Everything I Learned at NYWICI’s 2016 Student Communications Career Conference

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Ithaca College Women in Communications e-board and general body members attend NYWICIscc16.

This past Saturday, November 5th I attended New York Women in Communications’ 2016 Student Communications Career Conference as Vice President of Ithaca College Women in Communications with the fabulous, motivated, and accomplished e-board and general body members of WIC. This was my fifth time attending the conference– the first time I went I was 17, in 2011. (Shoutout to our amazing president Katie Baldwin for all her hard work planning and budgeting and leading. The trip wouldn’t have happened without her!)

What made this year so special for me was that it was my last time attending a NYWICI conference as a student at Ithaca College, since I’m a senior. In honor of that, I wore the dress that I wore when I won a NYWICI scholarship as a senior in high school (luckily it still fit!).

Since it’s my last year, I’ve been thinking about the conference and its implications with a new perspective. I was 17 when I first attended. I knew what I wanted to do with my career at the time (it’s always been children’s book editing, for those who don’t know) but was too young to understand how I was going to get there. Going to the conference when I was 17 helped me focus my goals, without having to put them into action just yet.

As a senior in college and someone currently applying to graduate school, all of the amazing women panelists and speakers that I’ve encountered and listened to, all of the career and life advice that I’ve received, all of the eager and motivated college students I’ve met at the past five conferences, came into play. I’m about to enter the real world. It’s time to take everything I’ve learned and apply it. Thanks to NYWICI, thanks to WIC, I couldn’t be more prepared (still scared, but significantly more prepared) and excited about my future as a young professional woman.

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Taylor Trudon and Stephanie Guzman, my scholarship mother hens, and Ashley Schwartz-Lavares, a fellow scholarship winner, at NYWICIscc16.

Like last year, I took a lot of notes at the conference and compiled a list of it all, which you’ll find below! I summarized each panel I attended/speaker I listened to, as well as wrote down the big picture/specific lessons and advice that I learned. I also italicized the lessons that especially hit home for me.

Enjoy!


screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-8-44-49-pmLiz Perle– Digital Strategy & Consulting, Teen Trends & Tech 

What it’s all about: Liz Perle was our first keynote speaker. She works at Instagram and used to work at HuffPost Teen– her whole deal is figuring out what teens like and teen trends in social media, technology, and culture. She is extremely connected within NYWICI and seemed like a down-to-earth, passionate person who really knew what she was talking about.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Don’t go after an important sounding job. Go after an important job.
  • Remember that there’s no difference between online life and offline life.
  • Be honest in your work and be human.
    • Being transparent about the work you do/where you are will make a difference in how credible you are as a worker/person.
  • Always be looking at what younger people are doing.
    • Young people understand authenticity better than anyone else.
  • Communications jobs might someday exist in spaces that aren’t communication spaces right now.
  • Be obsessive about things.
  • Understanding computers/how to sort through data is an extremely useful skill in today’s day and age.
  • Figure out how to back up what you’re saying with facts/data.
  • The best way to succeed in a job is to be bold in what you’re doing.
  • Frame your elevator pitches with a problem. Identify the problem you’re solving and the space you’re filling and they will see why you are necessary and important.
  • Social media is not a distraction. It’s a tool.
  • Ruthlessly prioritize what you’re working on.
    • To focus better and be less distracted, do fewer things.

14900380_10210821519240128_7624353726365273031_nDigital & Social Media Platforms Panel 

What it’s all about: The first panel I attended explored how online platforms can help expand your audience, repertoire, and experience through the point of views of Liz Gumbinner, who is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cool Mom Picks, Roxanne Emadi, who is an editor and curator at Buzzfeed News, Kari Hodes, who is the Head of Audience Development and Analytics at Time Inc., and Lauren Rabaino, who is the Director of Storytelling and Brand Development at Vox. The panel was moderated by Melissa Finney, who is in advertising partnerships at Flipboard, Inc.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Everyone you meet is going to come back in your life in ways you never expected, so be nice and know that everyone is a potential ally/a potential mentor/a potential contact.
  • Be okay with being highly qualified.
  • You don’t get a seat at the table– you earn one. Keep kicking ass at what you’re doing and you’ll be at that table.
  • If you work really hard you won’t just get there– you’ll be there.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people for things, whether that’s a job, a raise or a collaboration.
  • You don’t have to have it all figured out from your first job.
  • A job is a job is a job.
  • Take computer classes/data analysis classes. Knowing/understanding data is the new literacy.
  • Ask about salary. You will find yourself working at a substandard salary for years if you don’t ask to get the money you deserve.
    • Negotiate the base of your salary first.
    • Believe in yourself and ask for a raise.
  • Don’t ever take a job just for the money.
  • The worst thing that can happen is that someone will say no. But you should always ask.
  • People will not share information with you if you don’t share information with them.
  • Have a personality online. Follow people, respond to them, show them you care about the industry.
  • Always be involved in your field. Any opportunity doing anything remotely related to what you want to do is always worth it.
  • Don’t be so precious with your work. Put your work out there even if it’s not perfect. That’s how you learn from your mistakes and scale quickly.
  • Give yourself as many opportunities as you can.
  • When you’re using social media to network, learn about how the person/organization you’re trying to network with uses social media and determine whether or not that’s the best way to connect with them.
  • The average amount of times for you to reach out to someone if they don’t respond is seven.

14956028_10210821520760166_6194705464505938272_nDigital Creators Panel

What it’s all about: The second panel I attended was primarily about creating online content and how to be a successful online content creator/professional through the experiences of Beca Alexander, who is the President of Socialyte Collective, Drea Bernardi, the Creative Executive of the AOL/HuffPost Partner Studio, Alyssa Bossio, who is a Social Media Influencer at Fitlyss, and Jessica Franklin, who founded heygorjess.com. The panel was moderated by Amy Emmerich, who is the Chief Content Officer at Refinery29.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Networking is so important! Get out of your comfort zone and talk to people. It really makes a difference.
  • Getting a job is a mix of who you know and what you know.
  • Fashion is a great way to start a conversation with someone. Always use a fashion item to start a conversation. (Example: I like your necklace, where did you get it?)
  • It’s what you know that gets you to the who you know.
  • Everyone reads their direct messages no matter how large their following is on Twitter. It never hurts to reach out that way because it shows that you’re engaged in what a brand/a person is doing.
  • Social media is an easy way to network. It’s so easy to connect over common interests on social media.
  • The more persistent you are with contacting someone the more likely you are to get a message back.
  • It’s never too late to change what you’re doing/what your career path is. You could wake up tomorrow and be interested in something else and that’s totally okay.
  • In order to stand out, you have to have an understanding of what everyone else is doing too.
  • You have to maintain authenticity when creating content for any social media platform and be mindful of the different audiences that will consume your content on various social media platforms.
  • Observe different trends that occur on various social media platforms to keep up with the times.
  • If you want to remain authentic, you always have the option to say no. And if you can’t say no, negotiate.

14962542_10210821521240178_1906655113652360308_nBrittany Masalosalo– Special Assistant to Vice President Joe Biden in the National Security Affairs Office at the White House

What it’s all about: Brittany Masalosalo was our lunch keynote speaker, and she has a super cool job working as an assistant to vice president Joe Biden. She was a lieutenant in the Iraq War, is trusted with big government secrets, and is also a single mom.  She’s survived so much adversity and was an incredibly inspirational speaker.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Mind your example. Remember that someone is always watching what you do.
    • You are an ambassador for your values.
  • Trust your relationships.
    • No one can attribute their successes to just themselves. If you want to change the world you need help doing it.
    • The relationships you develop over the course of your professional career are owed to your successes.
  • Manage your time through balance.
    • Set personal deadlines that establish habits.
    • Managing time is about figuring out your priorities and making yourself a priority sometimes.
  • Know how to work hard. Nothing will sharpen you for the rigors of a difficult world than facing your challenges.
    • Invest your energy into things you care about.
    • If you can learn how to stomach a failure as well as learn from it, you will fail well.
  • Don’t do anything if it’s not in line with who you are.
  • Have a knowledge of the political world no matter what line of work you’re in.

14908205_10210821521160176_3994837123829797064_nCollege 101 Panel

What it’s all about: I attended this panel because one of my best friends who I actually met when I won a NYWICI scholarship in 2013, Vivian Nunez, founder of Too Damn Young, writer and content creator and all around awesome person, was speaking on it! This panel was for high school students looking for advice about college and their futures. Other amazing ladies on this panel include: Naomi Ducat, an intern for the U.S. Department of Defense, Nicole Howe, an academic advisor for the New York University School of Professional Studies, and Alanna McCatty, a Creative Service Intern at the MedShadow Foundation. The panel was moderated by my NYWICI scholarship mother hen, Taylor Trudon, who is the Youth Special Projects Editor at MTV.

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Me and Vivian Nunez, founder of Too Damn Young and one of my very best friends.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Your major doesn’t necessarily impact what field you go into, but taking away certain skills from your field of study is important.
  • You have to be smart and intentional when crafting your own story.
  • Writing skills are essential everywhere. Learn how to write.
  • Planning out your schedule is pivotal.
    • When you’re passionate about something, you’ll make the time for it.
  • Sit down and have coffee with as many people as you can. Learn about people and how they got to where they are and take what you can and apply it to yourself.
  • Maintain connections with people you intern with.
  • If you apply for an internship at your dream company and you don’t get it, don’t give up. Keep applying.
  • Don’t set one future job as your goal. Be open minded.
  • People remember people. They don’t remember resumes.
  • Speak with intent and own your quirks.
  • Mentors don’t have to just offer you career advice– they can also offer you emotional support!

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-8-44-14-pmNYWICI Leaders Panel

What it’s all about: The last panel, moderated by Saundra Thomas (the Vice President of Community Affairs at WABC), presented career and life advice from current and past presidents of NYWICI. Panelists included Liz Kaplow, founder and CEO of Kaplow Communications, Kim Kelleher, Chief Revenue Officer & Publisher at WIRED Media, Jacki Kelley, COO at Bloomberg Media, and Nancy Weber, Chief Marketing Officer at Meredith Corporation.

Personal and professional advice/information: 

  • Do something you’re really passionate about so it doesn’t feel like work.
  • Make sure your career ladder is up against the right wall.
  • When you graduate, think about internships you’ve had that you liked and check back in with those companies.
  • Know why you’re using each social media platform you use.
  • When applying for jobs/internships, consider the people who you might work for at the companies you’re applying to, because that’s who you’re going to learn from.
  • When you go to a job interview, ask the question: “Can you give me an example of someone that’s worked for you and how you’ve advocated for their growth?” And if you like their answer, that company is for you.
  • LinkedIn is helpful, but it’s not real networking.All the major decisions about your career will be made in a room you’re not in.

#NYWICIscc16

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2 Responses to Everything I Learned at NYWICI’s 2016 Student Communications Career Conference

  1. danny livingston says:

    Outstanding !!

    From: Amanda Under Construction Reply-To: Amanda Under Construction Date: Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 9:27 PM To: Danny Livingston Subject: [New post] Everything I Learned at NYWICI¹s Student Communications Career Conference 2016

    WordPress.com Amanda Livingston posted: ” This past Saturday, November 5th I attended New York Women in Communications’ 2016 Student Communications Career Conference as Vice President of Ithaca College Women in Communications with the fabulous, motivated, and accomplished e-board and general bod”

    Like

  2. doaslexydoes says:

    You are truly incredible

    Like

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