Photo Contributed by Regina Bell. (Left) Regina Bell (Right) Alexa O’Rourke.

Alexa O’Rourke, a 2012 graduate from the University of Rhode Island, spoke to current public relations’ students this past Friday, encouraging them to let their passion thrive.

O’Rourke was soft-spoken and reserved, quickly finding her comfort zone at URI. However, her life took a turn when she attended a Public Relations panel her senior year. At the panel, one woman stood up and shared that she had changed her career path from Public Relations to become a life coach.

After that statement, O’Rourke turned to her friend and said, “That is what I am going to do with my life.” After graduating, it seemed she had forgotten about the dream and went on to work for Corporate America, a major company. It was only recently that she broke out of her shell and rediscovered her true passion of becoming a soul coach.

O’Rourke explained that a soul coach is “partnering with mainly one-on-one clients, and the whole mindset is asking the client intuitive, open ended questions so that they may answer with their own visions.”
Her true goal in her counseling is to “transform fear into opportunity, and to empower people to live out exactly what their life’s dream and purpose is.”

The purpose of her visit to campus was to “give back and teach students to lead their life through their heart, not necessarily their minds.”

O’Rourke’s visit went hand-in-hand with a new program in the department of public relations known as “The Success Plan.” Regina Bell, a senior lecturer and academic advisor in the Public Relations program, has worked with Lisa Bergson, a lecturer in the Harrington School of Communication and Media, over the past summer to craft “The Success Plan.” It was launched this September and has been a very positive addition to the program.

“[We] value the input of industry leaders, and recognize that our students need to develop professional development skills so that our students will be competitive players in the marketplace,” Bell said.
“We need to prepare our students for their future careers, and we are confident that the success plan will help them.”

This program places a high emphasis on professional development skills, directly teaching them to students. In the 100-level courses that Public Relations’ students take, skills such as handshakes, introducing yourself, eye contact and more are taught. This may seem like rudimentary skills, however, in the professional world these skills can make or break a business deal. In PRS 340, students work with the career center on crafting cover letters and resumes. Seniors in PRS 441 get to experience a business etiquette luncheon to practice fine dining in preparation for interviews and meetings.

O’Rourke was very excited to visit with these students and talk to them about healthy living and finding what their true life’s purpose is. Along with that, she is looking forward to become a larger part of “the success program” and work with the department to educate and inspire Public Relations’ majors.