Major: Journalism/Mass Communication (BA), Integrated Marketing Communications (MA) Hometown: Olcott, N.Y. Current Job: Assistant Marketing Manager at Godiva Chocolatier, New York City
J/MC majors say motivated grads can land anywhere.
A die-hard Yankees fan, Michelle McKernan felt like she’d won the World Series when she secured a public relations internship at YES Network, the regional channel that broadcasts New York Yankees games.
“That summer I was able to work on everything New York Yankees-related. It was amazing. That’s when I knew I wanted to move to New York City and work in marketing or some kind of media. My internship definitely helped me get the job I have today,” she said.
So for three months after graduation, McKernan diligently worked at securing interviews and sending follow-up emails and thank-you cards, buoyed by the support of faculty on campus and alumni in Manhattan.
“I started interviewing right away, right when I got down to the city. It was a lot of effort and that’s something that no one can prepare you for. It took me about three months to get to Godiva. I’m so happy I was able to push through the three months and really get the job I wanted instead of taking a job that might not have brought as many opportunities,” she said.
McKernan loves “every second” of her job as assistant marketing manager at Godiva Chocolatier, where managing social media is a large part of her workday. Pursuing her master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications ignited her interest in social media as brand marketing.
“At Godiva I was given the opportunity to run, develop and execute content for their social media platforms,” she said.
That’s a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of a 23-year-old, and McKernan thanks St. Bonaventure for helping her meet that challenge.
As a member of the Student Government Association and active in service organizations such as BonaResponds, McKernan polished her leadership skills.
Bona’s emphasis on service in the Catholic-Franciscan tradition continues to play a role in McKernan’s life.
Through the university’s Mychal Judge Center, McKernan traveled to Ireland and Northern Ireland, learning firsthand how the Irish people overcame decades of violent conflict to live in peace.
“The background of the whole mission of showing forgiveness and trying to move past (conflict) and work with others is something that I’ve since strived for every day,” she said.
Through work, McKernan is an active member of GODIVA Gives, the company’s philanthropic program, and she also participates in a weekly sport league that benefits numerous charity programs.
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