Sara Gurkin

May 28, 2019

Sara Gurkin ’14 embodies a true Renaissance woman, frequently delving into new challenges. During her four years at UNCW, she made every second count by indulging herself in an array of experiences.

“I was really busy,” she said. “But I loved every single second of it.”

Gurkin served as an Annual Giving intern, Student Ambassador and Seahawk Link. She studied abroad for a semester at Roehampton University in London and was a part of the Senior Class Giving Committee, Alpha Gamma Delta fraternity, Women’s Club Basketball and Volleyball, Project Protégé, COM Studies Day Dress for Success Fashion Show and the 2014 Homecoming Court.

“One of the reasons I loved it so much was because I really tried to make the most of it,” she added. “I got the best of all the different worlds that UNCW offers in terms of classes and extracurriculars.”

Since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies, a minor in journalism and a certificate in professional writing, Gurkin has continued to rise through the ranks at Sunshine Sachs, a national public relations and communications agency.

Starting out as an assistant in the company’s Washington, D.C. office, she recently transferred to Los Angeles and was promoted to senior account executive. “It was a career move that I was really nervous about,” she said. “But for so long one of my big dreams was to move to LA, so I went for it.”

Gurkin works with a range of clients, from entertainment and lifestyle to nonprofit and technology brands. At Sunshine, some people have their niches, but according to Gurkin, she identifies as a generalist.

“What PR boils down to is obtaining media coverage for our clients,” she said. “It’s a really good feeling to see the Los Angeles Times print a story and know that I helped get the word out.”

Gurkin’s primary mentor at UNCW was Department of English lecturer Kimi Hemingway. “She taught me the nuts and bolts of journalism,” Gurkin added. “I know I’m not a journalist, but I work with them every single day, so having that understanding of how reporters are thinking and writing is really, really helpful.”

-Mary Ann Fearing ’19

Photos provided by Sara Gurkin.