Senior Marisa Reinhart from Pequannock, New Jersey, has made the most of her Villanova Career. She chose to attend Villanova because she witnessed a community where everyone was enjoying their time. She also wanted a medium sized liberal arts college where she could continue to pursue her love of critical reading and writing and to figure out how to apply it in her future. Her love of sports also prompted her to attend a school with a sports presence, which, as she recalled, worked out. She also said that she has a twin brother at Seton Hall, which has prompted a huge Big East rivalry in her family.
She also recalled an unforgettable experience from her childhood. “When I was four, I was on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, and the engines caught on fire, so they stopped the boat, got it under control, and we chugged back to Bermuda to fly home. But Tina Fey ended up being on it. She wrote about it in her book that it was her honeymoon cruise in 2001 before she was big. My mom read the book and we realized that it must have been the same cruise we were on.”
She came into the university undecided as a Freshman, but she was open to experience the well-roundedness of a liberal arts education by taking different classes and seeing what most captured her interest. After exploring different courses, she discovered that her passion lay in Communications and declared it as a minor with a specialization in Public Relations. She also has a double minor in History and Peace and Justice.
Her time at Villanova has been full of a plethora of internships and extracurriculars. Her first internship occurred during the summer after her Freshman year at a lifestyle website and video editing agency firm near her house called “Hip New Jersey.” There she wrote blog posts and contributed to social media marketing. Overall, she found it to be a good learning experience.
Her second internship, during her sophomore year, was an on-campus one with OUS that came about after she took Kate Szumanski’s ASPD course called Professional Writing. After bonding with Kate, she decided to apply for the position of Strategic Marketing Intern that would serve under Kate. She and the other interns worked together on promotional materials for professional development events, on social media, and on a brand-new transfer guide that would help students who transferred into Villanova.
On working with Kate, Marisa said, “She has been such a resource over the years. I’ve sent her my resumes and cover letters to read, or she’ll forward me events that she thinks I might be interested in, and she has written me letters of recommendation. So, Kate is definitely the best person, but there are so many people at Villanova who just want to help their students. I think finding someone like that is fundamental to your success. It was nice to find her earlier on in my college experience, rooting for me on campus.”
Then, during her junior year, she had a virtual internship for a luggage company where she helped with social media promotion. She also did part-time volunteer work for a non-profit that encouraged women to run for political offices. For them, she was a public relations intern and wrote press releases and assisted at events and workshops they hosted.
Last summer, she worked as a Retail Marketing Intern at Pierre Fabre Group, a French pharmaceutical company, and dealt with their haircare and skincare brands through product launching and writing copy for their products. She recalled it as one of her favorite internships, because not only did she get free products out of it, but she was able to work for a company that had a global outreach, so she could learn about what goes into working for a global company.
Currently, she interns for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Media Relations Office. She helps run their Instagram and writes blog posts and press releases. She said, “I have written press releases in my classes, but it’s been great to write real press releases and then also running the Instagram for the college. So, it’s been a cool experience this year since I’m building a portfolio to send out for jobs in the future, and now I can display some of the real-world work that I have been been doing so far.”
She had also made a strong impact on the Villanova Community through her extracurriculars. As a sophomore, she founded Villanova’s chapter of She’s the First, a national non-profit organization that raises money for girls around the world to be the first in their family to graduate from high school. Villanova’s chapter has now sponsored girls in Sierra Leon for tuition for three years and has held many fundraisers on campus like bake sales, Documentary Screenings, and a cheese buffet called Cheese the First.
On founding the chapter, she said, “I watched a documentary called ‘Girl Rising,’ which talked about educational inequities around the world. I also watched it when Michelle Obama was doing her ‘Let Girls Learn Initiative,’ and the impact of Malala’s courage, who was our age, still impacted me. I learned that there wasn’t a club that dealt with girls’ global education at Villanova. Because of that, I began She’s the First here on campus. Now, we train students here at Villanova to be global citizens that learn about educational and gender inequities. I have since passed on the presidential torch to someone else, and it was exciting to see that it’s going to continue after I leave. Starting She’s the First has shaped everything I have done on campus, inspiring me to work for a non-profit someday or a company that is socially responsible.”
She also serves as the Senior Class Representative for the Student Government Association where she also serves as the Chair of the Student Life Advisory Committee, where she manages different issues that might arise in student organizations, residence life, and dining hall services. While not doing work for She’s the First and SGA, she dances in the Dance Ensemble and serves as a Student Ambassador for the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership.
To her fellow Villanovans, she advises them to do as much as possible during their four years. “Go to as much as you can. I’ve tried to go on every sort of trek that Villanova has organized, like the Turner Broadcasting Expedition, visiting Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines with the business school, and attending a marketing check at media labs and advertising agencies over winter break. I try, even if I don’t know if I am interested in the industry, to expose myself to different things. I was and still am undecided about the industry that I want to be in, but I try to seize every opportunity to discover my career path by going to Bridge Society Events and other professional development events. Take advantage of everything while you can. Also, get involved where you can see yourself committed four years from now. As time goes on with the classes you take and the people you meet, you will find what you are passionate about.”