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.
“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!)
“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)
“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
“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
“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
“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 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 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