When I was in 5th grade, I told my friends I wanted to be the first female president of the United States or the CEO of the Disney Corporation. I was clearly an ambitious child, but I think both options reflect the leadership aspirations I still hold today. Though, I will say I now recognize the merit of other management roles in the span between associate and CEO.
I loved my Persuasion and Mass Media course, which is the class that lead me to double major. I started off as a psychology major, and what first surprised me about this course in the communications department was how much it relied on psychology research. I don’t know if the professor considered it interdisciplinary, but I loved finding a course that applied psychology research in an exciting way. Communication is clearly intertwined with behavior, and I spent the rest of my time as an undergrad examining the ways each could influence the other, be it through the framing of a certain political issue or the ways that instructions in a study could change participants’ results.
I work in digital media, specifically digital television. When someone watches a Fox television show or sport online (such as on your phone or on Hulu using your PlayStation), we track that “opportunity” and serve them a video ad. My job is to look holistically at these opportunities across all devices and make sure we’re maximizing our revenue by delivering the most possible ads. This involves forecasting the potential inventory (such as before a big game) to make sure enough advertisers are lined up in advance, as well as finding places we might not be delivering very well and working with our tech team to determine why.
My favorite part about my job is the impact I have within the organization. My team is the most in tune with all of the moving parts involved in digital advertising sales, so we tend to get a lot of questions about various issues. It can be a little intimidating at times, but the opportunity to help problem-solve and create new systems is really exciting. I also end up working with a lot of teams, which is useful when you work in such a large organization. It’s easy to feel lost without those connections.
We just held our election, so I am very excited to work with the new board as we grow and rebrand the New York Association. The new president and board have a lot of great ideas, and I’m looking forward to assisting them as well as advocating for Young Professionals as needed.
Right now, I’m eager to update our website. The previous board made wonderful strides in modernizing it, and I would like to take it a step further by making it the one stop for all things related to our association. My hope is to create forums for our members to easily reach out to one another, set up pages housing old newsletters and other content as we develop it, and even have a full membership management system with dues and other information easily available.
I knew I wanted to move to New York right after college, so when I was in the city for my summer internship, I scheduled a few informational interviews with various alumni to learn about their career paths. The most common advice that I’ve now seen to be true is the importance of working with great people. The alumni I talked to emphasized that their success was partially due to awesome first managers that took genuine interest in their growth.
I don’t know if I was able to take that advice immediately out of college, but since moving from my first job I now recognize how much the people you work with and under influence your growth, motivation, and overall quality of work and life. I fully believe that one of the most important parts in an interview now is my time to inquire whether the work culture and management style will be beneficial to me. Career success is not just what you do, but who you do it with.
I believe as the world gets smaller and different countries become more connected, the only way for us all to get along will be if we are able to understand different points of view with respect and awareness. It takes more than just listening to others, but actually recognizing the value in their experience and seeing alternatives as equal to our own beliefs.
To me, the liberal arts focuses on providing students different lenses to view the world so that we can recognize there are numerous ways to get to an answer. That openness and skepticism we gain is vital as we work to bring groups together in a way that doesn’t require that differences be erased. I hope that Phi Beta Kappa can be a beacon of this, within our own associations and chapters, as well as in our broader communities.
One of my current favorites is Quartz Obsessions, which provides a breakdown of random topics in short, daily newsletters. I’ve read about the Perdie Shuffle, Death cafes, mayo, squirrels, fondue, and so much more.
Also anyone who hasn’t seen The Good Place should start it right now. Each episode somehow blends death, morals, philosophy, and comedy seamlessly with a diverse cast that makes me laugh and cry in the expanse of 22 minutes. Also, they have a podcast about the show with the cast that makes me appreciate the brilliance even more.