Meredith Students Explore Professional Fields Through Career Trek

A group of students dressed in their best business attire gather outside TriMark Digital in downtown Raleigh, enjoying one of the first warm spring days of the year. They chatter among themselves, excited to receive a tour of the building and network 

“By visiting employers on-site, students are given the opportunity to see a ‘real-life’ snapshot of what it looks like to work in various environments. Discussion regarding how employees apply what they learned as students or how they have continued to develop professionally allows students to consider how they might be able to transition into employment after graduation,” said Andrea Wogoman, employer relations coordinator for the Office of Career Planning. 

Career Treks provide students the unique opportunity to travel off-campus to visit employers on-site. Often these trips include a tour of employer offices and other facilities, networking with current employees, panel discussions, and Q&A opportunities. 

“The Office of Career Planning is excited to have brought back Career Treks during the Spring 2023 semester after having to halt off-campus travel because of COVID-19,” said Jane Matthews, assistant director of employer relations in OCP. “While OCP hosted a virtual Career Trek with the EPA in the Fall of 2020, this is our first time back on the road since 2019.”

TriMark is a marketing agency with over 17 years of integrated strategy. The panel consisted of three Meredith alumnae: Meredith Upchurch, ’14, Ashley Staples, ’11, and Katherine Holmes, ’20, ’22 (MBA). The panelists discussed topics from their daily responsibilities to their work-life balance and answered questions from students regarding how to land a job.

They also advised students about thriving as strong women in the workplace and how their Meredith experience prepared them for it.

“Meredith College and TriMark have given me confidence over the years to ask for what I want. Whether for raises, title changes, promotions, or things like that. Keeping that confidence with you as women in the workplace helps you know that you are just as good as everyone else, if not better,” said Upchurch.

For Holmes, the support she received from Meredith and the support she currently receives at TriMark, are what have helped her be successful.

“One thing for me, from both Meredith and here at TriMark, is everyone is very supportive, and the main thing is that they want you to succeed. They’ll try and help you in any way that they can, and a lot of places don’t necessarily do that. So, that’s a positive and important thing to me,” said Holmes.

Staples echoed Holmes’ statement, saying the female power and support she’s received has helped give her the confidence to speak up and share her ideas.

“I’ve worked in places before TriMark where, as a female, I felt it was hard for my voice to be heard. Sometimes, there’s a lot of people who are louder in the room, and you have ideas, and you’re like, ‘OK, am I interrupting if I share these ideas?’ And one thing about Trimark, in particular, is that’s not really the case. Everyone’s valued, and they’re going to foster those ideas,” said Staples.

The three encouraged students to take all the opportunities Meredith has to offer, whether it be studying abroad, internships, the career center, connecting with professors, and reaching out to Meredith alumni. 

Holly Obermiller, ’24, is a mass communication major with a minor in graphic design and professional writing who attended this Career Trek to learn more about what a career in this field entails, businesses in the area, and hopefully, find an internship.

“One of the best pieces of advice I heard was that once you know your goal, make that goal known, especially to the right people, and continue to make those connections,” said Obermiller. “It was also good to hear you should be your authentic self. That’s really important to me. It’s hard for me sometimes to be authentic because of fear of not getting the opportunities.”

Another student in attendance was Rachel Van Horn, ’23, another communication major with a double concentration in mass communication and public relations. Since she is graduating in May and actively looking for jobs, she saw this as an opportunity to network and learn more about the company.

“I really appreciated when they said you don’t have to take the first option offered to you. As I’m applying for jobs right now, I’ve found a couple of things that weren’t quite right, and I felt like I need to take them and apply for them. But hearing her say that was reassuring. Basically, it’s OK to say ‘no,’” she said.

The event wrapped up with students networking with the panelists and a group photo outside of TriMark. 

“No matter where you are in your career journey, it is important to have a growth mindset! Learning doesn’t stop once you complete your degree. It is a constant process of growing and evolving,” said Wogoman.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330