Featured Alumni Profiles

Gregory Giangrande

MA '86, Speech and Interpersonal Communication

Greg Giangrande received a BA in kournalism from NYU's College of Arts and Science in 1984, and an MA from the Department of Speech and Interpersonal Communication in 1986. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Giangrande started a free local newspaper called Here's Brooklyn. He also worked as an intern at Good Morning America. This internship led to a position as a writer and producer for the television news journalist Joan Lunden. By the time he received his master’s, Giangrande was working professionally in television. But in 1990 he decided to move on. He accepted what he thought would be a temporary position as a college recruiter for Harper Collins. Today Giangrande is senior vice president of human resources for HarperCollins worldwide.

As director of human resources, your job is to recruit personnel to work at every level of the publishing industry. How does your background in speech and journalism help with this?

HarperCollins is a subsidiary of News Corporation, a multimedia giant that encompasses film, television, books, newspapers, and satellite communications. Consequently, my degree in journalism, and my interest in writing and communications and media, really come into play. In fact, I was hired initially because of my degrees and public speaking abilities, which the company knew would help as I traveled to colleges to speak with and recruit students. Once I took the job, I realized the publishing environment is really where my heart is. HarperCollins is the most successful book publishing company in the world. It's very exciting for me to be a part of such a creative global enterprise.

You're a writer yourself. Your book, The Liberal Arts Advantage: How to Turn Your Degree Into a Great Job, was published by Avon Books in 1998 and is still in print. What does the title mean?

 

The book is in two parts.  The first part debunks myths about the whole job search process and simplifies the volume of often conflicting information that's out there. The second part is where the title comes in. There are chapters on various careers that a person with a liberal arts degree might not have considered, but might want to. I talk about what it's like inside those careers and give tips on how to break into them. The book's approach is casual and fun.

You've been teaching in the Department of Speech and Interpersonal Communication for almost 20 years, while working at a very demanding job. Why is it important for you to continue to teach as well as work in the corporate world?

 

I love to teach. Being in the classroom and focusing on students allows me to be intuitive and creative. Today, NYU feels like home. It gives me a great sense of confidence to be able to walk into the classroom and tell students, "I'm an alum. I did my graduate work here, as well as my undergrad." I'm grateful to NYU for allowing me to adjunct all these years. They've made it possible for me to enjoy my corporate career and still satisfy my love of being in the classroom.