Rachel Potee

Nolan, Sara - Potee Profile

Racing, Cereal and Celebrities

In fall of 2006, Rachel Potee was a chemistry major at Loyola University Chicago who dreamt of becoming a dentist.

Today, the 24-year-old Muncie, Ind. native raves about her job at a subsidiary of Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world. Needless to say, her four years as an undergraduate at Loyola were transformative.

Potee, who graduated from Loyola in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Art degree in advertising and public relations and a sports marketing minor, is an account executive at Matter Inc., a company that specializes in brand engagement and experiential marketing.

On a normal day, Potee might meet with clients about social media strategies, write press releases, or collaborate on media planning for larger accounts. She also helps onsite at events and product launches.

Her job also has its perks. When Matter took on the Kellogg’s Olympic campaign for 2014, Potee and other team members were congratulated with Frosted Flakes boxes that featured each of their faces.

Potee also met country music star Luke Bryan and “Entourage” actor Adrian Greiner while working at racing events sponsored by clients such as the Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Izod and Office Depot Racing.

“At these events, many celebrities do press conferences before the race or their other obligations. At one race, I told my boss, ‘I don’t care what you say. We’re getting a picture with Luke Bryan.’ She told me she’d help me, no problem,” said Potee.

The relaxed culture is yet another benefit of her job. “We are very laid back. The majority of the team I started with is still here, so they have seen me grow and been a part of that growth. It’s a family,” said Potee.

While quite different than the path she would have taken pursuing dentistry, Potee laughs when she recalls how she moved on from her childhood passion.

The abrupt realization that she was “not feeling science classes at Loyola whatsoever” triggered her search for a new major, but it was an introductory communication course she had opted to take to complete the core curriculum that inspired her to pursue public relations.

“I remember sitting in that class thinking, ‘I could do this. I like this,’” Potee said. “One day toward the end of the semester, I went down to the communications department office after the class, looked at the different offerings, and switched my major on a whim.”

As she approached her senior year, Potee realized she would need experience to obtain a competitive internship at the big firms in Chicago, so over the summer, she lived out of a hotel for two months to intern at a small, NASCAR-focused marketing company in Mooresville, N.C.

When she began her search for a position that would fulfill Loyola’s internship course back in Chicago for fall semester of her senior year, Edelman was hiring interns for their sports marketing department, coincidentally, for the NASCAR account. Potee got the job.

While she was hired as trainee, or unpaid intern, she was quickly given a paid internship in December 2009 because of her high quality work. Potee stayed with Edelman as an intern through graduation, and then she accepted a full-time position.

“The random NASCAR experience in North Carolina was my in at Edelman, so never say no to a job opportunity. Just try it once,” Potee said. “Internships are key. Make the most of them.”

By Sara Nolan