Alumni Career Night 2013
On April 3, 2013, nine distinguished Communication alumni joined us to share their insights about careers with current Communication majors. Representing a range of career stages and professional fields, these alumni networked with our students, and gave advice about how to make the most of their time at UMass, as well as how to make those first career steps upon graduation. Check out their stories below.
Kayla Creamer, '09, has worked at Amherst Media as both the Government Access Coordinator and the Programming Director. She also started her own photography and film business in 2010. She has a strong background in television production and has worked closely with many students from the Five College consortium.
Michael Feder, '09, graduated with a dual degree in Sociology and then moved abroad where he began working for an international law firm, running partnerships, accounts, and eventually his own department. Michael recently moved back to the U.S. where he worked as the senior editor and consultant for an online magazine and as Marketing Manager for the Voices & Visions program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. He is now Marketing and Public Relations Manager at Young Judaea.
David Hatch, '88, is Senior Vice President & General Manager of Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks company specializing in research-driven content marketing services. David has been involved with making content and information searchable, accessible, and usable by business decision- makers since 1988. His career has spanned six years in television, six years in market research, eight years in software marketing, and now the past few years running businesses at Harte-Hanks, one of the world’s largest marketing services companies.
Mary Ann Petti, '09, went on to earn a master’s in public health from UMass Amherst in 2012. In 2011, Mary Ann traveled to provincial Russia where she planned and implemented a social marketing campaign to combat alcoholism among Russian youth. Mary Ann is a Health Communication and eHealth Specialist at CommunicateHealth, Inc. in Northampton, MA. She is passionate about the use of new media to promote positive behavior change and improve health literacy.
Eric Krans, '03, double-majored in English. After graduation, he worked in marketing and then in education as a special-ed teacher in the Boston area before moving to Thailand to teach English as a second language. He is currently program manager at Capital District Community Gardens, Troy, NY, where he launched The Veggie Mobile in 2007 and now oversees a food hub operation that provides year-round access to fresh produce in underserved communities. Eric and his wife Jennifer O’Connor (see right) maintain a small farm in Altamont, NY.
Jennifer O’Connor, '02, minored in Philosophy. After graduation, she worked in education as an after-school teacher in Medfield, MA, before moving to Thailand to teach English as a second language. She is founder and owner of the small business The Little Ragamuffin, and caretaker of the supporting farmstead The Kirk Estate. Jennifer and her husband Eric Krans (see left) write and record music under the name The Parlor.
Rod Oreste, '98, is founder and principal attorney of Oreste Law, a Boston-based solo practice focusing on real estate, estate planning, family law, and civil litigation. Previously, Rod worked for the Boston Red Sox as a public affairs manager for more than 12 years and co-authored the best- selling book Red Sox Legends during that time. This segment of his career grew out of a student internship he had lined up with UMass alum and long-time Red Sox vice president Dick Bresciani (Class of '60).
Meghan (LaTour) Oreste, '97, graduated cum laude with a double major in STPEC and has been working in the marketing/communications field for over 15 years. She is currently an independent consultant for medical companies seeking FDA approval for new technologies. She specializes in creating brands for emerging healthcare solutions, executing PR campaigns for new medical technology and clinical trials, and helping her clients forge partnerships with advocacy groups. Earlier, she was Director of Sales and Marketing for an online book publisher that she took from two published titles to over 40. Before that, she was Director of Marketing at FullAmor, a Boston software start-up.
Yaimani Rivera, '02, became a Traffic Coordinator at WBZ-TV in Boston shortly after graduating from UMass Amherst. There she met Liz Walker after volunteering and producing a weekly segment titled Todd’s Table with celebrity chef Todd English. She made a full transition to Associate/Field Producer on Walker’s news magazine show, Sunday with Liz Walker, on which she worked until 2010. Yaimani is currently the Executive Assistant to the Professor/Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.