Bridget Andrews G'10

January 4, 2018

“When I look at a problem, I can see the steps to solve it and I have the confidence to take those steps quickly. That confidence came from Newhouse and how tightly they structure their program around group work and projects.”

A photo of Bridget Andrews G'10
Bridget Andrews G'10

Bridget Andrews, G’10, graduated with a degree in advertising. She is currently a brand group director for Horizon Media. She has also worked at Zimmerman Advertising and OrangeRoc prior to Horizon Media.

How did you obtain your current position, and what positions did you hold before it?

I’ve been at Horizon since the beginning of 2014. I was hired as a senior strategist, and worked my way up to brand group director within Horizon Next, which is Horizon Media’s direct marketing division. I came to New York City by an indirect route, working both in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at Zimmerman Advertising, and at a boutique creative agency, OrangeRoc, in Honolulu, Haiwaii first. In each of my roles I learned something valuable, which helped me later excel at Horizon. If I’ve learned nothing else it’s that each experience has the potential to be valuable, and you take out of your career what you put into it.

What are your job responsibilities?

I manage a handful of national and local accounts, with a team of six working under my supervision. My job is to make sure that our strategy is on point and delivering to client goals, whether that be sales growth, lead efficiency or awareness. I work closely with my team to make sure they understand the projects that they’re working on and how they align with the larger client strategy. Similarly, I liaison with various teams across Horizon, from buying teams to our analytics division, so the work we deliver is fully integrated and on time.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job? What hard/soft skills did you learn at Newhouse?

More than anything else, Newhouse taught me how to be proactive, find answers and raise my hand. Coming out of my undergraduate degree, I didn’t have a lot of experience in group projects or projects without hard parameters. I was used to paper writing and multiple-choice tests—which is of limited use in the real world. Newhouse was a whole new experience in working with a group and learning to raise my opinions early and confidently. I attribute a lot of my success in my career to how proactive I am in the workplace, even without specific direction. When I look at a problem, I can see the steps to solve it and I have the confidence to take those steps quickly. That confidence came from Newhouse and how tightly they structure their program around group work and projects. The capstone class is invaluable.

Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions you may have not considered when applying?

My undergraduate degree was in journalism, so I knew very little about the advertising industry and the different jobs it offered. I thought I wanted a position as an account executive when I started the program, but my perfect fit was media planning. I wouldn’t be in the career path I’m in without Newhouse.

Why did you select Newhouse for graduate studies?

A graduate degree is a huge investment in both time and money. I was determined to attend a top program in the industry, or not attend at all. Syracuse was part of an incredibly short list that I applied to, and of all the programs it fit what I wanted the best—it was laser focused on advertising (as opposed to a broader marketing degree), with a pristine reputation in the industry and huge alumni network once I graduated.

What was unique about your graduate program?

I loved how small the program was. There were only 19 students in the master’s program the year I attended, which meant you really got to know your fellow classmates and never felt lost in the crowd to the professors. In our capstone class we pulled together three full advertising campaigns in the six weeks. We were the first class to do three projects, and I believe we were also the last class to do that many! It was a lot of work—the groups practically lived in the computer labs, but was also a great experience. I really bonded with my group and it was great practice for juggling the real world workload.

How did the Newhouse Career Development Center aid you? What internships or volunteer opportunities did you do while at Newhouse? 

The Career Development Center helped me tweak my resume and provided advice prior to my first interviews. I did an internship at a local TV station during my second semester. Although it was an interesting experience, what I took away from it most was that I didn’t want to make a career out of media sales—I’m much more suited for the strategy side of the business. There’s a really specific person that excels in each role within advertising, whether it be on the sales or the agency side. Internships are invaluable when it comes to figuring out what that best fit is.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students? Any classes or professors that you recommend?

Back to what I said in the beginning, you’ll get out of Newhouse what you put in. Push yourself. Take on roles that you never thought you wanted. Raise your hand and be comfortable with being uncomfortable. One of the first things I did in the boot camp semester was apply for a teaching assistant job. I got an interview, but I didn’t get the job, so I went to the professor and asked him what I did wrong. It was an uncomfortable question to ask and something I never would have done in undergrad. He told me I was “forgettable” (talk about harsh!), and then encouraged me to speak up more often. He knew I was in his classes, but I almost never volunteered answers. After that I tried to always have my hand up, to have an opinion—even when it was different from other people's, and to stand out. It opened a lot of doors for me. He remembered who I was after that meeting and saw the effort I was putting in. He recommended me for a private seminar with Saatchi and Saatchi’s Kevin Roberts later that year (only 20 advertising students total and five master’s students were invited). After I turned in my final exam, he followed me out and told me that Dr. Tsao, the head of the department, was going to be posting a teaching assistant job for the second semester and I should reach out now. I emailed Dr. Tsao as soon as I got home, and he hired me. Long story short—it’s a short year, so make the most out of it!