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Passionate About P.R.

Julie (Costello) Hendry ’08 truly enjoys her job. And she’s not afraid to say it.

“I can honestly say I love it, and I wake up happy every day to go work,” says Julie, who majored in communications at Robert Morris University and now works as a public relations specialist for Direct Energy in downtown Pittsburgh.

“I have a strong passion for P.R., and it all started with my first class at RMU.”

That class was Survey of Mass Communication with Prof. Michelle Rees Edwards, Ph.D., and it covered a lot of aspects of mass communication, including public relations. “I’m the kind of person that likes to do and learn new things, and P.R. is perfect for that,” says Julie. “As soon as I started learning about it, I knew right away that it was the field I wanted to pursue.”

Upon graduating from Robert Morris in 2008, Julie started as an assistant account executive at Red House Communications, a small ad agency in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood. After that she worked for two years for Education Management Corporation as an academic counselor, before starting with Direct Energy in September 2011.

One of the things Julie likes best about her job is the variety. “It’s always changing, and no two days are ever the same,” she says. “One day you can be planting trees as part of a volunteer event; the next you could be wearing a ball gown and attending a formal gala.”

Her favorite part of the job is spearheading Direct Energy’s Volunteer Citizen of the Year award programs, which are designed to recognize the significant efforts of individuals whose contributions make their communities a better place to live. She has also launched the program in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and, most recently, in Harrisburg. In June, she will be heading to New York City for the 2012 American Business Awards, where she hopes to bring home a “Stevie Award” for her company.

Regarding her career, Julie doesn’t have any definitive long-term goals, but she does know that she’ll always be in public relations. “I’m hoping to grow within my current position,” she says, “and I am always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and obtain skills to make me better at my job.”

Currently she is in her last semester at Point Park University, where she hopes to earn her master’s degree in journalism this upcoming August. Dr. Edwards even wrote her a recommendation for her application. “I am very thankful for that,” she says.

“I am so proud to be an alum. I don’t know where I’d be had I not chosen RMU for my undergraduate degree.”
Written by Valentine J. Brkich


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