3 Questions with... Emma Strub of Bellmont Partners

Editor’s note: Students in ThreeSixty Journalism’s Rookie Journalist Camp in July spent time writing a Q-and-A story about guest speakers who visited camp. Check ThreeSixtyJournalism.org for more of these profiles, as well as student blogs.

Emma Strub, an account coordinator at Bellmont Partners, presents information to the public at a level that essentially everyone can understand.

Strub works with a wide variety of clients at Bellmont. She has worked with Fuel Up to Play 60, a school nutrition and exercise program, traveling from state to state. Strub also has worked with the Midwest Dairy Association, Brave New Workshop and Uptown Art Fair.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Strub attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a degree in strategic communications in May 2015. She did four internships – including at Mixed Blood Theatre, Theater Latte Da and the U of M’s Northrop theater – throughout college, in which she gained experience in communicating with strangers, working with others and fostering her curiosity.

“That’s something I say all the time, is be curious,” Strub said, “and that’s for journalism, for advertising, for PR, for any type of communication, that’s really the only way you’re going to ever stay on top of it because it changes, literally by the minute, which is fun.”

Q: Why did you decide to get a degree in strategic communications?

Strub: I went into the U my whole life thinking I wanted to do science. I really wanted to do Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, and I really wanted to be a speech pathologist. Two weeks in, I was like, [No], science is not what I want to do, I guess. Took a journalism class and fell in love. It was everything I really wanted, the total news junkie in me that was like, "Oh this is fun."

But I knew I didn’t want to actually be a reporter. But I really liked how creative strategic communications could be. I really liked being able to control the message and kind of craft unique ways to talk about clients or people or organizations. I really fell in love with it through – my first internship was at Mixed Blood Theatre over on West Bank near the U. And I really fell in love with being able to tell the stories of the work that they were doing, and that’s kind of when I was like, “Oh, I can do this for more than just a theatre, and more than just myself.” That’s where I kind of just really knew that staying in journalism school was going to be worth it.

Q: How did you acquire your job as an account coordinator at Bellmont Partners?

Strub: My path to Bellmont was really different than getting into any agency, but also getting into Bellmont Partners. I think I'm the only person at Bellmont that didn't already know someone there. I applied, they hired me off of a phone interview. And then Brian (Bellmont, the president of Bellmont Partners) emailed me, and he was like “We’d like to hire you. Do you want to come in and meet us first?” I’m like, “Uh-huh, yeah maybe." I really was like, "Yes, but I’ll come in.” Just because talking to them was like we’ve known each other forever, and they’re so approachable and so easy to talk to.

That’s how I got the internship. But then really how I got to being account coordinator and to staying on is, this is so cliche, but I worked hard, I asked tons of questions, I really never said no to anything, almost to a fault. But I only got smarter and better because of it. It’s being curious. That’s something I say all the time, is be curious, and that’s for journalism, for advertising, for PR, for any type of communication, that’s really the only way you’re going to ever stay on top of it because it changes, like literally by the minute, which is fun.

Q: Did your internships have an important impact on leading you towards your career?

Strub: I knew that’s what I wanted to do because I got early experience in it, and I think that’s a really important thing. Had I just been sitting in the classroom and they were like, “This is the theory of communication,” and I’m like, OK cool, but how do I do that? Versus in your internships you actually get to write a press release, or you actually get to write some social media post and then somebody comes to theatre and they’re like “Oh yeah, I saw that on Twitter,” and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, it matters.” And so that’s the fun part, is when you see the impact.

This transcript has been edited for length and content.

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