By Avra Bossov, MA Candidate in Media & Strategic Communication (2016)
“The mission of an organization can’t be changed, but the traditions can.”
As these words percolated the air of the conference room in The New York Times building I found myself in on Monday afternoon – after having dreamed of entering the building since I was a child – I was struck by how this mantra articulated so much of what I’ve learned throughout my GW experience. Though they were esteemed NYT Business Editor Dean Murphy’s words, they have become part of my collection of mantras by which to live.
This week, I was fortunate to partake in the second annual GW Career Quest, made possible by the generosity of the Shenkman Career Services Fund. Career Quest is a two-day immersive employer experience, where GW students travel to NYC to meet with employers in various industries on various tracks. In these meetings, students hear about the industry, the employer, and the opportunities available.
An inspiring and busy two days later, what stuck with me were the following key takeaways, each being true to the mission and values of the employers my track visited:
- Bustle –
If you see an opportunity, take it and run with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
In 2013, the founders of Bustle saw an opportunity to create a digital publication that presents news, lifestyle pieces, health tips, and trends through a feminist lens. This kind of experimentation and cutting edge-ness of a changing media landscape keeps Bustle true to its core, in every article, video, and Tweet. As young professionals, it’s important to take risks and be ready to jump into something different.
- The New York Times –
The mission of an organization can’t be changed, but the traditions can change.
Standing on the shoulders of those who came before you, the New York Times employees think about how to retain the quality of “all the news that’s fit to print” and the legacy of their brand with how to distribute that content effectively to different audiences as technology shapes the media available. Amidst the daunting amount of change, Dean Murphy and Diana Henriques (GW alumna and current Board of Trustees member) were able to share that no matter what ‘traditions’ change, it’s important to remain true to the mission of your organization or company.
- Katz Media Group –
If you give to the company, the company gives to you.
Founded in 1888, Katz Media Group has adapted quite significantly over the years with the media industry ever changing and is now the largest media representation company in America. From the panel of sales coordinators and managers we heard from, each of whom had been at KMG for at least a few years, it was clear the reason each of them came to work each day was to work with one another. For them, it was all about loyalty and finding community from there—working hard, but doing what you love.
- CBS Interactive –
Identify your goals and the goals of your team, and define success based on how you accomplish those goals.
Hearing about the career paths, experiences, and insights into the company from GW alumni Mosheh Oinounou and Jorge Mitssunaga offered real feedback for our track for what’s out there post graduation. In such a changing industry and as we’re starting to build our career path, Mosheh and Jorge both stressed the importance of adaptability and what it means to be a team player.
- Hulu –
It’s all about the experience—down to the smallest of details.
Hulu’s mission is “to captivate and connect people with stories they love by creating amazing experiences,” as evident in our visit there. Recognizing that content is the currency right now, Hulu has made enormous strides as a SVOD (subscription video on demand) service in offering everything they can to better the user experience. From the presentation and tour, it was clear that Hulu believes in this mission and acts upon it throughout the company culture.
At each of these visits, recognizing and reflecting on the company’s mission, values, setup, culture, and how they operate made Career Quest such a unique and meaningful experience. As I continue in my job search and along my career path, I look forward to paying attention to these aspects and incorporating these lessons into what I bring to the table as an employee.
To learn more about GW Career Quest, visit: https://careerservices.gwu.edu/gw-career-quest