New York State Of Mind
Abby Fox ’19 is all about the NYC experience—and every big opportunity the Big Apple has to offer. That kind of drive brought her work all the way to the desk of Amy Poehler!
Abby Fox ’19 is a Communications Studies major on the NYC Campus and current Consumer Products intern at Viacom. She’s interned for music and talent agencies, written for Beyond The Stage magazine, worked as an usher at the Schimmel Center, and volunteered for nonprofits like Abington Friends Meeting and Read Ahead. Back on campus, Fox earned positions like Member Relations Committee Vice-Chair of the Lambda Sigma National Honors Society and Programming Committee Co-Chair for the Honors Council. She’s even hosted on WPUB Radio!
Right now, Fox works with both the Brand Licensing and Live Entertainment teams at Viacom, which is where her opportunity to pitch to Amy Poehler came from. Exciting? You bet! We got the chance to chat with Fox about that experience as well as her love of all things New York.
Why did you end up choosing Pace? What set Pace apart from other universities?
As a junior now, I feel that I have really ended up where I belong. Living in New York is such an exciting experience; I love being able to see the Freedom Tower out my window or going for a casual stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge on the weekend. Pace—and the city in general—has provided me with an endless amount of opportunities from engaging classes, to leadership positions in extracurricular groups, to incredible internship opportunities pertaining perfectly to my area of study. Pace is a unique school because New York City is one of our campuses, and that was one of the major reasons why I chose to spend four years here.
How did you hear about Career Services?
I first heard about Career Services during an open house before I had even committed to Pace. I was definitely interested in the internship and networking possibilities, and the Pace Career Services office seemed to be very knowledgeable and helpful to students, especially in such a city like New York, which is rich with career opportunities.
During my first semester, a Career Services representative came to talk to my UNV 101 class about all the services they had to offer, and as a brand new freshman, I’ll admit it was slightly overwhelming. But one thing stood out to me: Handshake. I thought it was great that Pace gave students access to hundreds of internship listings from all different cities on one convenient website. So I went to Career Services during my sophomore year. They edited and approved my resume, which unlocked Handshake so that I could start applying for internships.
Who worked with you?
Orellana del Fierro worked with me to improve my resume.
We’re told that you conducted an enormous amount of research during the application and interview process. Could you walk us through that?
After my freshman year, I was lucky enough to land my first internship with a talent agency. The CEO of the company was actually the mother of a friend in my neighborhood back home, so I reached out to her on a whim to see if she had any opportunities for me to volunteer or intern in her company in order to gain some experience in the entertainment industry, and she offered me a summer position the very next day!
However, most internships don’t come that easily, so when I got an interview with Viacom (the company I’m at now), I wanted to make sure I was well-prepared. I had actually applied to about 50 internships with different companies to increase my chances; I keep a long list of media, communications, and entertainment companies I'm interested in, and I also browsed through general career websites like Glassdoor and Linkedin. I didn't hear back from most of the places I applied, but I did get interviews with six of them, and Viacom ended up being the best offer and most exciting company, so it worked out pretty well.
My past internships were all with start-up companies, so at first I was a little surprised that I stood out to Viacom without having any big names on my resume. I had two interviews (one with HR and one with the specific department) and both were really good, no-pressure conversations about my experiences and interests. I did a lot of research familiarizing myself with the company’s brands and department functions, and I made notes of relevant responsibilities from my past positions, so I felt very prepared. They actually offered me the internship the next morning!
Just recently, I found out that I got a spring internship for next semester with Viacom, again in the Spike TV Communications department, so I’m pretty excited.
Of all your employment positions, which did you like best? What was a defining moment for you while working there?
I am loving my current position as a Consumer Products intern with the Brand Licensing and Live Entertainment teams at Viacom. I work on researching festival news and helping with the initial planning stages for a comedy/music festival in addition to organizing merchandise samples, products, and art assets for review from our licensees.
One defining moment that happened recently was that the Vice President of my department actually asked me to draft a pitch that would be seen by Amy Poehler and her manager. I was so excited because I’ve been a huge fan of hers for years, and it means a lot knowing that my superiors trust me to do actual, important work. It’s something that I can be proud to talk about during future interviews and to have on my resume.
When did you decide to pursue Communications as a major? Why?
I decided to pursue Communications before I even began my college career, and luckily it has proven to be a great choice. It incorporates many of my interests and passions—media studies, cultural studies, public relations, broadcast media, and journalism. My classes also touch on themes of history, language, sociology, and psychology. With a degree in Communication Studies—especially in the ever-changing media and information economy—I can feasibly take many different career paths, but I chose to specialize in the entertainment industry, specifically by minoring in Arts and Entertainment Management.
Could you tell us a little bit about your work with Abington Friends Meeting?
I was in junior high school when I overheard my mother talking about a situation at our Quaker Meeting. They had received an urgent request from Face to Face, a nonprofit agency serving hot meals to the needy in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. In the past, various religious communities provided casseroles to be frozen and then prepared for meals, but the program was beginning to fizzle in many communities due to scheduling difficulties for the volunteer cooks. Without the casseroles, Face to Face would sometimes have to close their doors to people still waiting in line for a meal, so I volunteered to initiate a new approach to make the timing more convenient.
I spoke with the staff at Face to Face, then put together foil pans with instructions for participation and recipes taped inside each pan. The pans were given out at our Meeting so the cooks could take them home to make casseroles at their own convenience. I oversaw the delivery, added the option for people to donate money for ingredients, and communicated regularly with the community so that members would stay informed. People seemed to pay attention because I was passionate about the project, and it continues to be successful to this day as other young members take the lead as coordinators.
What motivates you?
My motivation is New York City. There are so many opportunities here, especially in my field. If I didn’t take advantage of all the possibilities, I know I would regret it.
Tell us surprising fact about you! What’s something most people don’t know?
Although I am often busy with balancing classes, my internship, and my other job, I really just love to take naps whenever I have the chance. There is nothing better than curling up with my blankets and forgetting about everything happening in the world around me for just a few minutes.
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