Spotlights

Kevin Bruns, WPUNJ ‘13,Corporate Communications Manager at SiriusXM

Kevin Bruns is a William Paterson University alum who graduated in 2013 with a degree in Communication and Public Relations. Bruns has worked in pharmaceutical PR and is now a Corporate Communications Manager at SiriusXM, working on the sports programming. He gives readers an insight on his time at William Paterson and his career trajectory which lead him to his most current job.

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Courtesy of Kevin Bruns

As an undergrad at William Paterson how involved were you on campus?

I was pretty involved, as soon as I got there my freshman year I started doing work with the radio station. I actually got trained at the radio station the summer before my freshmen year even started so I was on air right as the year started. I did work with the TV channel for their sports programming. Later in my freshman years I joined the SPRA so I was pretty involved. I had internships with the career development and advisement center as well as ultimately with sports information, which was cool and that turned into a part time job.

Do you think your involvement help you in your career?

Yes, certainly from a resume perspective it was helpful and from a practical perspective as well. We did a couple of events, a couple of fundraisers and those type of things so a little bit of hands on experience is certainly helpful. What’s good about the TV and radio stations is that they are so hands on so if you’re doing a radio show you’re the producer and the talent and host so you get to do the whole thing. Same with TV, if you want to do an on air thing you can audition.

What was your favorite class at William Paterson?

It wasn’t Spanish, that’s for sure. I enjoyed the PR classes, obviously! Some of the communication classes I liked. I took Media Ethics and Law, which was interesting because I like a bit of the legal side of things. I enjoyed the PR capstone (shout out to Professor Brown!!). Even the journalism classes were fun, just being able to write in a class and doing that type of thing

Do you think those classes prepared you for the “real world”?

Yeah, absolutely. I remember back then I was in my internships and it was write a release or write an alert or draft this or write an op-ed story and without a journalism class or your PR class it would’ve been much harder.

Spotlights

Nicole Darrah, WPUNJ 2016

Nicole Darrah graduated William Paterson in 2016, majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She currently works as a Ticker Writer and Breaking News Producer at Fox News and has interned at large media companies such as VH1 and ABC. Darrah tells reader her experience as an intern and advice on keeping your dream alive in the entertainment industry.

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How do you believe your time at William Paterson prepared you for your post graduate life?

Looking back as a communication student at WPUNJ, I realize I learned a lot that prepared me for post-grad life. The professors were knowledgeable and the classes were information and relevant to my daily news life.

What clubs or activities were you involved in at William Paterson and how do you believe they have helped you so far?

As a student I wrote briefly for the Pioneer Times and worked in the WPTV studios as part of my classwork. By far, my time in broadcast news classes were the most beneficial as I now write news professionally each day.

You currently work at Fox News, how was the process of getting this job? What advice do you have for undergrads who are in the process of applying for jobs?

Fox is great when it comes to hiring young, talented people – most of the people I work with are millennials. The job application process was simple enough: I applied online to production assistant positions, heard back from a recruiter who gave me a list of jobs I was eligible to interview for (that weren’t PA positions) and then interviewed from there.

Advice for undergrads: Apply everywhere, even if you’re not sure it’s something you want to do. I didn’t necessarily want to be a production assistant, as I’m more interested in the editorial side rather than production aspect of news – but as you can see, I was presented with the opportunity to write after Fox reached out to me and we discussed what I wanted to do. You never know what can happen after submitting an application, so I highly suggest applying every place possible.

Where have you interned and how have those internships helped you in your career?

During college I interned with VH1 at Viacom, as well as 7 On Your Side at WABC-TV. My time at VH1 was helpful because I learned a lot about the use of social media in a professional environment and I’ve definitely used that experience as a stepping stone in this digital age. But it was my time spent at Channel 7 that really opened my eyes to the industry: I worked in a newsroom, sat in on daily news meetings and ultimately worked hands-on both in and out of the field. These internships allowed me to briefly step out into the “real world” while still working as a student.

What is your ultimate goal career wise? What is your dream job and how will you go about reaching that dream job?

Before and during college, I always thought my dream was to work on-air as a correspondent or local reporter. But now working in the industry for the past 8 or so months, I believe I’ve lost sight (for lack of a better term) of that goal and now see paths leading in other directions, which I don’t see as a bad thing. I was recently offered a job as a breaking news producer with FoxNews.com – not on-air, nor with “television news,” per se. I think I still have the goal of working on-air as a journalist but where my career may take me, no one knows.

What advice do you have for graduating seniors about post graduate life and the “real world”?

Like I said before, if you’re graduating college – apply EVERYWHERE. It’s so important to get your name and your resume out there and to let a variety of companies know that you’re available. The “real world” isn’t glamorous (but once you get a job, it does come with a nice paycheck!), and you shouldn’t fantasize it to be. My most important piece of advice would be to not give up hope if you’re facing obstacles and find walls are blocking your path to finding a job. It took me 4 months from graduation to joining Fox News, while some of my friends were offered jobs before even graduating – but next week I’ll be working as a news producer in one of the largest media organizations in the world, so I’d say working hard and remaining hopeful worked out for me in the end!

Spotlights

Thaddeus Danquah, WPUNJ ’16

Thaddeus Danquah graduated William Paterson University in 2016, majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He is a current Production Intern at The View for ABC and has formerly interned at WABC in New York City. Danquah gives his first hand account as an entertainment intern and tips for readers on how to get involved during and after college ends.

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How do you believe your time at William Paterson prepared you for your post graduate life? 

Being at William Paterson allowed me to explore different mediums (radio, television, and print) and figure out which one was best for me. Also, having Professors who have been in the same place that I am now and hearing their stories about starting their careers, made me aware of how difficult it can be after college. But they also reinforced the importance of doing what you love and staying driven to do it well.

 

What clubs or activities were you involved in at William Paterson and how do you believe they have helped you so far?

As an undergraduate I was involved in WPTV-6, and WPSC 88.7, which allowed me to get more hands-on experience in television and radio than I would from my courses and helped prepare me for working in a real production setting. I was also involved in SAPB (Student Activity Programming Board) and was a Writer for The Beacon. Being in SAPB helped me enhance my organization and communication skills, and writing for The Beacon improved my writing and made me better on working on a deadline.

 

You currently intern at The View, how was the process of getting this internship? Many undergrads might not know some companies accept post grads for internships. What advice do you have for undergrads who are hesitant to apply for internships after graduation?

I had finished interning at WABC-TV on a show called Here and Now and I was applying to different positions at various companies. After some time, a member of the production team at The View reached out to schedule an interview. We met the next day and a few weeks later I landed the internship.

I think recent graduates shouldn’t close themselves off to applying for internships. Just because it isn’t a full-time job, you never know where it can lead or the connections you can make. Plus, it’s rare whenever there are internships open for recent graduates. So if the opportunity is there, go for it.

 

What is your favorite part of your current internship? What is your day to day at The View?

My favorite part about this internship is asking questions and listening to the stories of these veteran media professionals.

My daily schedule varies. Some days I work with the media coordinators pulling clips for the show, or observing/standing in for rehearsals on set. Other days I’m observing from the control room, or assisting a producer with guest teases before their segment. It varies day to day.

 

Where have you interned so far other than The View and how have those internships helped you in your career?

Prior to interning at The View, I was an intern at WABC-TV on a show called Here and Now and WDHA FM/WMTR AM in New Jersey. Being at Here and Now gave me the experience of working on a network program and learning all the different aspects that go into making the show move smoothly. Interning at WDHA FM/WMTR AM showed me that working in media takes effort and skill and isn’t glamorous.

 

What is your ultimate goal career wise? What is your dream job and how will you go about reaching that dream job?

My ultimate goal is to have my own production company and create. My dream job is having my own production company. I don’t know exactly how I’ll get there, but seeing people like Issa Rae having their own businesses and thriving makes me optimistic.

 

What advice do you have for graduating seniors about post graduate life and the “real world”?

I think you should keep yourself busy. Whether it’s working, grad school, interning, or even volunteering, just don’t become stagnant.

 

What are your plans after this internship ends?

I’m planning to be employed after my internship, hopefully. Only time will tell.