Nicole Vicino, CAMD alumna
Nicole Vicino is a recent graduate from Northeastern University where she received a BA in Communication Studies with minors in Business Administration and Media Production. In 2014, Nicole had the opportunity to co-op for the Media Relations team at Eaton Vance Corp., an investment management firm in Boston. Two years later, once she had graduated, Nicole rejoined the team as a full-time employee. We recently connected with Nicole about her daily work, her transition from co-op to full-time and her advice for other CAMD students.
Tell me about what you do on the Media Relations team at Eaton Vance.
I work with my media relations colleagues to build and maintain a favorable public image of Eaton Vance with the public and the press. Every day looks different for us, which is what I love! I am involved with many different aspects of the business and work with several (and almost all) teams here. A few of my tasks include working on a press release to announce new hires or the launch of a new fund, facilitating live TV broadcasts from our in-house studios, managing our internal company-wide emails and organizing press interviews with journalists from publications like The Wall Street Journal with our portfolio managers. It’s an exciting job and I come to work every morning never knowing what may happen that day.
How did your co-op at Eaton Vance help you transition onto the team full-time?
Working as a co-op at Eaton Vance before starting full-time made the transition into “adulthood” so much easier. It was great to return to a company where I understood my team’s dynamic, was familiar with the business and my colleagues, and remembered how to do many of the tasks I do today. Even the little things, like knowing the cafeteria staff’s names and how to use the coffee maker helped me to feel so much more confident starting full-time. I was able to jump right back in right where I started.
What have been your favorite projects or moments working at Eaton Vance?
This year, Eaton Vance signed as the presenting sponsor of the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular for the next three years. I was brought onto the project early on, before it was announced, and learned so much about how a sponsorship works. I was involved in everything from contract negotiations, to press conference logistics and even recorded a video that was played on the jumbotron on the Esplanade on July 3rd and 4th. The night of the concert was a whirlwind but so much fun. I was able to accompany our CEO, Tom Faust, backstage to press interviews I lined up with Bloomberg TV and Radio where we met Melissa Etheridge and even visited Keith Lockhart, the conductor of the Boston Pops, in his dressing room before the show started. I would’ve never imagined I would be given such an amazing opportunity working for Eaton Vance when I co-oped there in 2014!
How did your classes at Northeastern prepare you for your work post-graduation?
To do well in a PR role, you have to be able to communicate effectively, multi-task, and hold a conversation with anyone. My communication classes at Northeastern were very focused on writing and definitely gave me a lot of practice writing in different styles and for different audiences which has been helpful. I learned how to multi-task effectively between my course-load and the dozens of activities I was involved in, like most CAMD students. I also really appreciated that communications majors are required to take public speaking, as public speaking is absolutely necessary in a public relations role. It is so important to be a confident speaker in any job and it was great to have practice doing that in college.
You majored in Communication Studies with minors in Business Administration and Media Production – how has that helped you with your career in the financial industry?
My boss has a saying that “PR people are a mile-wide and an inch deep,” meaning that we know a little bit about a ton of stuff. I think that my academic history at Northeastern was very much the same. I was able to learn a lot about communications with my major and a little bit about Business Administration and Media Production with my minors. In my role at Eaton Vance, I need to know the basics of business and finance, which I learned about through my minor. Coming into this role, I didn’t expect to use the skills I learned in Media Production as frequently as I do. Because we facilitate live TV broadcasts from our in-house studio about once a week, it’s very helpful that I know how to set up the studio, understand the broadcast lingo from the producers and the nature of the business – thanks Michelle Carr and Sam Lotuff!
What do you love most about public relations?
I am a super social person and I love that I am able to work with so many different people at my company, in the industry and in the press every day. I love that building meaningful relationships is part of the job description. I also think it’s really unique for a recent grad to be able to work directly with executives in any company, but feel lucky to be in that position. If you would’ve told me as a co-op that in three years I would be sitting in the back of a cab with our CEO talking about his family vacation I would’ve laughed hysterically, but that’s my new reality!
What other projects and volunteer opportunities have you been a part of outside of your daily work at Eaton Vance?
I am fortunate that Eaton Vance values volunteering and encourages us to give back to our community. At work, I am very involved with Read to a Child, the Home for Little Wanderers gift drive around the holidays, and our Millennials Making a Difference committee that volunteers at different organizations every month.
Outside of work, I love to stay active and have fallen in love with yoga and, oddly enough, high intensity interval training. I’ve been a dancer my whole life, and was captain of the Northeastern University Dance Team during college. I began to really miss performing this year and decided I wanted to audition to become a dancer for a professional sports team. After a few months of auditioning, I’ve recently been chosen as an NBA Dancer for the 2017-2018 season!
Is there a particular project or volunteer experience that you’re particularly proud of?
I am really proud to work with Read to a Child. Every week during the school year, I head to the Sam Adams School in East Boston to read to my 1st grade mentee during her lunch hour. It’s been really amazing to see the progress she’s made socially and intellectually throughout the year, and I’m excited to see her growth through the next few years (Read to a Child pairs you with a mentee from 1st-4th grade). I think we have a really special bond and I love hearing about her family, pretending we are princesses together and being silly with her.
Any advice for CAMD students?
First, I encourage you to get involved in the community that you are working and living in. It feels great to learn more about the area you are in and make a difference in someone’s life
Second, my mantra lately is “Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” It can be really scary graduating college and navigating adulthood. There may be a job you want, a project your manager asks you to take on, or something new you want to try. Don’t let fear take over your ability to succeed because you never know what will come from doing something that scared you.