Class Captain 2018 – Brooke Hitchens, Viacom

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“Always follow your dream because it will pay out in the end. If you’re passionate about something, use that momentum and ambition to channel it into career goals. Don’t do something just to be like everybody else. Ultimately, what makes you unique is your past and present, so use it to write your own future.”

What do you do on a typical day at work? As a Client Service Representative at Viacom, I essentially handle Adsales and partnership solutions. My day consists of managing deals made with Viacom to provide advertising time, marketing opportunities, and promotions for our many clients. I spend most of my day communicating internally and externally to make sure a client, such as Amazon, is happy with their purchased deals to be advertised as a part of our networks. I love my job because it really challenges me to know and learn the ins and outs of the business while doing what I love most. Plus, I can’t deny, we have some pretty awesome perks! 😉

How did you come across this opportunity? Entering the entertainment industry at a high level company is definitely not easy, but just like anyone else, I applied online on the Viacom career website. I was an intern with Viacom in the New York City office last summer, and I fell in love with the company and their internship program. When I was in New York, I interned for a different team, but I did informational interviews with many departments, including the AdSales team. I learned the basics of what it was like to be a Client Service Representative from a personal conversation, and I really saw myself as a perfect fit. I continually applied and actively involved myself in the recruiting process for many companies before committing to this opportunity, and it was a dream come true! The opportunities that come available in the industry are very fast paced. Sometimes the hiring process only takes 2 weeks from applying to completion. It took a lot of networking and perseverance to get me to where I am today!

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Every Wednesday, we have a sales meeting to go over the trending topics of each network and their related departments such as production, programming, marketing, research, and strategy. These meetings bring my job full circle, and I get to see the impact that my role and our company makes on a national, and sometimes global, level. It’s inspiring, empowering, and exciting all at once because our role in people’s lives is so prevalent, and Viacom is continuously following and setting trends of future generations. Additionally, I’m incredibly passionate about this industry. Everything from music, to television and movies are my creative outlets, and I love being surrounded by it on the daily. Our channels and assets such as MTV, CMT, Paramount Pictures, and Nickelodeon are just a few of the many brands I feel so connected to and get to work with every day. I feel a personal reward by being able to learn and grow with the industry as not only a fan but a team player.

What skills do you find important in your industry? Since I am working in Adsales and Partner Solutions, the most important skill to have is communication! It’s the core to my role as I’m continuously building relationships with people day after day, and having advanced people skills is so important. Additionally, having an open mind and a positive attitude will make all the difference. I would also strongly recommend to have an interest in marketing and the ability to understand the consumer or a client. Additionally, it’s important to continually be aware and open to changes as it happens on the daily in this industry. Ambition has to be there and so does your knowledge. Stay in-the-know with all industries and always be one step ahead. It’s cut-throat to be in entertainment, and passion is ultimately what will drive you to success.

In what ways did Eller prepare you for your job? Eller provided me with the connections that soon became my mentors and support system in my career ambitions. From career coaches, to friends, and to fellow leaders, these people were there to help guide me in making my decisions. Eller also taught me that networking is KEY to succeed in not only my industry, but in life. The people you meet will have an impact on you in one way or another, and keeping a strong relationship with your network is vital to your personal life and career opportunities. More specifically, Eller challenged me to step out of my comfort zone to land an internship in London and follow up the next summer as an intern in New York City. Little details go a long way and lead to some of the most rewarding experiences! Lastly, Eller prepared me with staff and faculty who were willing to help me grow and think outside of the box when it came to my education and career. I was out of the ordinary, going into an industry that wasn’t even recruiting on campus, but I was challenged in and outside of my classes to continue to focus on that goal with the resources that were given to me, giving me a more well-rounded education base to start my career.

Any advice for student looking to enter your industry/company? Always follow your dream because it will pay out in the end. If you’re passionate about something, use that momentum and ambition to channel it into career goals. Don’t do something just to be like everybody else. Ultimately, what makes you unique is your past and present, so use it to write your own future. Continue to challenge yourself to learn new things and grow everyday. There’s no such thing as starting too early when it comes to exploring opportunities, meeting new people, or trying something new. Lastly, remember that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes timing can be everything. Be patient. It doesn’t make you more or less successful because you experienced something different than the ‘typical path.’ Nothing should ever come easy, so have faith that your hard work will pay off. Be extraordinary.

What is your favorite UA/Eller memory? My favorite UA memory was being selected on the 2018 Homecoming Court alongside some of my best friends. I was surrounded by so many inspiring and talented people and met the heart and soul of this University. I will never forget the week of activities and events that the Alumni Association & Bobcats Senior Honorary put on for the Wildcat community, and I truly felt the connection between our alumni and what we were as students about to graduate from the best school in the nation. My favorite memories on this campus have always been cherished by being surrounded by the greatest people I have ever met, and it wouldn’t have been the same without the experience of being a Wildcat!

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