“The alien emoji really resonates with me,” Shelby said. Calling herself an alien, she refers to her impulsive decisions to trek from California to New York, and adjusting her lifestyle everywhere in between.
Shelby Tuper, a senior communications major with concentrations in public relations and advertising, is working to establish herself as an eclectic asset to the workplace. Her identity as an impulsive, adventurous soul and multi-medium artist defines her contribution to her work with strategic communications and personal craft.
With her early commitment to gaining utmost experience in the workplace, Shelby attended the FIE abroad program in London, with the opportunity to intern for an event management company. “I soak up opportunity like a sponge,” she said.
In London, Shelby crafted a project, “Behind Closed Doors,” for her photojournalism class, where she spotted bright painted doors on the city’s streets, took a picture of the door and then knocked to meet the people living on the other side.
“It was important to bend socio-cultural norms and be comfortable talking to strangers,” she said. “These people had amazing stories, and not one of them was related to the color of their doors.” Her work with this project defined her fearless nature, curiosity and desire to create—even if it meant knocking on strangers doors in a foreign country.
Shelby documents her creative nature through her personal and photography Instagram accounts, @shelbi._ and @averagerbl, sharing an artistic mood-board of shots showcasing both her personal style and creative inspiration. “I honestly feel like the ‘i’ has given me my own brand,” said Shelby, as she changed the spelling of her name as a self-branding strategy. “My grandma even thinks that is how it’s spelled now.”
Her social media progression began the moment she picked up her suitcase to attend Marist, leaving her home in Mission Viejo, in Orange County, California. With crafting the identity of a coast-to-coast figure, her follower count began increasing with the allure of her adventurer nature. “I started discovering the strategy to social media, and I wanted to further develop on that,” she said. “I established myself as the person who I am—who thrives off adventure and can be crazy at times.”
Not only helping her self-branding and supplying a major outlet for her desire to create, Shelby’s Instagram has also helped her to pick up modeling jobs and small photoshoots, expanding her art to showcase on the opposite side of the camera.
Shelby began working as a sales associate in her local Urban Outfitters at age 18 with a unique appreciation for their overall identity as a brand. “You want to build this whole lifestyle around their brand, and I thought that was really special,” she said. Following her adventurous intuition and impulsive nature, Shelby moved to Philadelphia last summer to work at the Urban Outfitters headquarters in the Event Production department.
Shelby gained a position on their Talent Acquisition Team, where she spent her time as an Urban College Scout for recruiting. There, she managed the college summer intern program—as an intern herself. Shelby utilized this work experience to further define her competitiveness in a job setting. “I didn’t feel like an intern, I felt like more of a part of the team,” said Shelby. “I think that has to do with my personality in the workplace versus the actual placement I had in the company.”
She has also interned for Deborah Hughes Inc. in Manhattan, working with celebrity PR, where she covered appearances from Victoria Secret models to Drake. Doing freelance PR for small brands and having worked with a wedding planner over her summers living in California, Shelby works to help small business brand themselves through social media.
Her creative instincts and unique style have been recognized by social media standouts, including her photos being reposted to @belowthebelt on Instagram. A photo of her bedroom, featuring a canopy that she built over her bed in her attic-bedroom at school, was recently used in an online and in store campaign for Urban Outfitters as well.
Shelby just began interning for LDJ Productions in Manhattan, continuing to follow the aspirations that she has been successfully catching, one after another. “I’ve been dreaming about living in NYC since I was 10,” she said. “It’s really all about work ethic.”
On campus, this unique aura was welcomed by the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, as Shelby describes to have embraced the “alien” that she was when she arrived at Marist. “I was so lucky to find a group of girls who accepted this crazy, weird California girl,” she said.
Shelby’s compelling aura and churning creativity shape her identity as both an artist and competitive standout in the strategic communications field. Her desire to compete within her field and attain every opportunity presented has crafted her into the enigmatic artist that she is. “This all has built this crazy fire within me,” she said.