Breaking through the competition to get that first gig after graduation — every communications professional has faced this challenge. Though the task may seem daunting, aspiring young graduates of BYU’s communications program can take heart from the example of alumnus Paul Rennie, the newest VP/GM of WXIN-WTTV in Indianapolis, Ind., who, having cleared the first-job hurdle, has gone on to a successful career.
“I worked hard and interviewed for about three months before I landed my first job out of college,” Rennie said. “I was hired by Petry Television in Los Angeles, they sent me to NY for a few months of training, then on to Minneapolis as an Account Executive.”
Rennie credits his wife and coworkers for helping him build a fulfilling life after graduation.
“We’ve moved all over the country, and while it can be fun to live in different cities, it is not always easy,” he said. “This business is full of wonderful people. I’ve been fortunate to work for and with many great people who have had a very positive influence on my life and career.”
He also singles out his time at BYU as his springboard into the industry after graduation. Rennie gained his introduction to the business through the many classes the university offered in sales, marketing, media, advertising and management. He worked as an Account Executive for “The Daily Universe” selling advertising space for the paper throughout Utah Valley, which job helped him gain experience in selling to local businesses.
These educational experiences helped him to be ready when a key internship came knocking.
“I was . . . fortunate to spend a summer in New York City interning for a national radio representation firm and another summer in Seattle interning in the sales department at a local television station. The combination of course work at BYU and industry experience prepared me to enter the television business,” he continued.
For students looking to start their own careers, Rennie emphasized the importance of face-to-face contact to build lasting relationships.
“Don’t hide behind email and social media to communicate. Get out, meet people and develop solid business connections and real friends,” he said.