Alumni of our public diplomacy program are working around the globe, finding diplomatic solutions and strategically positioning their organizations.

Nichole Allem G'10

Current position? Senior advisor for public affairs in the Office of the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the Department of State. (In other words, my position entails a lot of acronyms!)  In this capacity, I develop and implement outreach strategies supporting policy objectives regarding the Disabilities Treaty.

Changes in the industry since graduation? The public diplomacy profession has grown leaps and bounds since I was a student in 2008. When I applied to the public diplomacy program, there were only two schools in the U.S. that offered graduate-level degrees in this field. Five years later, I constantly meet young professionals studying public diplomacy at a variety of schools throughout the U.S. (and some overseas)—the demand for higher education in this field has grown quickly. It’s exciting to see!

Most important skills you use today? Writing skills will always be critical—that much I could have predicted. But what I have been most surprised by is the use of my graphic design skills, which I developed at Newhouse. I worked for three years in a very creative area of the State Department, and still find myself working with graphic designers on a regular basis. It helped to have studied those basic principles (and lingo) while at Newhouse.

Favorite memories of Newhouse? I had the great fortune of serving as the research assistant to Professor Barbara Fought while she was the director of the Tully Center for Free Speech. In this capacity, I served as an events manager and researcher for the center. I coordinated and promoted free speech and media law events for audiences of over 500—it was a fun job!  One event was an advance screening of the film “Nothing But the Truth.”  I had the honor of introducing the director, Rod Lurie, and actor Alan Alda at the event. Another highlight was the Tully Center Free Speech award, co-awarded in 2009 to Barry Bearak of the The New York Times and Frank Chikowore, a freelance journalism from Zimbabwe. We had a fantastic event featuring the work of these two journalists, honoring their sacrifices and courage in reporting the news.

Advice for current students? Take advantage of the resources you have at your fingertips while at Newhouse: top-notch professors, numerous panels and events with experts in the field, internship opportunities and the network you are developing with your classmates. Give your time at Newhouse 110 percent, and you’ll get even more in return.

Adam Croglia G '12

Current Position: Director of communications and marketing and managing partner, SBG Strategies/SBG Technology Solutions

Changes in the industry since graduation? Everyone talks digital. Social is the hottest commodity and still in its infancy. There is a ton of room to refine your own skills and use that in an agency or in-house setting.

Most important skills used today? Writing, writing, writing. In the communications industry, it all comes down to writing. Speeches, press releases, tweets—it's all writing. Planning is critical. It is of paramount importance to understand the implications down the road of what you are doing today. Whether it be a website redesign, a public affairs campaign or media pitch, it will have implications months from now. Organizations want public relations professionals with foresight and critical thinking.

Favorite memories of Newhouse? My favorite memory is of our class hosting the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. This great State Department-funded exchange brought 20 journalists from the Middle East to meet and learn from their counterparts in the United States. It was fascinating to hear their stories and listen to their everyday interactions with geopolitical issues.

Advice for current students? Don't stress the small stuff. Always think to yourself, "Is this a big deal or little deal?" Useful in school, critical in the real world.

Lauren Day G'10

Current Position: External affairs officer, Leadership Institute, Washington, D.C.

Changes in the industry since graduation? The communications industry has developed rapidly in the last three years. More people are on social media sites than ever before, and because of this, organizations are integrating these mediums into their business communications strategies. Now, most organizations with 30-plus staffs have positions devoted to social media. 

Most important skills used today? The most important skills I use in my job now are graphics/design for marketing materials and AP style for written communications like news releases and blog posts.

Favorite memories of Newhouse? Favorite memories at Newhouse were definitely when I had office hours and got to help sophomore and junior students in my graphics class on their projects and assignments. It was a true joy getting to know them personally, help them achieve their goals and determine with them what career paths they desired. I also enjoyed studying with my fellow public diplomacy colleagues on projects and assignments at and into the late night as well as getting to know my professors, especially Dr. Brenda Wrigley, Professor Bill Smullen and Dr. Dennis Kinsey.

Advice for current students? Get to know your professors and seek their guidance—they know a lot! And make sure to start doing informational interviews with Newhouse alumni and people who have interesting jobs—folks love to talk about themselves and their careers and many love to help students too! These informational interviews allow you to learn more about various careers, thus what interests you, and allow an easy way to network one-on-one with folks. Life is short: make each day count by using your God-given talents effectively and loving what you do for employment!

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