Rob Engelsman ’11

An award-winning thought leader who moves at the speed of culture, Rob Engelsman ‘11 knows how to garner billions of impressions for global brands.

Rob Engelsman stands behind a table with a WICB banner.

Rob Engelsman during his student days at Ithaca College. 

A journalism major who took the helm as news director for IC’s radio station by the end of his first year, Rob Engelsman ’11 turned his passion for storytelling into a superpower for global brands.

Rob, who now co-owns a brand consultancy based in New York City and San Francisco called Quick Study, has judged the Webby Awards, contributed to multiple award-winning campaigns, and garnered billions of impressions for brands such as Adidas, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Hyatt, and L’Oreal, among others. He attributes his professional success to his unquenchable curiosity—a quality nurtured in him as a student at Ithaca College. 

“Curiosity is the linchpin of everything I do,” says Rob. “Journalism is about asking questions and learning about things you don’t know about. And essentially, my job today is curiosity again, but it’s also about being curious about the right things.” 

Media Marathon

As a senior in high school, Rob knew he wanted to study journalism. He had already published articles in his hometown paper, and he wanted to go to a college where he could explore and “get his hands dirty” immediately.   

“The idea that I could go to a school that gave me the chance to try a bunch of different stuff within the bucket of communications, even if it wasn’t necessarily my major, felt really cool,” explains Rob, who minored in religious studies and politics.  

Once on campus, Rob didn’t hesitate to add his dynamic energy to the 24-hour buzz in IC’s communications school hub, Park Hall, particularly in the studios for ICTV and WICB, the college’s television and radio stations. In 2008, he helped put together a video package for the 50th anniversary of ICTV, the world’s oldest student-run cable station: “We did a 24-hour marathon of live content on ICTV, and it was really fun.” 

By his senior year, Rob found himself in the studios at least four days a week, hosting the news and working as a DJ for WICB. “I was spending literally 18 hours a day in the basement of the Park School some days—and I loved it,” he says. In fact, he even spent summers and holidays DJing for the station. Sometimes, people would recognize his voice (aka: DJ McScruff) when he was shopping at the local grocery store. At the time, he listened to thousands of CDs and still sees music as a great reference point for setting the mood in any story. (Listen to his top 10 playlist from his senior year in 2010–11.)  

“I learned a lot from spending time around other people in the Park School and just being in an atmosphere that allows you to be open and not know the right answer,” notes Rob about the encouragement he received at IC to be bold, curious, and continually learning, a perspective that fueled his future.

“The end of college wasn’t the end of my Ithaca experience.”  

After Rob graduated in 2011, he applied his knowledge and understanding of burgeoning new media strategies to his job as IC’s first-ever multimedia content specialist: “The end of college wasn’t the end of my Ithaca experience,” says Rob. “I got to work for the school and build those IC connections more. Then, I moved to New York to work at an agency because I met another Ithaca alum working there. And so, a lot of my career path is because I stayed connected with people from Ithaca.” With his move to New York, Rob joined IC’s New York Metro Alumni Committee, was nominated for the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and now serves as the board’s vice president.  

Quick Study, the company Rob cofounded in 2022, celebrated a very successful first two years working with high-profile clients such as Lululemon and Adidas. Ever alert for the next ripple effect in the industry, Quick Study also provides crucial thought leadership (including their company’s bespoke Study Guides) and insights about the cultural landscape for thousands of thinkers at over 150 brands and agencies in 58 countries.   

And Rob still relies on his curiosity: “It is part of my job that I have to learn all the time, but that’s part of what makes it so fun—the openness to continue to try new things. I think part of the reason that’s so instilled in me is because it was such a cornerstone of my experience at Ithaca.”  


A collection of introductions to the Ithaca College story—about those who continue to write it.
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Quinten Hernandez

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Traci Hughes

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Scott Capozza

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