Over this past fall break, I had the pleasure of attending the New York City Career Trek with nine other Wake Forest students and three Office of Career & Personal Development employees. For those of you who do not know what a career trek is, it is when a group of students travel throughout a city visiting different companies, organizations or agencies while learning about a possible career or industry and the skills that are necessary to succeed in that business.
The New York City Trek was focused on marketing, public relations and advertising. We were able to visit five Fortune 500 hundred companies: Sirius XM + Pandora, Vaynermedia, Tapestry, ESPN and Ogilvy. These five companies held creative presentations and discussions which created a dialogue for Wake Forest students to learn what it is like working at the company.
Our first stop was at Sirius XM + Pandora where we were met in a conference room and spoke with four current employees about their experiences working at the company. The conversation was fascinating and allowed us to engage with the employees and learn about the office environment and what goes on day-to-day. The most exciting part of our visit was when we walked past Sway from “Sway in the Morning.” He brought us into his studio and put us “on air,” asking each of us to speak about our life and time at Wake Forest. It was an incredible experience that we will never forget.
The next stop was at Vaynermedia, which is an agency that creates digital content for companies. Currently, the CEO, Gary Vaynerchuk, is very well known for his inspirational messages and a large presence on the new social media app TikTok. Later that day, we visited Tapestry, which is a company that does marketing, PR and advertising for Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, three renowned fashion companies.
At Tapestry, we were able to meet with three Wake Forest alumni: Amanda Hoecker Arena, Brooke Edgar and Sarah Stewart, who gave us great insight on life after Wake Forest and working at Tapestry. We ended our first day with a networking reception at the Cornell Club, where we were able to meet even more Wake Forest alumni and hear about their stories working in the industry and receiving advice from them.
During the second day, we visited ESPN and Ogilvy. ESPN was an unbelievable experience where we were able to meet people who directly worked with well-known advertising campaigns. Additionally, we were able to meet the vice president of marketing at ESPN, Seth Ader. Ader stressed the idea of being audience-centered. He explained that speaking for the audience instead of at the audience will allow you to be a successful marketer.
The trek ended with our final stop at Ogilvy, which is an agency similar to Vaynermedia. At Ogilvy, we were also able to meet with employees and more Wake Forest alumni, Leigh Moriarty and Marshall Shaffer, and learn about their time working at the agency.
Going on the NYC Career Trek was an amazing opportunity because it allowed me to meet and learn from people who work in the industry that I strive to work in. If you are interested in attending a Career Trek please contact the Office of Career and Personal Development, as it is an opportunity you would not want to miss.