It All Comes Back to U.

By Barbara Goldberg, Founder and CEO

I absolutely loved my college years at the University of Miami.

Like many high school grads, I fully embraced leaving the nest and living (sort of) independently. But my time at UM, 30+ years ago, was so much more than that.

It’s where I learned to embrace new ideas, tap into emerging skills and uncover a passion for the wonderful world of PR. I witnessed a growing academic department transform into a sophisticated, highly-regarded School of Communication. I learned from an array of talented professors and experienced all facets of the biz – from mass media law and journalism (yes, on typewriters!) to radio broadcasting and TV production. My experience led me to great internships, full-time work and the launch of my own PR firm.

But, life is full and my obsession with my alma mater took a backseat to growing a business, raising a family and balancing the juggle. My passion dissolved into faded memories stored in the pages of my Ibis yearbooks.

Until recently.

After visiting UM’s incredible campus with my college-bound daughter a few years’ back, I was overcome with nostalgia and deep pride. I dug in my closet for my beloved Iron Arrow jacket. I sought after interns and grads who proudly bled orange and green. I vowed to return to campus to speak to PR students in class. It was time to rekindle the love affair.

This past month, I had the pleasure of meeting the School of Communication’s new (and first female) Dean, Karin Gwinn Wilkins, Ph.D. Dr. Wilkins embraces experiential learning, the need for integrated media literacy and the desire to mold informed communication consumers. Earlier this week, I spoke to the students in Professor Heidi Carr’s PR class, to share practical insight into breaking into the biz. Kudos to Prof. Carr for leveraging seasoned professionals and expanding course content for our future communication leaders.

The world of communications has drastically changed since my Hurricane days. But, amazingly, the School of Comm is keeping up with the pace quite admirably.

Back in the 80’s, the theme of Homecoming was “Hats off to U.” Now, some 35 years later, I can proudly say the same.

…I’ll see you again, soon, UM!

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