My Spartan Success with Jessica Mizzi!

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When did you graduate and what was your major?

I graduated in 2017 with a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Journalism.

How did you hear about your current job?

I learned about opportunities at Penguin Random House during Winter break of my senior year at STAC. I was on the hunt for an internship and, at the time, was very interested in the publishing industry. While looking on their website, I stumbled upon an editorial internship opening for the spring and immediately applied. When the HR representative contacted me, she felt that I would be a great candidate for a different internship at Penguin Random House in Content Marketing. Excited about any opportunity at the company, I decided to move forward with it. I was hired out of that internship and have been at the company ever since.

Can you explain the Interview Process?

I was called by an HR representative for a phone interview. She asked me questions about my resume and cover letter, as well as my desire to work at Penguin Random House. I was then notified via phone call that they’d love me to come in and interview with the manager of the Content Marketing team. I was extremely nervous because I didn’t know much about Content Marketing … and I forgot to bring a copy of my resume, which made things even worse (always bring a copy of your resume). I was sure that I was going to blow it but as soon as I stepped into my manager’s office, she made me feel comfortable and at ease. From what I remember, she asked me questions about my education, my experience, and the company and my interest in it. She explained my duties as an intern and the goal of their team at PRH. That same day, I was offered the internship!

Can you tell me a little about the position?

Though I was an intern, I was never tasked with getting coffee or answering the phone (though there’s nothing wrong with that, either). For me, personally, this was a huge deal. I was given work that allowed me to play an active role on the Content Marketing team.

Can you share some of your current responsibilities and roles?

I am currently an editor on which is a book recommendation website. We are obsessed with authors, stories, and the readers who love them. Our goal is to provide people with their next great read. I write articles for the website, work with freelancer writers and illustrators, edit their work, come up with content ideas based on analytics and insights, and manage all social media accounts for Read It Forward (Book Bento–an account I manage–was featured in Oprah Magazine, which was super exciting).

Did you have an internship before this position and how useful was the internship?

I had an internship at Cornell Cooperative Extension prior to my internship at Penguin Random House. I worked to plan events and design pamphlets/posters about the environment and the importance of conservation. It was a small place but everyone there was great to work with and I learned a lot about things I hadn’t known much about before. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing but it helped me develop key communication and time management skills.

Did Career Development/STAC help you in anyway?

The professors I had at STAC definitely helped me to realize my potential and my dreams. I started out as a Biology major at STAC and switched to Creative Writing my sophomore year. I was nervous about this decision but had high hopes that it would, in the long run, be more of a fit for me. The professors that I had following this shift in my life solidified my love for reading and writing and made me feel totally comfortable with my decision. I was able to explore my creativity and learn things that I carry with
me and use today. I established close relationships with all of my professors—I still keep in touch.

What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?

I love knowing that what I do has a direct impact on people. I see it every day. No, I’m not a doctor or an engineer, but I work in a place that helps others share their stories. And I think that’s magical. Books are so, so important. They always have been and always will be. I feel so honored to work at the largest English language publishing company where we value diverse voices from all walks of life. Reading changed my life and the lives of so many others. Since I started managing all the social media accounts for Read It Forward, I have seen exactly how what we do impacts others through their comments, likes, retweets, messages, etc. It’s beautiful and something I’m proud of.

What advice do you have for other STAC students looking for a job or internship?

Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. There’s great opportunity in unexpected places—places you wouldn’t even think of looking. Be open to change and unfamiliar experiences. Work hard to show what you’ve learned and what you’re capable of, and never turn down a chance to learn something new.

My Spartan Success with Gianna Pisano!


When do you plan to graduate and what is your major?

I plan to graduate May 2019. My major is Communication Arts with a concentration in Broadcasting/Digital Content Production, and I have a double minor in Journalism and Social Media.

Can you tell me a little about the internship?

I am interning at WABC-TV Eyewitness News, for 7 On Your Side, which is the consumer segment.

How did you hear about this position?

I found out about this position by looking at different online postings of internships at the television networks in New York City.

Can you explain the interview process?

First, I applied online, and received an email about two weeks later that they wanted me to come in for an interview on Intern Night, which is when all of the interviews for the upcoming internships take place. I went in for two interviews with two different sections. The first section I interviewed for was a one-on-one interview, and the second, which is the one I ultimately chose to go with, was a group interview with three other people. They both lasted about fifteen to twenty minutes. About a week later, I received a call that I was offered both internships, but could only chose one. The next day I called back and gave my final decision.

Can you tell us about some of your current responsibilities / roles?

My main responsibility is to conduct background investigations and preliminary interviews based on story leads that viewers send in. I then pitch the stories to my producer based on information gathered, newsworthiness, and pertinence to our audience, and he decides whether or not the segment will cover the story. Additionally, I get to attend the daily morning news meetings, film B-roll to be included in the segment’s pieces, and go out and get MOS interviews that are included in reporters’ packages.

What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?

My favorite aspect of the position is all the different experiences I have gotten out of it. I want to work as a broadcast journalist, and all of my various responsibilities/roles will one day help me be successful in that career. I think my favorite experience so far has been having the chance to go out and help shoot one of our stories.

What do you plan to do after the internship?

This spring, I will be interning with CBS News.

What advice do you have for other STAC students looking for an internship?

My advice is to apply to as many internships as you can that you are interested in, and to make sure your resume is the best it can possibly be. If you get an interview, make sure that you research the company, and learn as much background knowledge as possible about it, and always send a follow up email the next day. Be honest, be yourself, and don’t be afraid of challenges, because you never know what could happen!