Lunch with Leaders–a Recap

Wenda Harris Millard and Kirk McDonald

Two media professionals talked about the future and offered advice by Laura Bordas

On April 23, Wenda Harris Millard, president and COO of Medialink, and Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic, visited CCNY to talk to students about the evolution of media and technology. Their lecture was part of MCA’s Lunch with Leaders series. Titled “Why the BIG Money on MAD Ave. is Going to BIG Data, their talk also touched on advice for students who would like to break into Ad/PR fields.

Harris Millard noted that companies look for drive and talent rather than specific degrees. “Liberal arts is looked at because it indicates a wide array of knowledge,” she said.

Instead of being a math genius, she added, professionals would rather know they have a candidate who can handle various tasks. “Marry the academic and pragmatic,” she advised. “Don’t separate them.”

In our fast-changing society, staying relevant is also key. “Don’t be intimated by technology,” said McDonald, a CCNY grad.

The speakers advised students to pay attention to mobile marketing, apps and ads in videos. ”Netflix will get into the advertising business, look out,” Harris Millard noted.

To get a foot in the door, Harris Millard and McDonald offered some interview tips. The advised beng bold: Don’t discuss what you learned from school. Instead, emphasize what you can do well. Most importantly, let them know you are curious and highly self motivated. These two qualities lead to success.

Finally, McDonald revealed a secret: “I have to say, I never graduated from CCNY,” he admitted. “I spent too much time in the pool halls. I still owe City like 9 credits.”