University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
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Alumni Success Stories

Tony Rappel, '11

Tony Rappel photo
Major / Minor: Communications w/ emphases in Public Relations and Organizational Communication
Organization: Heartland Business Systems
Job Title: Marketing and Public Relations Specialist

Why did you choose to go into your program of study?

I always wanted to be a spokesperson for a company and to interact with the media. Initially I thought about journalism, but the further I got into my education, I realized I wanted to be on the other side of the mic. The challenges of PR grabbed me, and I often compare it to sports; you're always competing against someone else, trying to garner that media attention. That fierce competitions makes every day at the office fresh.

When you began at UW-Green Bay, what did you expect for your future?

I didn't know what to expect. I was a transfer student and had all of my gen. eds. completed, so my entire focus was on my major. That, I believe, helped me succeed more in the classroom and outside. Everyone was friendly and outgoing, as I had hoped, and that allowed me to really enjoy UWGB and exceed all my expectations.

Did you have a job/internship in your field while going to college that helped spark your interest?

I had two internships during my time at UWGB and one immediately after graduation. Those opportunities taught me more than the classroom in regards to the business world and life in general. Classes provide good information, but internships really give you the valuable experience employers are looking for. I always tell people in school, you can have a 4.0, but if you don't have real life experience, that kid with the 3.0 and 2 internships will get the job over you every time. Fill your resume, gain the experience and ready yourself for life after college.

Interned with Baer Performance Marketing, March of Dimes and Legato Healthcare Marketing

What were you involved in while a student at UW-Green Bay?

I wasn't involved with any clubs or organizations while at GB. I was too busy interning and working a part-time job to pay the bills.

Where are you currently employed? Please describe your position.

Heartland Business Systems. I am in charge of our web and social media marketing, as well as public relations. My day involves checking analytics, following up on social responses, crafting news releases, pitching to the media and so much more. Every day is different and that's what is really enjoyable. One day I'm at a conference in the Dells for the education vertical, then the next I'm at a Police conference in the government vertical. That's the fun, every day keeps you on your toes.

My title is Marketing and Public Relations Specialist.

How do you keep in contact with other alumni?

LinkedIn and Facebook. Alumni events

What advice would you have for a student wanting to enter your field?

Get an internship. Real life experience is needed once that degree is in your hands. Be willing to work the long hours, prove your worth. It will get you noticed, even if you think no one is taking note. Take a job to get your foot in the door and keep over achieving and showing your versatility, and your peers will notice. If you can't find a full time job after graduation, shoot for an internship, gaining more experience is better than staying unemployed or complaining about the lack of jobs. Be proactive.

Can we share your e-mail address on our website/can career services give it out to students inquiring about a job in your place of employment/field?

I'm willing to share my personal email, not my work email. Please use

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