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Business students find positions in creative, marketing, media and public relations roles at OHIO Communication Conference

Tuesday, January 30 2018 03:00pm

Cross-campus collaboration between the College of Business and Scripps College of Communication provides networking opportunity for students

By Julia Brown and Claire Berlin

The first OHIO Communication Conference, which was held Jan. 25-26, ushered in a new era of collaboration between Ohio University’s College of Business and the Scripps College of Communication. The conference featured three events, all aimed at preparing students to find jobs in creative, marketing, media and public relations positions and to hear from successful industry professionals.

According to Scripps College of Communication Assistant Dean Greg Moeller, the OHIO Communication Conference was about two years in the making and spearheaded when Karen Peters, Scripps College of Communication internship and student services specialist, and Linsey Hugo, College of Business director of employer relations and strategic outreach, got together and realized that our students needed something more.

“We felt like the attendance and participation were outstanding and the Employer Expo met the attendance expectations,” said Moeller. “Students were very engaged with employers and there were many outstanding conversations that were had. We expect this event to grow and see more attendance in 2019.”

The conference kicked-off Jan. 23 with a preparation workshop facilitated by the College of Business’ Career & Student Success Center. The workshop was led by Career Coach Gracie Ede, who instructed students how to be genuine when talking to employers and the right body language to exude confidence. Participants, who were split evenly between the two colleges, were encouraged to pair up to practice the skills they had learned.

"This conference was important to our students because it focused attention and provided learning opportunities on marketing, communications, and digital firms and enabled over 300 students to attend an industry-focused career fair to support their searches for internships and full-time jobs,” said College of Business Senior Associate Dean Dr. Chris Moberg.

The Employer Expo on Jan. 25 featured 23 organizations who were excited to talk about their opportunities with students. Senior Sarah Wagner, who studies strategic communication in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, described having to leave the Expo and come back with more copies of her resume. “All of the employers seemed really enthusiastic and excited to be here,” Wagner said.

Her thoughts were echoed by two of the employers present. Tobias Roediger, BS '01, was at the Expo representing RAVE. He explained that his decision to participate in the Expo was simple, because it was a good way to re-engage with the Ohio University community. Tom Baker, BFA ‘86, who represented Cox Media Group said the Expo exceeded his expectations. “Students were well-prepared, presentable and professional,” Baker said.

Both Baker and Roediger were among the employers who conducted on-campus interviews with selected students on Jan. 26. “If I had had the time, I wish I could have conducted more interviews,” Baker said.

That same day, the conference concluded with a Speaker Series that revolved around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the world of communications. The series featured a keynote talk from Paul Roetzer, BS ’00, the founder and CEO of PR 20/20. He focused on how companies can use AI to create personal and customizable content for clients and consumers. Roetzer told students that in the future “the way you do your job, what you will use, will all be based on AI.”

Following Roetzer’s speech, there was a panel discussion with Stacey King Gordon, BS '96 and MBA ‘16, content strategist at Facebook, and Matt Feeman, BBA '97, market segment executive at Apple. Both professionals discussed how the AI technology trend has impacted their jobs and companies recently.

“We are starting to do things like bots, but we are using humans to shape that strategy,” said Gordon. “We are working hard to bring empathy and humanity into our products.”

“We’re looking at and talking internally about machine learning,” said Feeman. “We talk about AI and how do we use this and still have consumers keep their privacy and be in control of their own data.”

Moberg, who was excited by the success of the event, said “Personally, beyond the impact provided to students, the most rewarding aspect of the event was the collaboration between the College of Business and the Scripps College of Communication in planning and delivering a meaningful and high-quality event by working together. It is yet another example of the impact that can be achieved by focusing on students’ needs first and partnering together in a positive manner."

View photos from this year’s conference on flickr (photos by Jorge Castillo Castro, courtesy of Scripps College of Communication).