Grad student profile: Rianna Herring


Olivia Osipovitch, Staff Writer

Utica College graduate student, Rianna Herring grew up in Speculator, NY, a small town right outside of Saratoga, NY. The 24-year-old Public Relations graduate had big dreams ever since she a young age.

Herring’s mother had to pay a tuition fee so she could attend Johnstown High School located in Johnstown, NY just because it was outside of her actual school district. Herring loved a smaller academic atmosphere but Wells High School was too small, which what would have had a graduating class of ten students.

Living in what is considered the “middle of nowhere,” Herring had a 45-minute commute to high school every day.

That commute didn’t affect her grade. Herring proudly states, “The majority of my high school career I was a high honors student.”

After graduating high school in 2010 and visiting various colleges around her home in the Albany area, she came to the conclusion that those were not the right choice for her. “I felt as if something was missing in each school,” Herring said.

Having family in Utica, NY, she decided to broaden her horizons out this way. UC was the smallest campus she toured but it was the most enjoyable atmosphere.

Having the major she was interested in, she had no trouble choosing UC for the next four years of her college career.

Herring really expressed her love for her major and marketing classes at UC. Academically, she never found issues trying to manage school and her social life because she knew school always came first.

Herring had very close relationships with many professors during her time at UC. Professor Rossi was her favorite management professor.

“He didn’t act just as a professor, but he also genuinely cared how we were doing outside of the classroom,” said Herring. “He wanted the best for us, which was something I appreciated.” Rossi was a large influence on why Herring chose management as a minor.

There were two Professors in the Public Relations department Herring had a lot of love for. Professor Burback, assistant professor of public relations and digital marketing, and Professor Bonacci, adjunct professor of public relations.

“Bonacci helped me with my internship, which led me to my career today,” explained Herring. “And Burback made me love my major.”

Herring interned at the Oneida ARC in their community development department her senior year at UC. This opened up doors for a paid internship in the summer after graduation.

Graduating UC with an overall 3.4 GPA and being the last class to receive the Syracuse degree, Herring graduated in 2014.

After the internship, she landed her first job being a public relations event specialist for a large collision center in Saratoga, which also ventured around the Albany area as well.

Six months later, she came across a more corporate position back in Utica that made a better fit for her to continue her career with MetLife Insurance.

With great pride, Herring expresses how much her education and experience with her internship brought her to the success she has today.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is to put so much time and effort into your education and your internships because it will open doors for you in the future,” Herring said.