As the semester comes to an end, so does the undergraduate experiences of around 6,000 students. They have been spending the last couple of months fulfilling their Hokie Bucket Lists complete with many “lasts."
With their cap and gown in hand, and colorful PRISM stoles draped around their necks, they are ready for the big day.
Before they leave our organization, we would like to highlight our seniors, and some of their accomplishments throughout their time in PRISM.
Ashley Battle, Alumni Relations Account Manager
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has taught me how to be a better team player in a work environment. Working with real life clients is always intimidating, but with a group of people like the ones in PRISM, it makes it easier to transfer from a school learning environment, to a fast paced work environment that never stops.”
Advice to Current PRISMites: “Never stop working and always be willing to speak up. If you're not doing something in PRISM, you're doing it wrong. There is always work to be done and the more you do, the better.”
~Where they’re going next: Ashley will be moving to Las Vegas pursuing her beauty blog and Youtube channel. She will also be looking for a full time job in PR or marketing.
Katie Gilmer, PRISM account manager
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has taught me the importance of a strong team. It's so common in college to have an awful impression of group work, but in PRISM, we all care about what we're doing and you can't slack off -- it was imperative for me to see what can be accomplished when the process and the group all really work together and rely on each other.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Ask for what you want and don't be afraid to start something new. PRISM is still so new, and 'we've always done it this way,' should never be an excuse -- if something needs to be changed and you have a great idea, go for it!”
~Where they’re going next: After graduation, Katie will be working as an Account Management Associate at CEB!
Lauren Guididas, First and Main Account Manager
Take-Away from PRISM: “Not only did I get to curate content on social media for a real-world client, but I also had experience working in an account manager position, which has shaped my career path entirely. In PRISM, I have met the most amazing people who have become role models, mentors, and some of my best friends.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Try to make the most out of your experience, because the time flies. Don't be afraid to speak your mind, ask questions, and go out of your comfort zone. Spend time with PRISMites outside of meetings - you may be surprised & find your best friend (because I know I did @BlairPurdy ILY)!”
~Where they’re going next: After graduation, Lauren will be moving to New York City to work for FCB Global on the New Business team.
Zach Hoopes, pamplin Account Manager
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has taught me professional development, project management , presenting in front of important stakeholders, communicating with professionals, and social media prowess. I am going to miss the vast professional opportunities, family size, and opportunity for growth.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Go the extra mile, step up, learn a skill and put it to use.”
~Where they’re going next: After graduation, Zach will be working with his national fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, for one year!
Maggie Mueller, Pamplin Analytics
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has given me so much real world experience that has already proven to be extremely beneficial to me in my career after graduation. I am going to miss the people!”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Work hard within PRISM and really emphasize all that you have done in PRISM when looking for jobs.”
~Where they’re going next: After graduation, Maggie will be moving to Raleigh, NC to start work as a Digital Channels Business Analyst at BB&T!
Daniel Mun, Director of Multimedia
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has taught me to give them what they expect and deliver more. I am going to miss the people I've met and the friends I’ve made in PRISM.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Do what excites you in PRISM and pursue it because it will lead to amazing things.”
~Where they’re going next: After graduation, Daniel hopes to land a job in the creative field!
Megan Myklegard, Alumni Relations Account Manager
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM taught me perseverance, problem solving, people skills, and pushing out premier work. With all of our immense opportunities, I feel above and beyond other students who aren't gifted with this experience because I know I will be able to easily thrive in the workforce.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY YOU CAN! Even the smallest things can get you so so far, and can eventually lead into something great.”
~Where they’re going next: After graduation, Megan will be moving to New York to start work for the Carbone Smolan Agency!
Lauren Pak, Videographer
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has taught me hard work, communication, and how to collaborate well. I am going to miss having a group of people that you can really rely on and work well with to produce high quality creative work.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Get to know as many people as possible and jump in headfirst. Get involved and always say yes.”
~Where they’re going next: Lauren is still deciding on a few options - we are eager to see what she chooses!
Rachael Phillips, C&P Account Manager
Take-Away from PRISM: “Not only learning how to be a leader but how to work as a team. I am going to miss the teamwork and positive vibes. Everyone is so creative and supportive.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Never stop asking questions. About PRISM, the industry, school. We're all there to help each other.”
~Where they’re going next: Rachael will be working for PwC in NYC in Forensic Technology Services following graduation.
Anna Pope, Director of Copywriting
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has taught me to collaborate with peers from other majors and disciplines. I've also learned to work with clients and have been able to develop valuable relationships with administrators. I'm going to miss all the amazing people.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Try new things and don't be afraid to ask questions.”
~Where they’re going next: Anna will be working in Defense following graduation.
Blair Purdy, CMO
Take-Away from PRISM: “I never could have imagined how integral this organization would be in driving my career goals and helping me develop the passion I have for advertising today. PRISM not only taught me how the world of advertising works, but has allowed me to actually experience it by working with real clients on real campaigns.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Find a niche or a project in PRISM you're really passionate about, and then think about how you can make it better than it already is. I've found that you learn the most when you make it your mission to bring work for a client or an aspect of the organization to the next level.”
~Where they’re going next: Blair will be interning with AKQA in Georgetown after graduating.
Natalie Schechter, Director of Analytics
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has taught me the kinds of skills that I couldn't have learned in the classroom and how real advertising agencies work. We don't learn social media/digital analytics in any of my classes so it's been great to learn not only that from other members, but also the importance of cross-functional teams.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Go out of your comfort zone and most importantly, try new things. PRISM has so many resources and skills between all of us and it's great to not only hone in on your skill set, but get a taste of what others do as well!”
~Where they’re going next: After graduation, Natalie will be moving to Richmond to start her training as a District Manager for ALDI.
Neall SetH, Pamplin account
Take-Away from PRISM: "PRISM helped me learn what I want to do and a lot of what I don't want to do. It also taught me how to be a better leader, and made me a better presenter."
Advice to current PRISMites: "Whatever you want to do, in PRISM or outside, write it down, make a plan and find a mentor to help you get it done."
~Where they're going next: After graduation, Neall is excited to be interviewing with 4 companies for possible internships.
Nikki Strickland, PRISM Account
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has taught me to be adaptable through all of the various positions I have held. I am going to miss the people and all of the opportunities in PRISM.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Get involved early so you can build your experiences and friendships.”
~Where they’re going next: Following graduation, Nikki hopes to work in the marketing department for a study abroad company!
Giannina Vera, Graphic Designer and Creative Director
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM has given me the opportunity to have new friends, to interact with awesome people, to have a mentee, and learn more about myself. I learned how to manage my time and learned the role of art directing. I am going to miss working with the design team and everyone else.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “PRISM is more than an organization! It’s where you make your friends, your family. Make the best of it.”
~Where they’re going next: Following graduation, Giannina is excited to be both a grown-up and an aunt!
Michael Vitak, CMO
Take-Away from PRISM: “An understanding of the real world of advertising. I am going to miss the collaborative nature of our teams.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Enjoy your time in PRISM and constantly tackle bigger challenges.”
~Where they’re going next: Michael will be working as a Digital Strategist at Venveo in Blacksburg following graduation.
Mary-Louise Wang, Creative Director
Take-Away from PRISM: “I think the number one thing I've learned through PRISM is communication and time management. Both of those things are huge in any career path you choose, and skills that I think are vital. You learn a lot about people and get to know them well after working with them for so long on projects.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “My time in PRISM has been shorter than most (joined the end of my junior year) so I've really only gotten involved this past year which has been so great, I just wish I had more time to hang out with all these cool people.”
~Where they’re going next: After graduating, Mary-Louise will be moving to Denver, Colorado working as a full-time Graphic Designer with Gensler.
Jonathan Wehausen, Director of Analytics
Take-Away from PRISM: “PRISM taught me about what it takes to build a brand voice and how analytics can adapt that voice. PRISM taught me a great deal about practical marketing without being a marketing major. The people I've met are all fantastic and are truly invested in their future.”
Advice to current PRISMites: “Learn as much as you can through PRISM. PRISM is such a rare organization where your skills are put to the test in a simulated corporate environment. The best part is you can make as many mistakes as you want while it's not at the expense of company dollars.”
~Where they’re going next: After graduation, Jonathan will be working as an Associate Consultant for Appian.
We are sad to see part of our family go, but so excited to see all of the incredible things the future has in store for them! Get ready real world - they are about to take you by storm.