Rebekah Rinehart

Zac Barnhardt

Talent Booker & Manager of Affiliate Relations,
Chicago, IL
Communications Studies, 2013

"My advice is to always keep your word. Your character will reflect infinitely more than your education and degree, as that can only take you so far. People say, “Actions speak louder than words.” I agree; however, keeping your word is an action, and often, it is easier said than done. Do your best to keep your word. And may your word stay good, kind, and true."

Q&A with Rebekah:

Describe your current educational or professional pursuits.

I am on a team of 18 bookers with the title of talent booker and manager of affiliate relations for a company called Simply put, I book high-profile guests on national television such as FOX, CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America, and the Today show. I am on-call 24 hours a day, as the news cycle never stops. Our specialty is breaking news and our current roster is a range of political pundits, attorneys, doctors, former military and national security experts, to name a few. In addition, as the manager of affiliate relations, I book guests on local television and radio depending on my clients' needs, especially for satellite media tours. I was the associate producer for our first ever International Satellite Media tour in Cannes, France at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, which was an exceptional learning experience and a major part in the advancement of my career today.

How did your USD experience influence your career path?

There were a handful of professors that I will never forget, not only because they were fabulous in their areas of expertise, but also because of how they treated me as a student and simply, a person. Their passion and desire for their students' education was entirely present in their classroom. I would hate to miss their class. They are extraordinarily gifted and I am eternally grateful.

USD is so special. It's not just a university, but a community that truly seeks the best in their students to find success and happiness for the future. Because we, as students, are the future. I am so lucky and humbled to say I was part of that community.

Tell us about your proudest achievement.

In addition to having a full-time job, I have started my own company called The Kind Way with my co-founder Sarah Nelson, also a USD graduate. It is a social movement that hopes to share the importance of kindness with those around us. We do this through the painting of our mural, "The Kind Mural" in major cities across the U.S. We just started this project in October 2017, with our first installment in Nashville and our second installment going up in May 2018 in Chicago. Denver is also in the works currently, as well as San Diego, Charleston, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York City, and London. I firmly and truly believe that kindness changes everything. It is my whole heart and passion. I am so proud to not only stand firm in my belief but to also defend the importance of kindness by starting this social movement. The company mission: “We believe the power of kindness is truly remarkable and we have the choice to countlessly seek it in all things every single day. It's not always easy, but it is always possible. We hope you choose The Kind Way of life.”

What was your USD experience like? Were you involved in any campus organizations or activities?

I am so proud to be a graduate of the University of South Dakota! Looking back at my time at USD will always be treasured and a part of who I am today. I was involved in many activities and organizations such as Alpha Phi, Newman Center (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), U.Dance Team, Dance Marathon, Strollers (director for 2 years), Coyote Crew and Student Ambassadors, Order of Omega, and was truly honored to be selected top seven royalty for Dakota Days.

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