Merkley + Partners Hires Meller ’21 – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Merkley + Partners Hires Meller ’21

After graduation, Rachel Meller ’21 will join Merkley + Partners as a Social Coordinator. 

After interning with the advertising firm Merkley + Partners last summer, Rachel Meller ’21 leveraged the experience and landed a full time position with the firm as a Social Coordinator.

In her new role, Meller will be a liaison for many Merkley + Partners teams, including Digital and Strategy for three of their biggest clients: Florida’s Natural, Benihana, and White Castle. Her responsibilities will include coordinating the planning and timing of digital and social advertising. “Since Merkley is very team-oriented, I went through several interviews with different members of the team I will be working with to ensure that my personality is a fit and that I would be an asset to their team culture,” Meller says about the interview process.

As an intern, Meller connected with CEO Alexander G. Gellert ’86 and completed a three-week masterclass program, where she learned from employees across Merkley + Partners’ strategic planning, social, media planning, account management and creative departments. The masterclass program culminated in the opportunity to deliver a new business pitch to the company’s executive leadership.

“Our goal for the pitch was to increase the awareness of Burt’s Bees products since most people only know them for their lip balms,” says Meller. “For the project I created the pitch deck, the media plan, some of the creative designs and moderated the presentation.”

Through the company’s mentorship program, Meller connected with Gellert, who hosted a session with the summer interns where he shared how his liberal arts education from HWS helped him get to where he is today in the creative business of advertising.

In addition to completing the three-week program, Meller “set up one-on-one meetings with people to learn more about their work, and to hone in on what interested me the most.” Through this experience, Meller discovered her passion for strategy and social within the advertising field.

Meller will graduate from the Colleges with her B.A. in American studies and media and society. On campus, she is a digital content and marketing coordinator for the Centennial Center. Previously, Meller worked in the Student Activities office, where she coordinated the office’s popular weekly e-newsletter The Buzz. She has also interned with the North Farm, a wedding venue in Geneva, where she created social media posts and plans, and learned more about the methodology that goes into running social accounts. She landed the internship through the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education and their FLX Internship program.

She credits her “Script to Screen” and “Cinematic Effects” courses with Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies Marilyn Jimenez with preparing her for these work opportunities. This year, she took advanced level media and society and American studies courses including “Cultures of Advertising” with Assistant Professor of Media and Society Rebecca Burditt and “Storytelling with Data” with Associate Professor of American Studies Elizabeth Belanger to enhance her preparedness for a post-graduate position.

For her capstone project in American Studies, Meller conducted research on the Jewish mother stereotype in 1990s sitcoms, specifically Seinfeld, Will & Grace, and The Nanny in a paper titled “Is He a Doctor or a Lawyer?: An Analysis into the Stereotype of the “Jewish Mother” in American 1990s Sitcoms.”