Over winter break, more than 40 HWS students from all class years were provided with their first glimpse into a career in advertising, public relations or media during the fifth annual Media and Public Relations/Advertising Days in New York City.
“These trips give the students who attend a huge advantage,” explains Stephanie Annear, the assistant director of the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development. “Students get the opportunity to see the physical space where they would be working, which takes away some of the mystique but allows the students to see what a job in these fields really looks like. Furthermore, they are able to ask questions about how to break into these fields and hear how recent alums have done it.”
This year’s Advertising/PR and Media Days included visits to Universal McCann; Ruder Finn; Rosetta; Innovation Interactive; ABC News; and B Productions.
Students began Advertising and Public Relations Day at Universal McCann (UM), a media-marketing consultancy firm that works with such high-profile clients as Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Microsoft, Sony and Chrysler. While there, students were afforded a glimpse into the world of advertising when they met with Executive Vice President and Managing Director Don Morrison P’07 and four young alums who work under the UM umbrella: Patrick Reilly ’07, Leila Higgins ’09, Molly Hinton ’11 and Emily Atwan ’11. Next, students headed to communications agency Ruder Finn, where they met with David Hahn P’14, managing director of Planned Television Arts.
The students made their next stop at Rosetta, where Jamie Peck ’88 is a partner. While there, students learned about a career at an interactive marketing agency from both him and Associate Account Executive Meggie Schmidt ’10. Rounding off their day at Innovation Interactive, a digital marketing services agency, students heard from Joe LaSala ’98 and Innovation Interactive founder and HWS Trustee Will Margiloff ’92.
“Learning from professionals with interests similar to my own gives me the opportunity to find out more about what their daily schedule is like in the work place and the kinds of responsibilities they are given,” explains Morgan Doyle ’14, who hopes to pursue a career in either advertising or public relations. “As a result of my participation, I feel I have the advantage of meeting alums who could potentially employ me. Also, learning a lot about their company and the way it works is not only helpful in interviews, but is also helpful in deciding whether or not it would be a fit for me.”
Meanwhile, Media Day began with an overview of various media industries from alums in many different fields. Rich Schlansker ’90, the director and producer who founded Electric City Pictures, spoke about different aspects of production. Whistling Communications Producer and Director Bob Frye ’64 discussed how to highlight the skills that make you unique when trying to get your foot in the door. Finally, Katie McDonough ’05, a network account executive at ION Media Networks, spoke about her career on the sales side of network television.
At ABC studios, students learned more about a career in television from Senior Vice President of Sales Gary Montanus ’73 and several alums, including: Sarah Kunin ’09, food and lifestyle producer at “Good Morning America;” Network Sales Assistant Kwame Lovell ’10; Vice President and National Sales Manager Joe Maggio ’88; Producer of The Chew Leslie Peirez ’92; and Vice President of ABC Full Circle Sales Adam Polcek ’92.
Students finished Media Day at B Productions, an award-winning production company specializing in video and new media for the fashion and beauty industries, including serving as the in-house video company of choice for designers such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, and Project Runway, among many others. While at B Productions, students learned about the digital side of fashion media production from President Bill Marpet P’15.
“If, and when, I apply to some of these companies, I will be more than just a resume,” says Drew Monroe ’12. “When they’re looking at hundreds of resumes in a single day, anything, including being able to put a face to the name, can give me a leg up on other applicants.”