Mimi Connell ’15 (Paoli, Pa.) and Carolyn DeMeo ’15 (Short Hills, N.J.) got a firsthand look at marketing and ad campaigns for Oreo and the 2014 Winter Olympics during an externship at Weber Shandwick in New York City.
Weber Shandwick is one of the world’s leading global public relations firms with offices in major media, business, and government capitals around the world. The students were hosted by Megan Zaroda ’07, account supervisor for the company’s Technology Group & Energy Practice, which she helped to start this year.
Connell and DeMeo spoke with a team member about the rollout plan for a new Oreo cookie line. They also met with Weber Shandwick’s Sochi Olympics Committee team and official photography partner Getty Images to hear how the company helped Sochi win the bid and what the photographers go through to get the iconic pictures at the games.
“This experience opened my eyes not only to the possibilities of my future career, but also the potential doors that my Lafayette degree will open up for me,” says DeMeo, a double major in economics and policy studies. “Megan showed me that liberal arts students can excel in the PR world and also shared with me tips and activities that she was involved in at Lafayette that helped her succeed in a professional setting.”
Zaroda, who graduated with individualized majors in political communications and East Asian studies, originally was part of Weber Shandwick’s media group, where she worked with clients like the United Nations, Campbell’s Soup, and U.S. Army.
“Telling the stories of companies like Siemens who are the backbone of our engineering prowess or the pioneers of our age like the Swiss pilots behind Solar Impulse—a solely solar-powered plane that can fly day and night—has been both a stimulating and engaging experience,” she says. “The pace is quick, and you speak with some of the most fascinating people in the world. I may not be the one who cures cancer, but I’ll sure be the one who gets to tell that scientist’s story.”