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Several alumni share career insights in Homecoming panel discussion

Twelve Elon University alumni participated in a panel discussion Friday, Oct. 19 to share their thoughts and experiences on networking, internships and campus involvement.

Several School of Communications alumni shared their experiences and advice with current Communications students during a panel discussion Oct. 19.

Below is a list of the alumni who spoke to current Communications students during Homecoming weekend:

  • Kate Sherman '04, Associate Copy Director (Conde Nast, New York)
  • Adam Smith '05, Communications Director, (Public Campaign, Washington, D.C.)
  • Jennifer Hudson Taylor '93, Publicist and Published Author (Hartline Literary Agency, Pittsburgh)
  • Justin Hite '07, Sports Writer (Rocky Mount Telegram, Oklahoma City)
  • Olivia Hubert-Allen '09, Digital Journalist (Baltimore Sun, Baltimore) 
  • David "Muddy" Waters '93, Assistant Producer (Directors Guild of America, Los Angeles)
  • Sadie Stafford '10, ABC Music Licensing Coordinator and Publishing Administration (ABC Entertainment, New York)
  • Leigh Lesniak '09, Producer (WCNC-Charlotte, N.C.)
  • Meghan Packer '07, Morning Anchor (WFMY TV, Greensboro, N.C.)
  • Mitch Pittman '09, Emmy Award-Winning Journalist (KSTP-TV, Minneapolis)
  • Eugene Daniel '11, General Assignment Reporter (WMBD, Peoria, Ill.)
  • Ben Donnelly '08, Production Assistant at (ESPN, Charlotte, N.C.)

Here are some selected quotes from the alumni speakers in the areas of internships, jobs, living, networking, Elon and individuality.

On Internships

  • “I got my first internship through the Elon internship network.”-- Sadie Stafford
  • “When I look at why I got the job I did after college, I have to credit it to my internship experiences rather than a singular class I took.” -- Olivia Hubert-Allen
  • “Internships were the most important class.” -- Justin Hite
  • “Internships teach you very quickly what jobs you do not want.” -- Jennifer Hudson Taylor
  • “I wish I’d done a '60 Minute's internship while I was here, but smaller ones can also get you great job opportunities. ... Have one of each type of internship: big and small.” -- Mitch Pittman
  • “Start as soon as possible. It sets you apart. I interned all four years here.” -- Eugene Daniel

On Jobs

  • “Take advantage of the template sites that are made for you. Photorific, Sideways, Delight and Anan for photographers are all great options.” -- Katie Sherman
  • “There's so much clutter you have to cut through, so it seems there's always jobs in politics.” -- Adam Smith
  • “Being familiar with the news room and how it works is so important to anything in communications. I think working in PR coming out of journalism is a very doable thing.” -- Olivia Hubert-Allen

On Living

  • “Personal relationships are the only things that ever really stay the same.” -- Adam Smith
  • “Absolutely, you have to go work in New York or LA. You really have to go where the work is first.” -- David Waters
  • “It wasn't even an option not to move to New York or Los Angeles.” -- Sadie Stafford
  • “Coming from Elon, New York or Los Angeles can be completely intimidating. It was really my internship experiences and home life which prepared me for that kind of change.” -- Sadie Stafford
  • “There are a lot of Elon people in both New York and Los Angeles.” -- Sadie Stafford
  • “I recommend the buddy system. It’s always nice when you have someone you know, from Elon or not.” -- Ben Donnelly
  • “You can’t be too picky. You just have to go where the work is. Everyone is going to wind up where they’re supposed to be anyway.” -- Mitch Pittman
  • “You might be surprised with the places you live.” -- Mitch Pittman

On Networking

  • “Have coffee with people. People will get you connected.” -- Katie Sherman
  • “I got my job with Conde Nast at an Elon alumni event.” -- Katie Sherman
  • “You need to meet people, you need to network. I don't know how many times i heard that.” -- Sadie Stafford
  • “I cant speak highly enough about the power of networking.” -- Sadie Stafford
  • “I’ll be more apt to help somebody from Elon than from elsewhere.” -- Ben Donnelly

On Their Time at Elon

  • “Have a portfolio and follow recruiters on Twitter.” -- Katie Sherman
  • “When I was a junior here, I got really excited about all the things going on in online media, so I ended up with a career in that field after shifting my focus.” -- Olivia Hubert-Allen
  • “Get involved with as many professional student media groups as possible to launch yourself into the working world.” -- Olivia Hubert-Allen
  • “Use every resource that you can.” -- Eugene Daniel
  • “When you can show the quality of internships along with the quality of work that you have, you will stand out.” -- Eugene Daniel

On Setting Yourself Apart:

  • “Never stop learning and teaching yourself.” -- Jennifer Hudson Taylor
  • “Even if you’re in PR, you need to have a (web)site. Get your work out there.” -- Katie Sherman
  • “Make a website and blog.” -- Adam Smith
  • “Everything is digital. If you’re willing to learn and be open to new things, you will be that much more versatile and well prepared.” -- Jennifer Hudson Taylor
  • “Have a solid body of work and get it out on YouTube.” -- Meghan Packer

-- Compiled by Shana Moss '16

Colin Donohue,
10/25/2012 2:05 PM