JEM and ADPR Students Learn About Careers in New York City
The week before classes started this spring, a cohort of College of Communication and Information (CCI) students packed their bags and headed to New York City to visit agencies and media outlets to gain insight into their future careers. This year’s trip included students from the School of Journalism and Media and the Tombras School of Advertising and Public Relations.
“Providing students with unique opportunities to network with industry professionals—especially our own alumni who want to support the next generation of Volunteers—will set them up for success after graduation,” said CCI Dean Joe Mazer. “Giving our students a chance to see what their futures could look like means they’re more likely to enter a career they will thrive in, which is our goal as a college.”
For Lindsay Devore, an advertising graduate student, this trip helped her narrow down her focus on what type of work she wants to do in the field. As she earned an undergraduate degree in business and marketing, Devore said she was unaware of the broad scope of careers in advertising until she began attending classes at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this last fall.
“I had a very broad idea going into the trip. Leaving it, I’m more specific. I think I want to do account planning, something where the creative meets strategic. Which was something I didn’t even know existed until this trip where I talked to people about their day-to-day. I’m still up in the air, but that one spoke to me the most,” she said.
Devore also appreciated the opportunity to speak with CCI alumni at a networking event during the trip that was hosted by CCI alum and Board of Visitors member Jeff Boyd (‘92). Because alumni knew they would be meeting with students and were happy to lend their advice, it took a lot of the intimidation out of the networking process, she said.
“I made some great connections, and I am working through them now, but it really took me out of my comfort zone. It was a great environment to feel safe and talk to people and they were all really excited and happy to help us the best way they could,” she said.
Like Devore, junior and ADPR minor Sophia Milen said she soaked in all the networking opportunities afforded to students throughout the trip. As someone interested in living in New York City or another large city, a lot of what she asked about was how to take those first steps towards that goal. She left the trip feeling more confident than ever after getting great advice from people working in the city.
While she had attended a different trip to Washington, D.C., last year, she said this trip exposed her to what working in an agency would be like and opened her eyes to the careers in that sector.
“Just the advice we got from the professionals and how open-armed they were was really beneficial,” she said. “One of the best pieces of advice I got is learning what you don’t want to do is still productive in determining your career. I learned a lot of things I don’t want to do on the Washington trip, and on this trip, I learned that agency is a career path that I’m now interested in.”
Aside from the whirlwind of networking, Milen and Devore both said a great benefit of the trip is meeting other students from CCI. Since Milen has an interest in public affairs and that overlaps some with what journalists do, Milen tagged along to some of the journalism and media events and ended up making several new friends along the way. Devore said she didn’t know anyone else before the trip, but she quickly met other students and got to know them as they learned together how to use public transportation to trek around various parts of the city during their free time.
Making connections with other students was a highlight for journalism major Caroline Mueller, who went on CCI’s Washington trip in 2023 and on this year’s New York City trip.
“Take the chance, it’s worth it. Even though I went on this trip with friends, that wasn’t how it was when I went on the D.C. trip. On the D.C. trip, we really got to know each other and then you come back to school and see familiar faces in the classroom. You’ll definitely not be left out, it’s worth the experience,” she said.
For Mueller, getting to visit big players in the media landscape such as NBC, Fox, and CNBC, was an opportunity to put herself in front of high-level professionals, including CNBC’s senior vice president of operations and engineering. While this trip affirmed to her that she prefers to work at a television news station in a mid-sized city, she knows how valuable the contacts she made in New York will be as she approaches graduation in May.
“One of my favorite things about CCI is how many opportunities I’ve had to make the most of my education and to take the initiative to go and learn about the industry, and make connections, and advance in my career. That’s one of my highest priorities as I’ll be looking for a job soon,” she said.
JEM and ADPR Students Learn About Careers in New York City written by Hillary Tune and originally published on the College of Communication & Information site.