The Great Communicator

Deanna Loew ’17, who launched Rollins’ chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, is the newest account executive at a leading global communications company.

Deanna Loew ’17 and her classmates won a 2016 Golden Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association for the strategic communication plan they developed for local food service start-up Farm & Haus. (Photo by Scott Cook) Deanna Loew ’17 and her classmates won a 2016 Golden Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association for the strategic communication plan they developed for local food service start-up Farm & Haus. (Photo by Scott Cook)

If it weren’t for a persuasive father and the allure of a free trip to Disney World, Deanna Loew ’17 might not have recently graduated from Rollins with a dream job lined up in public relations.

But more on that later.

For now, just know that Loew—a communication major who minored in English and philosophy—is pretty much on Cloud 9. After touring Europe this summer, she’ll begin work in Orlando as an account executive for Edelman, the world’s largest independently owned PR firm.

It’s the perfect way to cap a prolific college career that included presiding over Rollins’ chapter of the PRSSA and Lambda Pi Eta, the communication studies honor society—in addition to serving as captain of the debate team, vice president of the student body, and editor of The Independent magazine, among other pursuits.

A few days after walking across the Commencement stage, Loew sat down with us to talk about the past four years and what lies ahead.

Congratulations on your new job. How did you land it? “I stalked Edelman’s website for a job, and then I applied and pestered them until they were forced to hire me. They interviewed a ton of people, apparently, so I’m feeling pretty lucky.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? “Part of the reason I want to work for Edelman is they have a well-developed political and PR system, and eventually I’d like to be a press secretary or political consultant.”

Why did you select Rollins out of high school? “I applied to a bunch of pretty prestigious universities, and I had every intention of going to one of those, but my dad (who lived in Winter Park when he was younger) was like, ‘you haven’t visited Rollins yet.’ He bribed me with a family trip to Disney, so I called and set up a tour. I was on campus for about 15 minutes before I texted my dad and said, ‘That’s it. I’m going here.’ I thought Rollins was a really great fit for me. My dad will never let me forget it.”

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

How has your life changed since then? “When I first started, I was actually a professional ballet dancer, and I hadn’t jumped fully into the Rollins experience. About midway through my freshman year, I was in Dr. Smaw’s Zombies, Serial Killers, and Madmen class, and he said, ‘Hey, you’re smart. You should join the debate team.’ And that became the catalyst for everything I’ve been involved in at Rollins.”

Wait, did you say you were a professional ballet dancer? “Yeah, I was dancing with the Orlando Ballet, but I injured my back and that’s primarily why I stopped. If you’re in a ballet company, it’s a full-time job and it’s not incredibly feasible with a full course load, which I learned my first semester. I’m a bit of an overachiever. The back injury was pretty unfortunate, but it did make things simpler.”

You seem like someone who works best juggling a lot of tasks. “My great grandfather used to tell me that the busy man makes time for everyone, and I’ve always found that to be true.”

What are your favorite memories from the debate team? “I got to hike the Great Wall of China, mentor the new team members and compete in the Great Debate against some incredible teams like the JADE delegation from Jamaica. It was also rewarding being able to help Dr. Smaw create a cohesive, family-like unit on campus.”

Got a favorite place to get away from it all? “I like the tower room in Olin Library. It’s just so peaceful, and there’s no Wi-Fi. I like being disconnected. I was a camp counselor for the past three summers in Maine, and there was no cell reception. Fantastic!”

How does Rollins prepare students for what lies ahead? “I think that Rollins is really what you make of it. You can push yourself really hard and learn a lot of stuff and do outside research and have integrated discussions with lots of professors. I would not be the person I am today without those close relationships.”

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