On April 20 and 21, the School of Communications held its first interdisciplinary professional development event at the Rocky Top Student Center on Quinnipiac’s York Hill campus. During Friday’s Career Development Fair and Saturday’s Media MashUp, students from each of the four SoC majors were able to interact and network with some of their field’s top professionals.
Media MashUp involved a series of sessions with lectures from professionals in the fields of public relations, communications, journalism, and film, video and interactive media.
The goal of the event was to tailor it to the students’ fields of interest, according to senior Meaghen Kenney, executive student director of the Media Mashup.
Students were able to choose one morning and one afternoon session to attend. The sessions ranged from “Social Media @ESPN: How to Land a Job in Social + Sports,” to “The 21st Century Newsroom: Disruption and Distribution” and “Their Dollar and Your Dream: Crowdfunding for Film.”
The guest speakers were Tim Peek, an executive producer at NBC, Bob Berkowitz, a principal at the Dilenschneider Group, and John Berman, a regular contributor to many of ABC’s broadcasts. Berman ended the event as the keynote speaker. Professionals from other companies also hosted sessions.
Berkowitz, a former correspondent for CNN, NBC and ABC and current executive at a strategic communications firm, gave students an inside view into the field of public relations and provided advice on how to stand out in an interview.
“If there’s one message I’d like students to remember from my presentation, it’s about the power of empathy when meeting with a potential employer,” Berkowitz said. “It’s extremely important to understand the point of view of others. When you see life from their perspective, you can speak to them in a way that is relevant and meaningful.”
Each of the speakers shared both their knowledge and tips for success with Quinnipiac students. After the presentations, students were able to ask questions about resumes, future jobs and more in-depth information about the professionals’ careers.
“It’s a really exciting atmosphere,” junior media studies major Mike Millea said. “Since I’m minoring in sports studies, it’s a great experience to be able to talk to professionals from ESPN who know the field inside and out.”
Throughout the day, students posted to Twitter about their experiences at the MashUp, using the hashtags #whativelearned and #qumashup. Their names were then automatically entered into a raffle to win an iPad or a Kindle Fire.
During both days’ events, students had the chance to give their resumes to professionals and possible employers. This networking opportunity helped students learn more about different internships and potential jobs, while also giving them the chance to apply for them.
“We had an amazing turnout both from students and professionals this year,” Kenney said. “It’s hard for students to decide on a major in a few short years, so this may help them to get information on what their next step should be. We hope to hold these events again next year, with an even greater turnout.”