stories of U - natalie mikolich, b.s.c. ’06
As featured on the Univ. of Miami Alumni Association "Stories of U" (http://www.storiesofu.com/in-words/natalie-mikolich-b-s-c-06/)
February 13, 2013 - I chose the University of Miami because I wanted to be apart of their top ranked NCAA Division I Women’s Varsity Tennis Team and contribute to the prestigious Hurricane Sports athletic program. In addition to being close to where my family lived in South Florida, I also chose the University of Miami for their education program offering smaller class sizes and more student attention. The School of Communication Public Relations program is one of the top in the country and was a perfect fit for the areas I wanted to study and receive my degree in so I could continue to work in tennis and sports following my graduation from Miami.
In 2013, I am going on my sixth year of having my own boutique public relations firm – npm pr (http://www.npmpr.com/) – based in South Florida that I started less than one year after receiving my degree from the University of Miami. I specialize in working with Olympic and professional athletes (such as ATP World Tour Greatest Doubles Team of All-time Bob & Mike Bryan, WTA World #1 Singles Players Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki & Justine Henin, tennis stars Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish & John Isner along with Olympic Bronze Medalist Marlen Esparza) and companies in the sports, health, fitness, beauty and luxury lifestyle industries along with non-profit events.
I truly believe that the Public Relations curriculum and professors at the School of Communication, along with the opportunity to gain experience through internships for course credit and implement what I was learning in class, provided me not only with the knowledge and skill set that I needed in my field of expertise, but also the ability to excel today in the highly competitive public relations industry.
One of my favorite stories from my UM experience would be not only celebrating my 21st birthday with the girls on the tennis team, my sister and closest friends in Miami and Coconut Grove, but SOMEHOW making it to class the next morning and getting 100% on my finite math quiz I couldn’t and miss had to take. To this day, I still don’t know how I did it (both getting to class and acing the quiz).
After graduating from the University of Miami I have stayed connected by seeking out other Communication students who need internship experiences like I did when I was a student in order to help provide them with opportunities to gain real experience in the public relations industry. I also keep up with almost all of the sports programs and stay in touch with some of the girls who were on our tennis team that I developed close friendships with.
My advice for incoming freshman would be to make the most of every opportunity you have because I believe that the University of Miami provides you with every tool and resource that you need in order to be a successful student in your program and then when you graduate.
For graduating students, and as my mentor Ken Meyerson used to tell me, my advice would be “keep throwing stuff on the wall until something sticks” because in today’s world every industry and profession is highly competitive and you have to keep trying and pushing forward until you get where you want to be.
(In this picture I am with ATP World Tour Greatest Doubles Team of All-Time Bob & Mike Bryan along with 60 Minutes Anchor Lesley Stahl from when we were filming their story a few years ago and captures how I converted my love and passion for tennis into doing something I enjoy almost as much today with my degree in public relations.)