Tuesday, 30 September – The Department of Communications, in conjunction with the Center for Career Development, hosted a panel of professionals who discussed what it takes to land a job in the communications industry. For those who were wondering about real-world experience in jobs and going from internship to successful career, the five panelists in attendance discussed their paths to landing the jobs they have today and what they love what they do. The panelists, who excelled in their skills all over Westchester County and parts of Boston, included Olivia Ecker ’12, Marina Adese ’13, Jonathan Heppner ’10, Stephanie Kloos Donoghue ’82, and retired adjunct Communications and Writing professor Anthony Rudel.

Shannon Hargrove, the event’s moderator and director for the CCD, began the event with general questions for the panel. When asked about their first internship, the panelists had much to say about continually holding to busy schedules.

Olivia Ecker ‘12, who works in the Communications Department at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as a Facilities Coordinator, talked about “getting lucky” in her first internship: instead of having to search for a position, a company came to her desiring her set of skills.

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Photograph taken by SAMANTHA BIEGEL

John Heppner ‘10, Communications Director for the Office of New York State Senator Terry Gipson, claimed that it was connections he met during his campaigning internships that landed him his current job. He advised that while it doesn’t always work out how you plan it, networking and connecting allow individuals to achieve much.

Later, questions were taken from the audience, such as, “What classes did you take to prepare you for your career?” Marina Adese ’13, who works as the Communications Manager for the International Rescue Committee, claimed that taking classes in one’s specific field is a must, and that building relationships with professors is perhaps even more important. “Manhattanville professors are special,” she said. “Keep them as contacts.”

Anthony Rudel, who, with nearly fourteen years worth of job experience in communications, now works as Radio Station Manager for Boston’s WCRB, said, “Take classes you love because you never know where it will lead you. Get involved, be passionate.” He stressed that having more than one skill makes an employee more valuable and makes them to stand out. “You want to be able to tell your story…be ready to say what story about you shapes what job you’re going for.”

Freshman Nasir Fleming was very pleased with the panel’s words of wisdom. “The best advice that I took away from this event was studying what I love, not studying what’s marketable.” Fleming intends on pursuing a career in either Television or Public Relations, and commends the panel for its variety of perspectives due to their differing backgrounds in communications. “I’ve learned that if I’m awesome at what I love, I can make it marketable. Passion should be the goal.”