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Alumni of the Month

May 2014
Rondell J. Wescott

Q & A:

1. What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
My first full-time job after Hofstra was with Grey NY, an advertising agency in Manhattan.  I started as a production coordinator and my role was to support the producers with whatever help they needed to produce their television commercials.  I had the opportunity to work on commercials for Twix, Hasbro Toys & Games, Panasonic, Aquafresh, Downy, Febreze, Pringles and Olive Garden, to name a few. 

The most valuable thing I learned at Grey was to always have an opinion and to not be afraid to stand behind that opinion, even if you’re standing alone.  Each and every opinion matters!  My first boss, Nancy Axthelm, taught me that very valuable lesson and it’s something that I’ve kept with me since the beginning of my career.

2. How has your degree helped you?
My degree from The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication definitely helped me land my first job.  When I began job hunting toward the latter half of my final semester at Hofstra, I began to see just how many alumni we had across the country who were working in the television/film industry.  In fact, when I started working at Grey, I discovered that I was one of approximately 10 Hofstra alumni in their production department; I don’t think that was a coincidence.  The reputation of my fellow Hofstra alumni preceded me and played a huge part in obtaining my first job.

3. What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
I would tell current Hofstra students two things:

  1. There’s as much risk in doing nothing as there is in doing something.  Despite your fears and emotions, whatever it is that you want to achieve, go after it wholeheartedly with dedication, diligence and persistence.  You cannot be afraid to take the first step and just do something!
  2. Second, I would tell current students that you don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.  That said, always believe in yourself … especially if no one else does!

4. In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
Life-changing.

5. What is a typical day like for you as Senior Producer at Leo Burnett?
It’s probably cliché to say, but there is no typical day!  Working at Leo Burnett NY, I wear many hats as a senior producer.  I produce ads for broadcast, print and digital.  One day, I could be on set in New York City with a photographer shooting a print campaign for Fifth Third Bank, then literally the next week, I could be in Los Angeles gearing up for a multi-day television commercial shoot for the car rental company Avis.  And while I’m on set shooting either print or television ads, as soon as there’s a break in action, I’m glued to my iPhone sending emails or making calls to a company that we’ve hired to create digital banners for The Options Industry Council (OIC).  It’s rare that I work on only one project at a time.  So while I’m not exactly a circus clown, I have gotten pretty good at this juggling thing.

6. How did your internship experiences at Broadway Video Entertainment and News 12 Long Island help develop your career path?
My internship experiences were invaluable.  Having had the opportunity to do four internships in four different genres of television, I learned firsthand what it is that I enjoyed most.  While talk shows, episodic TV and local news were fun and interesting internships, it was advertising where I felt most comfortable.  I’m grateful that I learned this lesson over the course of my internships that lasted just one semester, instead of wasting years at a job that wasn’t the best fit and could have stunted my career growth. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your career progressing to in the future?
In 10 years, I see myself successfully running my own production company, DellCott Productions.  My goal is to produce top quality content for any medium for brands, companies and/or individuals.

Rondell J. Wescott

Ask Rondell where he’s from and he’ll tell you he was, “Born in Philly, made in New York.”

The “made” part happened at The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University where Rondell learned how to take the collective ramblings of an ad agency’s creative department and turn them into reality.

Today, with more than a decade of experience under his belt, he’s produced every medium under the sun from direct mail to digital to global television campaigns, with a range of work that stretches from health care, to consumer packaged goods to global corporations like ExxonMobil.

When he’s not busy working at making media, you’ll find Rondell consuming it – catching up on the backlog of programs he stockpiles on his long-suffering DVR.

You can check out his work at www.rondelljw.com or follow him on Twitter: @rondelljw.