Meet Rachel Gillam! Rachel graduated from Central Catholic in 2016 and will be a senior at IU in the fall. While at CC, Rachel participated in soccer, mock trial, academic superbowl and spell bowl, the musicals and plays, yearbook, and student council. Rachel was also on the National Honor Society and graduated valedictorian.
After high school, Rachel started attending Indiana University. She is will be going into her senior year in the fall, and she is studying Marketing with a Digital and Social Media Business Applications Co-Major and a Psychology minor. After college Rachel plans to begin a career in media marketing and brand management.
As part of her journey at IU, Rachel has served as a social media intern with the IU Athletic’s Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology. Through this, Rachel gained experience posting to Instagram for many of IU sports activities. She did such an exceptional job in this position she was personally invited by the social media platform itself to take over the @Instagram account for the NCAA Final Four tournament. The @Instagram account has a following of 290 million people.
“The Final Four was an incredible opportunity and very exciting. I spent five days in Minneapolis where I got to learn about Instagram employees’ daily tasks and then take over @Instagram during the Final Four games.” Rachel edited the content with the help of an Instagram content creator, Arlo; and then they posted the story the first afternoon of the tournament. “I was honored and humbled to put content out for an audience the size of @Instagram’s. I learned so much from the team and was very excited to bring it back to Indiana.” Rachel also had the chance to meet and work with content creators from Turner Sports on the @MarchMadness Instagram account for the National Championship game.
“It was unreal to be in U.S. Bank Stadium with 77,000 passionate fans. The game was fantastic! I had the privilege to be on the court at the end, which was completely surreal. Every single person was crying: Virginia because they just won and Texas Tech because they were that close. All four of the teams were incredibly gracious and made it easy to capture content because of their excitement and passion for the game.”
Rachel particularly enjoyed being able to be near the fans both days of the tournament, especially in the moment they knew that their team was going to survive another game, or take the trophy home. “Their excitement to be there, and be a part of it, reminded me of why I love sports so much and I was honored to be there to help capture the moment for them.”
Her biggest takeaway from the experience was to live in the moment. “Nowadays people say don’t be on your phones because you can’t enjoy the present at the same time. In a lot of ways, that’s true. However, there is the opportunity to live in the moment through capturing the emotion of those around you. I have the privilege to enjoy the moment and capture it for people to continue to enjoy, which I think is an unique perspective and one that makes me excited to work in social media.”
Rachel and her work on Instagram can be followed at @iuhoosiers.
How did your education at LCSS prepare you for college?
My education at LCSS prepared me for college by first and foremost teaching me how to keep my life centered on Christ. Being able to understand that I am a child of God has been instrumental for me in college. LCSS prepared me well academically; when I got to college I felt I was able to transition easier. LCSS also guided me in building strong relationships with my peers, which has allowed me to lead a balanced life.
What is your favorite memory from your years at LCSS?
Looking back, I have so many good LCSS memories. One that stands out to me was winning the school’s first girls’ soccer Hoosier Conference title my junior year. I remember how hard we all worked to get there, and how great it felt when our hard work paid off and we got to bring the title home. It made it even more sweet that I got to do it with girls I’d played with since kindergarten. I think it’s a great example of the close-knit LCSS community, and it was an honor to be a part of that team.