Newton O'Neill Communications
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Just a Small Town Girl

A few words from Star Intern, Torie Villarreal:

The last time I wrote self-reflecting thoughts, it was in my purple Lisa Frank diary, so bear with me…

Growing up in a small town I always dreamt of the day when I would make it out, but it never seemed feasible. My best friend and I applied to all the same schools in hopes of sharing a dorm and experiencing it all together.  She, like most of my high school friends, never got around to applying by the deadline. Me, however, being a stickler for lists and getting my “To do’s” done on time, had mine sent off two weeks before the deadline. My acceptance letter to Texas State came with a stipulation – I had to go to a semester of summer school the month after graduation since my SAT scores weren’t the greatest. I was bummed that I wouldn't get a whole summer with all my friends, but nothing was going to keep me in Kingsville.

The hot summer day my mom dropped me off at Arnold Hall was the scariest, yet most exciting day for me. Summer school wasn’t as dreadful as I’d imagined, but more importantly, I made my first college friends which made the experience much more gratifying. Once the fall semester started, I was one of the few freshman who knew the campus and was ready for my new adventure.

Fast forward to two years later when my journey took a turn for the better. I started school majoring in English, but after a few classes decided it wasn't for me. Curious, I took an entry-level communications class and my professor, Dr. Fluker, was the selling point. From that point on, I was a PR girl all the way. Changing my writing style to press release format including just the 5 W's after elaborating on every detail in English papers took some adjusting, yet made me realize something in the process. Since being away from home, I became more of a cut and dry kind of gal and I was all about this “new me.”

Countless press releases, media lists, and AP style tests later my mom was dropping me off in front of Strahan Coliseum for graduation. I tear up now thinking about how much pride I felt that day. Pride because despite everyone’s expectations - I did it. I made it out of Kingsville and accomplished the most important “To Do” on my list.

Post graduation, I moved to Austin with my sister and found a job waiting tables almost instantly. I admit that I was nervous to even start the hunt for a “big girl job,” but a friend of a friend knew of a company that was looking for an assistant and I jumped on it. Lisa and I met at a coffee shop and I couldn't have been more nervous, but as soon as we started talking, I was at ease. After about 30 minutes, we came to the conclusion that I would start immediately. I met with her current assistant to get up to speed on my duties and jumped right in. Juggling Newton O'Neill during the week and waiting tables on weekends keeps my three-ring circus of a life entertaining to say the least. I've learned more than initially expected from this position and continue to soak every bit of information Lisa and the PR world around me have to offer. What's next, you ask?

Stay tuned…