The Newhouse School’s Newhouse NYC program is a one-semester experience that allows students to intern for a prestigious media company while taking specialized coursework in New York City. For three alumni, their internships became more than just experience on a resume, but full-time, dream positions.
By Samantha Rodino
Brian Chau ‘22, an alumnus of the Newhouse advertising program, is now a junior art director at advertising agency Merkley+Partners. Chau works on visuals, concepting, online videos, TV commercials and social media posts for many companies, including the hamburger restaurant chain, White Castle.
“Anytime you see an Instagram post or story there, a radio commercial, TV spot or commercial, I usually helped out in some capacity,” Chau says.
In the fall of his senior year, Chau interned with Merkley through the Newhouse NYC program. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the agency’s safety protocols, Chau’s internship was remote. “Working remotely was a good way to ease myself into making sure I’m working the set time I needed to, while still keeping myself in check.”
The agency helped him transition into his internship and emphasized that no idea was bad. “Merkley was really good at making sure everyone was working well together and had a good work-life balance,” Chau says. “They also made sure that while we’re still interns, we’re still responsible for projects that we’re doing.”
While working remotely, Chau couldn’t interact with co-workers as he would in an office, only seeing them for an hour or two per day. It made it difficult for Chau to get to know his co-workers on a personal level. “Especially as an art director, I have to work really well with my copywriter, my account team, my commercial team,” he says. “So, it helps if we know each other better as people and to help bounce ideas off each other.”
But those challenges didn’t slow him down, and after his internship ended, Merkley asked if Chau would like to work part time during his final semester at Syracuse University. He took the opportunity and established a schedule of less demanding projects to balance his academics and work.
By transforming his internship into a job, Chau did what many students hope to do. Being a team player and having a positive mindset are his keys to any interns looking to make that transition. “You need to communicate well, work well, and you need to be nice. If you have that good vibe around you, it will translate to the company wanting you around.”
Samantha Rodino is a first-year student in the television, radio and film program at the Newhouse School.
By Griffin Uribe Brown
Diana Kofman ’20, G’21 graduated from Syracuse University twice: once with her undergraduate public relations degree in 2020, and again in 2021 with her master’s in public administration. As an undergraduate, she interned at APCO Worldwide, a company that in turn offered her a job after she finished her graduate degree.
Kofman first came to Newhouse undeclared in the fall of 2016, eventually majoring in public relations. She interned at APCO, an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy firm, while completing the Newhouse NYC program in 2019.
Newhouse NYC director “Cheryl Brody Franklin sent over a list of organizations and companies that Newhouse had a connection with and there was someone from APCO on that list, and so it felt like fate,” Kofman says. “I reached out to her and she helped me secure my internship.”
At the firm, she found a welcoming environment filled with opportunity. As a client services intern, she worked directly on a client-facing account, managing a range of tasks and daily deliverables from media monitoring to drafting press releases.
As she was completing her master’s degree, Kofman stayed in touch with internship co-workers, keeping them updated on her studies and desire to work at APCO again. “I never applied to APCO specifically,” Kofman says. “I got an email one day from one of the HR reps and they asked if I’d be interested in coming back.”
Kofman credits her Newhouse education for laying the groundwork for her public relations knowledge and helping her feel fully prepared for her position. She also emphasizes the value placed on networking and making connections, especially within the Newhouse Network.
“The only advice that I have is to keep applying, keep putting your name out there, keep following up with connections and reaching out to people on LinkedIn,” Kofman says. “The Newhouse Network is strong and everyone’s always looking to help one another out.”
Griffin Uribe Brown is a first-year student in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.
By Brooke Borzymowski
During her Newhouse NYC semester, broadcast and digital journalism alumna Adrianne Morales ‘21 was a social media intern at NBC News. When it came time to graduate and leave the television network, Morales cried; the experience and team had been so special to her. That’s why getting a call from her manager to apply for a position was “truly like God’s grace.”
After leaving NBC, Morales began a temporary fellowship with another company. As she was looking around for her next career move, her former NBC manager happened to present the opportunity to come back. After thinking it through, Morales made what was the right decision in the end.
“This was kind of my dream team, like exactly where I wanted to go,” Morales says. “So when [my manager] called me back, I said, ‘There’s an opportunity to be on this super small team where there’s never any openings. Absolutely I’m interested.’”
In January 2022, Morales became a social media coordinator, a role that was supposed to be temporary. Nine months into her year-long contract, it was up to Morales’ team to figure out how they could keep her there.
Ultimately, a social platforms editor position opened up at NBC News and her team encouraged her to apply for a more permanent role. Though Morales was competing with other applicants, she got the job. “It went from internship to fellowship to contract position to real job,” she says. “Now I’m permanent.”
Morales’ best advice for turning an internship into a job is keeping in contact with everyone you meet and requesting colleagues and peers on social media to stay in each other’s lives even when you have moved on from a position.
As for the future, Morales doesn’t see herself anywhere else. “Hopefully, this is a 30-year thing for me.”
Brooke Borzymowski is a sophomore broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School.