Career Advice from the Senior Executive Producer & VP of Talent Development at CNBC

Written by Maureen Mulhern, Director of the Office of Career Development


Mary Duffy, a STAC alumna and the Senior Executive Producer/VP of Talent Development at CNBC, was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to speak with STAC students today about her career path.  She offered some great advice as these seniors and juniors approach graduation.  It was very apparent that Mary possesses the traits she discussed today, and this is why she is where she is today!

(A quick “thank you” to Dr. Durney for inviting me to sit in on his class.)

Below are some of the highlights of the advice Mary shared.

  • What is your “Secret Sauce”? 

Each of us has a “secret sauce” that makes us special.  It might be something we did, a skill we have, or a past or present experience.  These make us who we are and provide us with something special that we can offer a future employer.  The key is to understand what your secret sauce is and learn how to convey that to a potential employer.  Knowing your secret sauce will help you identify your brand and market yourself.

  • Be Hungry and Have GRIT!

Seek out opportunities that will help you reach your goal, and keep going until you get something.  Work hard in any role you get, and establish your professional reputation.  That could open doors.

  • Have a Strong Work Ethic.

Be polite, have good manners, and be gracious.  Be reliable.

  • Stay Scrappy! 

Don’t feel entitled.  Work hard in the role you have.  Be the person who takes on the jobs that no one wants to do.  It will make you stand out.

Some general tips:

  • If someone is kind enough to refer you for an opportunity, don’t let them down.  Be sure to do the best job you can.  It’s their reputation on the line.  Be sure to thank that person.


  • #1 skill you need is writing!  You must be a good reader to be a good writer…so read every day.


  • Follow everyone you can on Twitter.  It’s a great way to learn and get new ideas from a variety of people.


  • If you make a mistake, take ownership of it.  Don’t blame others!


  • Always send a thank you note after an interview…by the end of the day of the interview!  Include your resume with your thank you.  Don’t make the receiver work to get that information.

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