A Journey from the BJC to NYC

By: Samantha Monacci

Most college students dream of being able to make it on their own in big cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and of course, New York City. Jennifer Wilson is doing just that at Jack Morton Worldwide, a New York City event planning and marketing firm, where she works as a program coordinator. Jack Morton Worldwide represents well-known brands, such as Comedy Central, eBay, and Nickelodeon.

“I work in the production department, so basically, I’m helping with agendas and timelines, encouraging my team, and fueling communication. I’m also on site at events, running around to make sure they go smoothly from start to finish,” she explained.

Originally from Rochester, New York, Wilson graduated from Penn State in December of 2009 with a major in public relations and a minor in Spanish. While in Happy Valley, Wilson joined PRSSA her sophomore year and during her senior year, she served as a chair on the PRSSA THON committee, in which she was heavily involved.

How did Wilson get such a terrific first job? Wilson used networking with connections she had gathered within her time at Penn State. In the fall of her senior year, she interned at the Bryce Jordan Center as an event-planning intern. While there, Wilson discovered that events were her passion and she longed for a career in that part of the public relations industry.

“After graduation, I stayed in State College and lived with some friends,” she said. “I went to my old boss at the Bryce Jordan Center, Al Karosas, who is the assistant general manager, and told him I was interested in looking for a job with events. He put me in touch with contacts within the industry, and gave me some great email addresses.”

Wilson went to the Hintz Alumni Center where Karosas’s former coworker was being honored. She met his good friend and decided to send him her resume. He then took the initiative to pass it on to his wife, who hired her and is now her boss at Jack Morton.

Penn State PRSSA has given Wilson invaluable lessons and counsel that she has used from after graduation to this day. “I think the best thing I gained from PRSSA was a confidence and not being afraid to get out there and meet people,” she said.

She also offers advice to Penn State public relations students. “When they have guest speakers, those people can be great to network with and talk to. PRSSA really stresses making those connections, which helped me once I graduated.”

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