Office of Alumni Relations

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Erica Coleman‘s (B.S.’17/B) passion for connecting with people comes together with her innovative mindset in her role as the social media and communications coordinator for the VCU Alumni DMV Chapter.

Outside of her 9-to-5 public relations job at Toastmasters International, Coleman keeps her fellow Rams informed of the chapter’s news and upcoming events across many platforms. She has a master’s degree in Digital Entrepreneurship from Strayer University, which may be why one of her favorite things about her volunteer work with VCU Alumni is promoting local alumni-owned business on social media.

(If you aren’t following the DMV Chapter on Instagram or Facebook, now is the perfect time to start!)

So Erica, how did you come to be involved with the DMV Chapter?

I really enjoyed my time at VCU and wanted to connect and collaborate with other alumni who had similar experiences. I also enjoy committee work and this opportunity allows me to expand my knowledge and develop professionally.

During the pandemic, I enjoyed going to the virtual events hosted by the chapter and VCU Alumni bingo night and the Adulting 101 series, in particular. I’m excited about the upcoming VCU Day at Nationals Park [on July 29], which will be the first event I attend in person and as a VCU Alumni leader. I can’t wait to meet other alumni and watch my favorite team play!

What are your favorite things to do in the D.C. area?

Well, I love going to sporting events and supporting the Nats, the Wizards and the Mystics. In the spring, I also love going to see the cherry blossoms.

My favorite restaurant in the DMV area is Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. It is my go-to place to take out-of-town family when they come to visit. I also like to support Black-owned restaurants in the DMV, like Johnny Ray’s Sultry Soul Food, Della J’s Delectables and Hot Chikn Kitchn.

What advice do you have for recent grads who might be new to the DMV area?

The area is known for its traffic, and one of the secrets to avoiding it is “slugging,” or carpooling with other commuters in order to take advantage of the emptier HOV lanes. There are also great, affordable public transportation options like the Metro.

Do you have any advice for recent graduates, in general?

Create a personal brand if you are starting your own business or looking for a new job. It will give you a chance to showcase your knowledge and skills and can help you stand out from the crowd. I recommend joining a relevant industry group, producing engaging content and keeping your LinkedIn and other social profiles updated.

And don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. When I was an undergrad at VCU, I had a fear of public speaking, but after joining Toastmasters International my public speaking skills have dramatically improved and so has my confidence.

Categories Alumni