Meet COMM alumna: Arielle Burnette

arielles-01Arielle Burnette is a busy, busy woman. During her undergraduate career at Florida State‘s School of Communication, she was a finalist for Homecoming Princess, named Top 25 Influential Women on Campus, served as Emcee for the prestigious Clock and Seal Dinner and was a Torch Night recipient.

It started with a dream of being a broadcast journalist. “But – the moment I sat down in Dr. Rayburn’s Intro to PR class and heard him speak… I knew my aspirations were about to take a serious turn,” she admitted. It was the spark that changed Arielle’s path and has shaped her career. “It changed my life and directed so much of my campus involvement.” She kept busy, throwing herself into organizations like Seminole Student Boosters, Garnet & Gold Key, and Garnet and Gold Guides. It was her time at Seminole Boosters that honed her budding PR skills, executing a press conference and the largest school pep-rally ‘Seminole Uprising’. She wrote for the alumni magazine ‘Unconquered’ and wrote guest columns for the Tallahassee Democrat. Arielle graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations in 2010 and has continued on her rollercoaster ever since.

When she graduated, she turned down her first job offer.. opting to work in an independent public relations firm in New York. The opportunity turned into an internship with Oglivy Public Relations, widely respected as one of the largest firms in the country. At the conclusion of her internship, she joined the team at Oglivy’s partner company, JWT, immersing herself in internal communications. Always a woman on the move – Arielle began freelance work in addition to her position at JWT. “I always knew I wanted to own a public relations firm,” she said. “But I never thought anyone would be reaching out this early.” It was 2011 – a short year after graduation and Arielle is working at a prominent firm and taking on freelance clients.

In 2012, she was approached again. This time, by The Center for Family Resources (CFR), a non-profit that works to stabilize and empower families to become self-sufficient. After two years of securing national news spots, executing campaigns, creation of the annual report and more… Arielle made her biggest move yet. “In one year, I secured a spot for The CFR to beon the national NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” she shared. “This was the last push I needed to know that I could really hold my own in the public relations field.”


Just three months ago, in late August, Arielle founded The Burnette Agency. The full-service communications agency officially launched on November 13th, met with overwhelming response and support. “To say that FSU prepared me for my future would be a gross understatement,” she laughed. “FSU single-handedly shaped, molded, guided and provided so many tools that have opened up more doors than I could have ever imagined.”

Arielle’s life changed forever on a spring afternoon at Florida State. Learn more about the Public Relations program here.