Diversifying the Media Industry with Weber Shandwick: A Student’s Experience in Steinhardt’s New Masters in Residence Program

NYU Steinhardt has joined leading global communications firm Weber Shandwick to launch its NYU at Weber Shandwick Masters in Residence, a program designed to increase the number of diverse professionals in the media industry. Through this program, four students pursuing master’s degrees from Steinhardt’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication work at Weber Shandwick to gain hands-on experience with the firm and bridge the academic-professional gap.

We spoke with graduate student Lauren Hom (MA ’19) to learn about her perspective on diverse representation in media and communications and her time in the program so far.

Lauren Hom

What brought you to NYU to study media, culture, and communication?

I actually began my studies in the MCC department of NYU Steinhardt as an undergraduate. I loved the program’s class offerings, along with its amazing team of supportive faculty and administrators. Aside from acquiring work experience after graduation, I kept in touch with MCC through alumni events and my general love for the department. I had been working in digital video production, but was really open to revisiting school as a graduate student and expanding my skillset. Upon hearing about the Masters in Residence program, I knew it was an incredible opportunity to continue my education and foster a new professional experience.

What is your experience in the NYU at Weber Shandwick: Masters in Residence program so far?

The experience has been full of new learning, new people, and new workflows. It’s wonderful to expand my network of colleagues and friends through this program. I’m being introduced to a side of the media industry that was new to me. It’s really opening up my world, both professionally and personally.

How do you think the NYU at Weber Shandwick: Masters in Residence program will help you achieve your career goals?

As of now my career goals are to polish my skills as a producer and storyteller. The program is helping me do this by allowing me to learn from an awesome team of creative professionals at Weber Shandwick, and the incredible academic community at NYU.

Why do you think it is important to diversify the media industry?

To be brief, because representation matters! Everyone is now a consumer and producer of media, and diversity in perspectives is essential to our ability to effectively tell our stories with accuracy and empathy, no less achieve further success and harmony as a global society. In an idealistic world, talks of hegemony, patriarchy, and systemic inequality would not just occur in our classrooms, but within corporate board rooms and executive conferences as well. At its core, this is the gap the NYU at Weber Shandwick: Masters in Residence program aims to close.