In the spring of 2019, Janet Diane White graduated from Newhouse with a master’s in public relations. Before moving to Syracuse, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Boston, Massachusetts, where she worked alongside Mayor Martin J. Walsh on an impact initiative called Love Your Block.
“I think Newhouse’s rigorous curriculum helped me to craft a strong work ethic, which has served me very well in a constantly changing industry.”Janet White G’19
During her time at Newhouse, she worked as a research assistant before interning with Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE). On campus, White served as the public relations senator in the Graduate Student Organization (GSO). She was also a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA).
Janet Diane White currently works in New York City as assistant account executive at FCB Health Network, a marketing and advertising agency.
What’s an average day like for you on the job?
Since I am working on a global brand, my day can start with a meeting as early as 7 a.m. with our international clients. After morning meetings, I spend my day aligning client expectations and deliverables with the internal creative team for tactical execution. Which means, I tell my internal team what our client wants and they advise on how long it’ll take complete or whether the project is possible within our scope. On a day to day basis, my role includes answering emails, attending both internal and external meetings, participating in conference calls, budgeting or financial tracking and maintaining working relationships with global partners.
How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?
Some of the hard skills that I have found helpful have been Photoshop, InDesign, Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Google Analytics. For example, in summer 2018, during boot camp, PR and advertising graduate students were required to take graphic design. This was very useful in helping my intern team structure an aesthetically pleasing presentation that we presented in front of FCB’s chief executives. I am also very grateful to have taken a research course because I believe the successful delivery of a well-researched presentation helped me in securing my current position.
Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions or aspects of your field you may have not considered when applying?
Yes, I would have never considered pharmaceutical advertising as a career option without Newhouse opening my eyes to the many aspects of not only my field but the entire communications industry. I think what makes Newhouse unique is its broad curriculum. It allowed me to learn skills that I can carry throughout a multitude of industries.
What unique features of your graduate program drew you to it in the first place?
The length and reputation of Newhouse’s master’s program drew me to the school. The diversity of the professors was also a considerable influence.
How did the Newhouse Career Development Center aid you?
I utilized the CDC throughout my entire time at Newhouse. I probably had the office review my résumé at least four times to prep me for the career fair, where I got the opportunity that eventually led to my current position. I also credit the CDC for opening my eyes to professional development resources like LinkedIn and the alumni network, as well as job boards.
What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field that students ought to be aware of?
I think students ought to know that being a professional does not start glamorous. If their goal is to reach the stars, they should be prepared to do a lot of unsatisfying, tedious work. There is no such thing as instant gratification in business. But if they work hard long enough, the stars start to get closer.
What moments in your career have been most exciting or defining thus far?
The most satisfying moments in pharmaceutical advertising is knowing that I am a part of changing lives. Recently, I have had the opportunity to listen in on market research and hear from actual patients and their experience with the condition I work every day to improve. Moments like that remind me why I pursued advertising in the pharmaceutical industry.
What advice do you have for current or incoming students?
My advice for current or incoming students is to do everything possible. Join extracurriculars, make new friends, talk to your professors, stay up-to-date on current events, start a new hobby, build your routine, learn new skills, etc. The more you push yourself now will get you that much closer to where you want to be in the future. Even if it’s 3 a.m. and you are 300 words away from finishing your assignment, find a way to finish it!