Career Conversation with Ryan Harms, Director of Digital Production at Arnold Worldwide
Ryan Harms is an extremely personable guy. His young energy and passion for advertising and marketing made our conversation comfortable and informal, yet it was very informative. Ryan graduated from Boston College in 2007 as an International Studies major, worked for two small advertising agencies in Boston, and is now leading a production team at Arnold Worldwide, which is one of the most well-established, well-known firms in the industry. Ryan shared his academic and early work experiences with us to prove that marketing and advertising careers attract people from all walks of life. It’s encouraging that some companies find you as a person more compelling and interesting than your GPA, number of past internships, and extracurricular activities.
Our conversation progressed into a discussion about how technology is rapidly changing the advertising industry, such as with the creation of online “ad blocking” tools. Each day certainly brings a new challenge for Ryan, who doesn’t mind the hard work and long hours that it takes to manage projects for over twenty clients simultaneously. The “soul” of the workplace, as Ryan put it, is important for productivity in terms of coming up with ideas and building brands for companies, as well as for chemistry with colleagues and those with whom you interact on a daily basis. There is also a significant difference between small and large agencies, both in which Ryan has experience. For example, you get to work with a diverse group of clients at a larger ad agency, whereas a smaller agency exposes you more to different tasks and roles. Big agencies are much more bureaucratic than smaller ones are, and small agencies lack the mentorship that many of the large firms provide. In the end, Ryan loves what he does, and inspired many of us to consider a career in marketing and advertising.
A huge thanks to Ryan for speaking with us!
-Michelle Totino, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2013
Last month’s Career Conversation, with BC alumnus Jeffrey Davis of Epsilon, was a great opportunity to learn more about careers in advertising. If you missed Jeff on campus, check out the following blog post about his visit:
Jeffrey Davis, a BC alumni, came to the Career Center to speak to us about his position as the Associate Account Executive at Epsilon. Epsilon is a full services marketing company. With a liberal arts background, Jeff emphasized the fact that you do not need to have a marketing degree in order to work at a marketing company. He personally believes that the liberal arts education is extremely valuable in that it teaches you how to write, analyze, and comprehend. He also went into detail on how he started off interning at Blitz and was able to learn to speak the language of the field. This unpaid internship helped him get his resume through the door at Epsilon. After that, it’s all about your behavior and how you think, and less about what you have previously done.
Jeff also went into detail of what components make up Epsilon. It has 3 major components to it – a full scale agency, marketing technology, and third party data. As a full scale agency, Epsilon creates content and develops the information that shows up on companies’ websites and pages. It also provides analytical consulting, answering questions like “How do I format my website to get people to purchase my product?” Within its marketing technology component, Epsilon builds email and data platforms. This is what Jeff and his team do. With third party data, Epsilon collects data from different companies for a specific client in order to get a better understanding of information such as where the target audience is spending its money.
Overall, Jeffrey gave valuable insight on what it is like to work at a company like Epsilon. After listening to him, I felt much more relieved to know that as a Communications and Psychology major, I can provide a unique perspective to marketing companies. It’s your mind, not your background that leads the way working in Marketing.
-Ellie Suh, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014
Come meet a variety of BC alumni who are communications professionals!
Tuesday, March 19, 20136:30-8:30pm in the Heights Room
RSVP via EagleLink
What do I wear?
This is an informal networking night, so there is no particular dress code, though we usually suggest business casual. The event is not an interview, it is meant to be informative. (Avoid jeans or sweats).
Do I need to bring anything with me?
- This is not a job fair- alumni are not coming with the intent of collecting resumes for specific jobs. DO NOT offer your resume without being asked
- .However it is generally a good idea to have a couple of copies with you if you just in case you are asked for one.
- It is a much better to ask for a business card so that you can follow up, and thank them for speaking with you.
- You might want to bring a pad of paper and a pen to jot down notes or information that you receive from alumni.
How will I know which alumni I want to talk to, and how will I find them?
A full list of attendees is available on our website. Also, when you arrive at the event, the Career Center will provide you with a handout that includes biographies of all the alumni. There will also be a map of where to find them in the Heights Room – they will all be wearing name tags.
How long can I talk with each alumnus?
As much or as little as you’d like. You can join conversations already in progress or just listen in, move on when you determine you need to, or wait for your opportunity for a one-on-one conversation.
I’ve never been to a career event before. I don’t know what questions to ask.
- When you arrive at the event, the Career Center can provide you with handouts with sample questions and ideas for conversation.
- You can also stop in at the Career Center ahead of time to think about what you would like to get out of the event.
- And remember – it’s not a formal event and there is no “interviewing.” You can always ask about the alum’s experiences as a BC student, how they made their decisions to pursue their careers, what a typical day is like.
- Also, asking questions is not mandatory – you can also just stand and listen to alumni speak with others as well.
- Check out the Career Center’s Networking page
How long should I plan to stay?
The event is from 6:30 to 8:30 PM – you can stay for as short or as a long a period as you like. Take your time, though, and get as much out of the event as you can.
Join us for a Webinar tonight, Tuesday, March 12 from 7:30-8:30pm EST
With over 200 million+ members, LinkedIn is a powerful tool to help brand yourself, connect with professionals, and search for opportunities. Learn how to create a profile, build your network, and to use these tools in your job/internship hunt!
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
Lessons Learned from Andrew Russell, Director of Institutional Relations, Museum of Fine Arts Boston
- He was a theater major at BC, and is now working at the corporate, foundation, and government relations department of the MFA
- Don’t feel married to your major – you may end up leveraging your talents to work in a completely unrelated field
- Russell had a job working with television that would be the envy of many creative individuals, but he wasn’t passionate about it and left without hesitation
- Don’t expect to start your dream job straight out of college – be willing to make a reputation as a dedicated low-level employee and work your way to where you want to be
- He admits that he isn’t a fine art aficionado, despite working for the MFA
- You don’t have to be an expert in the details as long as you have a committed understanding of your role with the company
by Dmitry Larionov, College of Arts and Sciences 2014
Tomorrow night, Tuesday, February 5, 2013
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Career Center Conference Room
Pardees Safizadeh graduated from Boston College in 2010 with a Communications and Theatre double major. Since graduation, Pardees has branded herself as the go-to expert for all social media needs for any startup in Boston, MA and Raleigh, NC. Pardees is currently the Director of Strategic Projects at Reputation911.com, a communications company that helps businesses and individuals look good online. Pardees develops all services for the company, helps shape the company’s brand across multiple channels, and directs all client work. Prior to joining Reputation911.com, Pardees managed her own social media consultancy that helped startups and small businesses shape their brand and promote themselves on social media. Previously, Pardees headed up Communications for MassChallenge, the largest startup competition and accelerator in the world, where she developed key tools for the Executive team to communicate to its 125 finalists. Pardees got her “break” from Harron & Associates, a small public relations agency in Boston specializing in nonprofit PR, and Greenhorn Connect, Boston’s resource hub for entrepreneurs.
Looking to work in the arts? Join BC alumni on Tuesday to discuss their careers in a variety of creative fields. All majors are welcome!