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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Journey as a Graduated Student — Nate Brennan

Unlike my fellow finalists in the Fast Horse Internship Campaign, I never intended to join the PR world coming out of college (also unlike my fellow finalists, I've already been out of school for some time). I started out a journalist. And while most of my work has been in that field, and I'll always be a news junkie, creative marketing is where my mind, heart and skills truly lie.

I started in the media biz as an arts & entertainment writer and editor at my university's student newspaper. Wanting to expand my experience, I applied and was unanimously chosen as the paper's publisher and editor-in-chief. The duties that came with essentially being the CEO—meeting/pitching clients, developing new types of digital content and social media strategies, tracking analytics, mining new sources of revenue, etc.—made me realize how fun PR and creative marketing could be (especially compared to the humdrum daily routine of city reporting!).

After running the show for a year, I graduated from school and was fortunate enough to beat out hundreds of other applicants to be SPIN Magazine's summer online editorial intern at its offices in New York City. I loved the work—like new award-winning website and headed to Minneapolis for another internship.

This time, I'd be blogging for Secrets of the City and doing online production for its parent Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. While I was technically an intern, this 40-hour/week, low-supervised internship was basically an entry-level blogger/web producer position, and my seven-plus months there helping develop the tone, design, functionality of a city magazine and its marketing initiatives taught me a hell of a lot about how creative marketing and PR can thrive even in a seemingly dying industry like print journalism. And that's exciting!

So after being laid off in March following departmental restructuring, I realized that I wanted to jump headfirst into the creative marketing field and this internship campaign was serendipitously announced up four days after I was laid off. That's my story, but I know it's the story of plenty of my fellow communications graduates who've had to fight and claw for the jobs they have or the jobs they continue to struggle for.

So why do I think should you vote for me over the other two finalists? Besides producing my video entirely by myself and learning Adobe Premiere Pro to edit it so it would look the best? Because I wholeheartedly believe in Fast Horse’s ideals, style and mission and I know I have all the traits of a successful “pony”–a good sense of humor, a passionate work ethic and a naïve hope for humanity and the betterment of our world—and I’m prepared to work my tail off to prove it.

So if you can relate to my story, empathize with my struggle and want to help me succeed, please #VoteNate4FastHorse by giving Fast Horse's Facebook page a "Like" and then voting for me at their campaign app.

—Nate Brennan