SJC Senior Victoria Berenda Interned at TIME Magazine
Thanks to Marc Macias ’97, I had the privilege of spending six and a half weeks during the summer of 2014 in TIME Magazine’s Chicago Ad Sales Office. While a large portion of my internship included working on a presentation with Patrick Massoels ’15, I also pulled digital spend reports, helped with database management, assisted with client RFPs (request for proposals), monitored TIME’s social networking accounts, learned about experiential events, gained an understanding of the ABC’s of advertising, became familiar with the TIME brand, attended a sales call, and sat in on conference calls with Marc. Thanks to Marc, I got a lot of hands-on, got to be part of the action, and made networking connections that will be helpful when it is time to start applying for jobs in less than a year.
Our presentation was my biggest project. When Marc and his sales reps visit clients and advertising agencies, they typically start with a deck, a PowerPoint presentation, that explains the TIME brand. Wanting a new, more millennial approach, Marc asked Pat and I to come up with an original presentation. We held focus groups, created surveys, and worked with TIME interns from New York, and as Marc asked us, we thought "differently." I enjoyed working on the presentation with Pat. His video skills and my Art minor definitely came in handy. At the end of our internship, we presented the deck to Marc, his assistant, and the sales reps. After presenting to TIME Magazine executives, our Core 10 presentation will surely be a breeze.
Hometown: Remington, IN
High School: Tri-County High School
Major: English: Creative Writing
Minor: Art and Physical Education
What clubs and activities are you involved in at SJC?
Alpha Lambda Delta, Marketing Assistant in SJC’s Integrated Marketing Office, Writing Tutor in SJC’s Writing Clinic
How did you choose SJC?
I grew up in the SJC community. My mom attended SJC and became the Director of Alumni and Parent Relations in 2002. Naturally, SJC was on the list when I began applying to colleges. However, I was not set on becoming a Puma until I learned about the Core Program. As a hands-on learner, I was dreading having to take the two to three years of general education classes before being able to focus on my degree that most colleges require. Thankfully, the Core Program allows students to begin their majors right away. SJC is a perfect fit for my learning style, setting it apart from the other colleges and universities I considered, and I can honestly say that the Core Program is the reason I am a Puma.
How do you feel about the Core Program?
While all students are required to participate in the Core Program regardless of their major, the concepts taught in the Program apply to every field of work. Amongst other things, Core is designed to teach students professionalism and communication skills through lectures, reading and writing assignments, and class discussion. As an English: Creative Writing major, I appreciate how much the Core Program resonates with my major. While I learn about English topics through reading, writing, and discussing, the Core Program has helped me master these skills and is a large reason why I have been successful in my major. Because both my major and the Core Program are writing- and reading-intensive, I feel very prepared for whatever comes after graduation.
How have the faculty mentored you or given you personal attention?
As an English: Creative Writing major who is double minoring in Art and Physical Education, I get to work with a variety of professors, all of whom really care about their students.
In the Department of English, English students are on a first name basis with our professors. Although I have not had the entire English faculty in class yet, they all take the time to get to know students within the department and reach out to all of us with internship and on-campus opportunities. Professor of English Charles Kerlin is my academic advisor. I have taken several Creative Writing classes with Professor Kerlin, where he always ensures that students receive individual attention by hosting Creative Writing Workshops at the end of every course. We are all required to bring a couple pieces of our work to class, and both he and our peers workshop the pieces. This process is an opportunity for students to receive direct feedback, which helps students improve their writing. Professor Kerlin also requires his students to put together a portfolio throughout the semester. He schedules meetings with every student at midterm and at the end of every semester to personally go over the portfolio. I feel very blessed to be part of the Department of English and am thankful for the faculty members.
It is also clear that the Department of Physical Education cares about their students, specifically Assistant Professor of Physical Education Dr. Gary Sanders. Although I do not have a Physical Education advisor, Dr. Sanders has sat down with me several times to discuss my course schedule and my goals for my future. That said, Dr. Sanders does not just worry about how his students are doing academically. If any of his students are involved in campus activities, such as the Columbian Players and athletics, Dr. Sanders makes a point to be at the play or the big game. I am very appreciative of Dr. Sanders’ dedication to his students.
When I came to SJC, I did not plan on double minoring until I took Drawing I with Instructor of Art Corey Crum. Because I love to paint and draw, I took Drawing I my freshman year as an elective. However, before the semester was over, Corey convinced me to add Art as a second minor, and I am so happy that I did. Thanks to the Department of Art, I am studying something I am passionate about and loving every minute of it. The Department of Art often takes field trips to Indianapolis and Chicago, and Professor of Art Bonnie Zimmer often invites students to her home for dinner. I am very thankful to be an Art student and for the Art faculty.
SJC’s Family and Community Atmosphere
SJC’s family and community atmosphere is evident. Not only are students not just a number to the College’s faculty and staff, but students genuinely care about one another. Because SJC is a small campus, it is not difficult to know almost everyone by first name. Thus, it is incredibly easy to make friends. For example, my best friend and roommate, Adriana Lugosan ‘16, is double majoring in Biology and Chemistry. Whoever would have thought that an English major and a science major would have so much in common? Whether you are shy or social, you will not have trouble fitting in at SJC and will make friendships that will last a lifetime.
How are you getting real-life, hands-on experience?
SJC does a great job of ensuring that students receive real-life experience through internships, on-campus job opportunities, and clubs and activities. I am fortunate to have a job in SJC’s Integrated Marketing Office as a marketing assistant. Since my freshman year, the Integrated Marketing Office has given me opportunities to write and edit news releases, feature stories, web pages, microsites, alumni and student success stories, and various other publications on behalf of the College. Christine and Ben also hired me as an intern the summer after my freshman year to help with the new SJC website, which was launched in fall of 2013. I cannot even begin to express my appreciation to the Integrated Marketing Office. Thanks to the Integrated Marketing Office, not only have my writing skills improved, but I have also learned about web design, marketing techniques, publishing, and more. I also have a large portfolio for a student still working on her undergraduate degree. Although I am not studying Marketing, my job has inspired me to pursue a career in Marketing.
Integrated Marketing also referred me to the Rensselaer Republican, Rensselaer’s newspaper. Since the spring of 2013, I have been a stringer for the Rensselaer Republican, meaning I write articles as needed. At this point, I have had many articles in the newspaper, several of which appeared on the front page.
What are your plans for the future?
After graduating, I plan to pursue my MBA, possibly at SJC. I would like to work in marketing and bridge the gap between my English: Creative Writing major and Art minor. Ideally, I would like a job in marketing that is writing-intensive for a museum or art program or organization.
Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.
Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.
The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.
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