Alumni Stories: Charlie Stoebe ’08 on Entering the Media Industry

After graduating from Dartmouth in 2008 with a degree in Psychology, Charlie Stoebe immediately began a two-year Rotational Program at NBC Universal focused on digital media. Since completing the program, he’s spent the past three years working in the sales and marketing side of NBC Sports. We asked him to tell us a little bit more about what it is like to work in Advertising and how to best enter the field:

Position: Marketing Manager at NBC Universal (NBC Sports).

Two sentence description of what you do

Charlie Stoebe

The role of the Sales Marketing group is to generate revenue for NBC Sports through advertising. My specific role on the Marketing side is to come up with custom solutions for brands to execute on NBC Sports properties.

What is most satisfying about your current work?

I love how challenging and different each day is. On Monday I’ll be thinking of how to convince McDonald’s to spend money within Sunday Night Football, and then on Tuesday I’m working on an idea for Allstate within Premier League soccer. It’s the benefit of working in a fast paced environment for a large company.

What’s the best way to enter your field? Any essential elements of preparation?

I think the best way is to get a job within a large media company. I started in a rotational program where I got to see different sides of the organization (News Publishing, Ad Sales, & Digital Products) before settling down into my current role. Obviously that is not available everywhere but any exposure within a large media company will help you learn about the different skills needed within each department.

What advice would you give to others seeking opportunities in this field?

I think the most important thing for Sales Marketing is writing. I have always loved writing – whether it be ridiculous emails to my fraternity or the infinite-page Psych papers each term. My job at its core is creative writing so having any background where writing is key will be extremely helpful.

How has Dartmouth supported you in your career development?

The NBC rotational program I started in came to campus for the Employer Connections Fair and that’s how I got my start. Luckily for me the head of the program was a Dartmouth ’97 and he was intent on having someone from Dartmouth get into the program – forever grateful to have been that someone.

Is there anything that we haven’t asked you that you think we should?

The media industry is definitely underrepresented at most (if not all) career fairs, but don’t let that fool you – there is a job for every passion and major. Check the careers section of the websites of all the major networks (NBC, CBS, ESPN, MTV, etc.) to see what’s available. There are an infinite number of entry-level jobs at these companies so just because they don’t come to campus does not mean they are not hiring.

Alumni Stories: Tom Schenck ’89 on How to Break into Careers in Fundraising

Over the course of his career, Tom Schenck has worked in entertainment sales, served as a head of school, coached water polo and wrestling, and worked in Entertainment Marketing for Marvel — where he also played Spiderman for fundraising events. We asked him to share information on his current work in fundraising and education.

Position: Assistant Head of School for Advancement at Wasatch Academy.

Two sentence description of what you do:

Tom Schenck bow tie pic

I oversee the total landscape of marketing and fundraising to reach all development goals—from annual fund and planned giving to alumni relations and grants. I also work with major gifts  and money raising events.

1. What is most satisfying about your current work?

Connecting people with their passions to the right model of philanthropy, and achieving goals by being a life-long student.

2. What’s the best way to enter your field? Any essential elements of preparation?

Start by volunteering in a local charity…I founded my own foundation and worked in admissions. You should enjoy helping people and enjoy competition. Don’t personalize rejection. You should have a diverse background of experiences. Be organized and be passionate about the cause you are promoting.

3. What advice would you give to others seeking opportunities in this field?

Call people at various charities and arrange an informational interview to see what they are looking for. Attend a conference of fundraisers. Do your online research.

4. How has Dartmouth supported you in your career development?

It has given me a sense of creating a big picture view of the world and its possibilities.

5. Is there anything that we haven’t asked you that you think we should?

I am interested in talking with people who are interested in learning more about working in development or education…life is about giving back.

Luke Antal ’07: Research Employers for Cover Letters & Interviews.

Recently we interviewed Luke Antal ’07, Sr. V.P. of Finance & Operations for Pavé Life; an e-commerce company that facilitates the sale of tickets for high-end cultural events.  Luke provided us with many words of wisdom which we will be highlighting over the next few weeks.  As the December interim period begins Luke highlighted the importance of employer research in creating compelling cover letters and preparing for interviews.

LA: … at Pavé Life over the last year, we have relied heavily on Dartmouth interns to help our company here. So, this summer here, we had 5 or 6 ‘13s intern here.  And so over the summer and this fall, those guys with advice “How are you best prepared for interviews and job applications?” What I told them is what I learned at school and what I know from the hiring side; is that you need to; obviously … put your work in on your resume.  Everybody does that, it’s standard.  Where you need to really shine is on the cover letter and put the extra time into networking and talking with folks to get a feel for what’s important in the mind of the company. I know what helped me get the job at IGS is that I did that. They really value their collegial atmosphere at IGS;  I referenced that in my cover letter and I referenced that in my job interviews and that helped them understand that I had done my research and that I would be a good culture fit. And then from the hiring side, you know assuming that the resume is a qualified resume, what differentiates job applicants is really the cover letter.  You can learn a lot from seeing somebody write, and seeing how they understand that a cover letter is meant to describe things that can’t be found on a resume; it’s meant to augment the resume, not just reference it and repeat what can already be found in two seconds by looking at it. So I really put a lot of emphasis on the cover letter.  … the last step that I don’t think a lot of people do but I think is most important, is actually doing that preparation face-to-face with a friend or somebody who can be sitting across the table from you to try to mimic what it’s going to be like in the interview; if that’s possible.  It’s not effective enough to just rehearse in your head or write down your answers in a Word document, it’s not effective enough to speak them out loud in front of a mirror.  The only really effective way is to do it face to face with somebody, because at that point you realize “Wow! I am saying UHM a lot”; or “I don’t have a good answer for that question”; or “I need to focus on my eye contact”.  You really have to go the full nine yards in the interview prep as far as the face to face stuff goes.

CS:  We actually now do Mock Interviews in our office with staff.  We do have the Tuck students help us with the finance and consulting interviews because they have the work experience. But it’s been really helpful and well received here. 

LA: Great!

CS:  that’s great advice. And it sounds like researching the employer and knowing what is important to the employer is key to that, too.

LA:  Yes! You have to research what the employer wants to hear.  … So, research what is going to perk their ears up when they hear you say it and surprise them if (you)  know that about (their) company, that’s what employers are going to remember once you leave the room.

The December break is a perfect time to reach out to alumni and to put that extra effort into researching the employers that interest you.  Research includes the workplace dynamics/culture, as well as what tasks they assign interns and entry-level workers, and put that information into the cover letter.  Rashelle, an intern at Career Services, also listened to Luke speak and reflected:  “Use the cover letter to convey that you know the company’s objectives and projects as well as the culture and how you would fit in”.

Please note:  Luke and his firm, Pavé Life, are seeking spring and summer marketing interns; interested students should view the internship description in DartBoard and apply by Jan. 15, 2013.

Andrew Kintner ’05, Jamie Gumpper ’06, Luke Antal ’07