Padraic Kane G'17

November 21, 2019

“Be open. Don’t feel like you have to follow the same path that every person did before. If you want to try a class in a different program or even a different school, do it.”

Padraic Kane G'17
Padraic Kane G'17

Padraic Kane graduated in 2017 from the Newhouse dual-degree Media and Education program. Kane then worked for Snapchat as a story editor, where he curated stories featured in the app, such as the Super Bowl and Black History Month. Kane is also a member of the Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Currently, Kane is a communications specialist for the healthcare justice union, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, at their office in Los Angeles, California.

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

After leaving Syracuse in 2017, I took a job at Snapchat where I was a story editor. I worked there for about a year and some change. Towards the end, I knew I wanted to seek something that had a more meaningful purpose and a social justice component. I was familiar with SEIU from a close friend/alumnus I met at Syracuse, so I knew their whole premise was social justice for workers. I stumbled upon the job while I was still at Snapchat, and it jumped out at me because it still had a huge creative component, but also a strong communications aspect to it as well. I went into an interview and instantly clicked with the director and coordinator and was offered the job the next day.

What’s an average day like for you on the job?

A typical day can consist of a wide range of things. We represent many, if not most, of the hospitals in California and they all have their own campaigns and things they are working for to improve their job and working conditions. Being a communications specialist, it’s [my] job to create content for them to use, be it flyers, texts, graphics, photos and even speaker prep if need be. That’s where the creative piece comes in. The reigns are really ours to try new things, especially in the digital age. Most of the time I am creating content via Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere, so it’s great.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

The media and education program was great! Being part of the first cohort, we really got the opportunity to tailor our courses and capstone to what we wanted and needed. The professors were always amazing and there for you when you needed them. The education component helped me become more grounded in issues that we see in society, and the media side taught me how to be cognizant on how important representation is in the media.

For my capstone, I was able to take a deeper look into my own personal story, and things I’ve gone through, and turn it into a script which was challenging and a fun process. This has helped a lot when I have to interview, to prep workers to talk to the media, and for different print pieces I’ve produced and helping them develop their own voice.

Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions or and aspect of your field you may have not considered when applying?

Yes, for sure. I think a lot of times students just think film and TV when there’s so much more that falls under the umbrella of communications.

What unique features of your graduate program drew you to it in the first place?

I loved the [summer] ‘boot camp’ we did to kick off the program. If there’s ever a way to get you adjusted to grad school, that’s it! It was great culminating the ‘boot camp’ with the short movie project.

What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field that students ought to be aware of?

I would say that my field falls under that realm of communications. I know a lot of jobs that are titled as communicator or specialist may seem dry, but I think they can be just as creative as mainstream media roles.

What moments in your career have been most exciting or defining thus far?

I think my first was at Snapchat when I was appointed the person to edit the first Black History Month Story for the platform. I was able to launch filters all over the U.S. and help curate a story that was for the culture! Knowing that the final story was reaching so many people and actually seeing the metrics was amazing.

[The] second was just recently, when our communications team was literally working day and night to produce content for our Kaiser workers, which is about 80,000 workers in California, who were in a battle for their jobs with Kaiser. The strategy and content that we produced were amazing. A couple weeks ago, Kaiser settled, and the workers got the contract they deserved. Being in the room when they found out was amazing, they were so happy!

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

Be patient! I know the job search process can be grueling but, trust me, something will fall. Professor Schoonmaker was great! He really was there for us every step of the way.