It is my pleasure to introduce, Erica Prush! I first met Erica when she was working at the Fleishman Career Center as a Marketing Communications Specialist! We were so lucky to have her marketing abilities supporting our office and it’s no surprise to me that she has continued to go on to be very successful in her field!
Take a look below to read about her journey and the incredible wisdom she shares with each question!
Erica Prush’19 – Director of Content Strategy at Break of Dawn
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Rhetoric
Career Cluster: Arts and Communication | Affinity Group: Woman
What activities and clubs/organizations did you participate in during your time at Binghamton University?
I was an active member of the Women’s Student Union, and I was also involved with WHRW and Pipe Dream. I had a few on-campus internships and jobs, including being a student editor for Harpur Perspective and a marketing coordinator at the Fleishman Center (born out of being a peer intern!) Off-campus, I interned at Southern Tier Solar Works in Binghamton one summer, and another summer at Canon on Long Island, in their public relations department.
Did you complete an internship? If yes, please include where you interned and any relevant details about the position or the skills you gained.
Yes! As a student editor for Harpur Perspective, I was able to put the journalistic skills I learned in the classroom into practice by researching, conducting interviews, and writing feature articles for the print magazine and BingUNews website. As marketing coordinator for the Fleishman Center, I ran the Center’s social media accounts, wrote feature articles for the website, and coordinated design, photo, and video asset production. At Canon, I was exposed to the world of B2B public relations, where I got to organize media interviews and events, write press releases, and work closely with a public relations agency to promote the brand in trade publications.
How did your experiences outside of the classroom influence your career development?
I was lucky enough to be able to cultivate a well-rounded resume in public relations, media relations, and marketing that made me attractive to a variety of employers in the digital marketing space. It was through my introduction to journalism class with Mary Haupt that I was introduced to marketing and communications at the higher education level. Mary Haupt recommended me for the Harpur Perspective internship, run by Eric Coker, who ran the magazine at the time. He now runs the magazine for the whole university, and has been an invaluable mentor to me. This internship sparked my interest in communications work, as I had enjoyed my journalism classes but didn’t think the career was for me. In combination with the hands-on experience I got through my Fleishman Center marketing job, where Alissa Strong encouraged me to develop my multimedia skills, I was lucky enough to meet multiple professionals who showed me how my English, rhetoric, and journalism skills could be applied to a career in digital marketing and public relations / communications.
How did your experience at Binghamton University help prepare you for your first position post graduation?
In addition to my last answer, I always tell people how much I enjoyed my coursework at Binghamton, but it was the ample opportunity from outside of the classroom experience that prepared for my first job. I graduated with multiple internships and jobs under my belt, and some professional staff members at the University as incredible mentors and references, that made me competitive in the job market at the time.
Why did you select your major at Binghamton University? What experiences or factors influenced your decision?
I’ve always loved reading and writing, so English was a no-brainer for me. Throughout undergrad, I added and dropped majors in business and economics, but eventually found I mostly wanted my coursework to pique my interest, and the real competitiveness I would have post-graduation would be from my work experience, rather than my degree.
What advice would you give to a student who is exploring different major options?
Perhaps this is silly advice, since I was lucky enough to graduate in 2019, right before the world changed, and it definitely depends on your field of interest, but I would say: if you want a creative job, study what you’re interested in, and cultivate a well-rounded resume with outside of the classroom experiences. Even start to build a portfolio, if you can, of articles you’ve written, designs you’ve created, etc.
How did your coursework at Binghamton prepare you for your current role?
Nearly every course I had at Binghamton sharpened my writing skills. Digital marketing (SEO, PPC, content marketing, digital PR, etc.) is a massive industry in constant need of writers. Don’t let ChatGPT scare you–people want and need good writers!
What class at Binghamton University was most influential for you and why?
All of my rhetoric coursework was valuable to me in terms of developing my writing and editing skills to a professional level, but in particular, Intro to Journalism set my career in motion as soon as Mary Haupt recommended me for an internship with Eric Coker.
What tools and resources were most helpful to you during your job search?
For my initial job search, what was most valuable to me was company culture. On Glassdoor, I searched the highest-rated companies in the city I was moving to, and scoured their websites for job postings that interested me. That was how I landed my first job!
What is your advice for writing a strong resume/cover letter for a position in your field?
Read the instructions! A lot of digital marketing companies will include specific (sometimes even cutesy) requirements to catch if you’ve read to the bottom of the job posting. It’s such an easy way to stand out if you make note of it, and even mention it in the interview.
What is one thing you would suggest students do before graduation to be more prepared for the job search?
Work with full-time professionals in your industry as closely as you can before you graduate, and ask them about their career development from their first position to their current one. And even for people you haven’t met, shameless LinkedIn creeping will be super useful for determining what kinds of positions and companies you should be searching for. The more research you do in this vein, the more comfortable you’ll be with the lingo and landscape of your field. This should help you in the job search and the eventual interview!
What is the best piece of career advice you have received?
I actually made a video on this a few years ago! It’s to keep a list of your accomplishments, highlights, positive feedback from managers or clients, etc. throughout your career. You are your own best advocate, and you should make your successes known, particularly in pursuit of promotions or raises!
Is there any additional knowledge or advice you would like to share?
Your best assets in your career as your morals and your relationships. Be true to you, be kind to people, say thank you, protect your peace, and don’t forget your worth!