Alumna's efforts help thousands of fans be able to cheer on Bills

January 16, 2021

Hillary Titus ’14, MS ’15 smiles for a photo.

When the Buffalo Bills take the field today for the Divisional Playoff, one Bobcat’s team will have already earned a big win.

Hillary Titus ’14, MS ’15, director of external communications for BioReference Laboratories, supports all communications initiatives for the leading U.S. clinical laboratory.

BioReference Laboratories supports the Bills’ fan testing program, allowing select fans to watch the playoff games in-person.

“We have been 24/7 since the beginning of the pandemic, and in the late summer, I had the opportunity to begin working with major league sports in various types of capacities,” she said.

Titus credits her time at Quinnipiac with preparing her for the opportunity and unprecedented time, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s in strategic communications in the School of Communications.

“During my time at Quinnipiac, I was fortunate enough to take a variety of public relations courses, including health care communications, public relations writing, crisis communications, business and strategic planning, etc., and learning the different types of communication used by my professors helped prepare me for the different types of communication I provide today with this testing program and beyond,” she said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that following BioReference Laboratories’s efforts, 6,700 fans would be able to attend the Bills’ home game this weekend.

"It was a great joy to see the Buffalo Bills win their first home playoff game in more than two decades in front of thousands of New York fans on Saturday, and we're looking forward to extending that winning streak this week," Cuomo said.

Titus said being part of the team has meant a great deal.

“As an organization, BioReference is appreciative of the governor’s recognition, given our extensive work with New York,” she said. “As a person, it’s surreal. Being on-site for the testing program, you can feel the excitement from the fans and the press, and having the Governor recognize BioReference’s work feels like the cherry on top.”

She urges students to get different experiences — both on and off campus.

“During my undergrad, I helped manage a mayoral campaign (my candidate won!), attended PRSA meetings and PR professional speaking events, interned for organizations and agencies, as well as leveraged the experience of my professors by asking questions,” she said. “Even if I didn’t think an area of PR was a fit, I wanted to make sure I at least tried it. Learning from different communicators helped me recognize the different approaches and tones professionals used, which added diversity to my textbook way of communicating.”

Although Titus said she always hoped to work in this field, she sometimes doubted if she could achieve it.

“It felt so out of reach; like I had the ingredients without a recipe,” she said. “And as a graduate student, I worked to hone my skills and gained a better understanding of how to become a true professional; having developed a recipe to use the ingredients.”

She encourages students to never give up in their pursuit of internships and entry-level positions.

“Remember that experience is experience and can be marketed to help achieve your goals,” she said. “Reach out to your professors and recent grads; after I graduated, I spent time meeting other Quinnipiac grads to see what they were doing and exploring what I enjoyed doing. Build your network and use it to get closer to the opportunity you are seeking.”

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