Catching Up With:
Jess Falcone – Graduate Student, New York Institute of Technology
Communications Graduate, Class of 2014
When Jess started at Molloy College, she originally chose Education, but quickly decided to become undeclared because she was unsure of what she wanted to do as a career. She tried out a few courses to test the waters and working on finding a major that would be the perfect fit for her. “After taking my first COM course, I instantly knew that this was the right choice for me. I loved the creativity and opportunity to branch out into so many different career paths after graduating!” Once Jess chose communications as her major, she decided to not only focus on one specialization. While her main focus and primary area was professional communications, she also minored in media and new media. This offered Jess skills in all three areas of communications. She was able to learn and gain skills in public relations, social media, television, and film production, among other tools.
The first COM course she took was Public Relations Writing with Anna D’Aloisio. Jess found the class to be extremely creative and credits the class for being a primary reason for making her switch from undeclared to becoming an official Communications major. When taking communications courses focusing on her media minor, Jess was involved in many television and film productions. These short films, sitcoms, documentaries and more she produced provided her with some of her fondest memories at Molloy. “My fondest memories are all the late nights spent in the TV studio rehearsing/prepping for productions and spending every finals week in the editing lab in my pajamas, binging on Press195 fries, while going blind from working on Avid and Final Cut for 10+ hours a day!” In all of the productions Jess worked on, she is most proud of her short film called “There’s No Place Like Home”, which was her final project for Advanced Television Production in her senior year. She wrote, directed and edited the project all on her own! “This project in particular made me realize that I had come full circle – I entered the COM department with zero experience & literally didn’t even know how to turn on a camera. Now I had created an entire production from script through post-production by myself, which made me realize how much I had learned over the last few years and how far I had truly come.”
Molloy and the communications department values the small classroom sizes we have and the ability it offers us to work one-on-one with our students. Before graduating, Jess received a lot of advice from her Professors that continue to help her today. “Professor Tom Kenny has always been my biggest cheerleader, and still is to this day! He always reminds me that hard work pays off and to never give up on achieving your dreams. The world of Communications: Media is a tough industry but if you stay strong, work hard, and keep a positive attitude, success will be right around the corner!” After graduating, Jess was hired at CARAT, a media agency in NYC where she is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) assistant on the Pfizer Pharmaceuticals account. The daily tasks Jess had to complete were all heavily communication based. She was constantly communicating with creative agencies and clients to stay aligned during every SEO refresh for each brand via e-mail, phone calls, and meetings. “I developed Meta Data and URL recommendations which enhance the organic strength of each brand’s website, basically helping Pfizer’s drugs rank at the top of results on Google. I’m was also responsible for gathering & analyzing data for monthly and quarterly reports to demonstrate how well each brand is performing from an organic search perspective.”
There are specific courses that Jess took at Molloy under the communications department that helped her complete all of her tasks and responsibilities at CARAT. Specifically, she credits the new media courses for really helping her due to them being specifically digital/online based. These courses include Online Content Production, Digital Public Relations, and History of Digital Media. Jess also found Public Speaking with Lynn Kennedy being a huge help in boosting her confidence, as she was required to speak on conference calls and make presentations at work on a regular basis. In giving advice to students taking their first semester at Molloy and their first communications course, Jess says to always work hard! “Although Communications can be extremely fun, creative, and rewarding, it requires a lot of work and long hours to be put into every course! If you’re truly passionate and give 100% effort into every advertising campaign, video production and research paper you’re setting yourself up for a successful future!” She also offered advice to students who are about to graduate. Jess believes students should cherish every second of the time they have left at Molloy, but also to make a game plan for post grad life. “Start researching jobs, making connections, and sending out your resume during your last semester to make the transition into the real world that much easier. Your professors are your biggest resource and are there to help you prepare for life after graduation, so use them to your advantage! Let them review your resume and cover letter 1,000 times, set up mock interviews with them, and ask for their advice on applying. Don’t forget to have some fun though and enjoy your last few months before becoming a real adult!”
While Jess enjoyed her position at CARAT, she left over the summer to achieve her goal in film and television. Jess is currently attending graduate school at the New York Institute of Technology pursuing a Master of Arts in Communications. “I never want to feel complacent or stagnated, so I plan on continuing to push myself, try new things, and be the happiest and best version of myself”