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 ‘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 ‘17 (Magazine Journalism)
Editorial Assistant at Broadway.com
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 ‘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 ‘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 ‘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.”