Rae Lynn Murillo graduated from Eller in May 2010, majoring in Finance. She has been working at an entertainment PR agency called ID Public Relations in Los Angeles for the past four years, making her way up from an assistant, to an associate account executive, and now, a full-on account executive in their talent department.
Tell us a little bit about ID Public Relations.
Established in 1993, ID began as a boutique publicity firm with only a handful of clients. Today, we are a fully-integrated, bi-coastal agency representing hundreds of clients, including many of the world’s leading actors, films, filmmakers, musicians, brands, technology, production companies and corporations. Some of our clients across these divisions include Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Alicia Keys, Christopher Nolan, Hans Zimmer, Emily Blunt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lupita N’yongo, Jason Reitman, Sean Penn, Wes Anderson, Tiffany & Co., Stephen Colbert, Ben Stiller, Netflix, Nintendo, and Lacoste, to name a few.
How did a Finance major end up with a career in PR?
Majoring in business was always something I wanted to do, and finance was a natural fit – money and numbers always came easy to me, so the finance route seemed like the right choice. I never doubted for a second my choice of major, or the Eller program as a whole, because it gave me the skills necessary to not only perform well inside the classroom, but to also succeed outside the classroom. Business is a part of every industry. I challenge you to name a field that doesn’t in some way require confidence, negotiation, logic, and creativity. Those skills undoubtedly got me my first internships, that led to other internships, that led to part-time jobs, that led to the career I’m in now. It goes to show, you may think you know what you want to do after graduation, but its really the combination of your studies here at Eller and your outside work experiences that will guide you onto the path on which you’re meant to be.
So what was your path like?
I’ve always had a passion for the entertainment industry and the art of film in general. The summer before my junior year and first semester in the cohort, I had the privilege of taking part in the London Internship program the Undergraduate Programs Office offers. Not only does it expose you to international work environments and opportunities, but it’s also tailored to your interests. I was placed in a finance position at an independent film company – so basically, I was in heaven. That placement really woke me up to the fact that, no matter what your major is, there’s always a way to find work in the industry you are most passionate about.
During my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th semesters in the cohort, I had a great part-time job/internship with an entertainment PR firm called Allied Integrated Marketing (known as Allied Advertising at the time). It allowed me to work on movie campaigns in regional markets and direct city-wide promotional events in conjunction with film releases. The position was a combination of marketing, finance, management, PR, and event planning. It was hectic, stressful, and exciting, but I knew it was what I wanted to do. (Walking Hugh Jackman down the red carpet at the Wolverine premiere may have sealed the deal. Kidding! Kind of…)
For my final summer before graduation, I applied to be a part of the internship program at Warner Bros. in Los Angeles. I applied online early, and that, shockingly, did not get me anywhere. So I racked my brain for anyone I knew that had any affiliation with Warner Bros, ANY at all. I really wanted that internship and was on a warpath to get accepted. After a bit of pondering, I remembered… the photographer from my old dance studio, in his former pre-retirement career, was a still photographer on movie sets, and he just so happened to be putting together a book on his work that had him on the studio lot nearly every day. I shot him a message on Facebook (yep, good ol’ Facebook), and, long story short, he got my resume in front of one of the HR recruiters. Five phone interviews later, I finally got the position. My point? Use your network. Even if you think nothing is going to come of it, somebody always knows somebody who knows somebody.
So, after four semesters of fully utilizing (to the best of my ability) the academic, extracurricular, and professional opportunities that were given to me at Eller, I graduated and landed a job at ID later that same year. I should also mention that particular job offer came after I had already turned down two others – I think I gave my parents minor heart attacks. But they survived, as did I, because deep down I knew I didn’t want to start my professional career doing something I wasn’t absolutely passionate about. You should try to look at it this way: Every job you’ve had and will have in your life will have its stressful and difficult qualities; however, if you wake up each morning and can find at least one thing about your job that truly excites you, that ignites a fire within you, the rewards that come from that will more than outweigh and make up for those stressful and difficult times.