It feels like there were endless takeaways from the 2017 NYWICI Student Communications Career Conference. A few pieces of advice stand out though. For starters, the morning keynote speaker, Tiffany Pham, CEO of Mogul — a leading company that helps women and works with the United Nations to provide education to girls across the world — advised us all to be kind, authentic and generous, three values that she instills in her company. And lunch keynote Kelle Jacob, the Global Marketing Manager for Victoria Beckham Estee Lauder Collaboration and the Estee Edit by Estee Lauder, stressed following your gut, stating that if you know you’re right for something and the gatekeeper to your life says no, go get a new gatekeeper.
These empowering women were just two of the more than 40 communications professionals who spoke on over 10 topics that the conference this year, which took place Nov. 18, 2017, at the NYU Kimmel Center. The day started off with an empowering speech and continued for hours until it ended with a panel of four NYWICI leaders giving advice to the more than 200 students in attendance.
This year, the Student Affairs committee shook up the format of the conference and included not only panels, but workshops, too. The first three panels focused on “The Many Facets of Careers in Communications,” “How to Land the Perfect Job/Internship” and “Defining Your Personal Brand.” The panelists included a variety of unique communicators and innovators discussing topics such as drilling home your most important point in an interview, being yourself in the workplace and finding something you love, while learning everything you can about it. Vice’s Senior Creative, Charlotte Japp, emphasized, “You’ll always do better at a job if you’re doing something you love.”
The remaining breakout sessions throughout the day consisted of workshops on “Creating Your Killer Elevator Pitch,” “Your Best Answers to Every Interview Questions,” “Negotiating Your Way To Success” and “Your Guide To Freelance Writing.” Not only did the workshops offer great advice, they truly allowed the attendees to leave with an action item such as how to ask for a raise, how to answer tough interview questions, what to include in a personal elevator pitch and even how to pitch an article idea to a favorite media outlet. Young professionals from amazing companies like NBCUniversal, SiriuxXM Radio, Scholastic, PEOPLE Magazine and Nielsen helped facilitate the workshops and offered their own personal advice to help students navigate their careers.
The closing panel consisted of NYWICI Leaders, including Meredith Long, NYWICI President and Senior Vice President and General Manager of News, Luxury, and Style at Time Inc. She advised to “plan your life, not your career.” On the other hand, Senior Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Weber Shandwick, Judith Harrison, encouraged students to make mistakes, but never make the same mistake twice. The day ended with raffles donated by Birchbox, Inkwell, The New York Times and Stitch Fix. The raffle winners were not the only ones to leave with some swag though. Every student went home carrying a stocked goodie bag thanks to Conde Nast, Dow Jones, Idealist, Meredith Corporation, Mogul, NYU, Time Inc. and True Citrus.
As a NYWICI member and someone who has attended the NYWICI Student Communications Career Conference twice, I understand that this event can really propel a career in a direction that one could never have imagined and can advance your professional and personal growth with every year that you attend.
The annual NYWICI student communications career conference are inspiring, informative and empowering to become the best media leaders in the future and help others to be successful together. This year’s conference offered many valuable lessons to help us get there: that we must take risks and follow our instincts; that if a decision scares you it can be a sign that you need to follow it through, even if no one else agrees with you; that if you know your idea is new, different and important, be bold and pursue it — and that you can’t be an innovator if you’re afraid to stray from the beaten path.
Slideshow images: Copyright Maryanne Russell