Director of Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
By Margaux Kay LaPointe , '11
Students of all majors had an opportunity to network with and ask questions to a seasoned panel of communications practitioners at “Getting Started and Getting Ahead in the Philadelphia Communication Industry” on Wednesday, April 2. This event was co-sponsored by the Villanova Advertising Society, the Villanova chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and the Philadelphia Ad Club.
This region-wide outreach event promoted Philadelphia’s own communication industry. The panel explained how to get started in the communications industry, stressing the importance of internships.
Members of the panel are able to express their varying passions in the field of communications. Nick McIlwain of WMMR’s Preston and Steve’s Morning Show who moderated the event’s panel explained, “I get to interact with interesting and amazing people,” noting Villanova Men’s Basketball coach Jay Wright who he had interviewed in that very morning. To discover personal interests, he suggested to “write down five things that you like and see where it leads you.”
Ebony Staton, account supervisor for BrownPartners Multicultural Marketing, agreed and added, “I like communications because it is very interdisciplinary,” allowing it to be applied in many businesses. Joe Anthony, senior vice president of financial communication for Gregory FCA Communications, mentioned a different aspect of the business. “I get to help frame how people see the world today.”
Philadelphia is a big city with a small town mentality, the panel said, making it fairly easy to network to build relationships and connections. This is especially beneficial to college students. “The opportunity is real and present when you get out of school,” Anthony said.
The panel also emphasized the importance of internships and suggested ways of pursuing them. Mark Hogan of Harmelin Media said, “Make as many connections as you can.” Ike Richman, vice president of public relations for Comcast-Spectacor, added, “The hardest thing you’ll experience is getting your foot in the door.”
“Distinguish yourself,” said McIlwain, who emphasized the importance of getting noticed. “The harder you work at it…the more you set yourself apart.” Even if an internship is not ideal, “Use that opportunity to find out if that’s what you really want to do,” Richman suggested.
Margaux Kay LaPointe, ’11, is a first-year student from Lebanon, Pa. She is an intern in the Office of Communications in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. Margaux plans on majoring in communication with a specialization in public relations.