Student Spotlight: Haley Watson C’20

Haley Watson C’20

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Staten Island, NY, and raised in New Jersey.

What attracted you to Drew?

I felt (and still feel!) that Drew has the best of both worlds: a close-knit community with relatively small class sizes that is close to New York City. I was also really attracted to the NYC Semesters.

Did you know what you wanted to major and minor in your first year? 

I always knew I wanted to be an English major because of my passion for reading. I was planning on minoring in the former Media and Film studies minor and taking some writing and communications classes, but fortunately, Drew created the Media and Communications major by the end of my first year.  Between my interest in marketing and Public Relations, and having enjoyed the media classes I had already taken, I decided to pursue that major too. Additionally, the Holocaust Studies minor had always peaked my interest and after realizing I had tailored some of my general education requirements to fit the minor, I decided to declare it!

What is it about your field that draws you to it?

I’ve always been interested in how we use writing and media to communicate in basically any way possible. I want to use marketing and other materials to help my company or brand share their own initiatives and/or products.

Have you done any internships?

I’ve completed two internships, serving as a Marketing Intern with Drew’s Center for Internships and Career Development and as a Publicity Intern with Wunderkind PR. As the CICD Marketing Intern, I created marketing materials and campaigns promoting the Center’s programming and services. My favorite project during this internship was creating Student Employee and Intern libraries for the Center’s website, highlighting Drew students’ internship and student employment experiences. This experience taught me how to use writing and social media to engage with college-aged audiences.

Interning at Wunderkind PR allowed me to explore two of my career interests, public relations and publishing, This was such a fantastic hands-on experience and opportunity to really learn about book publicity. Some of my responsibilities included pitching adult fiction titles to online media, creating press releases and praise sheets, and organizing mailings. I also attended various industry events, such as Book Expo, Publishers’ Publicity Association luncheons, and a shadow day at Picador.

Have you done any NYC, Short or LongTRECs?

During Fall 2019, I participated in the NYC Semester on Communications & Media. Visiting various companies in New York City’s communications industry, I learned so much about current strategies, challenges, and career opportunities. I also met so many enthusiastic Drew alumni! I co-wrote two blogs, one focused on media and race/class and the other on public relations.

During Jan Term 2020, I participated in the ShortTREC Ireland in the World: Peace and Social Justice. This TREC allowed me to connect with my Irish heritage and gain insight on the social and political conflicts that have and continue to face Ireland today. One of my favorite experiences during it was surfing in County Donegal!

Did you have any mentors at Drew?

I’m fortunate to have so many! Professor Sandra Jamieson, Professor Lisa Lynch, and Professor Neil Levi have always been super supportive in my studies and projects. Carolyn Parelli and Jenn Islam from the Center for Internships and Career Development have always given me great advice on my career interests and balancing everything going on in my academic and professional life.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?

Broadway trips with Student Activities and clubs, the NYC Semester, presenting at the Inaugural Launch Expo Fair, Junior Senior Formal, Ireland, Bingo (it’s a must-do before you graduate) and nights hanging out and studying with friends.

Any hobbies or activities or fun facts you’d like to share?

I am a huge reader.  I read 127 books last year! I’ve run the book and fandom blog, Fangirl Fury, since 2017. I talk about a variety of fangirl-related things, but books are its heart.  I’ll forever be grateful for Professor Jamieson’s Blogs, Tweets, & Social Media class for pushing me to create my blog.

I am a huge New York Rangers fan – back in the day when everyone had a home phone, my sisters and I recorded our voicemail saying, “You’ve reached the Watsons and we bleed blue!”.

What are your career plans?  Dream job?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

My dream job is to be a marketing or publicity director, ideally in New York City or the NYC area. It’s my absolute dream to work for a publishing company, getting paid to tell people they should read X book is a dream, or in the entertainment and popular culture space. I’m also interested in working for organizations that are socially active and invested in philanthropy efforts.

What advice would you give first-year students?

Invest in a step stool for your dorm room bed that will last for four years. Get involved as much as you can, work hard, and go to Bingo.




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