by Kurt Gottschalk
When Rachel Voorhees ’14 went to Adelphi University’s Center for Career Development, she was assigned a mentor who went more than the extra mile. Linda Romano, M.A. ’03, at the time director of the Office of Promotion and Outreach, not only taught her how to interview and write an effective cover letter—she also gave Voorhees her first job.
Voorhees graduated with a B.A. in Communications: Journalism and Public Relations in 2014. By that point, Romano, her first career adviser, had moved on to a new job. Little did Voorhees know when she applied for a job as a copywriter at television studio and production company Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) that their paths would cross again.
Nor did Romano. As she explained during an interview with both women in MNN’s offices on West 59th Street in Manhattan, applicants’ names are blocked before she goes through applications.
“If the résumé is good, I put a star next to it,” Romano said. “Rachel’s cover letter was totally sharp. From the opening sentence it really stuck out. It’s a challenging time to be a young grad because the jobs now are entry level, but they want you to have experience. So that cover letter is a chance to show your chops.”
Voorhees let out a little laugh at the compliment. “I learned how to write a cover letter from Linda,” she said.
While her title is copywriter, Voorhees is applying the communications skills honed at Adelphi to a variety of tasks.
“I’m doing social media, scheduling tweets, writing Web stories,” she said.
And those opportunities will only increase as the department grows. According to Romano, who is the network’s first director of marketing, the copywriter job demands someone who can multitask across various platforms.
“Today you’re going to be writing tweets; tomorrow you might be writing copy and working an event,” she said.
MNN provides free classes in digital production and editing as well as the facilities and equipment to make a show and the opportunity to broadcast it. And with four channels and 13,000 hours of content being created every year, they don’t have a problem with having enough to put on the air and on the Web. Their problem is letting people know it exists.
“I’m trying to engage people; there’s so much content on social media all the time,” Vorhees said. “I’m trying to keep pushing our name and our content as much as possible.”
And all of it came because of the initial Adelphi connection.
“When I was just starting my senior year, I went to the career center, where they pair you with a mentor, and they matched me with Linda,” Voorhees said. “It’s really great how things have come full circle for me and how Adelphi has connected me to Linda and the job.”
In a sense, Romano is continuing her mentor role today. While she was pleased to bring her old mentee aboard, she said that she wants to see Voorhees build her skill set and go on to apply them somewhere else.
“I keep telling her to keep clips together,” she said, as she turned to Voorhees. “There will come a point where it will be obvious that you can continue to learn here, or not.”
Center for Career and Professional Development
Nexus Building, Room 225
p – 516.877.3130