Allie Jostrand

Allie Jostrand graduated Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a public relations certificate. Two weeks before graduation, she started a position in client relations for RubinBrown LLP. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Allie Jostrand keeps coming back to one word — passion. She’s passionate about the St. Louis Cardinals, she’s passionate about the University of Missouri–St. Louis and she’s passionate about starting her career in public relations.

Jostrand graduated Saturday from UMSL with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a public relations certificate. When she donned her cap and gown, she’d already started her career with a job in client relations for Clayton, Mo.-based accounting firm RubinBrown LLP.

Putting her career on the fast-track is business as usual for Jostrand. As a student at UMSL, she was involved as a public relations intern for the university’s 50th anniversary Jubilee, and spent eight months as an intern for the children’s advocacy organization Great Circle. After two weeks at her new job, she’s already seeing the connections between her work in children’s advocacy and her new career.

“The passion I had working at Great Circle, I am using at RubinBrown,” she said. “We’re kind of like the cheerleaders of the firm. It’s easy to get excited and be passionate about RubinBrown.”

Public relations was not a career on Jostrand’s radar when she started college. The Chesterfield, Mo., native spent two years as an English major at Indiana University Bloomington before transferring to UMSL. After taking Al Akerson’s Introduction to Public Relations course on a whim, she knew she’d found her future.

“What I loved about my English major was writing,” Jostrand said. “I learned PR and persuasive writing was right up my alley. Taking that PR class was a way to take my strong skill of writing and my love of PR and people and put them together.”

Akerson, assistant teaching professor of communication, said Jostrand exhibited the qualities that will make her a strong public relations professional. As a student, she was already poised, enthusiastic and professional, and she had the ability to work as a strong team member.

“Allie will have a successful career, and she will think big,” Akerson said. “She could work any place in the country in almost any type of company.”

When it came time to search for her first job as a college graduate, Jostrand also took a less-expected route. She perused the traditional job search websites like Monster and Indeed, but she was also impressed by RubinBrown’s reputation and thought they might be a good place to work. She visited the company’s website not sure of what she would find and discovered the opening in their strategic client relations department. It was a shift from her applications in more traditional public relations and social media, but she was excited about the job’s writing and promotional duties.

In her new position, she researches potential clients and helps to craft presentations that partners give when pitching for new accounts. The work allows her to become an expert in a few important aspects of her company.

“I want to remain in a place where I feel like I may only be a couple inches wide but a mile deep, so I can get really passionate and really dive into things,” Jostrand said.

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