Student Profile: Olivia Burd

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Through her time at USD, Olivia Burd could be seen fulfilling many different interests. She participated in Club Lacrosse, tutored at the Writing Center, and held positions in her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, but for some time she did not have a driving force or direction. Changing paths from sociology-based courses to Spanish-based, she finally landed on Communication Studies. Within her concentration on media arts and culture, she realized that she could use her writing skills and new-found critical perspective of media to translate into a public relations career. After a couple of different internships, a boutique PR agency and a private school PR campaign in her hometown of Nashville, Tenn., she bumped into a new opportunity.

On a fall day in 2010, Burd volunteered to wait for a party company to pick up a bounce house for her sorority’s fifth year celebration, and while the time ticked away and her patience ebbed, she happened upon an old friend. This hall-mate from freshman year introduced her to Rachel Lebowitz of Outside the Lens (someone who would become her future boss). By the end of their conversation, Lebowitz had a new intern and Burd had a new spring internship. Outside the Lens (OTL) is a nonprofit that believes if you give a child a camera, you change the world. Since January 2001, OTL has delivered its innovative and adaptable digital media and photography curriculum to more than 12,000 children in a variety of educational settings including weekly classes, after-school programs, summer sessions and workshops. OTL’s mission is to empower youth to use photography to create change within themselves, their community and their world.

Burd believes in the vision of OTL and uses her passion for mentoring and her skills in public relations to propel the goals of this charitable organization. Though she will graduate this May, Burd plans to find more opportunities to further her PR career, while also furthering meaningful causes like those of Outside the Lens.

For more information on Outside the Lens, visit their website or blog.   

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