MU Alumnus and Celebrity Publicist Visits University

Entertainment and brand publicist at Illumination PR, Louis Garbarini, advises students to take risks and put themselves out there in the job force. 

As a part of the University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Speaker Series, Garbarini shared his experience and gave advice on internships, finding a job after graduation and how to take risks in one’s field of choice during his presentation in the Jules L. Plangere building on Wednesday, March 11.

Graduating last May, Garbarini pointed out to students that nothing is wrong with changing majors and career paths while in college. “It’s important to be passionate about what you choose to do as a career,” he said. 

Garbarini shared how he was originally a psychology major his freshman year at the University but decided to go down a different path by switching his major to communication with a concentration in public relations/journalism later. 

As a student at the University, being the Vice President of Marketing and Membership of the Student Activities Board (SAB) on campus helped Garbarini discover his passion. 

“I decided I was more interested in public relations and I wanted to be around celebrities so PR/Journalism seemed like a better fit for me,” he said. 

Before his career began at Illumination PR, located in Tarrytown, NY, Garbarini interned at the company during the summer of 2013. Garbarini said that after his internship at the company ended, he took the risk of applying for a potential job at Illumination PR. “After interning for a year [at Illumination], I went on a whim and sent my resume to the company in the hopes of working there full-time,” said Galbarini.

Mary Harris, a specialist professor of public relations and advisor of PRSSA, said the current students in attendance seemed to really enjoy Garbarini’s presentation about his own personal experiences. “He is just a year out of college and easy to relate to for the students,” said Harris.  

Listeners such as Maggie Zelinka, one of the co-presidents of PRSSA said she appreciated Garbarini’s honesty about changing majors and admired him taking risks with his career. 

“It was an honor having Louis speak at today’s PRSSA meeting,” she said. “There is nothing better than our members hearing from someone who was once in their shoes and is now a professional in the field [of PR],” added Zelinka.

Harris said Garbarini’s presentation was very valuable to students. “It was beneficial for them to hear about how he [Garbarini] is working with high profile clients and major events at Illumination,” she said. 

“It was so inspiring to hear Louis speak,” said Linda Bruno, a senior commmunication student. “I remember seeing Louis around Plangere and now that he just graduated and is working in PR with celebrities such as Christina Millian and JWOWW, I’m really happy for his success,” said Bruno.

Garbarini also provided students with tips for how to get a job in one’s field of study right after graduation, sharing his insight with resumes and cover letters. “I firsthand have access to incoming cover letters and resumes that are sent to Illumination, and there really are some bad ones out there,” said Galbarini. 

Along with revising cover letters and resumes, Garbarini advised students to always have a strong introductory email when writing to a future employer. 

Most importantly, students should always conduct research on the company they are applying to. Garbarini explained that doing research not only helps during the interview process, it helps someone figure out if a specific company is one that they want to work for. 

Garbarini’s job advice helped Casey Allocco, a senior communication student and co-president of PRSSA. “Louis pointed out small things that are so crucial when applying for a job that are sometimes overlooked, such as introductory emails,” said Allocco. 

Once one lands the interview and goes through the process, Garbarini said in his presentation to always do a follow up email thanking the company and interviewer for the opportunity. Garbarini explained that follow up emails help build relationships with people and companies. He said building relationships and networking at an internship or job is crucial in today’s job force. 

At the conclusion of the presentation, students were able to ask Garbarini any questions they had.  

There was a wide array of questions that allowed Garbarini to go into further detail about everything from his work schedule, to tips on project time management. 

Within his answers, Garbarini said his schedule is Monday through Friday, 11a.m to 6p.m. In regards to project time management, he advised students to always give enough time for planning. 

Along with planning, pitch ideas to multiple clients ahead of time to give some flexibility, and to really stay on top of incoming emails, as one can easily get bombarded with a great amount each day.  

Gabarini’s last piece of advice for students finding a job after graduation was, “Definitely get an internship as it opens up so many doors for you, do a lot of research of what you want to do in your field and research the companies you want to pitch yourself to,” he said.

PHOTO COURTESY of Louis Galbarini