Five Things We Learned From Our Conversation With Rene Delgado

29 10 2015

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Journalism department alumnus, Rene Delgado, is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Delgado was awarded this honor for his work as Associate Creative Director at Leo Burnett. Delgado took time to speak with students and faculty about advertising, originality, and the Super Bowl. The top five insights:

  1. Go with your gut

Know when to speak up when you have an idea. Delgado was the mind behind the “In Bed Tagger” app, a twist on the old fortune cookie joke, which allowed users to add an “In Bed” image to pictures they took. This app was a part of a campaign for Sealy mattresses. Delgado said this app almost didn’t get made because he and his colleague almost didn’t pitch it. The last pitch of the meeting, turned out to be the best idea of the day.

Not only should you speak up, but don’t be afraid to trust your first idea as well. Delgado said his first idea for a localized McDonald’s ad supporting the Chicago Blackhawks ended up being the idea that got made.

  1. You are going to fail

“You are going to fail a lot, and that’s OK,” Delgado said. “So, do what you like to do, and do it a lot.” You need to be willing to work for what you want because…


  1. Hard work pays off

Most of the time you will be working on basic projects, the ones that do not have a large budget and fill the day-to-day workweek. Eventually you get to work on the big projects. For example, a big project for Delgado was the Super Bowl. One of Leo Burnett’s clients is esurance. Delgado was a part of esurance’s national campaign “Sorta You Isn’t You” which debuted at the 2015 Super Bowl with ads starring Bryan Cranston and Lindsay Lohan.

  1. Pursue your passion


Bring that passion to your job because it can result in memorable experiences. Some projects are going to mean more to you and your passion is going to be what makes those projects successful. Delgado showed two recent projects that meant a lot to him. The first was an ad titled “#EqualDreams” for esurance in support of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. The second is a new campaign entitled “Put The Guns Down” for Chicago Ideas with the hopes to prevent gun violence through music.

  1. Be memorable


For those graduating, one of Delgado’s key pieces of advice is to be memorable. “You realize you are a brand.” Delgado said.

The way you present yourself to prospective employers can determine whether you get the job.



“Go Network” Says Pandora’s Brody Karmenzind to Ad Media Class

27 10 2015

By: Cindy Schultz (@sindeelouhu)

Brody Karmenzind, account development specialist at Pandora and 2014 journalism graduate, offered media and career tips to Dr. Sara Hansen’s Ad Media class on Sept. 17. Via Skype, he shared insights from his Oakland, Calif., office and encouraged students to explore outside of their comfort zones to find advertising careers they will love.


Karmenzind offered his experiences to show ways that networking, having multiple internships and putting oneself into uncomfortable situations can lead to the job of a lifetime. In January, Karmenzind joined the advertising sales team at Pandora headquarters. He works with more than 760 SMB clients via phone, email and LinkedIn to develop strategies using ad media planning with Pandora ad formats to help reach new customers. Before getting this job, Karmenzind submitted 35 job applications and interviewed with Google, Twitter, and Facebook. He stressed to put yourself out there on the job market and keep striving for what you want.

While talking to the students, Karmenzind stressed three main ideas:

Pay attention in Ad Media class

Advertising Media helped Karmenzind in key areas crucial to his current job:

  • Identify the demographic and target audience for your ads – this is the most important part of a campaign.
  • Understand the best medium to use to reach your intended audience. Think about what ads are you using and why. Your target market will help guide where your ads are placed.
  • Measure results after an ad is in place to verify effectiveness and determine what is working and what isn’t. This allows a company to know where its results are coming from so that they aren’t spending money blindly.

Working at Pandora is amazing

Karmenzind stated his favorite part of working at Pandora is the company culture. The majority of employees are under 30 years of age with an equal mix of men and women. Company culture is a regular source of motivation:

  • Employees often attend concerts, and some in-house concerts are held at Pandora corporate offices.
  • Team-building exercises and sales training opportunities abound. For example, a week was spent in Cancun, Mexico, to aid teamwork.
  • Karmenzind said he has honed his skills at ping-pong, which is a big part of the company’s culture. It is not unusual for team members to play two to three matches per day for 10- to 15-minute sessions. The company sponsors a ping-pong club and league.

During a recent visit to Oakland, Hansen and Dr. Timothy R. Gleason had an opportunity to catch up with Karmenzind and take in Pandora’s company culture. They hung out in the “D” of RADIO in the photo below.


Use your skills to network

Karmenzind provided suggestions for students to network toward landing internships and jobs:

  • Develop short- and long-term goals for yourself. Use your instructors for networking – they are great resources for job and career advice.
  • Polish your LinkedIn profile. Recently, LinkedIn visited Pandora and chose Karmenzind’s profile as No. 1 among Pandora employees (so be sure to check out his profile).
  • Tailor your skills and push your agenda in your hobbies and find ways to gain experience utilizing those passions. An Appleton gym Karmenzind belonged to wanted to improve its social media profile, so he worked with it and bargained for a free membership to the gym to boot.
  • Realize that you need to network to get work. Think about ways to stand out in online and in-person networking, such as interests, hobbies and experiences that will help potential employers remember you.
  • Take advantage of opportunities within the Journalism Department. He recalled how helping out at the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association allowed him to network with Kirsten Strom, a journalism alumna working at Pandora. He also cold emailed a local Pandora employee and invited him to breakfast. These connections were outside of his comfort zone but both of them recommended him for an internship at Pandora in Chicago – which led to his success today.

Journalism Alumnus Introduces Children To Clash The Titan

15 10 2015


By  Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

A UW Oshkosh journalism department alumnus is returning to sell and sign copies of his first children’s book, “Hail Titans: Take a Walk with Clash,” at Homecoming on Oct. 17.

In author Cory Jennerjohn’s recently published book, Clash will take young readers on a tour of the Oshkosh campus.

Jennerjohn said he is looking forward to returning to campus for Homecoming, specifically, seeing the new growth on campus like the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.

“I haven’t even seen the Student Rec and Wellness Center yet,” Jennerjohn said.

The book is Jennerjohn’s own two sons’ first introduction to Clash. His eldest son Carson, 5, liked the mascot. However, Bennet, 2, was unsure of what to make of him.

“Clash is an intimidating presence,” Jennerjohn said laughing.

Even though Jennerjohn said this will be his only book on UW Oshkosh, he is currently working on a similar project with UW-Stevens Point and hopes to collaborate with the rest of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the future. Jennerjohn said he also has an exciting potential project in the works involving the Big Ten, but it will not be aimed towards children.

Jennerjohn expected this first project about UW Oshkosh to last four to six months. Instead, it was a more than a yearlong process, which he said taught him patience.

“The communication process can be overwhelming,” Jennerjohn said. “For example, I had to have patience in choosing an illustrator, editing, making changes and overcoming the multiple hurdles involved with branding, and rightfully so.”

While writing the book itself was a learning process, Jennerjohn said he learned valuable lessons from his time in school as well.

“The journalism professors made me think outside the box and be assertive as a journalist,” Jennerjohn said. “I received memorable support and advice from my adviser Miles Maguire. He told me ‘Use the most of your time. Don’t let a dead end stop you from getting ahead elsewhere.’”

To purchase a copy of “Hail Titans: Take A Walk With Clash,” Jennerjohn will be on campus Saturday, Oct. 17 selling and signing copies at the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center from 9:30-11 a.m. and then at Tent City, south of Titan Stadium, immediately following from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The book is also available for purchase on campus at University Books and More and online at Amazon and

Getting yelled at like it’s your job

9 10 2015

By Katie Neumann, UW Oshkosh journalism alumna

I’m basically a professional at being yelled at. I’ve worked at Disney World, where daily people told me I ruined their lives, spit on me and shoved me. I remember vividly the first time it happened – it was about two hours into my first day of training, and I ended up having to go behind closed doors to cope. Life isn’t always that intense, but since then, I’ve learned a lot about dealing with situations like those, at work, in the field and generally in life.


Own your mistakes

Until the day you retire, you will be making mistakes and disappointing your bosses or coworkers. Messing up means you are trying and learning, and while that doesn’t mean your colleagues will always forgive you, it means you should forgive you.

Explain only when necessary and present solutions

If someone approaches you about something you messed up, offer an explanation (and a succinct one, at that), not an excuse. Any time you drop the ball, figure out how to fix it (or options for moving forward) before going to your boss or colleagues. Present a solution, not a problem. The people that come with solutions are the ones who go places.

You are a mirror

The most important thing I’ve learned at my big kid job is people will look to you to figure out how they should feel or react. If you need to go to your boss with something you messed up, be calm and confident, not frazzled and on the verge of tears. Fake it ‘til you make it.


You are not a publicist

Your job is not to make people happy. Your job is to write accurate and newsworthy stories. If a source or a reader doesn’t like a story, but you didn’t get information maliciously and it is factual, you have nothing to be sorry for. Realize by the very nature of going into this field, some people won’t like you. A lot of people won’t like you. Accept it. Own it. And move on.


Apologize like (and when) you mean it

Apologies will get you very, very far in life, but only when they’re genuine. Admit you were wrong and explain how you’ll work to make sure it won’t happen again. In some situations, you may feel you have nothing to apologize for. I don’t think people should be quick to apologize simply because someone is asking them to. If you are willing to risk a personal or professional relationship that is at stake, I think it’s acceptable to stand by your decisions and respectfully say you don’t feel like you have anything to apologize for. You don’t owe anyone anything.

You are strong. Really strong.

You have survived everything that life has thrown at you up to this point (including all of those group projects). The world has conditioned us to think in the years before and after you graduate, you’re lucky to get a job, and that’s not untrue, but in that frenzy, it’s easy to forget how much you’re worth. You’re smart and valuable, and yes have a lot to learn, but everyone does. There’s always something to be learned. Remind yourself from time to time how hard you’ve worked to be here, and how strong you’ve become because of it.

If someone is upset with you, more often than not, it is a reflection of them, not of you. You can’t choose who calls you a life-ruiner, spits on you, or shoves you, but you can choose which police reports to file. Spend your life with people who make you happy, not filing police reports. Paperwork is such a downer.