PR students gain real life experience

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The end of the semester brings different assignments, exams and projects for students in various majors across campus. For a group of five students studying public relations in the UVU Communication department, the end of the semester means getting real-life work experience with a local company.


Giancarlo Improta, Alexa Hansen, Jocelyn Stimpson, Alyson Livingston and Sydney Tycksen have been able to use the knowledge they learned in their public relation classes to help the new owners of Mountain West Burrito increase awareness throughout the county.


Driving south on State Street, Mountain West Burrito is located at 1796 North 950 West in Provo, right next to a cigar store. The location has been criticized by some, but loved by others. The parking lot is often full, and some customers complain that sharing the atmosphere with a cigar store distracts from the food.


On the other hand, the laid back, dive appeal is attractive to college students, which are who the PR students chose to target.


“It [Mountain West Burrito] is located right in the mid- dle between UVU and BYU,” Improta said. “We knew we could use this to our advantage to attract a lot of college students.”


Since the beginning of the semester, Improta, Hansen, Stimpson, Livingston and Tycksen have met as a group in and outside of class designing a detailed plan on how to increase awareness. The first step was communicating with the owners of the restaurant, who as of January 2012, are new.


“Since there are new owners, we really wanted to see what things needed or could be changed,” Livingston said.


The restaurant had a positive reputation with the pre- vious owner, but the new owners, Colton Soelberg and Joseph McRae who make up Heirloom Restaurant Group, hope to increase that customer base so they are thankful UVU offered a group of students eager to help.


The next step the PR students took was taste-testing the food personally, and began spreading the word on campus.


Flyers and posters were distributed across campus informing students of the “filling and not too expensive” food offered at Mountain West Burrito.


According to McRae, Mountain West Burrito has seen a 25 percent increase in sales, and he hopes those numbers will continue to grow before the semester is over.


The finale of these students’ assignment happens on April 11 at 5 p.m., when they will have a booth set up at the UVU PR Firm Trade Show.


“We hope students enjoy the food and get as excited about it as we are,” Tycksen said.


By Melissa Lindsey
Staff Writer