Before returning to campus for classes, a group of students interested in media careers traveled to New York City to meet with alums working in the media, advertising and public relations industries as a part of the annual Media and PR Day.
This year’s Media and PR Day included visits to Fox 5 TV; the Interpublic Group, which includes Initiative, Orion Trading, Universal McCann, and McCann Erickson; Marina Maher Communications; and Merkley + Partners.
Students got a glimpse into the world of advertising at Merkley+Partners with Alexander Gellert ’86, the company’s chief executive officer. Gellert gave students an overview of the vast field of advertising while stressing the importance of a liberal arts degree. He noted, having an interdisciplinary undergraduate experience helps prepare students for work in a field as intensive in creativity as advertising. While at Merkley+Partners, students also heard from newly-hired assistant media planner Meg Sterling ’10, who talked about the importance of internships; it was a summer internship that led to her current full-time position with Merkley+Partners.
At the Interpublic Group, students met with Executive Vice President and Managing Director at Universal McCann Donald Morrison P’07, who spoke about the day-to- day work in the advertising industry. While at Interpublic, students also visited Orion Trading and spoke with Brian McMahon P’10, president and chief executive officer, who offered advice to students on how to land their first job.
Recent graduates Leila Higgins ’09, a media coordinator for Orion Trading, and Christine Yankelunas ’10, an assistant account executive at McCann Erickson, also met with students, providing their fresh outlooks on entering the field of public relations after graduation.
Getting an overview of public relations in New York City, students spoke with Keith Hughes ’83, senior vice president at Marina Maher Communications, who answered questions and provided students with advice on entering the competitive field. The group also visited Fox 5 TV where Dianne Doctor ’78 serves as vice president and news director.
Students noted that the trip helped introduce them to the ins and outs of public relations and advertising and also provided them with valuable job hunting skills.
“This trip taught me how to network,” says Emily Desmery ’12, a media and society major. “It showed me what to look for in an employer, and it gives those of us who attended the trip that extra step up when applying for internships.”
In the photo above, Brian McMahon P’10, president and chief executive officer at Orion Trading, offers advice to students on how to land their first job.