Look For the Helpers
Rhia Kumar, BS’23 (Flor), Digital Marketing Graduate Student, Florham Campus
By Kenna Caprio
Rhia Kumar knows how to find the helpers and how to be one.
All of her on-campus roles have been in service to others. Resident assistant. Orientation coordinator. And a member of the Diverse Student Union, the South Asian Student Association, the Florham Programming Committee and the Dean of Students Council.
“My first year of college was entirely online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, I’ve just wanted to get up and do things, to help out, to give back and to get involved,” says Kumar, BS’23 (Flor), a digital marketing graduate student at the Florham Campus.
Being a resident assistant has been especially meaningful.
“It really boosted my confidence, personally and professionally. It’s very important for resident students to understand that resident assistants are a resource to help them learn to mediate and create their own solutions,” says Kumar. “Most of the issues that come up are roommate conflicts or health related. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding to guide someone to a solution or provide them with support.”
Support of all kinds is critical to student success. Kumar has found both encouragement and opportunity from faculty and staff alike in the Silberman College of Business.
“My academic adviser Sandy Holder [advising counselor for undergraduate programs in Silberman College of Business] has had a huge impact on me,” says Kumar. “She’s pushed me to pursue opportunities, from enrolling in certain classes to studying abroad at Wroxton College. She’s someone I can go to for advice about anything. Academic advisers have a bunch of connections — and not just related to your classes, but also for internships, jobs and campus life. They can write you letters of recommendation. Take advantage of the adviser in your department. They are underutilized resources!”
As an undergraduate student, she interned with two small businesses, both opportunities found through Silberman connections. At Maldonado Communications, she wrote copy for social media clients and curated blogs. At Goods Again, a business that upcycles scraps into products ranging from pencil cases to wallets to AirPod cases and more, Kumar contributed to social media and worked on pop-up events.
Kumar currently freelances, doing everything from photography to videography to blogging and copywriting for her marketing clients. Her goal after graduating with her master’s degree is to work at a brand agency doing social media.
“There’s so much you can do with digital marketing. Just understanding a company’s exact tone and presence — the way they want to be presented, and then playing around with words to match the vibe, or push it forward with a new perspective, is so creative and fulfilling,” she says.
“Teacher! I always wanted to be a person someone else could come to for help.”
“I was determined to leave New Jersey for college but did apply to some schools in state. On a visit to FDU, I met with Mary Sakin [executive director of alumni and external relations for Silberman College] and Patricia Wyer [manager of placement and outreach for Silberman College]. They spent 45 minutes with me, and with the way they described FDU and the opportunities available to students and alumni, it just clicked.”
“There’s good in every person. Even if they’ve been hurtful, or haven’t been good to me, maybe, they are a human being and they have value.”
“The balance of travel and classes that Wroxton College provides is amazing.”