By Julia McNamee
As a second-semester senior, I’ve heard plenty of “you can do anything you put your mind to” lectures in my time as a student. I get it. Dream big.
But I also want to know the real stuff. What kind of job am I going to get when I graduate? How much money am I going to make starting out?
These are exactly the types of questions that Penn State alum Angelo
Milone answered during his return to Abington on Nov. 12.
Milone, once an eager Penn State Abington freshman and now director of marketing content development for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies at Drexel University’s College of Medicine, came to speak to The Lion’s Roar staff about what we could expect after graduation.
He spoke about everything from his own experience as a writer for our school’s paper, to quitting one of the worst jobs he’s ever had. And during his speech, he kept things real, which the class was able to appreciate.
Milone graduated from Penn State as a journalism major in 2001. He spoke about how he originally wanted to work in the music business, interviewing his favorite artists and bands. But he quickly realized that his dream career might have to take a backseat.
After job-searching for six months, he accepted an offer at a nursing publication, where he was told he would be writing a lot about orthopedic shoes and scrubs.
Ironically, the start date of Milone’s new gig fell on Sept. 12, 2001. This quickly changed the course of his writing pieces. He now had to interview nurses who had helped the victims of 9/11. Pretty heavy stuff for the first week of your first real job.
Milone made out well at the publication, but began noticing a downward trend in the writing business. Companies were beginning to hire outside, freelance writers. Soon, Sally, with no degree, whose sister was a nurse, would be writing the same articles that Milone was writing (and for a fraction of the price). He knew he had to make a career move.
Although he worried that he might have made a mistake with his chosen journalism degree, Milone decided to roll with it and try his hand in marketing. He began working for Drexel as the assistant director of marketing, even though he had no prior experience in the industry.
When asked how he managed to snag this role, he explained how he proved himself during the interview process. He referred to his days as an editor and writer for The Lion’s Roar. He knew that even with a lack of direct marketing experience, he had the skill set needed for the job.
He explained that it’s all about sticking with a project from the beginning to the end. From an original idea, to the creative process and publishing, Milone had worked on tasks like this a hundred times. Pitching a concept would be similar to pitching a story idea. Seeing an idea through would be similar to writing a story.
And as the editor-in-chief of The Lion’s Roar in 1997, Milone even had experience with editing and putting the final seal of approval on his work and the work of others.
Milone’s main advice to the students of The Lion’s Roar (and all college students) was to be a jack of all trades. In today’s ever-changing and growing world, you need to adapt your skills to whatever the job market is looking for.
He suggests that you don’t get too stuck in one role, as versatility in your experience and skill set could be the difference between you and another candidate for the job you want.
He adds that you should try to soak up as much knowledge as you can now. Get familiar with Photoshop. Play around in Microsoft Excel. You may never know when it could come in handy.
Now this isn’t to say that Milone was negative or told us to steer clear of our own dream jobs. But he was a realist, which was refreshing. His speech was insightful as well as inspirational as he was able to give somewhat of an inside scoop on the “real world.”