Grad Finds Dream Job Through Alumni Connections
Published on May 11, 2012
When Lewisburg, Pa., native Kellie Nebiker was a freshman at Susquehanna University, a professor asked what her dream job was. She told him she’d thought about working in magazines, but as she dove into her business education, she quickly forgot about that career path and began focusing on learning all she could about marketing. Little did she know that an encounter with a Susquehanna alumna three years later would lead her to a magazine internship and ultimately a job at O, The Oprah Magazine.
In November, Nebiker attended a presentation hosted by the Department of Communications. The guest speaker was 2000 graduate Leah Wyar-Romito, beauty director at Cosmopolitan magazine. After the presentation, Nebiker introduced herself to Wyar-Romito, who was instantly impressed with the young woman. “She introduced herself with incredible confidence, looking me in the eye, smiling and firmly shaking my hand—all those things Susquehanna professors tell you make a difference,” Wyar-Romito recalls, “and then she whipped out an SU business card! I nearly died. I thought this was the coolest thing I ever saw: This girl, a senior in college, already had a business card. I took her résumé and wrote on it ‘excellent future hire.’”
Weeks later, one of Wyar-Romito’s spring interns fell through, and Nebiker, who finished her coursework in December, was waiting in the wings to seize the opportunity. “From the day I started, I was determined to be the best intern they had ever seen,” said Nebiker. “I networked whenever I got the chance. I gave out as many business cards as I could and talked with Cosmo employees on every level, from the mail carrier to the publisher of the magazine.”
People took notice of her go-getter attitude. “Kellie didn’t disappoint,” Wyar-Romito said. “She was absolutely one of the best interns I’ve ever had. She didn’t just do her job, she went above and beyond with that killer work ethic SU instills.”
One of Cosmo’s ad salespeople was equally impressed, and encouraged Nebiker to apply for an opening as an advertising and sales assistant at O, The Oprah Magazine. Nebiker applied online the next morning, and within an hour, she received a phone call from O. Three interviews followed that day, and she was asked to come to the O office for two more interviews the following week. She was offered the position the day after her in-person interviews.
Once resigned to a much different career path, Nebiker has found the perfect match between her dream job and course of study at Susquehanna as she works alongside O’s Executive Beauty Director Patricia Foster selling advertising to an exclusive clientele.
“To say it is a dream come true is an understatement,” Nebiker said. “My position with O will allow me to grow in multiple fields. From here I can go into advertising, sales, beauty, fashion or marketing. It’s all about creating opportunities for the future, and that was the first thing I fell in love with when I learned more about the position.”