Students and faculty gathered in the Memorial Union’s Gallery Room for the Greenlee Futures Forum Friday, April 20.
Among various award recipients during the event were Raluca Cozma, receiving the Distinguished Adviser Award and the Jack Shelley Award, and Matt Wettengel, receiving the Hugh S. Sidey Scholarship in Print Journalism.
“I’m speechless,” said Cozma when accepting her award for Distinguished Adviser.
The first panel — three recent Greenlee School graduates, two who came with their bosses — responded to audience questions on transitioning into the professional world. The panel was also able to answer questions posted on Twitter using the #gsjc hashtag for “Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.”
“How’d you get your first job?” was the first question of the day, and the panelists told their stories.
Key points from the first session included how the power of networking, maintaining face-to-face communications and keeping a professional social media presence plays, all of which play an integral role in getting a job offer after graduation.
Brennan Buckley, senior vice president of marketing at Iowa Realty, said the cliché of, “It’s not what you know but who you know,” turns out to be true in the professional world. Lindsay Petermeier got her job at Iowa Realty because her mother knew Buckley. The company didn't even have any open jobs, but Lindsay just began by speaking with Buckley and found herself hired a short time later.
Later in the session, the speakers discussed how being educated on current trends and having a basic knowledge of the company one is applying to work for is essential to securing a job. One conclusion that was reached among the bosses who were on the panel was that web-based portfolios are more practical and efficient than paper portfolios and employers are looking for them more often than not.
The second panel discussion featured three speakers who expressed the importance of “creating your online brand” by having high-quality professional digital engagements and marketing one’s skills via social networking sites as much as possible in a professional manner.
Madison Mayberry, Greenlee graduate and current Creative Services Food Editor for Better Homes and Gardens, discussed how she began her brand, based largely through her blog Espresso and Cream, which allows her to incorporate all of her interests. Because food is such a large part of her life, wanted to start her own food blog, but decided to incorporate different aspects of various blogs to keep hers interesting and maintain her own style and voice. Mayberry was an intern at Better Homes and Gardens while attending the Greenlee School and also reported for the Iowa State Daily.
All of the panel members agreed that students need to take some initiative to set themselves apart from others looking for jobs in journalism, advertising and public relations. Whether through creating their own blog or creating a presence through social media; whatever method students choose they just need to make sure that they allow their voice to come through.
After the panel discussions, the forum turned into a networking event, with a variety of Greenlee friends and alumni present to speak with students. Conversations ranged from students' ambitions in the industry to how the alumni got their start and which of their college experiences were the most valuable to them. In the end, students left the Futures Forum better prepared to take on life after college, regardless of when they intend to graduate, and with new connections Greenlee alumni that they can maintain as they finish their time at Iowa State and as they begin their careers.