Lynn alum Anne Marie Connolly, who is now a public relations specialist for The City of Boca Raton, discusses the importance of networking and confidence building.
Upon entering Lynn, Connolly wanted to be a sports broadcaster. That was until she took a class with Professor Gary Carlin, where she found her love for public relations. Connolly was very involved on campus during her time at Lynn, as she was a member of the softball team, a RA and CA, a student ambassador and the managing editor for iPulse.
In 2014, Connolly got her bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism with a minor in communication and received her MBA in 2016.
“Nowadays, people do not want people who are just good at PR. They want someone that is a jack of all trades. From social media or creating graphics or taking pictures,” said Connolly. “Everything that you are learning or being taught in your classes, you know, you really are going to use in your future… I promise!”
After she graduated, she worked in the Office of Career and Alumni Connections as a Community Engagement Professional and was enrolled in the master’s program at Lynn. Once she received her MBA in 2016, she worked for the Asset Management company as a social media coordinator.
Her guidance from her boss at the Office of Career and Alumni connections, Barbara Cambia, led her to her current job as the PR Specialist for the City of Boca Raton.
The biggest lesson Connolly has learned in her career so far is making connections and maintaining them.
“Never stop networking and always make a lasting impression. I have met so many different people from so many different industries, which led me to my jobs,” said Connolly. “…Honestly, any and every connection that you make…. Make it count.”
Connolly wants to inform students to savor every moment because they will miss college once they become an adult if they do not. She encourages students not to be afraid to put themselves out there.
“I think something that I struggled with a lot was having the confidence in myself that
I had the tools. I had the skills, I had the personality, to go for the job I wanted to get,” said Connolly. “Honest to god, I was underqualified for the current position I am in. They wanted a lot of experience and emergency management and things that I literally had no experience with.”
She shares that Cambia and other mentors helped her feel confident about the position she was applying for.
“It just made me that much more confident to be like you know what, I might not have all the skills on this piece of paper that you’re looking for, but this is what I am good at, and this is what I can do for you and how I can be an asset,” said Connolly.
She believes nothing should stop someone from applying for a position, as long as they are passionate about the position and dedicate themselves to work.
“Especially being a woman, like don’t ever back down and think you’re not qualified for a position. Go for it. At the end of the day, it will work out. Anything can be learned; anything can be taught. So apply, get your foot in the door, pick up that phone, and you know, prove to them that you can learn. Don’t be afraid. I hope that is one thing you can take away,” said Connolly.
Connolly was inducted into the Lynn University Student Leadership Hall of Fame in 2019 and now resides in South Florida with her husband, Travis Connolly.