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Alumni Offer Game-Changing Career Advice at 8th Annual Expo

By Maxmillian Robinson

The 8th Annual Media Career Expo held on December 1, 2021 was an opportunity for current students to learn career advice from people who have been in the job-search market in the past 10 years. The panelists were Jess Campitiello ’19, digital communications assistant at Cornell Tech; Gabrielle Deonath ’18, author of two books and an associate writer for Girl Scouts of the USA; Samantha Hollinde ’14, videographer and editor with TYR Sport; Gabriella Marra ’19, a campaign manager at NBCUniversal; and Andrew Ryan ’16, news photographer, editor and truck operator for News 12 Long Island.

Samantha Hollinde ’14 never imagined working in sports. Today, she is a videographer for a major sports apparel company, TYR Sports.

The two-hour, virtual expo, attended by over 20 students and The Delphian staff, was moderated by Liza Burby, a senior adjunct professor in the Communications Department, which was a co-sponsor, along with this newspaper. Burby asked an array of questions of the panelists aimed at providing advice that current communications students who work in the print, TV, web, book, advertising and marketing industries can use to navigate their career search. These included, What steps did you take in your job search, like getting internships while still in college and after? What about your job search surprised you in a good way? Were there aspects of the search that you were disappointed about but learned from? What do you wish you had known when you were still a student?

Deonath started the discussion by describing her activities as an Adelphi student, as well as her professional work outside of school. She was editor-in-chief of this newspaper, as well as a feature writer for Blank Slate Media, Brown Girl magazine and other organizations. She said she was surprised that even with her experience, it took a while to find a full-time job.

“My job search surprised me,” Deonath said. “There will be people that invest in you in different fields. I had a very narrow [writing] view, but there's other types of writing I tried that paved a way for me. You will meet people along the way that see something in you. It's okay if you don't get a job right away.”

Never be afraid to try something new. Hollinde also wore many hats as a student, participating as an volunteer for a local hospital, while also being an intern for NHTV public access television. She said the two different career fields gave her opportunities that later helped her be open to possibilities.

“I wish I was told what you think you’ll want will likely change, and if not you won’t get stuck,” Hollinde said. “For example, I was offered a sports job, but didn’t like sports. I still took the job because it provided much opportunity and it also paid off.”

The panelists also gave specific advice about tools that help in the job search.

“The importance of having a LinkedIn profile is crucial,” said Marra. “I needed one to get into an interview for a law firm back in my junior year of college.”

Marra utilized her resources at Adelphi by going to the Career Center where she was helped on how to use social media to her advantage with good marketing strategies. She also went on to explain how diverse the Linkedin app can be.

Marra (19’), says that Linkedin was a vital factor in her receiving a high-level job, in a company like NBC.

“[Linkedin] is vastly different from other social media platforms we use regularly,” she said. “On the account, this is where I would upload things about myself [experience, skills] and samples of my work. I can even apply to certain part-time and full-time jobs by using the information seen on my page. It makes things quick, accessible and easy to look for new jobs and occupations right for me.”

Without Linkedin, Marra said she wouldn’t have been able to obtain her current position as a campaign manager for NBC Universal, which she started in December after several years at Flashtalking.

The panelists also spoke about gaining relevant experience. While Ryan didn’t have an internship during his undergrad enrollment, he talked about taking advantage of what is near and around you, participating in clubs and events on campus, while creating useful work. It was at an on-campus event he attended as a student where he met contacts from his current employer, News 12 Long Island.

“I worked on camera sets and crew in communication class,” he said. “Find something that you are extremely passionate about, perfect your craft and take opportunities that you can. From there, you can create some form of resume and begin to attend events [just like this one] and speak to those who are already established in the career field you want to be in.”

The panelists also gave advice about networking and taking opportunities presented to you.

“Never say I don't need to know this because you can end up using this skill in the long run,” said Campitiello, who wound up working in public relations for a bicycle company, catering and photography before landing her current job. “It can bump your resume to the next level.”

Peggy Cassidy, chair of the Communications Department, also spoke about essential details. “There’s no excuse going into an interview unprepared,” she said. “Do homework on the company. Study their values, take notes, bring your resume and ask questions.”

Burby advised following every interview with a thank you note, along with a follow-up email, regardless of the hiring outcome. “It may surprise you, but these small details will make you stand out,” she said.

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