August 28, 2020

NYU SPS Division of Programs in Business Alumna Bettina Garibaldi ’09 is Named to PRWeek’s “40 Under 40” List for 2020

A Graduate of the MS in Public Relations and Corporate Communication, Her Recognition Reflects the Program’s Success in Preparing the Next Generation of Industry Leaders and Innovators

NYU SPS alumna Bettina Garibaldi, who serves as senior vice president for the travel and economic development sector within Ketchum, a top global communications consultancy, was recently named to PRWeek’s 2020 “40 Under 40” list. She was among those recognized for their talent, drive, leadership skills, and ability to steer the PR industry through its next evolution.

Garibaldi, who graduated with an MS in Public Relations and Corporate Communication from the NYU School of Professional Studies Division of Programs in Business in 2009, has received numerous awards for her work. One of the most acclaimed campaigns in which she was involved was the #CoverTheProgress campaign, which was designed by Ketchum for Discover Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of two massive hurricanes that impacted the island’s tourism industry. “We took a destination that faced tremendous adversity and shifted its perception to make it a top-of-mind choice for travel planners,” she said.  The campaign garnered more than 30 industry awards and recognitions, including a Cannes Lion Award. As a result of the campaign’s international success, Puerto Rico achieved the #1 spot on The New York Times “52 Places to Go in 2019” list, only 15 months after the hurricane made landfall.

The daughter of an Argentine diplomat, Garibaldi has always had an affinity for travel and for communications. As a child, she lived in Australia; as a teenager, she completed her high school education in the Philippines; and as a young adult, she attended college in the US. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baruch College (CUNY). During her time at Baruch, she completed internships at MTV and Disney, as well as a stint at Weber Shandwick, which fortified her interest in public relations and communications. “Communication is always ‘on,’ and PR is a strategic tool for a lot of brands to get their message out,” Garibaldi said. “This is what intrigued me most about this field.”

When researching a graduate program to prepare her for a career in these areas, she sensed that the MS in PRCC at NYU SPS would be a great fit. “It was established, reputable, located in the heart of the industry, and the classes offered hands-on experience as well as theoretically based academics,” she noted. “I was very impressed by the credentials of the professors—and ultimately, they prepared me very well for the career I enjoy today.”

During her time at NYU SPS, she served as president of the NYU PR League, and it was through this experience that she came to truly understand the power and the value of networking and establishing professional connections.

Garibaldi credits much of her success to her experiences at NYU SPS. One of her classes was taught by Barri Rafferty, the former president and CEO of Ketchum, who recognized her drive and passion, and who invited her to join Ketchum as a graduate fellow. During her 12-year tenure at Ketchum, Garibaldi has been appointed to roles of increasing responsibility and scope, working on major campaigns and high-profile projects.

Her sage advice to newcomers is to be proactive in researching and reaching out to the companies for which they wish to work, to engage with them, and to let them know about the products and/or services that intrigue them most.  

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