent with JW Marriot at the Minneapolis Mall of America location where she will work in guest services, the front office and events.
“I’m really excited to get hotel operations experience,” she explained.
Gina credits adding the psychology minor with a marketing communications major for giving her a well-rounded experience.
“It was good to have a well-rounded education in both of those sides so that I could learn research and analytical skills in a STEM field along with the opportunity to learn communication and creative skills from my mar comm classes. I’m also in the honors program so to fulfill those requirements I had to take classes outside my major that I wouldn’t have otherwise taken. Those classes taught me new ways to study that helped me in my other classes,” Gina said.
Looking back on her four years at UWRF, Gina encourages students to get involved on campus early.
“It doesn’t have to be just clubs, it could be your residence hall council or campus events,” she said. “I’d also get an on-campus job or an internship to help gain experience and career-related skills such as time management. It also helps you to learn what you like to do and what you don’t like to do.”