Dave Cannon R’10, marketing major, found his calling for social media communications while working at the Career Development Center (CDC) as a communications associate intern.  His position with the CDC ultimately landed him a spot in Ruder Finn’s (a major Public Relations firm based in New York City) 4-month Social Media Executive trainee program.

Jenny Pedraza, Communications Manager at the CDC, posted the internship opportunity through the Student Employment Office and was very impressed with Dave’s videography skills during their interview.  

During his internship, Dave wrote stories and filmed events at the University; “I did a lot of different things, including photographing and filming CDC-organized events and editing the footage into videos for the CDC homepage. I also wrote feature stories about students [and student] organizations on campus,” he said.  

It was through the CDC Spider Road Trip to New York (for Spiders in Media and Communications) that Dave was first introduced to Ruder Finn.  

“The CDC’s Spider Road Trip program is really outstanding. Our staff takes 20 to 25 students per trip to explore different industries in major metropolitan areas. During the trips, students get to visit organizations in a specific field, meet alumni who work there, and get a glimpse into day-to-day life. They are also able to make essential connections with alumni for professional networking and learn about internship programs and full-time opportunities,” Jenny explained.

“They told us about their Executive Training Program for recent college graduates, and I decided to apply,” he said.  Pedraza was very influential in Dave’s selection process with Ruder Finn in which Dave had to submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample, two letters of recommendation and three application essays.

Dave’s first interview was an in-person, panel-style meeting with about six current employees from Ruder Finn’s corporate office.  From there, Dave had two separate phone interviews before being selected for the position.

Dave will spend the next few months attending weekly classes in public relations and doing blogging work. “It’s a 4-month program with weekly classes sprinkled throughout to introduce us to the field of PR. That said, most trainees are hired at the end of the program,” according to Dave.  

Dave’s favorite aspect of the trainee program is the time he gets to devote to blogging: “Writing the blog posts is the most fun, mainly because I love to write, and I get to do it in my own tone of voice,” he said.

Even though Dave’s days of sitting in a classroom in the Robins School are a few months behind him, he still finds discussions during his undergraduate studies to be critical to his day-to-day work life. “In the business world it’s really important to speak up when you don’t understand something, and to offer up your opinion when you have something to add. Not only does this make you stand out as a valuable employee, but getting feedback about your ideas is a great action-oriented way to learn the business. The discussion-based format of classes in the Robins School acclimated me very well to this sort of environment,” said Dave.