Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Catching up with Carolyn Gierer ’10

What are you doing now? 

For a little over a year now, I’ve been an account associate at Emanate PR, which is a sister agency to Ketchum. I love working in an agency culture because I’m learning so much and getting a broad range of experience. Most of my time is focused on Bank of America’s online, mobile and fraud claims division; we work with the bank’s internal media team and executives on projects such as product launches (including ClearXchange, as well as the iPad, Android and Windows 7 apps), executive positioning, influencer relations, and media relations (both traditional and social). Right now I’m working on issues such as the regulatory environment and other tactical elements for several programs that will launch in 2012. Never in a million years did I think I would be working in financial services when I graduated from Hofstra, but I find the emerging technologies, innovation and changing environment in the banking industry to be really interesting.

I also closely support Stiefel, a GlaxoSmithKline company that develops skin care products, and am working on overall global positioning for some of its brands. Most of my current focus is on MaxClarity, an acne product. We work with several other agencies in order to integrate all the marketing, direct response and public relations efforts for their internal communications, social media, customer engagement, and traditional media relations. We want to make sure we’re implementing new and engaging ways to reach and connect with our teen audience.

How did Hofstra prepare you for your career? 

I loved that Hofstra offered public relations as a specific major; in many other schools, you get just a broad communications degree. It was also great that we had so many adjunct professors – they were working professionals who could share firsthand experience of all the changes that the PR field was going through. In fact, every career opportunity I’ve had has been through a Hofstra connection. First, I gained two internships, one at WPIX-11 and another at NBC Universal, through the School of Communication. Then, after graduation, I was looking for work and attended a networking event at Bryant Park, and met Torsten Gross, who was also a Hofstra alumnus. He made a few calls and helped set up some interviews, and I ended up with two job offers, including the one from my current employer.

How has your Hofstra connection helped you in giving back? 

Well, Torsten and I, along with two others, founded a nonprofit called Host For Good (, which is a new charity model that offers everyone, everywhere, the tools to host charity events at home in order to enforce the idea of doing good for the sake of good. We’re creating a movement that’s changing how people and organizations view their priorities for donating. The mission of Host For Good is to remove the bias and stress from giving. We believe that charity should be about the selfless act of giving and hope, to spread the message that anyone can make a difference, regardless of how much money is raised by individual events. I’m also the director of communications for the group, and we’re very excited about launching the organization in 2012.

What do you remember most about your time at college? 

I transferred to Hofstra as a sophomore from Indiana University and am so grateful for the friends that I made in my three years there. I was a member of Sigma Delta Tau and was on the cheerleading team, and met so many amazing people whom I still speak to and see regularly. I really miss having my best friends be just a door away and love going back to see everyone.


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