Homecoming week at UL Lafayette is a tradition, unlike any other.
Communication is essential to the success of an organization, especially when it comes to a company’s brand. Jennifer Rodrigues ‘95 has made this very mission her career. Rodrigues currently serves as the Director of Brand Strategy at The University of Alabama. In this role, she is in charge of reviewing all external advertising and marketing materials produced by various areas of campus. She also serves as the project manager for high-level strategic projects. Even though Rodrigues works in higher education, her initial career path began as a student at UL Lafayette working in the Sports Information Office.
Originally from New Orleans, one of the reasons Rodrigues chose the University was because of its location.
"It was close enough to family, but still far enough to encourage me to have a true college experience of living on campus and meeting my peers,” said Rodrigues. Rodrigues was also offered a scholarship and student assistantship in the Sports Information Office. With these two factors in mind, she knew that UL Lafayette would be her new home.
As a student studying journalism, Rodrigues put her skills to use working with athletic communications. She got hands-on experience in this field and even traveled to the Softball College World Series twice while working with the team. It wasn’t until after her time as a student that she truly realized the impact that working with athletics had on her.
“I learned so much from so many different people and I really didn't realize at the time that they were all setting me up for the success I have had in my career,” said Rodrigues.
After graduation, Rodrigues went on to work with several other athletic communications departments around the country including Northern Arizona, Mississippi State, Memphis, and Louisiana State University. One of her most memorable experiences at Memphis was working her way up to the Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations. With this position, she served as the primary contact for the football team and even got to execute a 2005 Heisman campaign for DeAngelo Williams.
“It still ranks as one of the top Heisman campaigns by several outlets, which makes me very proud,” said Rodrigues.
Even though Rodrigues lives outside of the Louisiana border, she still misses the food and festivals that Lafayette has to offer. Recently, Rodrigues made a trip back to campus and was astounded to find her brick on the Walk of Honor.
“It was awesome to be able to show my daughter my brick and I even took a picture of the one for my former roommate,” said Rodrigues. The campus has changed quite a bit since Rodrigues was a student, but the heart and spirit of the University continues to live on. Rodrigues plans to carry her piece of Ragin’ Cajun pride with her wherever her career path takes her.