Becca '17 Writes About Women's Colleges for Thought Catalog

March 31, 2015

Becca Ruesch

Becca Ruesch wrote an article for Thought Catalog about why she chose a women's college!

What are you studying?

Public relations and marketing communications. It's the new joint major between the Communications Department and the School of Management

What drew you to your major?

I liked writing, but I wasn't really drawn to writing for journalism. I really enjoy the promotional and management aspect that PR and Marketing have to offer. I think the whole idea of finding a way to successfully advertise and promote a company or client is quite fascinating. If you do work for someone and the sales or demand increase, you know that you contributed to that success and that's something that I think is really valuable and important. 

The professors in the Communications Department also contributed to my interest in this major. They have been so willing and eager to help in any way they can. They truly care about the success of their students and I felt -- and still feel -- that this group of professors will be there for me my entire college career, and possibly after. 

What's your favorite part of your program?

The hands-on experience I gain in the classroom, as well as through assignments. In most of my classes, there are usually timed exercises where we have to quickly write a news release, radio script, or media advisory. Though it can be stressful at first, I can think of no better way I would like to learn. It teaches me almost on the spot what to expect in the PR and Communications field. I feel lucky that I have great professors who are doing everything in their power to make sure I am prepared when I enter the working world. 

I'm also taking part in the National Student Advertising Competition, which is through COMM 326/MGMT 232B. Each spring semester, there is a different client and this semester the client is Pizza Hut. I am currently working with a team of students to create a comprehensive advertising campaign to increase the online ordering sales for Pizza Hut. The semester is only about half way through and I already feel I have gained an incredible amount of hands-on, real-world experience. I am so grateful that Simmons offers this course and that I have been given this opportunity. 

What's it like writing for Thought Catalog? 

Writing for Thought Catalog has been a great experience so far. They really give you creative freedom to write about any topic you feel passionate about. It has also allowed me to think more about certain topics in order to develop a thesis for a potential article. I've always liked writing, but had previously never done anything about it. One day, I randomly wrote an article I felt quite strongly about and happened to submit it to TC once I was finished. I actually forgot that I had submitted it, when a few weeks later I got an email from a publisher saying that my article had been published and I could view it live by clicking on the pasted link. 

When my first article got published, it was one of the best feelings I had ever experienced. I had the same feeling with my most recent article as well. It's amazing to have other people appreciate your work and feel inspired by topics you're writing about. The feedback I've gotten on my articles has truly been heart warming, partly because the articles have been quite personal and I was nervous about what the reaction would be. There are only certain people I had opened up to in the past, and I was skeptical about what some people might think about my opinions. Fortunately, everyone was very positive and encouraged me to keep writing. I've actually started keeping a notes section on my phone with article ideas, so that if an idea strikes me while I'm on the go, I can quickly jot it down on my phone and return to it later. It has truly been a wonderful experience and I really hope to continue it for quite a while longer. 

What's your favorite part of writing for Thought Catalog?

How it has allowed me to grow as a writer and experiment with my creativity. Ever since my first article got published, I've opened my mind to different topics and seen things in a new way. I look for writing inspiration in every day life because I really enjoy writing about personal experiences. I like being able to take my personal insights and apply them to more universal topics that everyone can understand. 

Another part I enjoy is reading the comments section on my articles. Since TC is a national website, you never know who might stumble across your article and decide to comment. Some haven't necessarily been positive comments, but I have found people always have interesting things to say. Some people don't actually like the comments part of it, but I find it mostly entertaining and intriguing.

Are you doing any other types of work other than writing for Thought Catalog?

Other than writing for Thought Catalog, I am currently a nanny for a girl in Brookline. I started last year and have been doing it ever since. I love working with kids and when I am home in Portland, ME I work at a daycare center with toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. Funny enough, this is actually the same daycare I attended when I was that age. 

I also very recently accepted an internship as Social Media Assistant for a local start-up blog called Style-Wire. It's a Boston-based, fashion and lifestyle blog. My responsibilities are just making sure the content on the social media pages is consistent with the content on their actual website.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering attending Simmons?

Be open-minded. Don't immediately write Simmons off just because it's all women. Take time to actually look at the programs and think about what's best for you. When it comes to choosing a college, you have to put yourself first. That's imperative -- and it's easier said than done. A lot of people are under pressure from their parents and that can be really hard to stand up to. You have to think about you want, and not what your parents want. This is your life and you don't want to make a big decision like this based on what other people think. Listening to your gut instinct is also part of it. It sounds cliche, but it's true. Your gut is probably telling you something for a reason. You have to consider absolutely everything, but most importantly, you have to honestly listen to yourself.

What's your Simmons moment?

It's hard to pinpoint a specific "Simmons moment." I think a big one is the intimate classroom environment. I sat in on a class during a visit to Simmons my senior of high school and even then, I felt engaged and welcomed into the environment. I have never been a person who does well in a giant lecture hall setting where the professor can go the whole semester without learning my name. I wouldn't be motivated to do my best. I love that Simmons has caring, smart professors who push and challenge their students to do their absolute best work. I feel this is better preparing me for life after college and I couldn't be more thankful.

What made you choose to come to school at Simmons?

I chose Simmons because I loved the small school, big city environment. I really wanted to be in Boston, but couldn't see myself at a big university like Northeastern or Boston University. Like I stated above, the classroom environment definitely impacted my decision. Also, when I received my acceptance letter, it was quite personal and that made a huge difference. It wasn't a generic acceptance letter they could have sent to just anybody. They referenced my essay specifically and it showed that they really cared and wanted me at their school. 

Long story short, I felt valued and wanted from the moment I was accepted. When I sent my deposit in, I really felt that this was a place that would cherish me as an individual. It was the school that offered me the most room to grow and that's what I loved (and still love) about Simmons.