Supportive friends and a great SUNY Plattsburgh Public Relations program is enough to push Public Relations Senior Russia Boles forward with a stressful, yet passionate work schedule.
Originally from a single parent household in Bronx, New York, Boles has a burning passion to see everyone around her succeed as she has, through many opportunities offered at SUNY Plattsburgh. When she isn’t eating, working out, or gazing over fashion tabloids, she’s chasing her dream of Public Relation outreach.
Boles started at Plattsburgh State in Fall 2016, she chose it over Quinnipiac University, a private university located in Hamden, Connecticut. She chose Plattsburgh State because of its diverse and comforting campus.
“At that point in time, it was way more diverse,” Boles said.
Before picking her concentration she wavered between PR or a marketing major, but chose PR because of her passion for media, speaking and writing.
“Photography is one of my biggest passions,” Boles said. “Going into a major that allows me to do that, I think I’ve had a pretty big impact on the department. I see myself as a role model to a lot of PR students, and I want everyone around me to succeed.”
Hoping students follow in her footsteps, Boles has taken on many positions during her time in the program. In the past, she has held the PR and President positions for Club Carribean, for a brief period. She is currently the treasurer of the Plattsburgh Association of Black Journalists, President of the local chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America, and the social media manager for Cardinal PR.
Last school year, she was also the Adobe liaison for PABJ, and helped run four Adobe workshops held over the course of the year. Students were able to learn programs and utilize basic skills in Adobe Premiere, Photoshop and more. One of the most popular workshops was called “Finessing a Flyer,” where students learned to graphically make their own flyers.
After applying to over 100 internships, in the summer of 2018, she had an internship at Showtime, interned at the Daily Harvest in summer 2019, and this semester she is interning at Prime Link, a telecommunications firm in Plattsburgh.
“Russia is doing a wonderful job—I can not say enough good things.” Prime Link Internship Advisor and Marketing Director Vicki A. Marking said. “She reminds me of deadlines!”
At Prime Link, Boles’ job entails special event planning, graphic design and managing social media.
“It’s nice to have someone with creative new ideas,” Marking said. “It reminds people of why they’re doing what they are.”
A large part of Boles motivations to keep going is surrounding herself with students at Plattsburgh State who have good habits of studying to go to grad school, getting involved in campus and practicing good work ethic. Students are who they hang out with, Boles said.
“I know that if one day I’m slacking and I’m like ‘Oh, I don’t want to do this,” Boles said. “I know that I can talk to my friends and they’ll say, ‘Russia you got this.”
One of her biggest motivators other than her friendships is her close relationship with her mother. From a young age, her mother instilled in her to never compare her accomplishments to someone else’s, because she could never know how someone got where they are.
“Don’t compare your journey to anyone else because you don’t know how people get the jobs that they do,” Boles said. “Someone could be walking around with a Louis Vouttin bag that their mom stole from the store two days ago— like you literally don’t know how people get things. Don’t envy anyone, ever.”
Professors on campus like Assistant Professor of PR Michelle Ouellette, Associate Professor of PR Colleen Lemza, and Marking have kept Boles grounded and acted as a support system anytime she felt discouraged.
Boles doesn’t plan on staying in PR forever, but is a good building block for progressing to higher positions in her career in her future.
After graduation, Boles hopes to do a post grad internship and after a few years, work in-house instead of a PR agency. Boles also wants to work at a rotational program within an agency, which are usually 6 to 9 months long, where employees rotate to different departments to figure out what they truly want to do. Her main goal is progression and moving forward in her career.
“In ten years, I am going to hope that I have found a husband,” Boles said. “But if not, ya know—it’s okay.”
Boles focus is mainly on her passion of making an impact and watching others succeed, as she has in her short time in her profession. Boles stresses to all students,
“Get s— done. Do what you need to do. And move on.”