Do You Have a License for That?
Tatiana Johnson ’12 knew she wanted to major in a subject that gave her a diverse set of skills and open doors to a number of opportunities. That’s why she chose communications. “The variety of the field was very appealing to me,” she says. “There are so many things you can do with a communications degree and so many different kinds of businesses and organizations that you can work for.”
Johnson got to experience some of that variety via a number of internships during her time at Pace: first as a Public Relations intern for Anthropologie, then as a personal assistant to the chair of non-profit organization Africa Foundation, and finally interning with Warner Music Group in their licensing department, which is where she found her professional match. “It was a great starting point for the field and gave me a good grasp of what it entailed,” says Johnson. “It was also a great advantage when I landed my current position… that coming into Penguin I already had experience in the area.”
Johnson’s supervisor at Warner Music not only mentored her on the job, but also encouraged her to network outside the workplace, recommending she reach out to LIMA, the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, where Johnson found the posting for her current position. Johnson also gained guidance from Pace’s Career Services Counselors. “I’m glad I completed several internships in my time at Pace,” says Johnson. “It’s key to gain that real-world experience. But I found they also helped me even before I entered the workplace—managing time and juggling projects even while I was still in school.”
In her current position, Johnson coordinates licensing and consumer products for all the imprints in the Penguin Young Reader’s Group—from Winnie the Pooh to Madeline. Manufacturers who are interested in creating consumer products, such as stuffed animals or lunch boxes, reach out to Tatiana’s department for approval. The best part of the job? “Being paid to read picture books, which is always fun!” says Johnson laughing. “But what I really enjoy most is working with outside vendors and getting to see all the new products. They send me their prototypes, and I review them to see if they conform to our style guide and then coordinate them for my supervisor’s approval.”
While Johnson was lucky enough to land her dream job before she even graduated (submitting her resume during finals and being called in for an interview just a few days later), she admits that the job search was trying, especially in today’s market. “You have to stay positive—searching for employment is tough. Even if you have a great resume and experience, it’s challenging,” says Johnson who worked closely with Career Services throughout her time at Pace to help build her resume and interview skills. “I was so glad that I had the education and the background that helped me find my position, but even so, I had to remind myself that a positive attitude was an important part of the search,” she adds. “While my resume got me in the door, I think it was my experience clicking with my interviewers (and future co-workers) that helped me get the position.”