By: Maria Giovanna Jumper
The 7th Annual Media Career Expo, sponsored by The Delphian and the Adelphi Communications Department, was held virtually on November 18 from 7 to 9 pm. At the event held via Zoom, five Adelphi alumni spoke to over 25 attendees about their career paths and gave students advice on how to get into the profession.
Included on the panel were Janine Perez, ‘14, Rachel Voorhees, ‘14, Victoria Chiesa, ‘15, Ben Nichols, ‘16, and Gabrielle Deonath, ‘18. Deonath and Chiesa are former editors-in-chief for The Delphian, and Voorhees was previously the entertainment editor.
Prompted by moderator and faculty advisor of The Delphian Liza N. Burby, students expressed in the Zoom chat that they were worried about job prospects in the communications industry. Yet, all the panelists were able to ease their worries by explaining different routes to getting your dream job, which is exactly the point of this annual event, Burby said.
“We think students benefit from hearing what their peers experienced when they were searching for their first jobs, so each year we make sure to invite former communication majors who graduated from Adelphi within the past 10 years,” Burby said. “Who better to explain the steps they took while still at Adelphi and how they navigated the job market once they entered it?”
The panelists’ jobs ranged among different fields within the communications industry. Chiesa and Nichols both work with sports. Chiesa is the current content producer and editor in the corporate communications department of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Nichols works for JLab Audio where he is a part of the marketing team, partly working with soccer players as the company is the MLS league sponsor.
Perez is the senior marketing manager for Random House Children’s Books and Deonath is a writer for the Girl Scouts of the USA and the curator and editor of “Untold: Defining Moments of the Uprooted,” which will be released this January. Voorhees is the communications manager at The New School in Manhattan.
The panelists spoke about their internship experiences from their collegiate careers and then their post-graduation work that led to their current positions. They gave students advice about networking and creating opportunities, as well as how to organize resumes and portfolios.
Nichols suggested creating a website that holds your portfolio. “But remember to be critical of your work and not just post everything you have,” he added.
The panelists stressed utilizing Adelphi’s Career Development Services when writing your resume or cover letters.
Students often wonder how to network. All five panelists stressed that social media is a great tool, as long as your accounts are professional. Chiesa said, “Be authentic… it all comes towards showing the well-rounded person that you are.”
Other questions posed by Burby to the panelists covered areas of study and picking a career focus. They explained how between internships and different post-graduate jobs they have changed their paths many times and that is totally okay.
“Your dream job is going to change, so take the jobs that come your way,” Deonath said. “Think about how these jobs can help you towards your dream. Sometimes you have to shift your thinking when an opportunity comes up.”
She said that while she was always passionate about women’s empowerment, she never thought she would be writing for the Girl Scouts of the USA, nor is it the type of writing she thought she would be doing. However, the job has given her a new opportunity within her overarching dream and has given her vital experiences.
The event was open to attendees to ask panelists for specific advice. The alumni stressed that while the Covid pandemic has temporarily changed the job market and how employers hire, this is also a time to adapt and make your own path.
Overall the event was successful, students learned a lot about media careers and were able to get advice on moving forward in their career journey.
Peggy Cassidy, chair of the Communications Department, said, “The Career Expo was well attended, and the alumni panelists were terrific. It is always so interesting to listen to our early-career alumni talk about their process of transitioning from student to professional. They offer information and insights and very concrete advice that is so important for our current students (and for all of us who teach and advise them).”