On Saturday, November 17, the New York Women in Communications Foundation held the 2012 Student Communications Career Conference at New York University’s Kimmel Center. The event was held from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The Kimmel Center was filled with about 300 eager young women and even a few men, from all over the country. The Editor of the Pioneer and the Editor of the Bottom Line were invited to attend the conference.
The day started with a lavish breakfast held on the 10th floor of the Kimmel Center. While enjoying the buffet-style breakfast, attendees got to take in the sunshine coming through the enormous windows in the room, overlooking the breathtaking New York City skyline. The ambiance created allowed a powerful energy to be formed in the room; it was clear that there was some incredible talent present.
Many took the opportunity before the breakfast keynote speaker was introduced to network and meet professionals in the field. This was the time to get your name out there and start collecting business cards. Shortly after, Susan Schulz, the President of the New York Women in Communications Foundation and the Cosmopolitan Editorial Board Director gave a short and witty welcome address, which ultimately led to the introduction of the breakfast keynote speaker; Kate White. White is the former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, where she worked for 14 years, and an accomplished author.
“Go Big or Go Home” was the message White was determined to drive home. This was a powerful mantra that White chose to dedicate her career to. “She’s definitely right about that, said Mabel Martinez, a student at LIU Brooklyn, on White’s advice of ‘going big or going home’. “If you’re going to go for something, then do it, what do you have to lose? She inspired me so much that I had to meet her and purchase her book, ‘I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This.’” White told the crowd, “Sometimes when you go big, people wish you went home.” She went on to say, “but I knew I had to go bigger, because I sure as hell wasn’t going home”. It was a powerful speech, with a very meaningful message. In an industry where who you know plays a crucial part in where you end up, it was humbling to hear a story from a very accomplished woman who started from the bottom and got all the way to the top. Her speech was filled with tips on how to make it in such a competitive industry. Listen more than you talk, you can never be over-prepared or overdressed, and learn how to enjoy your accomplishments were some that stood out.
After the keynote speech, the breakout sessions began, during which everyone in attendance got to choose one of three panels to sit in on. Sessions ranged from “Magazine Writing for Print and Online” to “Marketing and Advertising”, with some very important people at each. The moderator for the “Magazine Writing for Print and Online” was Michelle Ribeiro, the Deputy Editor of Cosmopolitan. It was a unique way to listen to the ins and outs of the business in a non-formal way. Questions from the audience were embraced and it was evident that the best interest of the young professionals in the audience was at heart. Bottom Line Editor and junior Art major, Christina Morgera, from LIU Post said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the option of choosing what lectures to sit in on. I always love having choices, which I personally thought was a great idea in this case, since everyone has different categories they are more interested in, in this particular field. I felt they basically tended to everyone’s needs.”
There were two breakout sessions before lunch, followed by one more breakout session and concluding with a closing panel. During lunch, a keynote speech was given by Jenna Wolfe, a correspondent for NBC’s Today and a news anchor of their Weekend Edition. Wolfe talked about her story of making it in the media industry and staying true to who you are. “She is such an inspiring woman and hearing about her experiences and how she made it in the industry was really an eye-opener.” said Martinez. “I connected with her on a number of levels, it’s true what she said, ‘Be you.’ That’s the only person you can be.”
The information-filled day ended with a closing panel session that included Career Coach and Talent Acquisition Specialist, Delia Camasca, as a moderator, and Adam Goldberg, the Director or Human Resources within the magazine publishing industry, on the panel, among others. Tips about building your resume, writing a stand-out cover letter and impressing your future employer at an interview were all covered. Do’s and Don’ts by all panel members offered a laugh for the audience who were told “don’t include your cat obsession on your resume but do remember to write the correct name of the company that you’re applying for.” Morgera added, “This day was very beneficial to me in every aspect. The motivational speakers really made me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to.The event also made me realize how important networking is.”
The New York Women in Communications Foundation is an organization dedicated to empowering women in communications. Their main purpose is to inspire young women, create networking opportunities and “nurture future leaders in communications.” NYWICI members have access to many career-building and networking events.