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NYC virtual career trek features alums working for CNN, MLB, and Macmillan Publishing

A skyscraper in New York City

The College of Liberal Arts Office of Career Services hosted a successful virtual career trek for students on Tuesday, Oct. 13. During this trek, students had the opportunity to connect with representatives from CNN, Macmillan Publishing, and MLB. These representatives answered questions about their careers and their time within their respective industries, and as an added bonus—each group included an Auburn alumnus. These alumni were able to answer specific questions and offer advice to students on exactly how they transitioned from Auburn University to their current positions.

Throughout each of the hour time slots, students gained invaluable information from each of the representatives. Students were given the inside scoop on what looks best on a resume for a major publishing house, to what a typical day in the life of an executive producer looks like.

The first panel on this trek began with a Zoom call featuring five staff members of CNN. These members worked in either the Atlanta or New York City offices. Auburn’s very own Chloe Melas (entertainment reporter) assembled a team of CNN staff who she believed would provide beneficial insights to students. This group consisted of Melody Taylor (executive producer), Christina Zdanowicz (senior producer), Pamela Boykoff (senior business editor), and Christina Alesci (business and politics correspondent). Each of these women explained to students that working in the news industry is a high-energy job where no day will be the same. Each position requires a significant amount of reading, writing, and keeping up with the news.

Christina Zdanowicz and Melody Taylor made sure to emphasize the importance of passion and perseverance. They said these qualities are necessary for the stories you want to write and ultimately for the career you want to pursue. Chloe Melas proclaimed to have “hounded CNN for six months,” emailing them every week until she received a job offer. For Melas, perseverance was vital to making it in such a competitive environment.

Following CNN, Macmillan Publishing joined in on the next Zoom call. Macmillan Publishing is the smallest of the five major publishers in New York City. This house publishes books of every genre. Representatives from Macmillan Publishing included HR representative Kristen Pecci and AU alumna Kerry Nordling. Nordling graduated with a major in English and a concentration in political science. She currently holds positions as both vice president and director of rights for Macmillan Publishing Group.

Both Pecci and Nordling explained the importance of college students making the most of their current resources. NYC is currently the hub for the publishing business, and neither Pecci nor Nordling expected that to change anytime soon. Both women explained that showing interest in the industry can vary from working in a bookstore to writing for the university literary magazine. Ultimately, a publishing career is for book lovers, proving that you are one is bound to catch the attention of a publishing house like Macmillan.

Each of these two companies used their respective hours to speak about their industries and potential jobs/internships, and advised students about how to set themselves up to succeed.

College of Liberal Arts Career Services Specialist Marianne McCarley has organized six career treks for the college thus far. “The pandemic has been responsible for so many detrimental outcomes but one positive thing to come from this is the changeover from face-to-face interactions to remotely connecting students to any employer in the world.”

This career trek was undoubtedly different from those of the past, but students were still able to gain invaluable information. McCarley said the success of this function would lead to many events in the future with both national and international employers.

Tags: Students Alumni Communication and Journalism English Political Science Career Services

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