From Intern to Social Media Manager, SAEM Senior Dana Jo DeSantis Finds Success at Marketing Pittsburgh Student Profile
Meet Dana Jo DeSantis '21
- Job Title & Employer
- Social media manager, Marketing Pittsburgh
- Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management
- College Activities
- Director of marketing, PR and social media for Pioneer Records, marketing coordinator for SAEM Club, Campus Activities Board, content writer for The Globe
- Pleasant Hills, Pa.
- High School
- Thomas Jefferson High School
- Now Living In
- Pleasant Hills, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
Music, blogging, traveling, video creation, gardening, sustainability, volunteering, thrifting, reading and digital marketing
"I believe the SAEM program is such an outstanding major because of the diverse courses it offers. I’ve had the chance to test out every interest of mine, from creative writing to digital marketing to business law. All of these opportunities have helped me find out what I am most passionate about."
Why did you choose Point Park?
I chose Point Park because of the diversity of students that went there. I live in an area that’s 95 percent Caucasian, and I wanted to experience other cultures and get out of the bubble I grew up in. Point Park has helped me adapt to real life and has given me the chance to lift others up who aren’t as privileged as I am.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know if Point Park would fit my goals. I was very lost at the time that I applied and I took a leap of faith in hopes that it would be the right direction. I have always loved music, so the Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management program felt like the right balance between a safe major and a dream of mine. Through Point Park, I began a journey with marketing that I didn’t expect to ever venture into. Each new opportunity brought out a new side of me that has led to where I am now.
I’d say, for those confused about what path to take, but they know that they want or need to explore a new version of themselves or experience unfamiliar people and places, take the leap and see where it leads you.
What sorts of internships and activities have you participated in while at Point Park?
I have been a member of multiple campus clubs: Campus Activities Board, The Globe, SAEM Club and The Point Closet. This year I was able to land the position of marketing coordinator for the SAEM Club, as well as continue in my position as director of marketing, PR and social media for Pioneer Records.
As for internships, I remember sitting in on a presentation during Point Park’s orientation and hearing that they offered students the chance to get credit for three internships, so I took it as a challenge. Though I was behind a year since I attended CCAC South before coming to Point Park, I was determined to fit in one internship a year, which I can proudly say I accomplished. I did my first internship with Pioneer Records as their marketing intern, which led me to getting the director of marketing, PR and social media role the following year as a junior. Then I was blessed with the chance to become a marketing and social media intern at the Roxian Theatre and Thunderbird Café & Music Hall, which sadly ended half way through due to the coronavirus. After an anxiety-ridden summer of COVID-19, I landed the Marketing Pittsburgh internship as their marketing intern.
Describe about your internship with Marketing Pittsburgh and how it led to your new job.
It’s a small start-up marketing association with 160+ members, so it’s a smaller business, but I really enjoy the one-on-one atmosphere of it. I was actually going through a really rough time, and my mother was searching for ways to help me continue on the progressive success that I had built. She reached out to co-founder Eric Pursh through LinkedIn, and I sent in my resume in hopes that my skills would be something that the company was looking for. Pursh, co-founder Jack Poole and I had a quick interview over the phone, and I guess they liked what I had to say. I spent fall 2020 working alongside two of the goofiest, sweetest and knowledgeable human beings.
In December, they offered me the social media manager position, and we’ve been holding weekly meetings ever since. Since coming onto the team, I’ve been able to help them gain three times the number of followers they had, start a virtual magazine for their members and make new connections throughout the Pittsburgh area.
I believe a big part of landing this new position was having the skills I built through prior internships. Without those opportunities to test out my interest in digital marketing, I would have never been able to have as big of an impact as I did with their content. I doubt that I would have been able to impress them and land the gig without all the hard work I had put in at my previous internships.
How would you describe Point Park's faculty?
Point Park’s faculty has become like a second family at this point. Without their endless encouragement to press forward and believe in the abilities they teach us in class, I wouldn’t be where I am.
Specifically, Paige Beal has helped me to find myself through marketing by just simply being one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She’s been an amazing outlet of hope, care and true goodness throughout my time at Point Park, and I’m going to miss watching her snap her magnetic glasses together throughout the Point Park campus.
Ed Traversari has also given me so many opportunities to explore the world of music more. His encouragement and gratitude toward the work I do for Pioneer Records has lit up my smile time and time again.
How did Point Park help prepare you for your career?
I believe the SAEM program is such an outstanding major because of the diverse courses it offers. I’ve had the chance to test out every interest of mine, from creative writing to digital marketing to business law. All of these opportunities have helped me find out what I am most passionate about.
If a student is willing to put together a good time management schedule so that they can get involved with as much as possible, they will be successful because of all that Point Park has to offer. Through the five activities I was involved with came mass amounts of chances to expand my student network, test out my interests and skills, plus I got to add it all to my resume.