By Sebastian Prout

With everything going on with COVID-19, many people are stuck at home. However, students of Five Towns College can still find ways to prepare for their careers. On April 9th, during the Common Hour Online virtual series, Adjunct Professor Brigette Boyle interviewed Josh Bellis about what it’s like to work in the Mass Communications industry. Mr. Bellis has a background in talent acquisition, strategy, and diversity recruitment previously working for companies such as Fox News, NASDAQ, and WayUp. Additionally, Bellis is an Associate Faculty Member in the Human Capital Management Program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.

The first thing they discussed was what impressed Bellis most when interviewing students coming out of school. “Showing up to that interview having looked at the company’s values and really going over the job description; being dressed properly as well,” said Bellis. Having to dress properly is important due to the chance that you might get a full-time job.

Josh Bellis-Early Career & Media Technology Specialist

Most students are especially interested in landing an internship to be able to get their foot in the door at the company of their choice. But what are the do’s and don’ts when you land that dream internship? Bellis recommended, “Be on time, show that you can do the job that you were hired to do before you start looking for other things to do. Bring a notebook to every single meeting and take notes. Ask for feedback from management.” When it comes to feedback, people can be sensitive to the criticism that can actually make them better. Students should keep in mind that feedback can help to improve personal development, and give more attributes to help your company.

Near the end of the interview, Boyle opened it up to the online audience for questions. Sean Lanigan, Mass Communications major at Five Towns College, asked about the importance of elevator pitches. Belle advised, “It’s important for your personal brand to be able to quickly explain what you’re looking for and what qualifies you to do that. I know a lot of people hate practicing for that, but I think it’s something valuable that comes in handy.” Many people don’t like public speaking, but it’s something you can master if you practice. Following the online event, Lanigan said, “I thought the event was very informative and I liked how I learned things I didn’t know before. Things like being able to bring a notebook and take notes at meetings is great for someone like me who loves to take notes.”

Five Towns College has given quarantined students presentations like this one to learn from professionals in the industry and work on their career planning. Students can watch future Common Hour Online programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30PM on the FTC Facebook page.