Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Foster
November 6, 2018
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The following interview was conducted by Tisch Center student worker, Haley Park.

Q1. What has your journey been like after graduating NYU?     

I graduated NYU in 2008 with a concentration in Conference and Event Management. During my time at NYU, I had three internship opportunities at the Pierre Hotel, Gramercy Park Hotel and George-Little Management. Although I loved working events, I knew I didn’t want to be working from the venue side within hotels, but more on the client and agency side of the industry. After graduating from NYU, I received an exciting job offer from BMF Media, the company I am still with today. I was the third employee to be hired and my first desk was on the couch of my partners’ apartment. I taught myself many skills of the job including finance, event producing and booking talent. At this time, the company was putting on about 20 events per year. One of the first events that I produced was for a TV Show, ‘Spain… On the Road Again’ that starred Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman, and Claudia Bassols. As the agency began to grow, we were doing events around the world in Los Angeles, London and Paris. As the Lead Event Producer putting on about 100 events per year, I was promoted to the VP of the agency, overseeing all the events that were being produced across the agency which was about 200 events per year. A week ago, I moved to London to become Manager Director of the London office. Overall, it’s been really fascinating to see the company’s growth from being hired as the third employee to seeing where we are now today with over 150 employees.

Q2. In what ways has your NYU experience during undergraduate study had an impact on your career and who you are today?

I had amazing professors and mentors at NYU and through my mentors, I had access to build my own network and was introduced to many job opportunities. The courses I took really emphasized using New York City as backyard and encouraged that we really take advantage of that. I still keep in touch and am best friends with many of the people I went to NYU with.

Q3. What are you passionate about in your work at BMF Media?

BMF Media specializes in experiential marketing and events and recently, we have been trying to figure out innovative ways to market brands in a meaningful way. We have seen huge shifts in brands from traditional advertising to experiential marketing. It has been really exciting to work with brands to help make these waves. In addition, we have been finding new ways to integrate experiential technology and what that means for the event industry. Specifically, we have been finding ways to leverage artificial intelligence technology into events to create meaningful, high impact experiences for our clients.

Q4. What was your most memorable moment as a student?

When I was the president of the NYU chapter of HSMAI (Hospitality Sales & Marketing International Association), we put on our first Inter-Collegiate Conference, with NYU, Cornell and University of Florida students. We had about 50 students from these colleges come to New York and along with the other board members I put together a whole weekend of events for them which was very exciting.

Q5. What career advice would you give to current students at NYU?

Take on as many internships as you can and get involved in clubs that interest you as much as possible. In addition, continue to build relationships with professors as they are valuable resources who can help get your foot in the door for your first job. At BMF Media, we hire about ten interns a year, and the interns that really stick out to me are the ones who were most involved in clubs and took on meaningful work or internship experiences.

 

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