Dejah Gilliam G'17

December 5, 2017

“Newhouse is number one in the nation for public relations, I wanted to be number one, too. I always felt wanted, everyone I encountered made me feel like a family before I was officially a student.”

A photo of Dejah Gilliam G'17
Dejah Gilliam G'17

Dejah Gilliam G’17 graduated with a degree in public relations. She currently works as an integrated marketing communications coordinator at NASCAR where she interned during her time at Newhouse.

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

Before becoming full-time with NASCAR, I was a NASCAR diversity intern. I held my internship in the same department that I work in now. I worked really hard, stayed true to myself and expressed my interest in the company.

What are your job responsibilities?

Everyday is different. That’s exactly why I love it! Much of my time is spent doing entertainment marketing, from assisting with media outreach for celebrities that come to race tracks to help promoting televisions shows and movies that have race car drivers integrated in them. The rest of my time is disbursed coordinating media and public relations with the NASCAR Foundation, driver integrations in non-NASCAR related activities and so much more.

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

Everything that I learned in my short amount of time at Newhouse I have already used in one way or another. I’m a better communicator, leader and team player.

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

I came into the program knowing that I wanted to do sports. But every class that I had opened my eyes to new professions. At one point, I wanted to do public relations for the healthcare industry and even airlines.

Why did you select Newhouse for graduate studies?

Newhouse is number one in the nation for public relations, I wanted to be number one, too. I always felt wanted, everyone I encountered made me feel like a family before I was officially a student. I also wanted to be in the sports industry and the sports legacy at Syracuse is so strong.

“If you’re not first, you’re last!” – Ricky Bobby.

What was unique about your graduate program?

My cohort was so dynamic. None of us were interested in the same industry, we were able to tailor our program to meet our needs and desires.

Describe your most valuable/significant experience at Newhouse.

I was always challenged to go beyond my comfort zone. From the summer bootcamp to working on a financial campaign I grew to be tremendously well-rounded in the field of public relations. Bootcamp is where I met some of my lifelong friends, was gifted mentors and became a better writer.

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

My heart beats for the career center, myself and a few of my friends lived in that office! Whenever I need real life advice, I went there. Salary negotiating tips, that was my first stop. Yet, the career center can only benefit you if you take the initiative. While at Newhouse I volunteered with the Buffalo Bills during training camp in their media relations department and I was a graduate assistant for the W2O Group Center for Social Commerce. I was a public relations intern for the Syracuse University Athletic Communications department, and a public relations and marketing intern for Bankers Healthcare Group.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

Go for it! Don’t expect things to be handed to you. Yes, the Newhouse name will take you far but what are you willing to do to stand out? Network like crazy, maintain connections and reward yourself. Oh! Please take crisis communications and employee communications, you’ll need it no matter where you work!

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