Allyn Magrino is president and chief revenue officer of Magrino Public Relations. She co-founded the company with her sister, Susan, in 1992. Additionally, Magrino is a dedicated Trinity volunteer and active member of Trinity’s Women’s Leadership Council.
Since the outset of the pandemic, Allyn Magrino’s public relations firm, which has more than 50 employees and serves a number of travel and luxury brands, has gone remote. Magrino isn’t letting that slow her down. “I’m by nature pretty optimistic—and I believe that the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. We’re wrapped in this tough cocoon but we will get through it. I won’t make light of the awful things that are happening—but we see silver linings where we can,” she said. One recent example is Magrino’s approach to her own business. “We’re looking at our agency as a client. There are opportunities, it’s a forced step back and to look at what we’ve been doing and to do a reality check and see what’s working.” The perspective that her team has gained during their time working remotely has allowed them to reflect on how to make a successful business even better.
For Magrino, getting through the difficult time brought on by the pandemic is all about diving in, and using the versatility and creativity she has cultivated in her career to make the most of a challenging situation. Most importantly, she aims to set an example of resilience for her two children.
As she considers the trials of Trinity’s most recent graduates, she knows that resilience will be a trait they will also have to master. “I have been thinking about the graduating class with sympathy and empathy. But swimming through this kind of stuff is a good, quick reality check about what direction to go in,” she said. Moreover, she notes that it isn’t always about landing a dream job right after graduating. Magrino can speak from experience. As a young graduate, she did not have a clear picture of what she wanted to do for her career. At the encouragement of one of her Trinity professors, she bought a one-way ticket to Paris. Once there, she took a position working for a law firm, as she was considering going to law school. When her six-month visa was up, she returned to the United States and she was able to land positions working for a few high-profile employers, including positions in Donald Trump’s office of general counsel and for Robert Maxwell and MacMillan publishing. Once she realized she wasn’t interested in a career in law and wanted to use her French, she took a role coordinating public relations for the French West Indies. Her liberal arts degree and French language experience gave her the versatility to adapt as she navigated the professional world.
Following her passion and moving overseas was a risk that brought Magrino clarity, and eventually brought her to start a business with her sister. “A lot of people are afraid to take that first job, but when you’re first out of college is the only time you can check things out,” she said. It was that first adventure abroad that helped shape her story, and since then she has continued to innovate and adapt.
Magrino’s story is an example of how, for a graduate of Trinity, opportunity can come from unexpected places. Magrino urges recent graduates not to discount the power of the skills they already have during their job search. Writing, fluency in digital media, or knowledge of a foreign language can all be tremendously useful. One example she offers is the nuanced understanding of social media that many young graduates already have. This innate understanding can be critical for businesses that don’t have the same facility with these platforms. “Offer your skills pro bono to a small business, or volunteer somewhere. There are nonprofits that need your help.” These small projects can develop into powerful networking opportunities and vital resume builders. The most important word one needs to know during this critical period of discovery, Magrino said, is “hustle.” “Put your head down and focus,” she said, and with the drive, and guts to buy that one-way ticket to follow your passion, individuals can achieve tremendous success.
This alum is taking her own advice as the pandemic continues—she is staying positive, and invokes a famous Winston Churchill quote for inspiration: “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Allyn Magrino '89
“I’m by nature pretty optimistic—and I believe that the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. We’re wrapped in this tough cocoon but we will get through it. I won’t make light of the awful things that are happening—but we see silver linings where we can.”