UC Students Connect With Alumni in NYC


Source: Professor Patricia Swann via Dropbox

Morgan Golliver, News Editor

Over spring break, Professor Patricia Swann and 12 students went to New York City for five days where they met with various UC alums, explored the companies they work for and explored the city itself. This was also the first time “PRL 345: Communication in Action” was offered as a course.

Swann, a public relations professor, added the course into the spring 2018 schedule as a way for students to get out of the traditional classroom to interact with UC alumni and to do something fun over spring break.

“I found a trend that most students just went home over break and didn’t do anything exciting, so I thought why not go to NYC, have fun and take advantage of the opportunities the city has to offer,” Swann said. “NYC was also a great asset for us because we have alumni that are in very high positions and want to interact with our students.”

Before attending the trip, students were given a booklet that included a study guide, which they were quizzed on, and day-by-day readings to have a better understanding about who they were meeting.

UC alum Tom McGinty of the Wall Street Journal was one of the professionals which Swann said was valuable for students to meet.

“We actually met Tom, so those that read the article were familiar with him and could ask him information on his article in person,” Swann said.

Swann is hoping to teach the course again next year the alumni are willing to work with students again.

Public relations student Kelsey Carlo has taken many classes in her major, which have helped her become interested as well as prepared for the course.

The trip was very much like the PR classes I have taken so far,” she said. “The things I have learned and talked about in my classes came up many times while we visited the companies we did. It was so interesting and enjoyable to me because I was finally able to see real cases and campaigns these companies have worked on, and I was finally able to see all of these PR terms and topics put into action.”

In terms of favorite places on the trip, Carlo found it hard to pick just one, because she took away something valuable from each place the group visited.

“I enjoyed 3BL Media because alumnus Dave Armon spoke corporate social responsibility within companies which caught my attention because I wrote my research paper on that topic last semester,” she said. “NBC Studios was obviously so exciting, one of the biggest news outlets in the country, and even better, I stood 5 feet from Lester Holt, which was so cool since I do like him and watch him on the nightly news.”

For senior Jack Anten, it was his first time visiting the Big Apple.

“I come from a rural area with two blue collar, working parents, so I’ve never been to NYC before,” Anten said. “ I also have never worked in an office before, so it was interesting to see what it was like to work in a 9-5 job in a big office.”

Anten said his favorite place to visit on the trip was the 9/11 Memorial, which the group visited on the fourth day.

“I was 6-7 years old when 9/11 happened, so seeing all the footage and actual damage was an eye opener and a moving experience for me personally,” Anten said.

Tangerine special assignment reporter Kaitlyn Tambasco also attended the trip, where she was able to get a feel for the city life and various job opportunities.

Tambasco enjoyed every place the group visited, but the one that stood out to her the most was Ketchum, a big PR firm that guides different companies, such as Wendy’s, to help create relations and reputations that they need to achieve success.

“Ketchum felt like a dream,” Tambasco said. “Ketchum focuses on the creative side of PR and that’s what I am considering going into after college.”

On the third day, the group visited the Wall Street Journal where Tambasco learned valuable journalism tips from UC alum and editor Yvonne Dennis.

“Yvonne said to always be direct with your sources, meaning don’t hide anything from them and always keep your promises to them,”  Tambasco said. “Also, if they happen to say something off the record, don’t include it in the published work.”

The course is over once the students submit their career essay assignments.

“All the places that we visited were very rewarding,” Tambasco said. “ I would definitely recommend this trip to any communication, public relations or business student because the opportunities are endless.”