For Sarah Hamilton '13, it was a lesson in public relations that changed the way she understood the field of psychology and its limitless possibilities.
At the end of 2012, Sarah had just completed her internship at Boston Children's Hospital, where she helped develop educational projects for asthma patient care, diabetes patient care and research education for the nursing staff. The internship allowed the psychology major to apply her coursework as well as her strong technical and creative skills, as several of her projects required the use of video editing software and the creation of podcasts.
Alongside her internship, Sarah was serving as a research assistant at Children's Hospital's Center on Media and Child Health, assisting in the creation, designing and coding of Dr. David Bickham's Advergaming study, which measures the impact of advertising on children's food preferences. In addition to her creative work on the project, Sarah was able to develop scales and measures to code qualitative results from the study.
Meanwhile, during the spring 2012 semester, Sarah was taking an Introduction to Sport Management when Michael DiLorenzo, current Vice President of Audience Development at Rue La La, came to speak to her class. Rue La La is a Boston-based e-commerce and marketing services company that offers an exclusive, invitation-only shopping experience where members are offered private sales on high-end brands for a limited period of time.
Sarah approached DiLorenzo at the end of the class to get his e-mail address and later followed up for advice on her job search. Discovering he had transitioned to Rue La La and that there was an internship posted, Sarah at once saw the opportunity to put her analytical skills to work in a different environment. She immediately applied and was accepted shortly after.
"At that point, everything in my college career had been so clinical, so focused on mental health," she said. "I wanted to try something new."
As the integrated marketing intern, Sarah was responsible for managing the calendarization of e-mail and on-site advertisements and campaigns, which the company calls "assets," and assisting with developing and driving multiplatform marketing strategies to help generate new business in various categories. She also worked with the public relations, creative, merchants and brand partnership teams to generate production schedules and manage deadlines, as well as acting as the primary liaison for the technology team. She went to work on developing sweepstakes and requesting assests from the creative department based on previous demand she was analyzing and other factors related to demographics.
"People were asking my opinion and I was so happy to be contributing," she said, "and I felt like I was learning more and more every day.
"The link between marketing and psychology was becoming clearer all the time," she added.
After her internship ended in May, she was asked to stay on as a contractor and was offered a full-time position in July.
As Rue La La's current Marketing Coordinator, she is working as a cross-departmental marketing and analytical liaison, documenting, reporting and archiving onsite banner performance and activity from previous campaigns and using those results to request strategically impactful assets from the creative team. She continues to schedule and plan e-mail and on-site these assets, monitoring their status once they are live and assists the social team on best practices for their external channels.