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My PRSSA Journey: Rachel McLean

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

By Gloris Trujillo


Last year, Alyssa Comins, former president of UA PRSSA, and Mrs. Sims, our Chapter faculty adviser, encouraged me to apply for one of the awards that PRSSA offers — thank you for that. I applied and got an email over summer, notifying me that I had won the Neumeier Family Leadership Award. This award recognizes “a current PRSSA member who has demonstrated an outstanding record of effective leadership” in PRSSA “and/or other campus or community organizations.”

I wanted to know previous winners and, searching around, I found them. Among them was Rachel McLean, a LinkedIn connection. She agreed to do this interview about her journey.

Rachel E. McLean graduated from Boston University in May 2018. In her time at BU, she was heavily involved with her PRSSA Chapter. Rachel held internships with Bose Corporation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and Dell. She now works at Bose in the professional division as a marketing campaign planning and execution specialist. In her free time, Rachel enjoys running marathons, hiking and exploring the sites and cuisines of new cities.

1. What was your best experience with PRSSA?

RM: It was probably serving as vice president for my Chapter. Mentorship and personal, as well as professional, connections with individuals is extremely important to me, so the opportunities that I had to get to know fellow students and professionals was very rewarding. I also loved helping to grow and improve my Chapter, which contributed to it winning a Star Chapter award the following year.

2. What encouraged you to apply to the Neumeier Family Leadership Award?

RM: First, I had just learned that the scholarship existed! I had been a part of my PRSSA Chapter for a year, and the National scholarship opportunities were not widely publicized. Then, when I became more involved with PRSSA National, I learned more about the opportunities and wanted to encourage my peers to apply. I thought, what better way to teach others about these opportunities than try to apply myself? Second, I really wanted to establish myself as a leader in my Chapter and University community.

3. What is the best professional advice that you have ever received?

RM: The best professional advice I have ever received is know your worth. Especially as a young woman, it is really easy to accept things, such as salary and title, as they are. Both my PRSSA faculty adviser, Professor Quigley, and my first manager at Bose specifically told me that I should recognize my value and negotiate more for myself. Now, it is something I am constantly discussing with my friends because we often don’t openly discuss salary, titles, tiers and the like because it makes us uncomfortable, but they are important to discuss because you need to know how your skill set is valued within your professional organization.

4. What is your favorite part about working in Marketing?

RM: My favorite part of working in marketing is the people. I have incredible co-workers who are always teaching me new things about the industry and myself. I am surrounded by people that support me and my growth, so I am constantly offered opportunities to learn more about the different types of marketing and potential career paths, and there is always someone willing to answer questions and explain.

Just like Rachel and I did, you can win any of the scholarships and awards that National PRSSA has to offer.

Click here for more information.

Connect with Rachel on Twitter @rachelemclean and LinkedIn


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