Alumni Spotlight
Rivers Rester Hughey

By: Belle Grace Wilkinson, PR student intern

Rivers Rester Hughey

Rivers Rester Hughey received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations in 2010 from Mississippi State University.

Hughey grew up in Starkville, Miss., and she now resides in Baton Rouge, LA., where she works as a digital media consultant. 

Hughey says her daily work responsibilities range from collaborating with clients to develop and implement comprehensive digital marketing strategies to social media planning, graphic design, content creation and more. 

“The most important part of my job is being confident in what I know and flexible and open to learning new things on the fly.”

Hughey explained that she became interested in marketing consulting because it gave her freedom to not be stuck in any one industry.

“The job allows me to combine my educational background with my professional experiences. I enjoy the dynamic nature of digital marketing and the ability it gives me to reach and engage with audiences in real time. Also, my roles have allowed me to leverage my creativity, which is something that's important to me.”

Favorite memory as a communication student?
As a freshman, I was nominated by my Public Speaking professor and given the opportunity to compete in a public speaking forum. I gave a speech on Willie Morris, who wrote the book Good Old Boy which inspired my parents to name me "Rivers." It was really special and came at a time when I wasn't feeling as inspired by learning and needed a little extra push. While I didn't win, I remember leaving that competition feeling sure that public speaking and communication was in my future.

Favorite communication class you took and why?
My favorite class, by a wide margin, was Mass Media & Society with Dr. Pete Smith. Dr. Smith had this way of tricking you into learning. We would spend a week watching Salma Hayek movies and then be asked to write a paper on the impact of Latino actresses in Hollywood. I'm not sure if that's a real example, but it feels right on the money. Everyone always showed up to his class eager to learn and engage, which isn't always the case for 20-year-olds at 8 am.

Most valuable lesson learned from the communication department? 
I loved being able to take classes that gave me a look into all the different aspects of being a communication professional. I focused on Public Relations, but my class experience in Broadcasting has been extremely valuable in my radio work.