Senior Reflects: Public Relations and Advertising Double Major Marian Suganob

Marian poses in front of a bush with her graduation regalia.

Today we speak to recent graduate Marian Suganob, a Public Relations and Advertising double major with a minor in theatre. Marian, a first-generation college student from Mantua, NJ (Gloucester County), lived on campus all four years of her college career.

Marian poses next to the Rowan University sign.

Could you share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

I didn’t come to Rowan as a theater minor. I took Intro to Acting to fill a Rowan Core requirement. The adjunct professor that was teaching the course, Professor Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez, saw that I had a creative mind. She could see that the major that I had declared at the time wasn’t the right one for me. She recommended I sign up to be a theatre major or minor. That experience really helped me feel welcome at Rowan. She didn’t just treat me like I was one of the thousands of students that she taught. She saw me and made the effort to talk to me during class and after class. That was definitely one class that made me feel I was at the right school.

Could you share your favorite social memory?

A lot of my memories come from my time with the Rowan University Philippine American Coalition (RUPAC), the Filipino club on campus, and also being an RA.

I’m a bit of an introvert, so I’m not always hanging out with people, but the only way I could survive being an RA and also do well in school was by sticking together with the other RAs. Often, the other RAs and I would study together, while we were on duty we’d study from 8 p.m. until around 2 a.m. It was really fun. We also bonded over having crazy experiences being RAs. 

When I joined RUPAC my freshman year, I felt welcome at Rowan. We performed a play that was run, created, written and directed by students. It was an adaptation of Mulan. I got to play the lead role, and that was really, really fun. It broke me out of my shell and I met a lot of friends because of it. The experience was great for me. 

Marian stands on a big yellow chair that says #Rowan2021.

What are your career aspirations?

Right now I would like to find what I am passionate about. However, I would really like to go into advertising one day. 

How did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with your professional growth or career aspirations?

Being at Rowan helped me build my work ethic. Rowan has also helped me explore my career aspirations by letting me ask questions and be curious. The people at Rowan helped me open my mind to more creative fields. All of my relatives are in some part of the medical field, so nobody in my family has ever gone into the creative field. Rowan supported me in my exploration to find my career aspirations. 

Do you want to give a thank-you shout-out to your family, friends, advisors or mentors?

Thank you to RUPAC for giving me a home on-campus. Thank you to my professors and advisors for helping me grow and helping me enjoy my education, even though it was challenging. Thank you to the Office of Events and Conferences for the many professional opportunities they have given me. The Office of Events and Conferences led me to my current job at the Rowan Blog. Thank you to those who created and passed the Student Health fee my sophomore year. You saved my life and countless others. Please continue to advocate for these issues and fight for change. Thank you to my boyfriend for being my study partner and my best friend. Thank you to my parents for supporting me throughout college. 

Marian's decorated graduation cap, as seen from above.

Who is your favorite professor? What class did you take them for? And why is this person your favorite?

I loved taking Public Opinion with Dr. Novak, and I also really enjoyed taking PR Practicum with Professor Shoenstein.

Public Opinion helped me understand why PR and Advertising are so important. It’s not just about promoting a business or promoting your own efforts. Your work helps create social change. PR and advertising are grounded in actual psychology. Also, understanding your audience is really powerful. 

In PR Practicum, I was able to practice my skills in social media and graphic creation. I mostly used those skills for clubs on the side, or for myself, but to practice with a team and a professor for a good cause was really fun.

What advice would you give to incoming first-year students or transfer students about making the most out of their college experience?

Try to find a balance between exploring your career aspirations and keeping mentally healthy. I wish I had done more internships and explored more, but it was good for my mental health to limit myself to one per year.

Marian poses in her graduation regalia.

Is there anything else you would like to look back on and reflect on regarding your time at Rowan?

College helped me grow as a person, especially in public speaking. At the beginning of college, I absolutely hated public speaking. I never wanted to volunteer, I never thought I was good at it. But after the countless presentations I have given for classes, and papers I have had to write, I am a better communicator. I would have never thought that I’d actually like presenting and that I would want to present with my team at the end of my senior year. Thank you, Rowan, for helping me become better and changing me. 

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Story by:
Rachel Rumsby, rising junior communication studies and public relations double major

Photography by:
Joe Gentempo, art graduate

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