Catching Up With: Jillian Nichtern
Communications Graduate, Class of 2011
Jillian’s journey through college began at Salisbury University in Maryland as an art major. After realizing the major was not for her, she pursued other interests. After transferring to Molloy College, she decided to major in Communications. “Since a fairly young age, I was always creative, extremely conversational and interested in people so furthering my communication skills seemed to be the best way to marry my skills and interests”, said Jillian. After taking a few professional communications courses at Salisbury University, Jillian was able to continue taking those courses here at Molloy College as well as finding a new passion in media communications.
During her tenure at Molloy College as a communications student, Jillian built many memorable memories that will last her a lifetime including staying up late writing screen plays, shooting short films and documentaries in the field, and living in the TV studio to edit for hours on end to have the best possible product to present. “I met some of the greatest people who I shared truly exciting experiences with and a lifetime of laughter and memories that I will forever cherish”, said Jillian. Some of her favorite courses were all of her media production classes due to writing her own scripts, directing, acting and editing being the most challenging yet rewarding work of her life to date. In talking about her media production courses, Jillian stated, “I met professors and fellow students who helped shape me as an individual, whether or not I realized it at the time, and I am forever indebted to these extraordinary people.” She also enjoyed taking Dr. Janice Kelly’s gender and communication course in the professional specialization. In taking this course Jillian mentioned, “ It created a broad scope of exposure that I believe aided me not only in preparing me for a professional career but has since helped me post graduation as I progress in my field. I enjoy being able to have in depth conversations with friends and acquaintances as well as even sometimes teaching someone useful information or a fun fact they didn’t know.”
When taking a media production course, students spend many hours on three stages, which includes scriptwriting, filming and video editing to complete their television pilot, film, documentary, etc. When asked if there was any advice she would give to media students, Jillian first said it was important for students to have fun and enjoy every moment of the experience. She also added it is extremely important to not wait until the last minute to do anything because you will regret not completing a project to the best of your abilities and you didn’t give yourself enough time to prepare and/or finish. “Remember to be as creative as you can and don’t inhibit your creativity in fear that others will judge you, won’t appreciate or enjoy your work. If you give a film project, paper etc. your full attention and put forth all skills and efforts possible, you and your professor are the only people who truly need to appreciate and be proud of it”, said Jillian.
All communications students are required to have internship to gain hands on experience with the skills they have learned in the classroom. Jillian interned at two places. First, she interned at Century 21 Real Estate in Oceanside, NY as their social media coordinator. Some of her responsibilities included creating Facebook pages for both the Long Beach and Oceanside communities, research information, and take photographs of the area for potential buyers and current residents to learn about the neighborhoods. For her second internship, Jillian worked at a corporate investment bank in Manhattan under the internal Event Marketing and Hospitality Team. Some of her responsibilities included assisting the lead planners with preparing for major client events by organizing attendee lists, creating name tags, shipping and ordering event materials and often staffing conferences, sporting events, closing dinners, etc. to experience the execution of client events and entertainment through its entirety. These responsibilities also included assisting the Hospitality Team with the management of their internal ticket inventory at the major arenas in the NY, Chicago, Boston and LA areas. This internship paved the way for Jillian to gain her current position at the firm where she works full time with the Hospitality Team as a lead planner.
In asking if there was any advice she would offer to current students looking for an internship or about to start their internship, Jillian stated she would advise anyone in their junior year to start exploring internship options and applying as soon as possible. She said her biggest mistake was not doing her research and expecting the internship to just present itself to her as easily as selecting a course. Jillian added, “An internship is by far one of the most independent and important responsibilities you will take on in your entire college career; comparable to nursing students who have to complete clinical throughout their years of studying, not only is it required in order to complete your degree and graduate, but the benefits are far more rewarding than you will realize. The more experience and knowledge gained will not only benefit and educate you as an individual but will also help you to prepare for your future by building your resume and networking with professional individuals who could potentially help you find a career post graduation or even later in your career/life.”
After graduation, Jillian began working full time at an investment bank working in the corporate Event Marketing and Hospitality department. Jillian stated that communications plays a major role in her day-to-day responsibilities due to having to connect to other employees, clients, external vendors and other business contacts. Management has often praised her in her evaluations for her writing abilities and strong communication skills, which she strongly credits to her degree in Communications. Unbeknownst to her at the time, her communications courses were mini training sessions that eventually helped her transition into the workforce. Jillian states, “As students, we not only learned from our textbooks but we also learned from our exchanges with one another as we were involved in an interactive environment, group projects, video clips and the professors’ lectures. Group projects are also a really great stepping stone for the post-grad life. This is where students realize that no two people are alike and more often than not, personalities tend to clash. You need to exert yourself in order to find a healthy balance within yourself that promotes both leadership skills as well as collaborative effort, aka team work.”
In asking Jillian her goals for the future, she finds her priorities changing and wants to find the right balance between her career, spending time with family and starting a family of her own someday. Jillian closed out by stating, “I would really love to find myself in a place in a few years from now doing something that I love and that I am truly passionate about. I want to wake up everyday loving my life and living it to the fullest. I’m using my early years as stepping stones to help set up whatever it is I would eventually like to achieve in the future. Life is not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself, and so you must set your own goals and work towards them in order to reach them. Who knows, maybe I will even end up running my own small business one day.”