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Melissa Edelblum ’15, Proving That Experience Outside the Classroom will Take you Far

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Recent alumna Melissa Edelblum spoke to a room full of students as part of the Cool Connections, Hot Alumni speaker series about her memorable four years at Binghamton and how it prepared her to go into the real world and pursue a career in marketing and social media.

Edelblum graduated in 2015 with a BA in English Rhetoric. Coming into college, she always thought she would major in Theatre because of her passion and interest in entertainment. However proving that not everything goes as planned, she switched her major to English Rhetoric in the hopes that it would fulfill more of her academic needs and prepare her towards a career in television production.

As much as academics were a priority, extracurriculars were just as important for Edelblum. She played on the varsity tennis team, worked on plays with Mainstage Theatre, and was involved with the major media outlets including Pipe Dream, BTV, and WHRW.

All of these experiences enabled her to understand the meaning of team work and taking responsibility and pride for your own work. As well, these activities allowed her to build connections with both her professors and peers.

Edelblum advised to students to “have relationships here, now and at your internships, so those people can vouch for you and say why you would be an asset to a company.”

With this outlook, she utilized that powerful Binghamton connection and scored internships at both Fox Networks and MTV focusing in Production and Production Management.

All of these internships and campus involvement experiences, plus her social media internship at the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, prepared Edelblum for the next phase of her life – finding and landing a job.  

Melissa Edelblum talking to students She recounts how extensive her job hunt was which included her applying to jobs at several TV production companies and other entertainment companies. But when it came to her job offer at Horizon, it was instigated through Linkedin.   

“Someone from Horizon saw that I was a ‘Social Media Specialist’ on Linkedin, saw Binghamton, and reached out,” she said.

Although it seems ideal to have an employer reach out to you, rather than vice versa, Edelblum addressed to the students that her first job experience in the real world was a paid internship.

She explains how many companies hire in two waves; one is after the summer and the other is after the New Year. However, Edelblum emphasizes to students that they shouldn’t shy away from taking a post-college paid internship.

She states, “don’t be afraid to take paid internships after college, they can turn into jobs in just a few short months.”

Edelblum tells students in regards to paid internships, that you will have to pay your dues and be willing to learn. Paid internships are a great way to get to know a company and move your way up.

Melissa Edelblum talking to students

If there’s anything that she has learned this past year transitioning from a college student to a real working adult, is that you should always be seeking out new opportunities.

“Recently I was on the subway and overheard someone talking about how they needed a social media manager. So I slipped him my business card; you never know who they are and how they could impact your life in the future,” she stressed.

Edelblum’s advice was very surreal because of how less than a year ago she was in this same position as many students who attended the program are now.

She left students with some final words of encouragement, “everyone is going to do great things; just seek out opportunities and internships as much as you can and the rest will follow.”

-By Melissa Chalson