Andranae Nelson '17Externship Host: Andy Yost '87, Senior VP for Marketing, Gannett
Externship Location: Washington DC
Hometown: Washington DC
Class Year: 2017
Major: double major in markets, innovation & design as well as Spanish
On Campus Activities: POSSE scholar, Chair of Advocacy of Black Student Union, Co-captain of Bisonettes Dance Team, Peer Writing Consultant at the Writing Center
Career/Life Goals: My ultimate goal is to be able to merge business (marketing) and the arts in my future career. I hope to gain work experience at a company like NBC or Viacom first and then go to graduate school to get my MBA. My ultimate goal is to start a non-profit organization that would allow youth to express themselves through the performing arts.

My Externship experience:
My externship experience was phenomenal. I am so grateful that I was able to shadow an incredibly successful Bucknell alum like Mr. Yost. I also met several others who work in Mr. Yost's division. In the process, I learned more about consumer marketing, digital partnerships and other crucial aspects of the company's marketing division.

Did this Externship help you make decisions about your future career?
My experience at Gannett helped confirm that I want to pursue a career in the marketing industry. I also realized that I can do what I love - performing arts - and still have a career in business.

What was the most beneficial part of your Externship experience?
The most beneficial part of my Externship experience was speaking to several of the professionals at Gannett in the marketing division about their work experience. I also enjoyed visiting the offices of USA Today and the newsroom, which is also known as the hub. It was truly inspiring to see what I'm learning at Bucknell manifest in the work world.

What advice did your Externship Host give?
My Externship Host provided me with a list of important skills for marketers to develop, such as strong communication, marketing knowledge (analytics), project management, organizational skills and Excel proficiency. Mr. Yost and his colleagues encouraged me to stay informed about current events in the marketing world and introduced me to some websites that I should explore to find current news on marketing.

What is something you took away from your Externship experience?
One key element I learned is that the well-being of the community should truly be the focus of businesses. A central theme I noticed when speaking to everyone at Gannett was the emphasis on improving relationships and fulfilling needs of clients and consumers. For example, when I spoke to Ms. Jodi Gersh, the Director of Social Media & Engagement, she explained Gannett's Make a Difference Day campaign and how individuals should aim to be "community connectors." This term describes individual who not only deliver news, but also work towards fixing issues that are presented. This idea resonated with me because I live by Mahatma Gandhi's quote: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself within the service of others." Therefore, as I continue my pursuit of marketing and the performing arts, I will remember to always put the needs of the community first.

Would you recommend the Externship program to current students?
I would definitely recommend the Externship program to other students because it gives them an opportunity to apply what they are learning at Bucknell in a real-world setting. Finding a place to practice and apply your skills is always valuable. I would also suggest applying for the Externship at Gannett to any interested students because the individuals there are extremely honest and welcoming and gave me a lot of beneficial advice about entering the marketing industry.

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