A New Look for the New Year

January 31, 2017

A sure way to start the year off right is by polishing your professional presence. For help with getting started, about 40 NYWICI members and guests took that first step when they gathered for a NYWICI Night Out on Jan. 19, 2017, at Sarabeth’s Restaurant at Lord & Taylor.

Stacey Karesh, Lord & Taylor’s Special Events Marketing Manager, encouraged the audience to take advantage of the free styling salon on the third floor of the store that is “largely under the radar and caters to every budget.” Plus, she invited everyone to stop by for “Fashion Fix Fridays,” held between 5 pm and 6 pm each week, which offer tips to spice up weekend wardrobes.  

Master Stylists Travis Hutchinson and Micah Feliciano wowed the crowd with a dynamic presentation highlighting affordable fashion trends for the year. Their recommended approach to creating a new look was very pragmatic: embellish what is already in your closet for a work-appropriate wardrobe that will project a polished image.  

The presentation, featuring outfits by such designers as Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld and Black Halo, was replete with words of wisdom on being fashion forward throughout the year and beyond.

Some highlights

  • Combine the right jacket, blouse and skirt to make a fashion statement. Try color blocking by choosing a dark skirt with a light-colored shirt, or the reverse approach.
  • The “go-to” style for your new skirt is the pencil skirt. 
  • The blazer jacket is amazingly versatile: Mix and match by wearing it with flair-ups or skinny pants and other items in your closet.
  • The color story for the spring season is blush and beige. You will see these business-savvy hues in everything, from pants to jackets.
  • The sleeveless “little black dress” is equally striking in red. If you don’t want to display your arms, try wearing a blazer, cashmere sweater or even a turtleneck underneath the dress.
  • Patent leather shoes can spark up any outfit. 

An enthusiastic vibe was palpable as guests chatted after the fashion presentation. Blogger Mandy Carr declared, “I thought the looks were very sophisticated and great for going from day to night!” All the talk about fashion got Mandy thinking that she would have liked to "touch even more on accessorizing. When you have solid colors, necklaces are good and can really change up the look.”

Blanche LeBeau, Estee Lauder’s Lead Makeup Artist, North America, capped off the evening with some salient skincare pointers:

  • The Estee Lauder “modern face” is all about skin that is well hydrated and protected. 
  • To scientifically identify the exact shade of foundation for your skin color, consider trying out the iMatch digital system in-store at Estee Lauder. 
  • Groom and enhance your brows for a more youthful look.

For Latina Beauty Blogger Clare Gaurin, the highlight of the evening was the iMatch. "The most interesting part was the intersection of modern technology and beauty demonstrated by that handheld device, no bigger than a cellphone.” Clare felt a professional connection with Blanche: “We share a similar philosophy when it comes to beauty: hydrated, well-protected skin is the most important step to looking your best with a look that lasts all day.”

Slideshow photos: Jan Goldstoff



Posted by: 
Wendy Maurice

BTS @ Vice: Viceland — Where Women Are Represented

January 30, 2017

Aloud Blog StudentsNow a multinational, multimedia powerhouse, Vice began in 1994 as an independent magazine called Voice of Montréal with the intention of covering perspectives that were underrepresented in traditional print media. Twenty-three years, an expansion into digital video, television, music, and one less letter later, the voices themselves have changed, but the mission has not.

It is not just the points of view featured throughout all of Vice’s platforms that are atypical. On Jan. 12, 2017, at NYWICI’s Behind the Scenes tour @ Vice, looking out the opened garage doors of Vice’s Williamsburg office at the New York skyline —  a gaggle of female communications’ students and professionals that I had just met around me — I felt as though I had just gone through the gates of a Disneyland for millennials. And I’m not the only one who felt that way: Brian Morrissey, editor in chief of Digiday, called Vice “basically a millennial whisperer.”

In the last couple of years, my idea of what working at an office is like has changed significantly. For a long time, I imagined it was just suited people sitting in cubicles typing on a keyboard from nine to five. As a creative person, the idea horrified me. But now, when I think of an office, my mind envisions long, shared tables, cool individuals with tattoos and retro glasses — and probably a Ping-Pong table.

BTS @ ViceMaybe earlier generations only had the first office scenario to look forward to. But with the advent of companies like Vice, the latter office scenario is more attainable to the creative, free-spirited minority — also known as the millennial, the latest underrepresented voice Vice has chosen to cover.  

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “vice versa” before; it’s actually Latin for “the other way around.” In fact, Vice did evolve in an unusual direction, starting with print and moving into digital video and most recently television. But Vice has actually done much more than that.

It’s a cliché that the squeakiest wheel gets the oil, and for majority demographics, that’s certainly true. Most news and media entertainment sources cater to what they think is popular, which results in a lot of the same things for all the same people. Unlike the rest, Vice doesn’t create its content for the squeakiest wheels.  

Perhaps the most telling part of the tour was seeing the wall of Vice magazine covers. Every cover from 1994 to present day was displayed, creating a mosaic of glossy, colorful photographs starring a diverse cast. One of our guides pointed out her favorite, a women’s-only issue that was not a stereotypical “girl’s magazine”, filled with photos of cosmetics, clothes and boys, but rather a far-reaching “print museum” of sorts of the work of thirty-eight female photographers. Vice saw that female artists were underrepresented, and they dedicated an entire issue to them.

Vice Account Executive Liz Mantel revealed the extent to which Vice cares about audiences, who are disappointed with the content available to them. According to a study she cited, 90% of women are not satisfied with what they see. In response to this irksome statistic, Vice worked to create verticals that would provide intelligent, mature and interesting material to fill gaps in programming.

And big news and entertainment sources are seeing the impact such a philosophy can have. For example, during the tour we were brought to a wall of glass, through which we could see a small room covered in screens, all displaying various sources of news. We were told that this is where Vice’s daily HBO news segment was created, from start to finish. It was clear by the sighs and longing looks that several of us could see ourselves behind the glass, researching, writing and editing at Vice desktops.

Overall, the tour provided a fascinating and illuminating insight into how communications as a field has evolved, as well as a glimpse as to where it might be going. Through Vice’s looking glass, the outlines of our reflections staring back at us, I believe that we, NYWICI women,  felt a little more represented.



Posted by: 
Hannah Lomele

BTS @ Vice: A Finger on the Pulse of Culture Trends

January 30, 2017

Aloud Blog StudentsNYWICI’s Behind the Scenes tour @ Vice Media on Jan. 12, 2017, was eye opening. Upon entering the building, I was hit with a wave of positive energy, and I was instantly recharged from the earlier happenings of my day. The environment is both calm and energetic, which could be considered an oxymoron; however, the personnel and flow of the space all make for an innovative work environment. Therefore, it was no surprise to hear Charlotte Japp, a senior creative (brands), expressing her excitement during the informative session that followed a tour of Vice’s offices, over the company’s direction and the projects and campaigns she has seen and or worked on directly.  

Charlotte impressed me with her education background in literature and her dream of working in television. I immediately started thinking about my own background and how one assumed career path can lead you in a different direction. Her path lead her from Georgetown University to becoming a junior creative and now senior creative at Vice. During her three and a half years at Vice, Charlotte expressed that she has been given creative freedom, which informs her decisions both on the client and business side of an initiative. She also revealed that there is a certain amount of diplomacy within a team, because everyone has their own style and there is space for individuals to be their best creative self while producing and launching a campaign.

BTS @ Vice MediaThat said, Charlotte also stressed that there are good challenges in her role. For one, she often must figure out a “puzzle” or a Request for Proposal (RFP), once assigned. After confirming a request, she consciously remains true to her creative process, but also balances her creative intentions to produce the best results per the initial client request. Overall, her role requires quick thinking, having a finger on the pulse of current culture trends and an understanding of news, influencers and up and coming talents.

The tour and informative session from some of the top female talents at Vice was invaluable. The session facilitated by Liz Mantel, gave us a sneak peek into the innovative work and aspirations to come from this media outlet.

All in all, I came to understand that no matter where we begin in the business of storytelling, we must remain genuine in our approach towards the business and our clients. And landing on your feet directly from college or from a previous career path in a place like Vice Media is not only encouraging — but possible.



Posted by: 
Lindiwe Davis

BTS @ Vice: Be Yourself and Don't Be Scared

January 30, 2017

Aloud Blog StudentsDuring NYWICI’s Behind the Scenes tour @ Vice Media on Jan. 21, 2017, our host, Liz Mantel, offered insight into the media company that brands itself as “the millennial whisperers.” Liz is an account executive who works with brands and agencies to create unique ad experiences for Vice’s audiences. According to her, many advertisers seek out Vice because they need to reach young people — but they’re not sure how. Vice’s staff skews young, and therefore its employees can better reflect the millennial voice that clients want to hear.

So what’s Vice’s secret sauce? How do they connect with that elusive young audience, especially when that audience is far less receptive to traditional advertising strategies? The answer is surprisingly simple: by being authentic. And personally and professionally that is indeed valuable advice. Everyone brings their own perspective to the table, and remembering that yours has worth is critical for any woman in communications. Whether in the classroom or the office, you are where you are because people value your insight. Even if you’re just starting out in your career, knowing that making yourself heard is a far better way to stand out than simply repeating your co-workers’ opinions.

Similarly, authenticity makes your online persona stand out, so don’t be afraid to add some (tasteful) personality to your LinkedIn profile, personal website and on social channels. Audiences — and employers — want to see the real you, not just a cookie-cutter profile.

BTS at ViceVice has mastered the art of putting out digital content that’s engaging and inventive, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. Liz discussed the company’s drive to “find white spaces” in content creation, seeking out areas of interest to millennials that Vice isn’t currently publishing, such as sustainability, online gaming communities and finance. Think about ways you can make your mark online in ways no one else can — whether it’s a Pinterest board full of your original DIY projects or a blog where you discuss your favorite media.

Perhaps the best piece of advice Liz had for students and young professionals was also the simplest: Don’t be scared. Because Vice’s staff is composed of so many young people, many of their employees find themselves with responsibilities that would be handled by older, more seasoned employees at other companies. While this is a great learning opportunity, it can be intimidating. Liz described “bombing” her first big meeting with a chief marketing officer because she was too nervous, but she learned from her mistakes and gained confidence in her abilities as she continued to pitch big clients. As challenging as it may seem to tackle that major professional obstacle, have confidence in your ability to handle the situation and remember your value.

Vice has grown exponentially in the past few years, truly a testament to the power of its young staff. Their drive shows in their media, and is what sets their brand apart from other digital publications. No matter your experience level, take a page from the Vice team’s playbook and give your all to creating something that matters to you.



Posted by: 
Jennifer Walsh

BTS @ Vice: Jump in and Test the Waters

January 30, 2017

Aloud Blog StudentsBlack leather chairs lined with gold legs. Addictive healthy snacks organized next to tote bags filled with magazines. Paintings that are somewhere between Basquiat and Close, positioned on opposite walls. This is no place for the traditionalist. It is a home for the future. It is also a conference room.

Conference rooms, traditionally, are known to symbolize what they were made for: business. However, at VICE Media in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the conference room is where great minds convene to keep not only a business running, but a living, breathing brand.

Attendees at NYWICI’s Behind the Scenes tour @ Vice Media on Jan. 12, 2017, met a wide range of creative, who are responsible for making sure that VICE and all of its entities continue to evolve from being “just a skateboard company” to the diverse media conglomerate it is today. Among these talented people were Liz, Madison and Holly, each giving unique advice on how to build a successful career by embracing individualism. Here’s what we learned:


“When it came to applying to jobs, I initially wanted to get into television,” Holly says. She also recalls wanting to be in the Advertising department at different companies after falling in love with AMC’s Mad Men series.

Like Holly, many of us are still going through the process — figuring out if our career interests align with our career path. In Holly’s experiences, each interview and rejection before VICE seemed to only remind her that she was “overqualified” and settling for less. However, she says that getting your foot in the door comes with dedication and never giving up. Instead of taking “No” for an answer, she says, “it was sort of rewarding to know there was something else out there.”


Office lingo is no joke. EOD, EOW and OOO, are not the same as LOL, BRB or TBH.

Madison shares her experiences with reading emails and memos during her first days at VICE, and recalls not knowing what terms meant. She credits VICE with giving her, and other young people like her, a chance to shine as well as to learn. However, those efforts have to be mutual. “No one’s going to know the answers all the time,” Madison says. But it’s YOUR job to ask the questions! Be humble, be eager and come hungry.


We live in a generation that struggles between following passions and following security. We think we know what we want as soon as it happens, but sometimes the best and most life-changing decisions are spur of the moment.

Madison tells us that despite her current role as Program Manager, she would have probably shied away from the role if she were applying upfront. The position found her, instead of the other way around, after she gave an impressive presentation for a department outside of her own Marketing internship at the time. To some, this may seem impulsive, but to Madison, it was instinct all along.

This mentality reflects the rest of VICE staff, too. Following the presentation, Liz reiterates that at VICE, “there’s a responsibility to be on the pulse with culture.” And I think that’s valuable advice for any situation: be in the know, because life is too short not to know.

Maybe not every job will fit how you expect, but it’s always better to jump in and test the waters than miss the opportunity completely.



Posted by: 
Roxanne Lim

New Year, New You: Think Big!

January 19, 2017

New Year, New You EventWhether you’re gunning for a promotion, a new gig, or a better work-life balance, there’s no better time to glean career advice and inspiration than the start of a new year. Hello 2017!

On Jan. 25, 2017, NYWICI Young Professionals Committee hosted New Year, New You: A Chat with Ann Shoket. Ann, the former editor-in-chief of Seventeen Magazine and author of the upcoming book The Big Life, will divulge how to make this year the best one yet. 

We chatted with Ann about her mission for sisterhood and why hording a stack of rejection letters isn’t a bad thing.

How did you get your foot in the door at your first job in the industry?
I applied everywhere! I still hold on to a stack of rejection letters from my first job search as a badge of honor and a testament to my hustle! Newsweek, Time, People, Esquire, even Seventeen—they all sent me letters saying they didn’t have jobs open or I didn’t have the right experience. It was crushing. But I finally got an interview at The American Lawyer Magazine, and I could see that the woman across the desk had a glimmer of interest in her eye. I kept talking until I was sure she was going to hire me. It was not my dream job. But it was A Job That Paid. And I learned the basics of how an office works. I listened to the reporters in the “pit” and learned how to ask questions and craft stories. The American Lawyer was having a moment of great growth while I was there. It expanded into local newspapers, an online service for attorneys and also launched Court TV. I was able to see first-hand how a brand becomes multi-platform and expands its mission and its reach.

What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment of your career so far?
Every step has been meaningful and monumental for me. I was on the launch team of CosmoGIRL, and we were trying to create a new way to talk to young women about their emotions. I repositioned Seventeen to reflect the changing tastes and values of young women, aggressively expanded its digital businesses and drove it to become number one on every platform. And now, writing The Big Life has allowed me to continue the conversation with a generation of young women who grew up with me and to help them get everything they want—on their own terms.

What was your inspiration for The Big Life  and what do you want women to get out of the book when we pick it up in March?
So many women in their 20s and 30s were saying to me that they didn’t have role models for how they wanted to live their lives. The rules for work have changed [and] the path to success looks different—even the way we think about success has changed. The traditional icons of female empowerment felt stuffy and dated. Their bosses eye-rolled and dismissed them for being “lazy, entitled” millennials. Their friends were feeling the same anxiety about not seeing a clear-cut path. And so that’s where The Big Life comes in—to create a sisterhood of young women who are going through the trickiest bits of becoming who they’re meant to be together.  My mission is to help young women recognize their power and to make the world recognize it too.

Is there one piece of advice you’d give young women to set us on the right path in 2017 to becoming the Badass Babes we hope to be?
Never stop becoming. You’re never done. There isn’t one goal, one peak moment. Take what you’re learning every day and stay open to the possibilities for what more you can become.

What are your resolutions or goals for the year ahead? 
I don’t make a resolution. Instead, every year I pick a word as my mantra. It’s not a goal, but the thing I need to remember to reach my goals. This year my word is Big. It’s a reminder not to play small. I’ve been working like a maniac on this book in private for the last two years….and it has a big mission—to help young women recognize their power and to make the world recognize it too. And not to dream big about its possibility in the world would be a disservice to the book, and to the women I know need to hear this message. Big is my mantra for 2017.



Posted by: 
Julianne Grauel

10 Year iPhone: How It Changed the Way We Communicate

January 17, 2017

iPhone salesSince Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone back on Jan. 9, 2007, one billion devices have been sold worldwide, revolutionizing the entire mobile phone industry. It’s not a stretch to say that the iPhone — which Jobs defined at its introduction as three devices in one, “a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device” with its many iterations over the years — has changed the world and fundamentally altered the way we communicate.

The iPhone has made employees more connected than ever. Email and calendars are easily accessed on-the-go, and push notifications ensure we never miss a message or an appointment. We’re hyper connected 24/7, responding faster than we ever have. Many people I know use their personal iPhone for business rather than have a separate work phone: The iPhone has blurred the line between work and personal life.

And then there’s texting. I’ve been texting since my preteen years but not texting in paragraph-long spurts the way I do now. Remember those QWERTY keyboards? And word limits? They made texting more of a novelty than a primary form of communication. In the fall of 2008, just one year after the iPhone hit the markets, Nielsen reported that texting increased by 450% from the same period in 2006. With the iPhone’s touchscreen and easy-to-use interface, texting has now become as natural as speaking.  

The iPhone changed how we browse the Internet: We’re connected 24/7, either through WiFi or a cellular network. This means we are constantly consuming information and value being connected to the virtual world around us — but not necessarily the people around us. We’re scrolling through our phones at bars, at dinner, while walking or while riding the bus. Moments of down time are filled by looking at our phones, allowing for fewer personal interactions on the go.

The iPhone also fueled the rise of social media. Snapchat, of course, is mobile-only, Instagram is mobile-first and more than 90% of Facebook’s daily active users access the platform via mobile. We broadcast vacations and nights out by taking photos on our phones and instantly sharing them through an app. We check and post news in real time through Twitter. We share live video and funny moments we eventually want to disappear. The iPhone is an active participant in our lives and the catalyst behind most of our social interactions, real and digital.

I was a latecomer to the iPhone revolution. I bought my first iPhone in 2012, five years after its release, when I realized my Samsung “smart” phone was completely obsolete. But now I can’t imagine life without it. My iPhone is my calendar, my alarm clock, my camera, my calculator, my travel companion and my GPS system. It’s how I communicate with friends and family, find out the weather, jot down notes for stories, post to social media and pay for my coffee. My iPhone is where I get my news, my bus tickets, my restaurant recommendations and my music.

And sometimes — but rarely — my iPhone is just my phone.



Posted by: 
Sara Felsenstein

NYWICI Must Reads Jan. 13, 2017

January 13, 2017

Aloud Pro
Tweet your links to us, using #NYWICIMustReads to be featured in next Friday's Must Reads


For Women at Every Career Stage

Remembering Vera Rubin: The Trailblazing Astrophysicist Who Confirmed the Existence of Dark Matter And Paved the Way for Modern Women in Science (Brainpickings)

A Global Survey Shows Women Are More Satisfied With Their Lives Than Men Are (Quartz)

Center for Investigative Reporting Launches Initiative To Support Female Documentarians (Variety)

The Number of Countries With Female Political Leaders Has Plummeted (The Washington Post)

3 Women Become 1st Female US Marines in Ground Infantry Unit (ABC News)


The Changing Landscape of Communications

Committee to Protect Journalists Saw A Spike In Donations After Meryl Streep’s Speech (Poynter)

Why Meryl Streep’s Defense of The Media Could Backfire (Poynter)

Trump Berated A CNN Reporter— and Fellow Journalists Missed an Opportunity (Columbia Journalism Review)

It’s Time to Retire the Tainted Term ‘Fake News’ (The Washington Post)

I’ve Left Twitter. It Is Unusable For Anyone But Trolls, Robots and Dictators (The Guardian)

The Future of The Times: A View From The Top (The New York Times)

Focus More on Fighting Bad Journalism, Less on Fake News (Columbia Journalism Review)

86% of U.S. Adults Aged 18-29 Are Social Media Users (Adweek)


Technology News

Posted by: 
Tekla Szymanski

NYWICI Student Conference 2016 Breakout Session: Nonprofit and Social Good

January 9, 2017

Aloud Blog StudentsWhat does it take to make it in the nonprofit and social services sector of the communications industry? Managing Director of TMI Strategy and DoSomething.org, Meredith Ferguson, doesn’t mince words: “We work hard and we work long, and it can be frustrating because you’re driving impact on things that could be hard to hear. So yeah, I want to know: ‘can I be in a bunker with you?’”

Moderated by Linda Harelick, director of Operations and Communications at Child Obesity 180, the panelists at the breakout session "Nonprofit & Social Good" at the 2016 Student Communbications Career Conference highlighted the similarities between working for nonprofit companies and for-profit companies. Having worked in both sectors, Stephanie Mattera, head of Communications and Community Outreach for New York University and Lifestyle Correspondent for Celebrity Catwalk TV, addressed the necessity of doing social good in your career overall. “There are different ways to promote social good,” she stated. “If I don’t see that you’re giving back to your community, I’ll glaze right over your resume. Even when you go for a for-profit job, they want to see that you’re a holistic person.” She also pointed out that being diverse in your skills and interests will help you stand out from everyone else. Meredith agreed. “We know that we are grooming people to move on to bigger and better things, so we want to know that you are going to be the one to do something truly amazing.”

Joanna Groarke, director of Public Engagement and Library Exhibition Curator at New York Botanical Garden, brought attention to being a genuinely interesting person who is up to the task when it gets challenging. “I’m not looking for someone that only looks good on paper,” she stated. “I’m looking for someone who has practical skills; someone who can roll with the punches.”

For Kaitlyn Wojtowicz, marketing and development manager of Susan G. Komen North Jersey, a candidate’s cover letter tells an important story. “I want to see what kind of writer someone is. I want to hear why you’re applying for this job,” Shared Kaitlyn. “Are you passionate about the work? Are you committed to it?”

When Linda opened the floor to questions, a student in the audience shared her frustration with wanting to do more than just write about shoes and clothes. “I realized I wanted to have more of an impact with the writing that I do,” she stated before asking her question. “How can I sell myself as a creative individual to social good and nonprofit?” Stephanie commended the student’s willingness to use her talents to make an impact and recommended that she express it through social networks and blogging. Joanna chimed in with some advice. “You are a content person…Use all of your platforms. Instagram included.”       

The panel recommended being multifaceted and having the ability to “wear different hats”, writing a great cover letter and sending a handwritten thank you note after an interview. But the theme throughout the session was not just about doing good for goodness’ sake. It was about expressing genuine goodness from the inside. And all agreed that seeing people’s or animal’s lives benefit from their work makes up for the smaller paycheck. 

Here are more take-aways from the panel

On Nonprofit Social Media Presence
How do the panelists inform followers without being too heavy? Stephanie said that she focuses on happy adoption stories and making a positive difference in animal’s lives. Kaitlyn balances Susan G. Komen’s educational messages with happy, fun stories every week. Linda pointed out that it’s important to create a sense of urgency on social media to motivate people to donate; you should push facts and give solutions on how followers can help. In summary, balance the positive stories that come out of your work with the educational messages. If you publish a hard-hitting fact, follow up with ways people can help.

On Internship Experience  
Meredith pointed out that you can gain valuable internship experience through volunteering. Plus you know that your work is needed and valued, and you have a lesser chance of just going on coffee runs.

On What Professionals Seek In Future Employees
Stephanie said that she looks for candidates, who wear different hats; who are multi-faceted. Volunteering is an excellent way to show diverse experience. Joanna said that she isn’t looking for someone who knows the answers; she wants someone who has a question. Kaitlyn focuses on cover letters because they show what kind of writer you are. Stephanie added that a handwritten thank you note after an interview is a nice touch — stick your business card in there too!

Students may not see working for nonprofits as their first option out of college because of looming debt. If you feel as though a non-profit job cannot support you, there is always the option to volunteer. Once you pay off those loans and feel financially comfortable, working for a nonprofit may be a viable option. Your wallet may not be as full, but your heart will be. 

          — By Aziza Kibibi McGill-Ayinde and Gabrielle Reese




NYWICI Student Conference 2016 Breakout Session: TV, Radio, Film

January 9, 2017

Aloud Blog StudentsThe panelists on the TV, Radio and Film breakout session at the 2016 Student Communications Career Conference agreed that it takes dedication to succeed in media. According to Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing at CBS Radio, Kenetta Bailey; Vice President of Social Media at A+E Networks, Morgan Greco; Founder and President of LDM PR, Laura Danford Mandel and CBS2 New York and The Weather Channel reporter, Raegan Medgie, dedication to yourself and what you love is the fuel that drives the locomotive of success.

One piece of advice that resonated like a choir’s melody was “be true to who you are”. “You have to know yourself, you have to do what is right for you — and you can’t let anyone else decide what that is,” advised Kenetta. And Raegan shared some good advice she received from someone she respects in her field. “I sat down with Al Roker at the Weather Channel and I asked him, how do you stay successful at what you do?” As the audience waited in anticipation for her response she finally shared, “And he goes, always be who you are.”           

The moderator of this panel, Raquelle Zuzarte, senior director at Spectrum Reach, inspired exuberant conversation from the panelists with questions that explored their first job out of college. “I was a high school Spanish teacher,” announced Laura. “I…worked at Disney World,” said Raegan, as young listeners responded with oohs and ahhs.  

Morgan spoke about the fan club she started for Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 when she was 14. “My first job out of college, I was working for Abercrombie & Fitch. It was an interesting career but I wasn’t really being true to myself,” she reflected. “Honestly, what I did when I was 14, is what I’m doing now…It’s really about knowing yourself.”

“If you don’t have fun in what you do, you won’t be good at it long term,” added Kenetta. “You can do anything for a short period of time. You’re just not being authentic to yourself and who you are.”

Question topics from the audience ranged from networking tips for introverts, to dealing with sexism and discrimination in the media workforce. “Be nice to people,” said Lauren. “Being nice goes a long way.” “You’ve gotta push through,” suggested Kenetta. And Raegan offered up encouraging words from Michelle Obama: “When they go low, you go high.”

In closing, Raquelle reflected on the three take home points of the session: “1. be true to yourself; 2. be nice to everyone and network like crazy — and 3. act like you’re a Disney star!”


— Aziza Kibibi McGill-Ayinde



NYWICI Student Conference 2016 Keynote: Brittany Masalosalo

January 9, 2017

Aloud Blog StudentsLately, I’ve been questioning my place in the communications industry. It’s hard not to think of it in a traditional sense: marketing, PR, broadcast, online or print. Since I’ve become a member, NYWICI has been pushing this umbrella term of communications even further. The 2016 Student Communications Career Conference could not have come at a better time. The panelists and keynote speakers pushed this definition of communications even further and shined a light on the endless opportunities in this changing job market.

Brittany MasalosaloOur lunch keynote speaker Brittany Masalosalo, special assistant in Joe Biden’s National Security Affairs Office at the White House, represented for me the epitome of this change in the communications industry. Professions in communications are actively digesting information and trying to figure out the most effective way to use and share that information. Brittany does just that. Her following advice (5 Keys to Success) hit home with the audience of hopeful future communicators.

  1. Minding your example: Someone is always watching

Brittany supported this advice with an anecdote during her time as a Sergeant deployed in Iraq. For her, this was the ultimate stage of representing “The American Way.” And not only did she face scrutiny in Iraq, but as a woman and a minority, she said she was constantly aware of her actions. To paraphrase, the majority of the decisions in your career will be made without you in the room. Your efforts and behaviors will speak for you when you are not physically there.

  1. Develop relationships

To quote Brittany: “Network, network, network.” People are your largest resource and greatest asset in your endeavors. It takes a village, and in Brittany’s words, “If you want to change the world, you need help doing it.” The people you meet will be the people who recommend you for opportunities you don’t even know exist yet. And to draw on advice from the last panel of the day, these relationships are tangible, not just by connecting on LinkedIn.

Not only were her professional relationships important, but also her personal ones have played a large role in her life. In 2014, Brittany’s daughter was diagnosed with autism. At the time, Brittany was working at the Pentagon, pursuing a graduate degree, and to top it off, she was a single mother. In this situation, she had to ask for help to realign her life, and luckily she had friends and family to lean on.

  1. Managing your time through balance

Brittany stressed that her work/life balance has “not [been] without struggle.” I especially appreciated Brittany’s candor during this section because, as the dominant rhetoric goes, that if you want to become an independent woman, you better “have it all.” This is not easy and being good at everything is impossible. Your “having it all” is unique to you, so your balance will be unique to you.

That said, when you work hard, you play hard. Brittany recommended everyone set up their own reward system, whatever that may be. For herself she goes big and is a notorious vacation taker. None of us are immune to burning out, so stepping back to refresh is a necessity.

  1. Do not be afraid to work hard

It was definitely sobering to have the military as a frame of reference of hard work. Brittany said that whenever she feels something is difficult and she wants to give up, she thinks of troops who are walking miles with equipment on their backs in the searing Middle Eastern heat. Anything is a walk in the park compared to that.

This is not to invalidate your feelings, but tough jobs will challenge you and you must stand up to that challenge. Challenges are in our life to be “embrace[d] and be refined by them.”

  1. Learn how to stomach failure

Whether a failure is large or small, it is an opportunity to learn from it. Brittany told us that her current pursuit towards a PhD is not her first. She was denied her first time applying and she allowed herself to be crushed for one day. You can allow yourself one day to fall apart. After that, you get to work. Failure is a tool, something to “put in your rucksack” and keep it for later. You never know what experiences you will look back on and seek guidance from in the future. We all will fail, so use failure to your advantage.

Now is a time for leaders to step forward, “And I mean great leaders,” Brittany said. Communications influences the lives of millions daily, and it is up to the next generation to help define what those communication channels will be. And while we all might not be destined for the White House, we should all follow these keys to success and act as if we are.

— Anna Gardner



5 Tips for Positioning Yourself for a Promotion

January 9, 2017

Aloud Blog pro“How do you position yourself for a promotion?” is one of the most frequent questions that I’m asked whenever I speak at a professional development-oriented program. Not surprising, this tends to be a particularly hot-button topic as you prepare for your annual performance review. In addition to sharing their tips for mastering the compensation, workplace experts Lindsey Pollak and Selena Rezvani also offered five practical steps for putting yourself on the path to a promotion:

  1. Observe: “Study what other people in your organization have done to get promotions,” said Lindsey. “What did they accomplish? How are they viewed in the company? Learn from their successes and follow their lead. If it's appropriate, you can even ask your manager or HR exactly what it takes to receive a promotion and what the timeline looks like.”
  1. Overdeliver: Both Selena and Lindsey agree that when you ask for a promotion, it’s critical you demonstrate that you are doing more than just a good job — which is what’s expected of you. Selena elaborated, “Be able to explain how what you’re delivering is above and beyond that which you’ve been asked to do. In addition, explain the extent to which you are depended on to perform your tasks, underscoring your value and contribution to the company.”
  1. Be Visible: As Selena noted, “It’s much easier to ask for and get a promotion if you have champions around the company who are co-invested in your success.  his is where being a wallflower who keeps her head down will do you no favors.” Instead, Selena and Lindsey recommend spending time to cultivate key relationships with sponsors and calling on others’ clout.  You can do this by engaging in mentoring meetings with top leaders, offering to help them on critical, high-visibility projects, or by asking them to lunch to “talk careers.”  “Once you engage them, be vocal about exactly where you want to go in the company and how you plan to contribute,” reminded Selena.
  1. Frame The Picture: Lindsey suggests volunteering for reach — sometimes referred to as “stretch” — assignments to show that you are capable of doing work above your current position. She added, “That can help people to picture you in the more senior role before you even have it, which makes the promotion feel less risky for them.”
  1. Make it Hard to Say “No”: Is there a way you can wrap your boss’ goals, passions, or struggles into your promotion request? For example, if your boss complains that she must prepare detailed sales reports each week for higher-ups, why not make a promotion pitch where part of your new job will be to handle the reports? Selena added, “Look for ways to build a custom job request that will either alleviate a pain point or motivate the other side by achieving a goal or otherwise satisfying a need or desire.”


Posted by: 
Linda Descano

NYWICI Must Reads January 6, 2017