Hosted by the Philly Ad Club, Klein College students visited Comcast's Headquarters this spring, learning from industry professionals about technology and advertising innovations. Their visit included tours of the media company's Innovation Lab, a panel session with advertising and marketing professionals and a networking discussion related to career opportunities with the company.
Senior advertising student, Shawn Armato, felt the visit gave him a fresh perspective on the company. He said, "I thought the Innovation Lab gave us a great sneak peek into the future capabilities of Comcast's consumer products, made me think of Comcast as more of a tech company than a cable company."
Comcast's second building in Center City Philadelphia, the Innovation and Technology Center, is currently under construction but is set to open next year and will be dedicated to technological development. Students viewed renderings of the new building, which will provide modern workspaces that follow the example set by technology companies in Silicon Valley. The new building is considered a "vertical campus," unlike the sprawling, outdoor campuses on the West Coast.
Students also visited the Accessibility Lab where Comcast displays its technologies designed to address needs of customers with disabilities. The room is modeled after the living spaces of an actual home, so the technology is exhibited as it would be found in a real living situation.
A panel of marketing, advertising and media business professionals shared their experiences in the industry and took questions. Justin Silva, a senior manager of the company's paid social media team, spoke about Comcast's social media efforts and offered career advice to students. He urged attendees to clean up their social media, emphasizing that employers really do screen candidates online. Silva also shared his personal career path, in which he described a situation where he took a less than glamorous job after graduation. However, it was that job that catapulted his career of success.
Silva said, "Early in your career, getting good experience has to be your priority above pay, location, title or any other factor you're probably putting too much stock in. Learning new skills, what you like or don't like and identifying opportunities will pay off way more in the long run than an extra $5K now."
Armato said the visit was helpful for him as he prepares for graduation. "Trips like these are valuable to me because they allow for better insights into what I want to do post-graduation," he said."I get a better idea of how local agencies/companies function."