Student Communications Career Conference

November 17, 2012
Event location: 

NYU's Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South

By Jamie Primeau  
“You will not regret making the choice to come here today,” Susan Schulz, president of the NYWICI Foundation and editorial brand director at Cosmopolitan, told a room filled with eager students, who had come to gain insight into the communications industry at the annual Student Communications Career Conference on Nov. 17, 2012, at New York University’s Kimmel Center.

Susan then introduced keynote speaker (and former colleague) Kate White (watch our interview with her below), as students munched on their breakfasts. Kate, who served as the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan for 14 years, took the stage and shared three success secrets that have helped throughout her career: Follow the mantra “go big or go home,” stop worrying whether other people like you and drain the swamp as you slay the alligators. In other words, exceed your boss’s expectations, put yourself first and focus on the big picture. After her address, Kate signed copies of her new career book, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, while chatting and posing for photos with attendees.

Next, students broke off into panels. Topics ranged from Fashion and Beauty Writing to Public Relations and Digital Media. There were also panels about Marketing and Advertising, News Reporting and Unique Opportunities in Communications. Panels featured representatives from companies including Glamour, The New York Times, Refinery29, Stylehouse PR, ABC News and many more. These experts offered candid commentary and astute advice about pursuing careers in all facets of the industry.

The group of students re-gathered in the Rosenthal Pavilion for a lunchtime keynote by Jenna Wolfe, “Weekend TODAY” news anchor and NBC News’ weekday “TODAY” correspondent. Throughout her speech, she encouraged everyone to follow one simple success tip: “Just be you.”

While it may sound easy, it’s something Jenna struggled with when breaking into broadcast journalism. Ultimately, she found she was most happy when embracing her outgoing personality. “I learned being myself was the only way I was going to carve out a niche in this business. I was going to succeed or I was going to fail, but I was going to do it by being me,” she said. Jenna also advised students to not be afraid of bumps along the way: “Make as many mistakes as you want. Just never make the same mistake twice."

After a third breakout session, attendees regrouped for a final panel called “Secrets to a Successful Job Search,” led by Human Resources experts. A raffle concluded the event.

The day, sponsored by 3M, was made possible by the New York Women in Communications Foundation and its Student Affairs Committee, led by co-chairs Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich and Stephanie Fraiman.

Overall, the conference left students feeling invigorated and inspired. Whether it was because of the sunlight shining through the Kimmel Center’s windows or passion pumping through their veins, females — and a few males — energetically spent their Saturday networking, absorbing advice and putting Kate White’s success equation to good use: “Contact plus curiosity is what equals opportunity.” 

For more, check out NYWICI's Student blog, NYWICINext on the event.
Slideshow images by Maryanne Russell © View more images here.

An Interview with Kate White (video by Miriam Ward):



Attendees registered for one panel during each of the three breakout sessions: 
Breakout 1
a) Broadcast and Cable Journalism
Confirmed panelists include: Erica Levens, Associate Director, NBC's Today Show; Lola Ogunnaike, Contributor, Today and BET; Tanya Rivero, Anchor, ABC News Now at ABC News; Mary Alice Williams, Veteran broadcaster 
Moderated by: Andrea Morabito, Programming Editor, Broadcasting & Cable
b) Marketing and Advertising
Confirmed Panelists include: Jennifer Kersting, Sales Manager, Hearst Magazines Digital Media; Kate Schneider, Account Director, Ammirati; Sehr Thadani, Account Supervisor, Edelman; Linda Williams, Director, Consumer Marketing, Ottobock
Moderated by: Carrie Cummings, Assistant Managing Editor, MediaPost
c) Magazine Writing for Print & Online
Confirmed panelists include: Christie Griffin, Digital Director, Fitness; Yolanda Sangweni, Entertainment Editor,; Karen Snyder Duke, Associate Editor, American Baby; Lindsey Unterberger, Deputy Online Editor, Glamour 
Moderated by: Michelle Ribeiro, Deputy Editor, Cosmopolitan

Breakout 2
a) Public Relations
Confirmed panelists include: Andrea Fassacesia Ferlisi, Vice President, Media, GCI Health; Vesna Jaksic, Media Relations Associate, ACLU; Hillary Klein, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Edelman; Janna Meyrowitz Turner, Founder/President, Style House PR 
Moderated by: Stephanie Fraiman, Public Relations Manager, The Knot Inc
b) Fashion and Beauty Media
Confirmed panelists include: Ariana Finlayson, Senior Community Manager, CoverGirl, Marina Maher Communications; Neha Gandhi, Deputy Editor, Refinery29; Marissa Gold, Editorial Director, Spa Week Media Group, Ltd.; Andrea Lavinthal, Online Style Director,
Moderated by: Marcia Cole, Founder & Editorial Director, Communications, Inc.
c) News Reporting for Print and Online
Confirmed panelists include: Nadia Damouni, Correspondent, M&A, Thomson Reuters; Dimitra DeFotis, Senior Editor, Barron's; Susanna Kim, Reporter,; Sara Lieberman, Editor, New York Post 
Moderated by: Christine Haughney, Media Reporter, New York Times

Breakout 3
a) Digital, Social and Mobile Media
Confirmed panelists include: Haley Longman, Promotions and Social Programming Manager, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment; Robin Monheit, Social Media Manager, Hearst Digital Media; Stacy Morrison, Editor in Chief, BlogHer; Lauren Razak, Product Partnerships, Google+
Moderated by: Andrea Smith, Lifestyle Channel Editor, Mashable
b) Unique Opportunities in Communications
Confirmed panelists include: Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Co-Founder and Partner, Digital Brand Architechts; Amanda Pressner, Founder/Author, Lost Girls World; Christine Tebcherany, Associate Marketing Manager, Brand Development, Hearst Magazines
Moderated by: Laurel Touby, Founder,, Investor/Advisor
c) Events in the Communications Industry
Confirmed panelists include: Kelly Bruce, Co-Founder, New Regime Group LLC; Nicole Cohen-Nelson, Co-Founder, Managing Director, BENG! New York; Rachel Gross, Senior Vice President, Event Marketing, Univision; Kim Last, Conference Producer, RealShare Conference Series, ALM
Moderated by: Beth-Ellen Keyes, Managing Director, SpeakerSpace

View the full conference program!

Check out coverage from last year's Student Conference

Sponsored by 

The NYU Masters in Graphic Communications Management and Technology is proud to host the 2012 Student Career Conference.  This program is designed for media and communications professionals who seek to build expertise in best management practices and in emerging technology.  There is a growing demand for innovative managers who possess strong leadership skills and an understanding of the new media mix.  For more information on the program and to learn how to visit a class, please contact academic program director, Bonnie Blake at or 212-992-3222. 


Event type: 
Career Conference