The New Faces of Marketing & MediaBy Jennie Dorris
Michelle Bova (DC’07) and Claire Morgenstern (DC’09) navigated their internships, first jobs and career switches in marketing and the media by drawing on their experiences studying at Carnegie Mellon University.
Through their experience at different media outlets, they learned how their skills would translate into the real world.
They both returned to campus recently and presented on the advertising, marketing and public relations panel at “Under Construction: Building Your Future,” an annual event in which Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences alumni share their work experiences with undergraduates and other alumni.
Veronica Gnaman (DC‘15), a psychology major, was grateful to learn how alumni in different marketing and communications fields have successfully transitioned from student life.
"As seniors, we're all very focused on all the current job application processes without being completely sure what the future holds," said Gnaman. "Hearing these experiences on the other side is reassuring that we have a lot of options and that there are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers, in the end everything will be alright."
Bova, now a custom services manager at StoryCorps, began her studies at CMU as a professional writing and creative writing double major in the Department of English with the goal of exploring all areas of the writing field.
“I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t necessarily going to write the Great American Novel,” she laughed.
She started taking professional writing courses, learning about public relations and document design. She also wrote for The Tartan, The Oakland Review and Carnegie Mellon Today, as well as held internships at the Tribune-Review, financial software company Haley Systems and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
Her first job out of college was doing marketing for another finance software company. But when she found she wasn’t inspired by the subject matter, her internship at the Opera Theater reminded her how much she loved the nonprofit sector. She got her Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College and joined StoryCorps, a national oral history project that records personal stories of everyday people. These stories are featured weekly on NPR's Morning Edition.
“I was always throwing stuff against the wall and taking different roads and different paths. I did that until I got to StoryCorps and now I feel like, ‘Yes, there we go!’” Bova said.
Morgenstern, who currently is the online fundraising manager for the Natural Resources Defense Council, credits her writing experience on campus for her current job.
“When I interviewed for my first position as an activism and fundraising writer here at the Natural Resources Defense Council, the first thing my boss-to-be said to me was ‘Over the last week, I read every single article you wrote for ‘The Tartan.’ I’m not sure what he meant by that – but I got the job,” Morgenstern said.
Morgenstern, who also majored in professional writing, similarly learned on-the-job skills while she took classes at CMU.
“What I think is important are the interpersonal skills I developed at CMU – learning how to work as part of a team, how to manage others in an effective way, and how to gather the confidence to excel in a workplace environment, no matter what challenges I face day to day,” she said.
Touching on how to adapt to the changing marketing and media landscape, Morgenstern said, “Sometimes we reach our dreams, sometimes we don't, sometimes our dreams change, and that's all okay. It happens more often than not.”