Current Occupation: VIZIO, Social Media Specialist
What was your most memorable moment while at Dodge College?
My most memorable moment was participating in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) and winning nationals. It felt amazing to work with a team of people so passionate about advertising. I will never forget the moment when our team anxiously waited for the announcement in Orlando; we were one of the top three teams in the country and we heard, "First Place, Chapman University!" I just remember the mad dash as our whole team raced to the stage! After a year of working to build a marketing campaign for State Farm, it had finally paid off in so many ways.
Were you involved with any other organizations on campus?
I was involved in Chapman PRSSA and held leadership positions as director of communications and president. I was also part of Chapman Ad Club as the director of philanthropy. In addition, I was a tour guide for Chapman's admissions department. I also participated in Chapman's NSAC team for three years.I think that through these organizations, I learned problem solving and developed a work ethic. You also gain experience that you just can't get in the classroom. It's the closest thing to the "real world" that you can get.
Were there any faculty members who served as a mentor to you either during your collegiate years or in post-graduate life? How?
Janell Shearer and Cory O' Connor were great mentors for me throughout my years at Dodge. Serving as president for PRSSA, I had weekly meetings with Janell that were extremely helpful not only for PRSSA, but for my Chapman career. She brought a no-nonsense approach that I truly value to this day. Cory was a tremendous help in getting me connected with fellow Chapman alumni, which in turn helped me meet future employers. Being involved in NSAC for three years, Cory was constantly there to help with any questions or concerns I had.
What advice would you give to current students?
Treat every project like a portfolio piece, make it about more than just a grade.
What is a typical day like for you at your job?
It's not very typical and every day is different. Generally, the one thing that is the same is lots and lots of meetings. Social media tends to be the one aspect that connects different departments together that can often times be siloed in big organizations. Social media bridges the gap between PR, advertising, digital, events and more. Because of this, a lot of the time I'm not only bringing groups together, but I’m educating them about the importance of social media as well. One day I'll be building social media strategy decks and the next day I could be on-site at an event live tweeting from the sidelines. (I literally did this at the Rose Bowl last year!)
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
I think that the things that stand out from the last year and a half have been the fantastic events I have been able to attend as a social media correspondent. These include the Rose Bowl, Coachella, Comic Con, CES, E3, SXSW, the Super Bowl, the Celebrity Beach Bowl and more.
Have your career aspirations changed since you graduated?
Yes and no. I always imagined myself in an agency environment, but when I started working at VIZIO I started realizing why it was such a good fit. I always say that VIZIO is a big brand that acts like a startup because of our small and collaborative work environment. Because of this, I'm able to work in many facets of the marketing communications department and become a true leader in the social media space.