Student lands job before graduation
SOC grad student Tiffany Goldstein was hired by McDonald’s months before her expected spring graduation, and is working through the global pandemic.
Months before her planned spring graduation, and just before the coronavirus outbreak, School of Communication graduate student Tiffany Goldstein secured a full-time job as the Global Content Editor for McDonald’s. These days, the second-year Digital Media and Storytelling graduate student continues her duties for the fast food giant while working from her Chicago apartment. During these challenging times, Goldstein shared her thoughts and advice with reporter Sydney Owens on how college students should prepare to enter the professional world.
How did you come across the McDonald’s Global Content Editor position?
I'm always keeping up with my LinkedIn. I think it's the most important thing to do, even if you have a job, but always keep your LinkedIn updated. One day a McDonald's inside recruiter contacted me through LinkedIn and said, “Hey, we have a global content editor position open. What do you think?” At first, I was like, “Oh, I don't know.” While this is a Fortune 500 company, do I want to be on the corporate side of journalism? I gave it a chance. I think it's really important to know both ends of journalism. I have had so many internships in the newsroom, so I'm like, OK, let me try the corporate side of journalism.
Do you like it so far?
I think I’ve learned so much in just a short amount of time, and I think they are really looking up to me. So they really gave me the power to step up. I was always so used to internships, like having that power of making creative decisions and stuff like that, like they're really turning to me for like, “What should we do here?” And it's kind of amazing. I can put everything that I've learned at Ohio University [where I received my undergraduate degree] and Loyola into action now. So I really like it. It's cool.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
It's a lot. Day to day, it really changes, just like if you're in a newsroom. I work at McDonald’s West Loop headquarters in Chicago. I am out on the field shooting around the headquarters, interviewing people in higher up positions. Then, I just go into the editing software like Premiere and edit videos for them. So, yeah, conducting interviews, writing news articles, and just making videos. Yeah, just content creating.
Things have obviously changed with the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders.
I’ve been working from my Chicago apartment. My duties have shifted slightly. I feel really blessed to be working at McDonald’s right now. I can’t wait to get back to the office as soon as it’s safe to do so.
How did your educational background prepare you for this position?
I think it definitely prepared me, I just don't think you can get thrown into a job that you have to like conduct interviews and you have to have knowledge about all the software, from Adobe Premiere, animation, like all this stuff. So you really need that strong background and communication skills and editing skills to be successful at this job. So I think everyone at Loyola has really impacted my experience and gave me the right tools to move forward in this career.
Are there any people in particular that have helped you succeed?
I would definitely have to say Patty Lamberti, Richelle Rogers, and there's so many, and probably John Goheen. He'd be proud of my editing skills. They all taught me so many different aspects. Patty taught me how to communicate and conduct a great interview. And then of course Richelle taught me how to form a great story and the story line and then obviously Goheen is like a stickler about editing, in the best way!
Discuss you internship experiences.
So my first journalism internship was - I'm from Long Island, New York - it was with Katie Hampton’s Luxury Lifestyle magazine. I was going out to events and writing articles for her. It was a really good first foot in the door to this competitive industry. Then, my second internship was at Tiger Beat magazine. It's a teen magazine … Honestly, I loved that magazine. I think that's really when I fell in love with fashion and entertainment and pop culture. I got to interview celebrities and go to cool events. So it was like, so surreal. The Jam TV show which was last year. It's an early morning TV show in Chicago. It's a good divide between hard news and soft news. And I loved it. It kind of made me fall back in love with TV again. Beause at the time I was like, 'Do I even want to be in broadcast journalism?' And then I also had Weigel Broadcasting, which was more on the production side. I got to work on Through the Decades, Star TV and Collector’s Call, which are all national, syndicated television shows. So that was a really cool experience. Then, I was at Modern Luxury magazine. What I was doing, what I was producing - I loved it. It was just such a glamorous thing you're writing about. Then, I also worked with the Judge Mathis show.
How did Loyola impact your success?
I think coming to Loyola they really push you in the right direction in this industry, especially as a graduate student. I knew going into grad school that I'm not slacking. I want to work. Work while I go to school, whether that's a full-time job or an internship, but like, it's night classes. So what are you going to do during the day? Right. So, I really think they opened that door for me, where like when I first came to the city, I didn't know anything. I found all these internships by myself... you just have to hunt for them... But I use all the staff here as guidance and support. So when I was first going for Modern Luxury, I sat down with Richelle Rogers and Patty Lamberti and I was like, 'Is this a good writing sample? Do you like my portfolio? Do you like my resume? Like, is this good to go?' So Loyola really helped me make everything so perfect to send out, and I think that just shows that they want us Loyola students to represent the school well. And it's gonna benefit the students in the end … I think Loyola, the teachers here really give us the attention that we deserve. They care. I mean, they give you that one-on-one attention that you can't get from any other university. I know if I email Professor Rogers right now, she'll email me back in 10 minutes … You can't get that anywhere else. Really, you make good connections here.
What are your goals for the future?
I’m hoping I can learn so much from this McDonald's job. I think it's really, as I said before, it's really important to learn the corporate side, you know, add to my toolbox. But down the road I do see myself like either at a fashion magazine or an entertainment magazine. My dream job is obviously, like any girl, is Vogue, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan. But if I ever wanted to go back into broadcast journalism, my dream job is E-News, The Today Show.
What is your best advice for current Loyola students?
I would just say use all your resources and really just pay attention to every project, like give it your all because everything that you do here will be on your portfolio and you want to present the best work when you start applying to jobs. So give it your all, use your resources and just make really good connections with all of the faculty here because I know that I'm going to stay connected to all these people. They really just shaped my entire graduate school experience and really I couldn't see myself going anywhere else.
Interview by Sydney Owens. Condensed and edited for clarity.