BY KASEY SPRINGSTEEN
PRNews, an organization that focuses on honing and growing public relations and marketing professionals’ skills in social media, recently honored two Drake Public Relations students with awards for their work making an impact in the communications field. Maddy Gildersleeve and Sarah Mondello were recognized for their hard work in December.
Gildersleeve, a senior marketing and public relations student, was honored as Public Relations Student of the Year for her work in a variety of internships, including as a brand marketing intern for Johnson Consulting Services her first year, a marketing communications intern for Hayes Corporation her sophomore year, a digital marketing intern for Better Homes and Gardens, a social media and marketing intern for Power Life Yoga her junior year, an account management intern at FCB Chicago and most recently, a marketing and communications intern at Bankers Trust.
Gildersleeve is also an involved Drake Student, having served as president of her social sorority, founded the campus Panhellenic Philanthropy, working with Everybody Wins! Iowa, a reading mentorship program that pairs mentors and elementary students together, and working on the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the American Marketing Association chapters on campus.
In her work, Gildersleeve said she “expects nothing but the absolute best.”
“I have learned how to bring out the best in people,” Gildersleeve said. “It really is about collaboration.”
She said her whole Drake experience has been a large contributor to her success, but especially in her recent capstone class where she is working on a real business proposal for Creative Visions.
Gildersleeve recently accepted a full-time position as a corporate management trainee at Kraft-Heinz in Chicago.
Sarah Mondello, a senior public relations and writing double major, received Honorable Mention as Public Relations Intern of the Year. This is attributed to her work for Drake Community Press.
For the past two years, she has been working with professionals every step of the way to publish and promote “A Spectrum of Faith: Religions of the World in America’s Heartland,” the most recent publication of Drake Community Press. She has also worked as an intern for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and as an intern for Kaye Publicity, a book publicity firm.
On campus, she has been involved as a writing tutor, a writer and designer for DUiN Magazine, an editor for Periphery Art and Literary Journal and serving as a member of the executive board for PRSSA and Sigma Tau Delta, an English Honor Society.
During her first year at Drake, Mondello published a novel with Kellan Publishing titled “The Kiss of Death” under her pen name, Sarah Natale. She seeks to set herself apart from other professionals and students with ambition.
“Most people wait for the right time, but the right time will never come,” she said. “You need hard work and ambition.”
She said it is important to put yourself out there, even if it is scary to do so.