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Center for Professional Development
63 South Main Street, 2nd Floor
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
(603) 646-2215
Fax: (603) 646-1360
E-mail: Center for Professional Development
Recruiting Program E-mail: srs@dartmouth.edu

Alumni Stories: Jill O'Brien '89

Thinking Outside the Box!

One piece of advice that Jill (Greenfield) O'Brien '89, would give to every student at Dartmouth is, "...[when choosing a career path] think beyond the obvious." Jill decided to practice what she preaches and now has a successful and rewarding career working as the media director at Modem Media, a small interactive media company based in Norwalk, CT.

Jill's story begins much earlier. A biology major at Dartmouth, Jill was sure she was going to be a doctor. She had taken all the required pre-med. classes, had done lots of research to find the best medical schools and landed a great internship at a hospital her junior year. That internship caused her to do some reflection. She realized that a career in medicine was not for her. She wanted to pursue a career that would be challenging, allow her to be creative and work with people, but that was not medicine.

Alas, what was the resourceful Jill to do? Come to Center for Professional Development, of course! During one of her visits, Jill took a Career Assessment tool (call Center for Professional Development for more info.) and among the careers that were compatible with her interests was media planning.

Jill relied on skills she had developed and used in her position as music director at the College radio station (organizational, interpersonal, communication skills) and applied them in her pursuit of a career in communications. The result? She landed a great job with Bates USA, one of the more renowned advertising firms in the US. Eight years later, Jill made the switch to interactive media and began working at Modem Media.

"Going from Biology to media planning is not really a strange jump," Jill says, "A lot of the same skills are required to succeed in either career. You have to be analytical, love challenges, have a curious mind and a strong desire to learn, and be flexible enough to adapt to a constantly changing environment."

Jill doesn't really have a typical day at work. She spends her time supervising her employees, talking to clients, and coming up with strategic ways to market her clients' products on the web. It's hectic, she says, but she wasn't complaining.

Last Updated: 10/9/13