Alumna offers fresh
           approach to success!

Erin O'Brien BA '08

By Steve Hemphill, 
Assistant Director Alumni Relations

Erin O’Brien may be a young Communication Arts graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word, but you would never be able to tell her age by looking at her workload. She currently serves as editor of NSIDE publications and volunteers for the Harp and Shamrock Society where she is the youngest member of the board.

When O’Brien was in elementary school, she had the creative beginnings of a future editor. When her family celebrated a birthday, she would write and illustrate little paper books that she would staple together as gifts. Today as the editor of NSIDE magazines, she continues to hone and perfect her craft.

As a student she served as associate editor of UIW's student newspaper, The Logos and tutored in the Learning Assistance Center. When asked about her experience at the University of the Incarnate Word, she remembers the small intimate feel of her classes as well as the deep roots of cultural and local history of Incarnate Word. Some of her most influential professors include Dr. John Perry, Dora Fitzgerald, and Michael Mercer.

O’Brien points out how she has learned from some of the best innovators in the classroom as well as in the workplace. She explains, “We must all be aware of our history if we want to innovate. There have been innovators in every facet of business that are able to look at things from a different perspective.” O'Brien’s innovative approach is visible in both her work for NSIDE publications and as a volunteer in the community.

As editor of NSIDE, she helps to carefully blend NSIDE magazine as a hybrid between a business to business focus as well as business to consumer.  NSIDE magazine also hosts fantastic mixers whose partial proceeds go to deserving non-profits. As a volunteer for the Harp and Shamrock Society, she has helped with the planning of a whiskey tasting event and awards ceremony for its members.  The Harp and Shamrock Society while focused on heritage preservation, also looks to new innovative events and ways to increase membership and promote Irish heritage.  In 2011, she was chosen as an honoree of the Irish Echo Top 40 under 40. 

Her advice to students and other young graduates is to, “Take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you.  Your twenties are the ideal time to build up your experiences.”  O’Brien advocates, “You are more energetic now than you will ever be.  Work harder and do more.”  She encourages young aspiring professionals to learn to network and communicate well with more seasoned professionals.  

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