Ithaca College Will Make You Ready
With a vibrant community, professors who inspire, and the hands-on experience you need to dive into your field with confidence.
Jared Dionne knows how to recognize a great rising band. Discovering new music is a passion for Jared—one that he wants to share with the world. His intense connection to the music scene led him to pursue a journalism major in Ithaca’s Roy H. Park School of Communications.
“I started writing for the Ithacan and learned very quickly what it means to be a journalist,” Jared says. “I wanted to do reviews. I wanted to introduce people to new music.”
Jared was surprised at the opportunities he got at IC right away. He was sent to report on concerts at Ithaca’s popular music venues. “Ra Ra Riot performed and I got to interview them. The Ithacan got me the interview, and it was only my second week in college. That’s when I realized I was going to be fine at Ithaca. I interviewed multiple bands including Ok Go, An Horse, and Phoenix.”
Meeting bands he loved and making connections made Jared realize he wanted a more active role in the music industry. “I needed more hands-on. I decided to pick up the marketing major—I wanted to get into booking these shows.”
Jared joined the Ithaca College Bureau of Concerts and worked his way up to the top, sharing his vision of bringing new music to the Ithaca College scene. “I don’t want anyone who’s in school at IC now to see a band they’ve already seen. I want people to see bands before they get big.”
Jared’s broad background caught the attention of LA concert promotion company Goldenvoice. “The company saw that I had the technical end with marketing and promoting, and then I had the artistic end with writing—being able to articulate something and communicate it to other people.”
At Goldenvoice, Jared helped promote and coordinate concerts in the LA area and worked on developing the company’s social media strategy. Following his internship, Jared was asked by Goldenvoice to help the company run its social media remotely. Goldenvoice even asked him to work the company’s biggest event in 2013—Coachella.
“I feel ready to go out and explore the music world. There’s a lot we still don’t know about, so hopefully I’ll see what’s going on and change it a bit.”
“My quest to change the culture on campus started when I visited Ithaca as a high school student and was dazzled by the inspiring views of Cayuga Lake,” says Leonard Slutsky ’14.
Ithaca’s connection to the impressive body of water made Leonard think about students’ relationships with water on the IC campus. “Everyone was using disposable water bottles,” Leonard says. “There was a lot of waste.”
When he got to campus, the leadership scholar founded IC Take Back the Tap and led a successful mission to take the wastefulness out of the water cycle at IC. The group created awareness programs, set up water taste tests, and helped change policies on campus to decrease the use of disposable water bottles. They even worked with IC staff to get water bottle filling stations installed all over campus and change the way water is provided at campus events.
As Leonard’s leadership abilities grew, he became a student leadership consultant to help other students create change. The integrated marketing communications student used what he was learning in classes to help shift attitudes and behaviors on campus. “Even though things have been going a certain way for a long time, it’s okay to step up and change it.”
In Ad Lab—a course that gives students the chance to form their own mini ad agency to compete in the National Student Advertising Competition—Leonard learned how to harness the power of marketing beyond the IC campus. “We worked as an advertising agency to produce work and a presentation. It was a lot of sleepless nights and hard work, but I got a really true ad agency experience.”
Leonard’s experience continued on the West Coast as part of the Ithaca College Los Angeles (ICLA) program. ICLA students take classes at a satellite campus in LA, work at internships in business and media, and meet people who can open doors all over the city. “I got a lot of exposure to Los Angeles through the network of people there. The people who run the ICLA program brought us to film screenings and events at the Academy [of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences]. IC alumni in the area came in to talk to us about what it’s like breaking in, how to find jobs, and other things we’d need to know.”
Leonard was determined to work at an LA ad agency after graduating, so he began reaching out to contacts he’d made through IC. One of the people he met at an IC Career Services career and internship connection event was able to get his resume into the right hands at RPA, a full-service ad agency in Santa Monica, California.
As a strategic planning assistant at RPA, Leonard puts his leadership and marketing skills to use every day, working on new business pitches and uncovering the many ways and reasons consumers make decisions. “I’m doing research and uncovering the human truths and insights that help drive the creative—giving people the inspiration and knowledge that they need to create something really cool.”
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