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Next Chapter Unfolds: Hicks Celebrates Graduation and New Career

Olivia Hicks
Olivia Hicks

As the curtain closes on her college career, a graduating University of Arkansas at Little Rock student is ending this chapter of her life with not one, but two bachelor’s degrees and an exciting new career in the dynamic field of public relations, embodying the true spirit of academic and career success.

Senior Olivia Hicks is graduating twice this semester with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing.

Hicks has spent the fall semester working part-time for MHP/Team SI, a full-service performance marketing agency, learning skills in public relations, social media development and management, and news and editorial writing. After graduation, she plans to begin a full-time public relations position with the company.

“I am very excited for this next step,” Hicks said. “I really love campus, and it will be hard to leave, but I will make sure to come visit.”

Hicks joined UA Little Rock in 2020, citing affordability as the key reason she chose the university.

“When senior year rolled around, I had to look deep and figure out what was most important to me,” Hicks said. “I realized that being close to home and close to my family would give me many opportunities both personally and academically. Because of the scholarships and grants I have gotten from this school, I am graduating debt free!”

Hicks’ mother also played an important role in her decision to attend college. Hicks grew up watching her mother earn two degrees, which inspired her to work hard in her own college career.

“My mother is also an alum of the university,” Hicks recalled. “She is a single mother who went to school while raising me. She graduated when I was 11 with a bachelor’s degree in history, and then she went back for her master’s degree in secondary education and graduated in 2019. My entire childhood was surrounded by higher education. I grew up on this campus. I remember going to swim in the pool and sitting in on my mom’s history lectures. I loved this campus and the faculty. It’s like home to me.”

Hicks learned key skills while attending UA Little Rock. Through the Federal Work-Study Program and Trojan Works, she worked for two years as an editorial assistant in the Office of Communications and Marketing.

“I would say that my time as an editorial assistant is what prepared me the most,” Hicks said. “Not only did I get to know the staff at my current job through that position, but it gave me connections, led me on a path to writing stories that won national awards, and gave me confidence in my skill set. A lot of my college career I credit to that time. It gave me a lot of opportunities to hone my skills, be involved in campus, meet a lot of people, and that was the highlight of my college career.”

Meaghan Milliorn, director of digital strategy, described Hicks as an asset to the Communications and Marketing team.

“Her creativity and enthusiasm were valuable as she created content and videos for the university’s social media platforms,” Milliorn said. “I’m so proud of her growth and that she gets to build her career and utilize what she’s learned at the university.”

Along the way, Hicks has also completed internships in marketing, public relations, and social media with the UA Little Rock Trojan Food Pantry, Stone Ward, and Wildwood Park for the Arts. She has been honored for her writing skills with multiple awards in education sports writing and education feature writing by the Arkansas Press Women and the National Federation of Press Women.

Another important part of Hicks’ college experience was being involved in the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps (CLC), which helped her pay for college and learn valuable leadership skills.

“I started CLC as a freshman and immediately found a home there,” Hicks said. “Corrigan Revels and Tiffani Silvey were very integral to my college experience. They’ve been wonderful mentors, and I’ve learned a lot from them. I was a peer mentor for the arts and communication student group for two years. My mentees were amazing, and I loved getting to help them through their early college experience.”

As this part of her life comes to a close, her advice for new college students is to get involved in campus and professional opportunities.

“Get out of your comfort zone because you never know who you might connect with, who might have job opportunities, and who might be your friend,” she said. “There are so many opportunities here that people don’t know about, and it’s a matter of putting yourself out there and knowing the right people.”