Meet Newhouse Alumna Brittnee Anderson
Brittnee Anderson ’12 was the 2010-2011 Vice President of Programming for Syracuse PRSSA, a Hill Communications Account Executive and a Newhouse Ambassador. She was also involved in University 100 and was a Communications Director for JERK Magazine and Public Relations Assistant for the Orange Television Network. On top of all that, she interned at ink Public Relations, General Motors, Edelman, SEPHORA and was a Mindfire Contributor, not to mention she studied abroad in Beijing and Brazil. Now a Public Relations Assistant at SEPHORA, the trilingual public relations powerhouse enjoys helping young professionals by writing posts for her blog, p[her]spective.
Q: Why did you choose Newhouse?
A: I wanted to be surrounded by the best of the best. My parents raised me to always set the bar high and then exceed that standard. The reputation of Newhouse, the caliber of its professors, the competitive nature of its students, the abundance of opportunities inside and outside of the classroom – those were major factors for me. Selecting Newhouse was one of the biggest decisions I’ve made of my life, thus far, and it’s also one of the best.
Q: How did you know public relations was for you?
A: I was introduced to public relations the summer after freshman year, and something about that experience just clicked for me. I was fascinated by this notion that brand’s have identities – you see a logo or you hear a tagline and a brand automatically comes into your mind – and I wanted to be a part of shaping and managing a brand’s identity and reputation. What really solidified my commitment to public relations was an internship I did at ink Public Relations in Los Angeles the summer after my sophomore year. I worked with three Newhouse alumni and they gave me hands on experience for all of the public relations fundamentals. I landed three different client placements – one print, one online and one regional magazine – to see the messaging I pitched to an outlet accurately conveyed through these outlets (thus furthering each client’s public awareness) was GOLD to me.
Q: How did Newhouse help to get you where you are now?
A: Newhouse has had such an impact on where I am today.
My first public relations internship in Los Angeles, was because of Newhouse. The account coordinator at the agency was a Newhouse graduate (who knew my advisor well), and she brought me on – despite having no experience. Like so many alumni, she truly wanted that summer to be a learning experience for me, and it was. Subsequent opportunities, from being among the first to join Ketchum Mindfire, to a remote internship with Edelman for TEDxHarlem are because of Newhouse’s strong relationships with top agencies near and far.
In regards to the job hunt, Kelly, Bridget and Judith in the Career Development Center are second-to-none. I attended their workshops, I dropped by for office-hours, I left my resumes and cover letters for editing, and I asked [a lot of] questions. I took the many lessons they taught me into the “real world” and none of it has failed me.
Overall, the passion that I experienced from the faculty and staff at Newhouse and their zeal to see me, and all students, succeed was evident; that’s always been comforting. From adjunct professors, like Gary Grates and Donna Stein, to full-time professors like Maria Russell (who connected me to Newhouse alumni with no hesitation – even when I was in Beijing), their support has been instrumental to my success today.
Q: What is your favorite part about doing PR for Sephora?
A: There are a lot of things I enjoy about my job, but the diversity of initiatives we support is the first thing that comes to my mind. People tend to shy away from in-house public relations because their perception is that it’s mundane, but in my experience (Sephora and an internship with General Motors), I have learned that’s not the case at all. Sephora’s public relations team supports individual brands, in-store events, store openings, BEAUTY INSIDER and Sephora PRO, to name a few. There’s never a dull moment at work because all these initiatives have exciting newness occurring all the time.
I also love the variety of tasks I’m asked to take on – like leading the production of an internal video for the launch of Marc Jacobs Beauty, covering the (fun!) craziness backstage at New York Fashion Week for our social media team or coordinating events for the launch of new initiatives.
Q: What is your favorite Newhouse memory?
A: I spent a lot time between the walls Newhouse I, II and III, so this is tough. My work as a Newhouse Ambassador and with Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), as well as all the time I spent in the Career Development Center (love Kelly, Judith and Bridget!) are my favorites. As an Ambassador, I met so many amazing individuals – students, alumni and future students. I loved sharing my stories and hearing theirs. I was on the executive board for PRSSA, and the passion that was shared among the board and the members of our chapter was truly second to none.
And although working for Orange Television Network (OTN) isn’t just for Newhouse students, I hosted a show on the channel for a semester (yes, really!) and I loved it. Perhaps I have a future in television!
Q: Do you have any advice for Newhouse students?
A: Build relationships, don’t just network. When you have relationships with people it isn’t just about a job, or just about what someone can do for you – it means you’re both truly invested, and that contact will go a lot further than just “right now.”
Pay it forward. Since graduation, I have gone back to Syracuse to speak, participated in two panels at Lubin house and answered countless messages on LinkedIn. I have no problem with doing so, because it was me who was in the audience and sending emails not too long ago (and, I still do both today). I know how invaluable it is to hear from and speak with alumni – the insight you get is something you can’t really get from a book or a blog post.
Who you know and what you know are important. Who you know will get you through the door, but what you know will keep you there. You can’t rest on the Newhouse name (or any other name) to get and keep a job. Do the work, work hard and always be hungry for more.