Dream internships begin for 2018 Lookout Fellows
Four UNC School of Media and Journalism students have begun dream internship experiences this summer thanks to The Lookout Fellows Program, established by UNC alumni Lee and Sunny Burrows.
In Fall 2017, the Burrows family committed $200,000 over the next four years to create a fellowship program that allows students to set aside financial concerns during the internship planning process. The first-ever Lookout Fellows include Chuka Akpom '20, Renata D'Agrella '19, Briana Martin '19 and Ariana Wiggins '19.
"I'm very excited to have been given this opportunity to work alongside of PGA TOUR as an intern in their communications department this summer. Within my first week here, they've already put me to work with several projects, all aimed at cultivating my skills and making me more competitive for future opportunities. More than anything, I'm excited to see how I grow both personally and professionally in this next ten weeks," said Akpom.
The highly competitive program supports undergraduate students by funding summer internships in order to remove the financial pressures that can limit students' access to their ideal experiences.
“The Lookout Fellows Program is a life-changing experience,“ said D'Agrella. "This program has allowed me to move to my dream city, New York City, and do my dream job, which is fashion public relations for Oscar de la Renta. Not only did this program help me to financially afford this summer internship, it prepared me professionally through resume building, networking, interview training and much more. My biggest advice to anyone who wants to apply to The Lookout Fellows Program is to give it your all, show how passionate you are in your application and not to be afraid to apply out of fear of not getting it."
Following the summer internship, Fellows will return to school and continue to work closely with the career services director on their career preparation and first job search.
Learn more about the 2018 Fellows:
Chuka Akpom '20
One of his passions is branding. He believes one’s image is one of the key determinants of their success. He has had experience in marketing and sales by interning with Aramark at Carolina Dining Services, and is currently exploring his interest in public relations through working with Heelprint Communications, where he serves as an account associate and currently manages the social media of UNC School of Nursing Professor, UNC Chief Diversity Officer and UNC Associate Vice Chancellor Rumay Alexander.
Akpom is ambitious, charismatic and action-oriented, and has even started his own organization on campus, Carolina Closet, that aims to make professionalism a reality for students, staff and faculty on Carolina’s campus, giving them access to donated business casual and professional attire.
Through The Lookout Fellows Program, Akpom is interning with the PGA TOUR at its headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, for Summer 2018.
Renata D’Agrella '19
Renata D’Agrella is a rising senior studying public relations at the UNC School of Media and Journalism with a second major in political science. She hopes to one day work in fashion public relations.
Growing up in the shadows of New York City on Long Island sparked an interest in fashion in D'Agrella from a young age. She believes that the tech industry is going to revolutionize how we consume fashion and interpret trends. In Fall 2017, D'Agrella worked as the Instagram manager for Curtsy, a fashion start-up app that allows girls on college campuses across the country to rent clothing from one another. She can also be spotted modeling for the student-made fashion magazine, Coulture. Most recently, D'Agrella has been blogging and delivering fashion trend news as a style guru for College Fashionista, a digital community for college-aged aspiring fashion and beauty influencers.
Outside of her interest in fashion, D'Agrella is an active part of the Carolina community. You can often find her giving tours and mentoring students as an Honors Carolina Ambassador. She also serves on the UNC Honor Court and is a dedicated member of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Through The Lookout Fellows Program, D’Agrella is interning with Oscar de la Renta in New York City for Summer 2018.
Briana Martin '19
Briana Martin is a rising senior from Charlotte, North Carolina.
While she attended high school in Mooresville, she began to consider public relations as a potential career choice. Once she realized the caliber and expertise present at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, she knew that this was her niche. Her interests mostly focus on branding and marketing, as well as research and analysis. She takes pride in her academics and balances them by working with organizations across the UNC campus.
She began working on small marketing projects early, from canned food drives in high school to bigger projects such as a social media campaign on Carolina’s campus called DiverseU. Martin also held an internship position at Heelprint Communications as the primary researcher for the team working with the UNC Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
Through The Lookout Fellows Program, Martin is interning with Burson-Marsteller in New York City for Summer 2018.
Ariana Wiggins '19
Ariana Wiggins is a rising senior from Fayetteville, North Carolina, studying public relations at the UNC School of Media and Journalism with a minor in social and economic justice.
She served as editor for the annual staff her senior year in high school, where she gained her first experience in journalism and came to recognize her passions in writing and communicating. As a member of the Carolina Union Activities Board marketing committee and of Heelprint Communications, she learned the ins and outs of social media marketing and basic graphic design. She has also interned at two local nonprofits — the Compass Center for Women and Families and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Youth Forward — through which she gained applicable marketing and public relations experience. Wiggins also served as a client relations associate at AroundCampus Group, an experience that taught her teamwork and how to maintain positive relationships with clients.
Through The Lookout Fellows Program, Wiggins is interning with Viacom in New York City for Summer 2018.