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Newhouse NYC Launches “The Mentor Connection” Alumni Q+As on Instagram Live

Each semester Newhouse NYC students meet with the most talented, kind and generous Syracuse alumni. They act as mentors, internship hosts, guest speakers and more. So we wanted to feature some of the especially meaningful connections our Newhouse NYC alumni have made over the years.

Join us this summer for “The Mentor Connection,” an Instagram Live alumni Q&A series every Tuesday, 2-2:20pm EST on @NewhouseNYC. During this nine-week series, running June 16 to August 11, accomplished Syracuse University alumni will be interviewed by the Newhouse NYC alumni they inspired.

The 20-minute chats will be packed with advice. Learn tips on how to successfully network from home, and how to make the connection stick even when your first meeting is over Zoom. Whether you’re searching for a job or looking to make a career transition, there will be helpful tips for everyone.

Check out the lineup below, tune in to watch, and feel free to ask a question in the comments. All are welcome! To listen to the conversation, follow @NewhouseNYC.

“The Mentor Connection” Alumni Q+A series will feature:

JUNE 16: Doug Melville ‘98 (Chief Diversity Officer at TBWA)
interviewed by Saumya Vasuthevan ‘17 (Cultural Insights Analyst at A+E Networks)

**This Q+A with Doug and Saumya will start at 3:30pm EST.

Doug-Melville-TBWA-8.19 Saumya Vasuthevan

“I met Doug when he invited me and my peers to watch his Disruptor Series interview at TBWA during my Newhouse NYC semester. I stuck around and met him after the interview, and he made it a point to speak to us. We caught up again for coffee, and after that meeting, Doug took a chance on me and opened me up to his world. As a junior in college, he gave me unbelievable access and opportunities to understand how things work inside the C-suite office and how to start your own business as a young entrepreneur. Doug taught me how you can use a non-traditional career path to leapfrog up the career ladder. Personally, it’s an honor to get to interview him for @NewhouseNYC because he’s done so much for me. And I hope that even with the short conversation, it might inspire other people to start thinking about their careers in the disruptive, unconventional way he does.”

JUNE 23: Peter Schwartz ‘90 (Music Agent at WME)
interviewed by Ali Marashi, TRF ‘20
(Ali just graduated. Hire him!)

Peter Schwartz Ali Marashi

“During a meeting at the beginning of the semester with Director Franklin, I mentioned I could see myself working in talent management and the music industry as a possible career. I didn’t know anyone in this specific industry, so that’s when Director Franklin introduced me to Peter Schwartz. He has had an incredible career as an agent and has worked with musicians like Mac Miller, A$AP Ferg and Macklemore. He offered to meet with me, and advised me how to grow my network wherever I am and get the most out of my Newhouse NYC experience. I told him I was worried about finding stability and becoming my own advocate in such a competitive industry. In a way, Peter was one of the first people who believed in me after one short conversation. After we spoke, I applied to the WME Summer Internship, and I ended up interning in the Non-Scripted TV Department that summer. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have a clear vision of what my future could look like.” –Ali Marashi

JUNE 30: Kristina Hahn ‘98 (Director, Sell Side Strategy and Operations at Google)
interviewed by Leah Greene ‘16 (Brand Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy)

Kristina Hahn Leah Greene

“I met Kristina on a visit to Google during my Newhouse NYC semester when I was a junior in the Fall of 2014. She gave us a tour and spoke about her career and role at the company. She was super inspiring, and I wanted to be just like her. I followed up asking to get coffee, and she invited me back to Google for breakfast. She’s been a mentor to me ever since. Kristina has guided me through almost every big decision I’ve made in my career. She’s the busiest person I know and still makes time to meet and chat whenever I need her help. Over the last (almost) 6 years, she’s connected me with her friends in the ad industry, shared advice on how to grow in my role and identify growth opportunities, and helped me to navigate being a female in a traditionally male-led industry. Kristina’s mentorship has had a massive impact for me, both professionally and personally: so much so that I’ve agreed to do an Instagram Live (my worst nightmare) so that others could benefit from her experience and advice!” –Leah Greene

JULY 7: Cheryl Wills ’89 (NY1 anchor)
interviewed by Natalie Fahmy, BDJ ‘21

Cheryl Wills headshotJPG Natalie Fahmy

“I met Cheryl when we visited NY1 in Newhouse NYC’s Race, Gender and Media class. She was our tour guide, so I got a chance to talk with her a bit then. I sent her a thank you note, and we met up again while I was in the city. We met at NY1 and she sat with me for an hour, answering all my questions and giving me so much advice. Since I left Newhouse NYC I have regularly kept in touch with Cheryl. She has been great to go to with questions and advice. For one of my BDJ classes we had to do a reporter role model presentation, and she took time to answer all my questions for that project. When I was applying for summer internships, I asked Cheryl if I could put her down as a reference on my NY1 applications, and she was more than happy to let me (sadly NY1 cancelled their summer program due to Covid-19). Cheryl is someone I have never felt hesitant to reach out to with any questions. She became a mentor to me, and I would love to work with her one day.” –Natalie Fahmy

JULY 14: Whembley Sewell ‘16 (Executive Editor at Condé Nast’s them)
interviewed by Allison Ingrum, MAG ‘20
(Allison just graduated. Hire her!)

whembley sewell  Allison Ingrum

“As a young, queer journalist, I truly look up to Whembley personally and professionally. I had been following Whembley’s work for a while, and I finally met her in person during my Newhouse NYC semester, first briefly at an event, and then again when she spoke at the Newhouse NYC diversity panel. At the panel, I got the chance to hear her experience and ask her questions about the industry. Having her perspective on the panel and small group sessions brought a younger and relatable voice to the group, speaking directly to my generation and where we were as students. She was in the program just a few years before me, so she was able to give practical advice. Her words have stuck with me ever since. She is an incredible role model, so getting the chance to interview her is a dream come true.” –Allison Ingrum

JULY 21: Michael H. Weber ‘00 (Oscar-nominated Screenwriter)
interviewed by Alexis Stackhouse, TRF ‘21

Michael H Weber Alexis Stackhouse

“I met Michael by opting in for the a special additional mentorship program Director Franklin facilitated when our NYC semester went remote [due to COVID19 during the Spring 2020 semester]. I figured it’d be a great opportunity to meet more working media professionals, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I’d been paired with such a notable, well-established screenwriter like Michael. One of the biggest takeaways I got out of my talk with Michael was that perseverance is key when it comes to achieving your career goals. He also gave me some really interesting and crucial info about becoming a successful screenwriter regarding working with literary managers and collaborating with people you vibe with and will fight for the protection of your creative expression.” –Alexis Stackhouse

JULY 28: Elyse Noonan ‘04 (VP, Talent Development and Negotiations at NBC Sports Group) and Carol Ko ‘07 (Sr. Director, Communications at NBC Sports Group)
interviewed by Jason Herman, BDJ ‘20
(Jason just graduated. Hire him!)

Elyse Noonan headshot  Carol Ko  Jason Herman

“Elyse and Carol were both my mentors during the Newhouse NYC semester. They were generous connectors who opened up their professional world to me and expanded my understanding of the media business. The other role they had was just being there for me to rant to them about how busy I was, how much I missed campus, or how nervous I was for my Com Law final! I knew I could speak candidly with them at any time. They were always there for me to answer any professional questions I had about my own job or their jobs. Elyse and Carol welcomed me into their workspace several times while introducing me to many of their coworkers (lots of other Newhouse grads). They continuously checked in on my own internship, making sure the skills I was learning were useful and provided several suggestions on how to approach a variety of situations.” –Jason Herman

AUGUST 4: Sharon Kanter ‘07 (Editorial Director at Stuart Weitzman)
interviewed by Yerin Kim ‘18 (Associate Editor at POPSUGAR)


“While Sharon was officially my mentor during the semester only, she continues to be a resource for me almost three years later. During my Newhouse NYC semester, Sharon went above and beyond — having lunch with me, taking me to a panel event she was speaking at and introducing me to her colleagues. Since I’ve left Newhouse NYC, I’ve been lucky enough to continue to have a relationship with Sharon. When I was looking for a job at the end of my senior year, she often sent me opportunities and always offered to connect me with people in her network. And most recently, she actually played a part in me landing my current role at POPSUGAR. Every time I met with Sharon, I knew to always come prepared with smart questions to impress her (and get her valuable advice, of course). I’m excited to do that again in a totally different setting! Sharon genuinely gives the best career advice, so I’m also just looking forward to hearing what she has to say.” –Yerin Kim

AUGUST 11: Ana Ceppi ‘86 (SVP, Hispanic Strategy and Client Experiences at NBC)
interviewed by Michael Bonavita, ADV ‘20 (Media Planning Resident at Wieden + Kennedy Portland)

**This Q+A with Ana and Michael will start at 1:00pm EST.

Ana Ceppi headshot Michael Bonavita

“Ana was my supervisor during my Newhouse NYC semester, and I was her first intern at NBCU! Ana made sure I felt comfortable asking her anything, and she made sure the projects and work I was doing aligned with my goals. Ana opened my eyes not only to the vast ways I could use my degree to work in media, but also to how I could better incorporate representation and inclusion into my work and every team I’ve worked with since. Beyond that, Ana made it clear that while she was just my supervisor for one semester, she was always going to be a mentor I could turn to for advice, help, and an honest opinion. Ana changed my perspective in so many ways – she broadened my view of advertising and media, and she taught me to value my identity as important parts of both my personal and professional lives. I wish everyone had an Ana figure in their lives – someone who motivates them to work hard, ask uncomfortable questions, and trust in their abilities. Everyone can benefit from listening to Ana’s wisdom, and I am so honored to be able to help facilitate a discussion for people who might not have met her before.” –Michael Bonavita


Why I Loved Doing Newhouse NYC as a Junior

By Julia Urban

Newhouse NYC gives students the opportunity to trial-run living and working in New York City post-graduation. The program is offered to Newhouse juniors and seniors, and allows them to get a headstart on their careers. Throughout the semester, students take classes at Syracuse University’s Fisher Center, intern at companies related to their field, and have a multitude of opportunities to visit exciting media companies and attend panels with working professionals.

Many students see the benefits of participating in the professional semester in either their senior and junior years. Each of these options comes with pros and cons, and it varies for each student which semester is the best fit. For some students, attending Newhouse NYC as a senior helps them easily transition into living in New York City, and carries the potential to turn their internship into a full-time position. On the other hand, some students wish to remain on campus for the entirety of their senior year, so they’d prefer to experience the city during their junior year while their friends are abroad, or use it as the perfect opportunity to get their first internship.

Here, five Newhouse NYC alumni offer their perspective on doing the program as juniors, and how it changed both returning to campus and launching their careers.


matt alexander.jpeg

Matt Alexander ‘18 (Advertising)

Associate Media Manager at 360i


Matt Alexander attended Newhouse NYC the spring of his junior year. During his time in NYC, he was a global account management intern at Red Fuse Communications. While the skills he learned there differs from what he does now, the experience helped him land an internship at 360i for the summer–and then a full-time position post-graduation.

Matt says that the most valuable thing he learned from the program is the importance of being proactive, especially during the job hunt. “I tried to gain momentum from the program and start my job hunt early on. A lot of jobs don’t open until the spring, but I wanted to get ahead of it.” Matt reached out to contacts he had at 360i, and by keeping up with them, he was able to get his resume into the job application pool earlier in the process.

Matt’s favorite part of the program was living in New York City, and becoming more acclimated with it. He is originally from Connecticut, so he had visited a few times. However, he says, “it’s completely different than just visiting.”

To any junior entering the program, Matt advises that students “try to think outside of the box. You might have an internship doing one thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to people doing something else and try to pivot your career.”


eric king.jpeg

Eric King ‘17 (Magazine Journalism)

Editorial Assistant at


Eric King was an online editorial intern at New York Magazine when he attended Newhouse NYC in the fall of his junior year. He was lucky enough to have had this internship over the summer and was able to roll it over into the fall semester. It was his first internship in the editorial world, and he brought the skills he learned to his subsequent positions and even activities back on campus.

Eric worked at Jerk Magazine throughout his college career, working his way up from freshman intern to Executive Editor. While it was nice to have a break from the magazine, he was very excited to dive back into it after Newhouse NYC. He was able to bring a sense of more professionalism to everything he did. “People can tell when you go into internships and entry-level jobs what level of professionalism you’re coming in with. It helps to have a program like Newhouse NYC where they teach you the fundamentals no one thinks to teach you.”

Eric’s favorite part of the program was the Race, Gender, and the Media course. “It was good for everyone to learn about different parts of identity and how that factors into different sections of media,” he says. He also loved the frequent guest speakers and panels that professors and Director Franklin brought in for the students.


jeddy johnson.jpeg
Jeddy Johnson ‘19 (Broadcast & Digital Journalism)

Graduating May 2019


Jeddy Johnson attended Newhouse NYC during the fall of her junior year and interned at “The Today Show” on NBC. She really enjoyed her internship, which allowed her to experience a big cable network and try out different aspects of behind-the-scenes production. “They don’t teach a lot about the different aspects until senior year,” she says, so her “Today” internship gave her a headstart on understanding the various job avenues she could take.

While Jeddy says she wishes she had done the program senior year to make the post-graduation transition easier, she’s happy she did it her junior year. “When I went into my summer internship at Bloomberg after junior year, I knew how to be a good intern,” Jeddy says. “I knew how to be productive and leave my mark. If you have nothing to do [at your internship], find something. Every day is a job interview, and it is important to remember that.”

Jeddy recommends that students entering the program take lots of notes. “Director Franklin tells you this anyway, but I actively go back to the things that I’ve written down and noted on how to be a good intern.”

Her favorite part of the program was just being in New York City. “I really thrived my junior year, and I realized I enjoyed dressing up for work and going somewhere and feeling like I had something important to do. The entire environment was uplifting to me.”


sara zadrima.jpeg

Sara Zadrima ‘18 (Television, Radio & Film)

Production Assistant at Sesame Workshop


Sara Zadrima attended Newhouse NYC during the spring semester of her junior year. She was a production intern at Above Average, a production company that creates online content. She spent a lot of time during her internship on set and helping with video production and was able to get her hands into every part of production. While her current position at Sesame Workshop was found through a family friend, the skills she learned at Above Average helped her thrive at Sesame.

Doing the program as a junior helped to prepare Sara for the real world. “Newhouse NYC was a nice trial run and gave me a taste of post-grad life.” It also helped her become more confident and learn how to advocate for herself at work and “ask for opportunities or create an opportunity when there wasn’t one.”

For incoming juniors, she says it’s important to “take every opportunity that comes your way, go to as many events as you can. Be a ‘yes’ man as much as you can.” Students should also take advantage of the amazing resources they have in their professors, as well as Cheryl Franklin and Marisa Ramel.

Sara’s favorite part of the program was the smaller size of the classes, which made them more interactive and students more involved compared to larger classes on campus.
jackie pereira

Jackie Pereira ‘17 (Public Relations)

Assistant Account Executive, Digital Innovation Group, BCW Global


While attending Newhouse NYC, Jackie Pereira interned at Polished Pig Media, a small PR agency that allowed Jackie to try a little bit of everything, including digital and social media, which she now does in her current role at BCW Global. After graduation, she found a listing for a job at Cohn & Wolfe on LinkedIn, and Director Franklin put her in touch with an alum who worked at the company. Jackie spoke to the alum, and it lead to her first post-graduation position. The company eventually went through a merger and became BCW Global, where she is today.

What Jackie loved about doing Newhouse NYC as a junior is that it gave her more time to apply the things she had learned from the program, such as how she could network herself as a student for a little bit longer. At first, she was intimidated by networking, but soon realized that alumni are excited to reconnect to Syracuse and help students out.

Jackie says that the most important thing she learned is to go into every situation with a great attitude. “There’s a lot of times during Newhouse NYC when you have long days and it’s hard to appreciate everything as it’s coming at you. Write your thank you notes and let everyone know you appreciate their time.”

Her favorite part of the program was the access to the industry students have. “It was amazing to have professionals at the top of their fields come speak to us in a room of 20 people. I learned so much.”


Julia Urban is a junior advertising major interning at Bloom Baby.

Be sure to follow Newhouse NYC on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see more of where our alumni are now.




Newhouse NYC Alumni: Where Are They Now?

By Matthew DeMattia

How does the Newhouse NYC semester help launch students into their careers? I hoped to find out by speaking with four alumni of Syracuse University and the Newhouse NYC program: Teyra Anderson ‘17 (Public Relations), Aaron Goldsmith ‘15 (Television, Radio, Film), Nicole Acevedo ‘16 (Broadcast & Digital Journalism), and Chazz Inniss ‘18 (Magazine Journalism). My goal was to learn about their journeys from graduation to their careers today, and hopefully glean some morsel of advice or wisdom that my peers and I would do well to heed. Our conversations were absolutely fascinating, but more importantly, they truly made the job hunt seem far less intimidating than it did previously. Here’s what they had to say.



Teyra Anderson ‘17 (Public Relations)

Strategic Marketing Partnerships at Squarespace


Describe your path from Newhouse NYC to your current role. After graduation, Teyra started at The Walt Disney Company, as an Undergraduate Associate in their Corporate Citizenship & Community Engagement program. Teyra loved her time at Disney, however, still felt a yearning to pursue public relations. When the Disney program concluded ten months later, Teyra explored opportunities doing in-house public relations or working at a PR agency. In August 2017, Teyra began working part-time as a Public Relations Assistant at PKPR, but ultimately determined that public relations was not her desired industry after all. Teyra recently moved to Squarespace, where her role focuses on marketing rather than PR, a pivot that Teyra would have never expected during her time in Newhouse NYC.

How did Newhouse NYC help you get to where you are now? “As Newhouse kids, we’re go-getters, we’re very eager, which is great; but that doesn’t leave time for us to take a moment and digest everything,” Teyra says. “Being in New York allowed me to take a step back and take a moment to decide my career path. Over time, it became hard to watch everyone else rise upward in their career as I took it slower. But I knew I didn’t want to end up anywhere just to say I had to job. I wanted to be confident in my career decisions and be sure that I was where I wanted to be.”

What is something you wish you knew prior to graduation? Teyra says that PR students at Newhouse are often told that after graduation, they have to join an agency–but that is absolutely not the case. “All three of [my jobs] so far have nothing to do with each other,” Teyra says. “Each used different skills and was in a different sector of the media industry. But each taught me things that I’ve brought with me to the next opportunity, so I believe that it’s really important to understand that there are so many different fields out there, each with countless different jobs and opportunities.”



Aaron Goldsmith ‘15 (Television, Radio, & Film and Information Management & Technology)


Multiplatform Production Assistant at Comedy Central

Describe your path from Newhouse NYC to your current role. Aaron’s path to his current role was somewhat unique, and not one that he suggests current SU students look to for guidance. Prior to his Newhouse NYC semester, Aaron interned with the Multiplatform Strategy & Development Team at Comedy Central in NYC. During his time in the Newhouse NYC Program, Aaron kept in contact with his former team, and prior to graduation, his old supervisor offered him a position within their department. Because of this, Aaron only applied to a single position during his job hunt, the role he would end up getting upon graduation. Aaron’s current role works with brands and helps to build the technology based around Comedy Central’s content, such as the Comedy Central website and app. Aaron loves his current position, as it bridges the gap between his two degrees from Newhouse and the iSchool.  

How did Newhouse NYC help you get to where you are now? Aaron emphasizes that, without a doubt, Newhouse NYC taught him the value of networking. The program showed him how to build a network, maintain a network, and then utilize that network to his advantage. Additionally, Newhouse NYC taught him better money management. “The Newhouse NYC Program was my first experience living in New York, and living in the city,” Aaron says. “You learn quickly how expensive this place is, so the program really taught me to save my money, sit on it for when you need it for rent or things like that, and that was a really valuable lesson for me for when I graduated and moved to the city permanently.”

What is something you wish you knew prior to graduation? Similar to Teyra, Aaron wishes he knew there was more than one route to get into the entertainment world. During his time in Newhouse, he heard over and over again about the value of getting your first job at a talent agency and began to think that this was the only path to success. “There’s more than one route,” Aaron says. “If you don’t know what you want to do, then the agency route might be the right one for you, but it’s far from the only option. Maybe previously that was the only avenue into the industry, but it’s not required anymore, and it’s absolutely possible to have a successful career in the entertainment industry without starting at a talent agency.”

Nicole Acevedo ‘16 (Broadcast & Digital Journalism)

Staff reporter for NBC Latino at NBC News Digital


Describe your path from Newhouse NYC to your current role. Nicole interned with MSNBC during the Newhouse NYC program. During her internship, Nicole began writing for NBC News Digital, and impressed an individual who would go on to hire her full-time following the conclusion of her post-graduation CUNY Fellowship, which focused on Digital News. Taking what she learned at Newhouse NYC, Nicole freelanced and interned during her CUNY Fellowship, trying to maximize her experiences and her connections within the news industry. Nicole became a full-time Staff Reporter at NBC Latino in January 2019 and sees her current position as the culmination of all of her efforts during Newhouse NYC and the CUNY Fellowship.

How did Newhouse NYC help you get to where you are now? Nicole attributes a great deal of her success to her time at Newhouse NYC. For one, the internship that Nicole had during her time in the program directly and tangibly led to her job following graduation. Additionally, Nicole describes how the program inspired her pivot to digital. Early in her time at Newhouse, Nicole had planned for a career in television news, and began to accumulate experiences within this field. However, during her time in New York and at MSNBC, Nicole saw the future of digital, altered her trajectory, and is so thankful that she did.

What is something you wish you knew prior to graduation? One thing that Nicole was not aware of is the way that the industry can change the way you live your life. “This business takes a toll you,” Nicole says. “On your personal life, your sleep, schedule, etc. And no one tells you that and no one can teach you that. But when you’re starting out, it matters a lot that you put in the time and the work. If you’re going to succeed, you need to embrace the hustle. It takes grit to stick it through and make it.”

Chazz Inniss ‘18 (Magazine Journalism)

Associate Brand Innovation Manager at POPSUGAR


Describe your path from Newhouse NYC to your current role. During his time at Newhouse NYC, Chazz, unfortunately, did not enjoy his internship very much. However, this led Chazz to dedicate time during the program to finding other opportunities. Incredibly, Chazz was hired part-time by People magazine in March of his Newhouse NYC semester, and spent the remainder of his semester balancing his internship and this part-time role at People, which changed to full-time post-graduation. After six months at People magazine, Chazz desired additional growth, and was hired at POPSUGAR by a Newhouse alumna, Tory Marlin, who he met at a Newhouse NYC lunch & learn. Currently at POPSUGAR, Chazz’s role has him working on brand partnerships, mainly with beauty and entertainment brands.

How did Newhouse NYC help you get to where you are now? Chazz only has positive things to say about his time at Newhouse NYC and believes it has helped him immensely to reach his current position. For one, during his time in the program, Chazz completed nine informational meetings with professionals in a diverse range of fields. Furthermore, every single position that Chazz has had since graduation has come from one of these connections made during the program. “Newhouse NYC taught me the value of meeting of people across disciplines,” Chazz says. “Now I’m working with people in every industry, so it comes in handy to know those people in other fields. Most jobs are interdisciplinary.”

What is something you wish you knew prior to graduation? “One thing that was stressed to me in Newhouse was the value of portfolio, at least in my major,” Chazz says. “In reality, no one in the industry really cares about portfolios. The industry places far more importance on your work ethic, character, and personality.”
Matthew DeMattia is a senior television, radio and film major interning at Saturday Night Live.

Be sure to follow Newhouse NYC on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see more of where our alumni are now.

Newhouse NYC Student Goes From Intern to Employee

By Kenyona Chaney

Newhouse NYC was made to immerse students in the culture and networks of New York City. Although it’s a one-semester program, we have the opportunity to create lifelong relationships and even friendships with top industry professionals. And as some of us hunt for summer internships and many for full-time positions, we keep in mind all of the networks we’ve made this semester.


ADV senior Yuxin Xiong (photo credit: Kenyona Chaney)

For advertising senior Yuxin Xiong, keeping in mind her closest connections has given her an amazing internship–and now a full-time job. For the Newhouse NYC semester, Yuxin was interning for Merkley + Partners and, just weeks before graduation, she was recently hired full-time as an Art Director for Merkley + Partners.

Here is my interview with Yuxin about her amazing accomplishments:

Being that you’re from China, what obstacles or barriers have you faced or overcame while interning?

Yuxin Xiong: Language is definitely a big one! I was really afraid of talking at the beginning of my internship because I’m not that comfortable with the English language. But my partner and copywriter Will Milowsky’19 (ADV) is a super nice guy who would advocate and articulate everything for me. Sometimes I would try to just hide behind him, but it wasn’t a really good thing to do. Luckily, the people in my office are really nice and now I don’t feel awkward when speaking. Especially now, I realize I talk way more than I did at the beginning of the semester–not just in the office, but also when networking because I feel more comfortable now.

Considering what you have learned in Newhouse advertising classes, what do you think carried over nicely in the workplace?

YX: The classes from the creative department really prepared us for the real working environment. The things I did in class are actually the same things I now do at my internship. The class campaigns are different in regards to limitations, budgets, and clients, but now, in the working environment, we apply what we learned to real world clients and mandatory requirements. Although the campaigns may not be as cool and creative, it doesn’t mean you will never do or incorporate cool and creative things.

At Merkley + Partners you will be their new Art Director. What are you looking forward to doing within this new position?

YX: I really want to do “the cool campaigns” — which are campaigns you see in award shows. Technically speaking, I would want to do TV commercials because that’s where you can be more creative. I really want to do pitches to new clients that aren’t at our agency yet. After the pitch, the potential client gets to choose which agency they want to work with.

You’ve won an award recently. Could explain what it was for?

YX: The most recent award I won was the ADDY Award from the American Advertising Awards (AAF). It’s a student award where you can enter your schoolwork to compete. They have different district levels and I’m currently on the second district competition.


Professor Mel White, Yuxin Xiong, Yunxuan Wu and Isabel Drukker (Photo courtesy of Yuxin Xiong)

Last question: Newhouse connections have been key during your transition to Newhouse NYC. What advice would you give to younger Newhouse advertising students?

YX: Talk with your professors! I used to wonder if it was okay to ask my professors for job opportunities. I talked to my creative professor, Mel White, and she helped me to get my current internship. Ask your professors, they may give you a surprising result–you never know. They really like to connect you with people that they know in the industry. All of the advertising professors have a lot of work experience and have many connections.

We are extremely proud of Yuxin and all of her great accomplishments! Wishing the best to her in her new position and journey.

Newhouse –> NYC –> new job?! Simply amazing.

Be sure to follow Newhouse NYC on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about my peers’ current and future endeavors.

Newhouse NYC visits creative agency Rokkan

By Yuxin Xiong

On Wednesday, April 3, Newhouse NYC visited Rokkan for a lunch and learn. Rokkan is a creative agency with around one hundred employees, located in Soho with a beautiful view of the Hudson River. The name of the agency was inspired by a Japanese word, 六感, which means the sixth sense. Rokkan has many different types of clients, including Coca-Cola, Verizon, and American Express, and they are the Agency  of Record for Cadillac. Cadillac sponsors the Oscars, and Rokkan helps Cadillac create its Oscar spot, a huge opportunity to showcase the brand and the agency behind it. At the lunch and learn, Rokkan showed us Cadillac’s Oscar spot. It is an elegant and beautiful piece of work.


Rokkan team and Newhouse NYC students

At the lunch and learn, we met many Rokkan employees, including strategists, a creative team, and account executives. We were especially excited to learn from Kaileigh Woodruff (ADV ‘17), an Account Executive and an alumna of the Newhouse NYC program, and Robert Bloomberg (ADV ‘13), Associate Director of Connections Planning. It was so interesting to hear what they do on a daily basis. The strategy team researches and analyzes data about a brand’s target audience. After that, the account and strategy teams work together and think about how to solve the problem of the client. When they come up with a strategy that can solve the problem, they form a brief and pass it to the creative team. The creative team will concept and create ideas based on the brief. The account team also checks the ideas, discusses the ideas with the creative team, and makes sure that the idea meets the brief.

The Rokkan team also gave us some career advice. In my opinion, the most useful one is to always ask questions. This reminded me of advice I received from my supervisor at my internship at Merkley + Partners this semester: “People may not know the answer to a question, but the answer can be ‘I do not know, but we can figure out together.’”


Kaileigh Woodruff, Account Executive (and Newhouse NYC alumna) leads the lunch and learn.

I was inspired by Rokkan’s passion for getting different people into the office. They said that they tried to incorporate as much diversity as possible in the Oscar spot. The art director of their creative team also said that one of the problems in advertising is how to get more diverse people into the room. I totally agree with him. Advertising is an industry with a diversity problem. Keeping diversity in the room helps people detect problems in advertising spots and find solutions. Today, more and more advertisements try to feature diverse groups. However, sometimes the teams behind the ads don’t know that they’re featuring those groups in an offensive way because nobody from the group participates in the production. If we could increase diversity inside the advertising industry, probably we could see less problematic advertisement in the future.

Overall, this lunch and learn was an exciting experience. Thank you to all the employees from Rokkan for inspiring me to think about what I have learned and address the problems in my industry.

Yuxin Xiong is a senior advertising major. She is an intern–and recent hire!–at Merkley + Partners.


5 #Cool Things We’ve Done at Our Internships

By Kenyona Chaney

This semester, my peers and I are interning at some of the best companies NYC has to offer! Newhouse NYC helps us find the opportunities and we take full advantage and show our supervisors what Newhouse is truly made of — pure excellence.

Here are some amazing things our students have been assigned and mastered:

1. Lee Musho, a magazine senior interning at New York Magazine, got the opportunity to cover the Oscars for NYMag’s The Cut.

“I got to work with incredibly talented women from The Cut, and see what it’s like covering an event live for a digital publication. We ordered food in a conference room in New York Magazine’s office while watching the show, all of us working and chatting at the same time.

Once the red carpet started before the show, I would find images on Getty of celebrities, send them to the photo department, and then upload them into an image gallery. In this gallery, I would find every celebrity’s name and research “who” they were wearing.

For SEO purposes, since last year’s Oscars red carpet article got so many views and was back-linked, or other outlets linked out to the article, it would show up on the first page of Google. So I took out the old content from that original article, leaving only the slug as a framework, and re-published the article from last year with a different slug. Then I took all of the new photos from the Oscars and put them into the new article, which had the powerful SEO slug already built into it. Thanks to that, we showed up second on Google if anyone searched “Oscars Red Carpet,” which does wonders for our traffic.”

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Magazine senior Lee Musho helped cover the Oscars for

“Each time I uploaded a new celebrity’s picture to the article, I would re-publish it and send it back to social, updating the article live. This went on for a few hours until I found what everyone was wearing- either through Instagram, other articles online, or reaching out to public relations at different brands. While I was doing this, I also saw that Lady Gaga was wearing the Tiffany Diamond — a diamond I know and love, as a girl obsessed with jewelry — and asked the editors sitting in the room with me if I could write up an article about the rock. They said yes. It was a late night and some really hard work, but I got to learn from the best and be there while they pitched live and tackled several different stories at a time.”

Check out more of Lee’s articles on


2. Yuxin Xiong, an advertising senior interning at Merkley + Partners, has created two animations for Merkley + Partners’ client Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen.

“Everything you’ve learned in Newhouse’s Portfolio 1 and 2 classes is going to be something that leads you to success. From coming up with creative concepts to using After Effects, I do cool tasks everyday. My copywriter and I are briefed on different brands and we brainstorm ideas based on the information. After that, we present our ideas to the Group Creative Head. Creative heads will tell you which idea they like and give instruction. Then we do two internal reviews with the account and digital team. Finally, we present our idea to the client. My copywriter and I created social promotions for Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen–to see them animate, please click the links below.”


3. Minji Um, an advertising senior interning at NBCUniversal, attended TECHWomen’s Lunch and Learn.

“NBCUniversal is always hosting professional events for organizations such as Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and TECHWomen, and I had the opportunity to attend a TECHWomen Lunch and Learn. Melissa Cavell, a Full-Stack Developer at NBCUniversal, presented on the role of Python in the Ad Sales team. Since I’m an advertising major with a minor in Information Management & Technology (IT), this event was right up my alley and I couldn’t wait to network with coworkers who are pursuing a career that I am very interested in. I learned all about the back-end work that goes into constructing certain NBCUniversal websites and even had the chance to speak with Melissa after the event. Because of all the interesting events that are always going on, I have been able to meet with many successful professionals and learn so much by making meaningful connections!”


4. Hannah Block, a public relations junior interning at FAO Schwarz, attended the 2019 American International Toy Fair with her internship.

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Hannah Block and FAO Schwarz toy soldiers (photo credit: Hannah Block)

“From February 16-19, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Toy Fair with the company that I am interning with, FAO Schwarz. Toy Fair is an annual event that takes place each year in the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. While I was there, I had the chance to shadow my advisor when she was walking the floor, go from booth to booth, and meet with other store vendors. We got to see new products that weren’t out yet, listen to the vendor’s presentations, and talk about potential future partnerships. I spent the rest of the time in our booth talking to people who stopped by with any questions. I really learned a lot throughout the weekend. I enjoyed walking around in my free time and talking to other store vendors that were there and asking about their upcoming plans and products. My favorite booth that I went to was White Mountain Puzzles because my family does one of their 1,000 piece puzzles together every year over the holidays as a tradition, so it was really cool to see some of their new puzzle designs and what I have to look forward to this holiday season.”


5. Kayla Miller, a broadcast and digital journalism junior interning at Good Day New York, helped report outside of Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle‘s baby shower in NYC.

“It’s been a little over a month at my internship at “Good Day New York,” and one of the cool things I get to do is go out “on the field” in a reporter truck and shoot a live shot of a developing story. Recently, Meghan Markle was staying in New York City on the Upper East Side for her baby shower. On the day of shower, I went out with a camera crew to The Mark Hotel at around 6 a.m. to set up the camera so we can get a good shot of the building. At around 7 a.m., one of the “Good Day” anchors, Jennifer Lahmers, joined our crew so she could begin reporting live from outside the hotel. As I was sitting in the truck, other news outlets started arriving in hopes that Meghan would walk out of the building. The baby shower was definitely happening that day because I saw a harp being delivered into the hotel, and our camera crew caught a glimpse of the food items for the shower such as cotton candy and chicken. This was a very exciting experience because it was not only an entertaining story, but it was my first time out on the field with a reporter and crew! ‘The time I stalked Meghan Markle…’ will definitely be a great conversation starter someday!”

Meghan Markle in NYC             Meghan Markle Visits Manhattan

Want to join in on all of these cool things? Apply to be a part of Newhouse NYC and let the internships, networking, and fun begin!

Be sure to follow @NewhouseNYC on Instagram to see more AMAZING opportunities our students have received during their semester in NYC.


“It’s Been a Month, Now What?” Panel with SU Alum

By: Kenyona Chaney

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From left to right: Jayda Brown, Hannah Malach, Patrick Lampert, Lee Musho, Keith Zubrow, Christine Robertson, Candice Frank, Christine Mattheis, Nikki Ambrifi, Matthew DeMattia, Julia Urban, Kayla Miller and Ali Marashi.

During our internship class on February 21, 2019, we received the opportunity to hear from five stellar Syracuse University alumni! The panel included:


Our panelists (From left to right: Christine Mattheis, Keith Zubrow, Candice Frank, Nikki Ambrifi and Christine Robertson)

Each alum shared their career path since graduating from SU and gave us advice on being successful at our internship. At the end of the panel we had the opportunity to personally network with an alum of our choice.


Advice from the panelists


From left (clockwise): Matthew DeMattia, Keith Zubrow, Kayla Miller, Rashika Jaipuriar, and Michael Adzima


As an associate producer at The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert, Keith said he goes into the work field and “makes fun of places and ideas” and then brings those ideas back to the show. Here are two pieces of advice Keith gave to us regarding our internships:

  • “If you’ve made an error [at your internship], go back and try to correct it.”
  • If you don’t have any assignments, make sure the copier, staples, and other office supplies are filled because “people notice that.”


As an account director, Christine Robertson illustrated she is the liaison between clients and the rest of the VIRTUE’s agency. Here are two pieces of advice we received from Christine:

  • One way to stand out at your internship is to learn “how much can you be a problem solver.” We’re interning to gain experience and to make our supervisors’ lives easier.
  • “Notice the small details” about your co-workers. For example, celebrating their birthdays, promotions or family loss with a card or gift. Christine R. said “humanity is important” in the workplace.

From bottom left (clockwise): Danielle Villaluna, Jayda Brown, Kenyona Chaney, Minji Um, Carly Schwartz, Ali Marashi, and Candice Frank


This January, Candice started her position at Sony as a social media manager. She runs the channels for Legacy Recordings and strategizes social plans for the artists under the label. Here are two pieces of advice Candice gave to us:

  • She advised us to think of our internship as an extended interview. Encouraging us to be presentable and professional at all times in order to make an impact on our coworkers and supervisors.
  • “There are ways to explore other paths while you’re at your internship.” Candice began working in TRF at The View and found that she was interested in music and the digital department — which is one of the reason she chose to pivot to Sony.

From left to right: Christine Mattheis, Lee Musho, and Hannah Malach


Christine Mattheis is the editorial director at What To Expect where she oversees the editorial teams and is in charge of editorial for the brand. Here are two pieces of advice Christine M. gave to us:

  • In order to stand out while interning, “come armed with a few questions when you meet new people.” This can make networking easier and allow for conversations to flow smoothly.
  • If you finished all of your assignments, “do you more of your tasks.” For example, perfect a transcription, re-read a press release or continue to search for client media coverage.


Fun Fact: Nikki helped to launch the first magazine of Marie Claire. Here are two pieces of advice she gave to us:

  • If you’re ever unsure of the way you should act during your internship, “follow your supervisor’s lead.” We should be our supervisor’s assistant and be able to replicate their style of work, layouts and preferences. She also pertained this to dress codes. Don’t “overdress” and don’t “underdress,” mimic the style of your supervisor.
  • She emphasized “emojis [in emails] are overkill.” When writing an email, we have to “think of the interpretation” and realize “how someone is reading the email.” Emojis are informal and shouldn’t be included in professional emails.

From bottom left (clockwise): Ivana Pino, Nikki Ambrifi, Christine Robertson, Julia Urban, Yuxin Xiong, and Patrick Lampert

Thank you to Keith, Christine R., Christine M., Candice and Nikki for your words of encouragement and of advice.


Personally, panels such as this one help to keep me develop the skills and confidence both Newhouse and Newhouse NYC has equipped within me. My peers and I are grateful for the access and networks we have established thanks to Newhouse NYC. Although it has only been one month, we’ve made connections that take others longer to make. We’re just where we need to be.

Want to see more of our wonderful panels, field trips and even lunch & learns? Follow Newhouse NYC on Instagram @NewhouseNYC and get the 411 on all of the things Newhouse is made of in the big apple.




“Google, search Newhouse NYC’s visit.”

By: Kenyona Chaney

On Tuesday, February 12, our Social Platforms, Processes and Perspectives class toured Google. Our tour was lead by Newhouse alum Andrew Huber (ADV ’04) who is in Google’s U.S Media Partnerships.


From left: Host Andrew Huber, Rashika Jaipuriar, Julia Urban, Professor Simone Oliver, Hannah Block, Michael Adzima, Hannah Malach, Danielle Villaluna, and Kenyona Chaney

After the “oooh’s” and “ahhhh’s,” Google is now our dream workplace! From its success in being the #1 search engine to its headquarter’s phenomenal architecture, we were constantly blown away by this experience.

Our visit began with a tour of multiple workspaces throughout the building. Since Google’s NYC headquarters is over two million square feet and is one of the largest buildings in the world, we weren’t able to tour the entire building (it would’ve taken hours to do). However, our tour of the 11th and 15th floor was more than our college minds could handle. We learned that Google has gyms, showers, multiple cafes and restaurants, random walls full of plants and even doctor offices within the vicinity. If needed–or if they wanted to–employees could literally live at Google.

Fun fact: Google purposely makes healthy food options more visible in the kitchen areas to encourage employees to eat healthier.


BDJ senior Rashika Jaipuriar lounging in one of Google’s many cozy spots.

Can you name all seven of Google’s platforms? *(The answers are at the end of the blog).

The Scoop from Andrew Huber

After our tour, we drilled Huber on the ins and outs of working at Google and his career success.


Into the gates of Google…

Andrew Huber has been at Google for more than five years. He works within the sales department and is responsible for revenue generation across all platforms (including YouTube, Xbox, Twitch, iOS & Android) via media, sponsorship, and branded entertainment experiences. The sales team works hand-in-hand with Google’s engineers and product team. Huber says what makes his department so successful is that they focus on a “more consultive approach” and a “hyper-focused relationship” that “shows clients what the data says and then provides recommendations.”

When we asked about the vibe of the office and workspace, Huber informed us that Google’s workspaces attempt to uphold its mission statement.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Google).

Huber said Google “tries to invest in employees and inspire a good work life balance.” In his eyes, Google is a “nice little utopia.” A utopia for search and a utopia for work, Google definitely has won us over.

Check out Newhouse NYC’s Instagram for more videos from our tour.

*Google’s seven platforms: Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Assistance, Android, and Google’s Search Engine.


Oh, the Places You’ll Go (on the 6 Train)!

By Kenyona Chaney

For most Newhouse NYC students, it has officially been a month since we’ve arrived in the Big Apple. We’ve fully adjusted to our new homes in the Upper East Side, as well as our internships and other new adventures. Here are six places the 6 train has taken some of us over the past month:

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Kayla Miller, a junior broadcasting & digital journalism student interning at “Good Day New York,” took the 6 train to Union Square to two BuzzFeed PROFILE shows.

“My experience going to the BuzzFeed PROFILE tapings were absolutely amazing! I live and breathe BuzzFeed, so it was very exciting to be invited to not only one but two tapings so far. The first taping featured Michelle Yeoh from “Crazy Rich Asians,” and she was a delight. I got a second row seat, and the entire audience took a group picture with her. While I was there, I spotted BuzzFeed creator Steven Lim from the BuzzFeed series, “Worth It,” and I even got a picture with him. Let me remind you, I just moved into the EHS dorm two days before this taping and I was already living my best life!

The second taping I attended featured Amanda Seales from the hit HBO show, “Insecure,” and she was promoting her new HBO comedy special, “I Be Knowin’.” Fun fact: I saw Amanda again at my “Good Day New York” internship two days later. I cannot wait to attend more tapings and explore other parts of NYC. So far so good!”


Jayda Brown, Kayla Miller, and Kenyona Chaney at Buzzfeed’s PROFILE show (photo credit: BuzzFeed)



Michael Adzima, a junior broadcasting & digital journalism student interning at MSG Networks, took the 6 train to the East Village to see some music landmarks.

“Being a big music fan, I knew that I should spend some of my free time exploring some of New York’s music history landmarks. Last week I took a trip down to the East Village to check out two sites that have served as album covers for a couple of my favorite bands. My first stop was at 96 St. Marks Place to see the building featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s iconic 1975 album Physical Graffiti.”


The building featured on Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti (photo credit: Michael Adzima)

After that and a stop for lunch, I went to the corner of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street, which is where the cover for the Beastie Boys album Paul’s Boutique is located. Having visited the city before, these were always places that I wanted to check out but never got around to it, but, now that I’m living here for a few months, I finally got the chance to see these music landmarks.”


The wall featured on Beastie Boys‘ Paul’s Boutique (photo credit: Michael Adzima)



Danielle Villalunaa senior public relations student interning at Focus Features, is known for her love of exploring food. Check out some of the places the 6 train has taken her–and her tummy.  

“I’ve spent a lot of my time in New York City so far exploring new places to eat! I’ve always been a big foodie, and New York is exciting because there’s pretty much a place for absolutely anything you’re craving. I had the best Japanese udon noodles I’ve ever tasted in my life at TsuruTonTan by Union Square; I’ve had the most incredible cinnamon French toast topped with apples and bananas for brunch at a little French cafe in Midtown called Le Parisien. I had incredibly tasty Taiwanese beef rolls at Win Son in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; I was blown away by the handmade tagliatelle noodles at Aunt Jake’s in Little Italy. And I found a legendary burrata with brown buttered dates at Nino’s 46, a little modern Italian spot right by Times Square.”

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Handmade tagliatelle pasta with special house marinara at Aunt Jake’s (photo credit: Danielle Villaluna)

“Even with so many places to try, I’ve already gone more than once to a few of my favorite places this semester. Having grown up with Filipino cuisine, Filipino food is a big comfort food for me; just the taste and smell of the food takes me back to my childhood. When I found an amazing Filipino spot in the West Village called Maharlika, it was like having a piece of home right here in the big city. I’ve been to Maharlika five times now! I definitely recommend going there for a traditional Filipino breakfast with rice, egg, and longanisa (sweet sausage).”

“Another one of my favorite repeats is Spot Dessert Bar. I have a huge sweet tooth, and I’m obsessed with their miso butterscotch cake and matcha lava cake. Eating out and trying new foods has undoubtedly been one of my favorite things about living in New York City and I can’t wait discover more incredible eateries this semester. If you want to keep up with my foodie adventures, follow my foodstagram (food Instagram) at @For_The_Eatsthetic!”


The “potted plant” dessert at Spot Dessert Bar (photo credit: Danielle Villaluna)



Kenyona Chaney (yep, that’s me!), a junior public relations student interning at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, has been taking the 6 train to amazing NYC museums.

“After I learned that there were opportunities for us to visit museums for free, I’ve challenged myself to visit a museum each weekend. So far I’ve visited the Guggenheim Museum and the Brooklyn Museum.”


Robert Mapplethorpe’s “Ken Moody and Robert Sherman” photograph (+me!) (photo credit: Kenyona Chaney)


“After waiting in line for 40 minutes, I was able to understand the hype. The Guggenheim’s architecture and artwork is truly memorable! To get to all of the artwork, you have to walk up a spiral ramp until you get to the top. I’m not a fan of heights, but the view from the top of the museum was beautiful. From pottery and sculptures to photography and paintings, the Guggenheim had everything I needed and more. The clean and bright aesthetic of the building made it easier to appreciate the art. The Guggenheim was a great way to start off my museum challenge. ”


Elizabeth Catlett’s ” Black Unity,” 1968 (photo credit: Kenyona Chaney)

“On the first Saturdays of each month, the Brooklyn Museum is free! After brunch, I went with two Syracuse University alumni and had the time of my life. There was live music, beautiful people, and every part of history all in one building. From ancient Egypt to furniture from the ’70s, the Brooklyn Museum did not come to play with visitors. Since February is Black History Month, there were live performances from black artists and exhibits dedicated to black artists, graphics designs, photographers and painters. A destination I would recommend to all future Newhouse NYC students. ”



Hannah Malach, a senior magazine student interning at Women’s Wear Dailyis your go-to-girl for fashion and cheap shopping spots. Let’s see which thrift shops the 6 train took her…



L Train vintage clothing shop (photo credit: L Train Facebook)

“L Train is probably best known for their huge selection of all things vintage. While it’s probably best described as a thrift store with some vintage items thrown in, you can find a multitude of great items here for student-friendly prices. I highly recommend checking out their racks of graphic sweatshirts, jackets, and track pants — I found a ’90s Adidas pair for only $10! I also suggest following their Instagram if you want to keep up with their latest stock.”


East Village Vintage Collective (photo credit: East Village Vintage Collective Facebook)

“Although it’s a little more expensive than L Train, East Village Vintage Collective stocks a selection of unique vintage items for relatively reasonable prices. The store itself is two floors, and they also carry a great collection of vintage knick-knacks, vinyl, and photos, if décor is more your speed. Although tiny, their range of vintage denim is great for smaller women’s sizes compared to L Train. If you’re looking for a vintage shop that’s carefully curated but affordable, East Village Vintage Collective is the place to be!”


Jayda Brown, a junior advertising student interning at TLC Network, took the 6 to visit the Brooklyn Bridge.


“Although I have lived about an hour from NYC my whole life, I haven’t visited most of the typical landmarks. I have a mild fear of heights, so I was nervous approaching the bridge. But once I took my first few steps onto the bridge, I realized that I had made the right choice. The view was absolutely breathtaking.


Brooklyn Bridge (photo credit: Jayda Brown)

The bridge itself is gorgeous. I loved the fact that so many people had left their mark in some way. Although there were signs everywhere that warned against it, some people still left locks “locking in their love” on the bridge. There were also names and messages written in marker on the walls of the bridge.

Once we crossed the bridge, we reached Brooklyn Bridge park. The park had a tiny, rocky beach with a beautiful view of the Manhattan Skyline. Some of us skipped stones, while others took turns taking each others’ pictures against the skyline.”


Jayda Brown on the Brooklyn Bridge (photo credit: Jayda Brown)

Want to see more of what our Newhouse NYC students are doing in the Big Apple? Head over to our Instagram @NewhouseNYC to get the ins and outs of mentor meet ups, group lunch & learns, new NYC spot visits and more!

Photo credits (train numbers):

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HarperCollins senior editor Patrik Henry Bass joins Newhouse NYC faculty

photo-patrik-bassBy Divya Murthy

From embarking on glamorous trips on assignment for Essence magazine to riffling through yet-to-be-released books at HarperCollins, Patrik Henry Bass has traveled a long way on the storytelling spectrum. Now, Bass joins the Newhouse in New York City faculty this spring as professor of Race, Gender and the Media.

As a senior editor at HarperCollins, Bass’s daily life involves handling proposals for new books and stories and bringing many of them to life. Previously, he worked at Essence magazine for 18 years, starting as the books editor and going on to become a producer and director of editorial projects. He has also co-authored two books: In Our Own Image: Treasured African-American Traditions, Journeys and Icons (Running Press, 2001) and Like A Mighty Stream, The March on Washington, August 28, 1963 (Running Press, 2002).

This semester, Bass will take on the role of professor during the evenings, discussing the crucial questions of race and gender facing the media industry. Here, Bass talks about his journey, his hopes for the class, and the challenges facing both the industry and young professionals beginning their journalism careers.

Tell us about your career and how you got to where you are.

Technically my current title at HarperCollins is senior editor. But I like to think of myself as a storyteller. I’ve been helping people tell their stories as a magazine editor, newspaper journalist, and communications specialist for more than 25 years. My career was born out of an insatiable curiosity to see other worlds, to meet other people, while at the same time reflecting the world that shaped me—small-town Southern life where many people dreamed bigger than what was often reflected in the larger media space. I entered magazines at the very end of its Golden Age—not just the expense accounts, lavish travel assignments, and boundless car vouchers—but also talented editors truly committed to getting the story right and making investments in talent across the board.

How has your work experience informed your views on race, gender and the media?

A combination of my work and life experience has adequately prepared me for undertaking the awesome challenge of discussing race, gender, and the publishing industry. Essence magazine is the premier media brand for African-American women. I began there as the books editor and it was a priceless education in seeing how a largely female-led senior management team led the publication in a volatile media landscape. I am a huge consumer of media—from mainstream to works from people of color, from high to low brow—and I can always tell when people either “overthink” a particular perspective or race, or have not thought about race at all. That’s what we’ll explore this semester. It’s not about who got it wrong or right, but who’s thinking inside the box of a rapidly evolving media space.

What’s a day in your life like?

This is boring, but literally no two days are the same. Today I’ve been reading manuscripts, rejecting manuscripts (the part of the job I like the least), preparing several books for a fall 2019 release, and getting ready for the winter 2020 list. In between there are meetings, endless emails to return, and this was a day when I got around to lunch at about 4:30 p.m.

What’s your one piece of advice for journalism students starting out today?

Read, read, and do more reading. Not just online reading, but everything—books, plays, magazines—you can get your hands on.

How can young media professionals tackle issues of discrimination at work?

It begins with a search for the truth. Newsrooms managers, editors and producers should never project a particular angle on a story before knowing all of the relevant facts. This not only goes for race, but class as well. People of color are overrepresented in stories about sports, poverty and violence and underrepresented in stories about relationships, interiors, and opinions. The latter is critical because audiences aren’t truly seeing the way people love, live, and think.

How have the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements changed the workplace with regard to race and gender issues?

I was raised by a multi-faceted mother who commanded respect and was far ahead on ideas of equal treatment and pay. I was also fortunate to work at a women’s magazine, where gender roles were in reverse. That said, we must continue to look at all aspects of what it means to have the opportunity to evolve to one’s greatest potential in the workspace, absent any harassment or hostility because of race or gender. Hopefully, we’re getting there. Time will tell.

What have you learned about race that’s essential to thriving in the media industry?

There is only one race—the human race, and all humans have the same basic needs.

Divya Murthy is a senior magazine major at the Newhouse School and a former intern at Hachette Book Group.