Campus Celebrity: HC's Rachel Burns

 Name: Rachel Burns

Major: Public Relations with Minor in Business

Age: 21

Tell us about your role with Her Campus Auburn. I have served as the PR Director of Her Campus Auburn for two years, and I’ve previously served as a Chapter Advisor. As the PR Director, I am responsible for planning and executing promotional events.

How do you come up with publicity ideas and events? I do my research. I check out successful events that campus organizations and other Her Campus chapters have done and read up on local trends to see if we can get a fresh take on it. I do a budget workup to eliminate ideas, then test the finalists by interviewing my friends and Her Campus teammates to get feedback. For example, puppies have been huge this year – Uber, GoDaddy, and other big names have prominently featured puppies in their campaigns this year. We revitalized a previous successful campus event and found a wonderful rescue group (For Paws), and we ended up with Puppy Playdate!

When did you decide you wanted to take charge and have an instrumental role in a campus organization? When I first joined, the CC’s and PR Director appeared to be extremely glamorous (think interviews at Seventeen and internships in L.A.). They made me realize that I could do great things too, and I realized I wanted to be a leader to help others achieve the same feeling of empowerment. To me, being a leader is all about giving back. I’ve loved my time at Her Campus, and I want to make Her Campus Auburn the best it could be. My teammates are incredibly talented, and I wanted to

What’s the most challenging part of your role as PR Director? Coming up with low cost, high-impact and original events is the most challenging part of my job, but it’s also the most fun!

How has being a leader in a major organization strengthened you? Being a Her Campus leader has taught me many skills. I’ve improved my time management, communication, and planning skills throughout my time as PR Director, and I’ll be better prepared for my future career because of this role. However, the most important way that being a leader has strengthened me in that it taught me how to say no. It can be difficult for young people (especially women) to say no, but it’s necessary for professional and personal improvement.

What other things are you involved with on campus? I could fill an entire article just about what clubs I’m in! I have previously served as the Membership Director for the Public Relations Student Society of America and the PR Director for the Delta Epsilon Iota honor society. I’m a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Communication honor society, and I work with Be the Match on Campus. I’m also proud to have marched for two seasons in the Auburn University Marching Band. Let’s just say I love being involved.

What has been the most exciting part of your major? In public relations, no two days are exactly alike. Through my major, I’ve gotten to intern with a local mayor, meet the governor, handle a national crisis, work at press conferences, and even score invitations to national fashion and music events. PR isn’t as glamorous as most people think, but the perks can be awesome!

What are your post-grad plans? I plan on either working in a public relations agency in Atlanta, or pursuing a career in entertainment PR in Nashville. I also plan on starting grad school to earn my MBA.

 Any advice for students looking to get involved with organizations related to their major? Auburn offers many resources for students who want to get involved. Professors, advisors, and the Office of Involvement are all available to help. AUinvolve is also a great source – students can view a listing of all clubs and sign up to receive club emails, all without leaving their dorm room!

How do you manage to stay organized when planning events?  My planner is my best friend, and making lists is one of my favorite pastimes. My foolproof method to planning events is to make a list of all activities/venue elements, then create a list for what steps need to be taken to accomplish each element. I then make a timeline for when all of the elements must be finished.