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.

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How To's

How to Craft a Professional Email for Networking

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Courtesy of LinkedIn

Networking has become a very useful tool to get jobs and internships. As stated in my “How to Use LinkedIn As A Networking Tool” post, connecting with recruiters and colleagues is a great way to build your network. Knowing what exactly to write to them is also a crucial part of the networking process.

Hubspot created a step by step framework to increase your chances of success in networking. The five steps are: Research, Warm Up, Connect, Ask, Follow Up.

It is important to note that these steps are designed to “maximize chances of establishing a valuable relationship; it is not designed to mass cold email hundreds of people”. Networking emails should always be personal to the person you are trying to connect with.

First step is to research anything you can about the person you are trying to network with. Finding out where they work, their professional pages and email is just the beginning. Once you connect with them it’s important to find a personal connection with them, maybe something you learned about them from their LinkedIn or the company social media pages. Connecting with them is in my opinion the hardest part of the networking game. You need to make sure you are being personable to them, giving them a reason to want to speak to you. One important thing the Hubspot writers tates is, when trying to create a meaningful connection with them, don’t ask for any favors!

The ask and follow up stages are where you can begin to ask about certain opportunities you are interested in and following up on your conversations is important in order to keep your name fresh in their mind.

The actual structure of the email is a pretty straight forward, below is an example of what a professional email or LinkedIn message for networking can look like.

Hi Jill!

Thank you so much for accepting my invitation on LinkedIn!

Would love to know if we could chat some time about your experience at Revolution Public Relations and any advice you might have for me as a soon to be graduate in the real world. I’m graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and have been researching the various PR firms to apply to.

I currently intern at SiriusXM in their PR department and am looking at various places to apply for full time positions. Let me know if you would like to speak or grab coffee sometime to discuss.

Sincerely,

Victoria Saavedra