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Anthony Fleet (IMC17)

Corporate Communications Specialist at Beam Suntory

Anthony Fleet (IMC17) had never been west of Columbus, Ohio prior to enrolling at Northwestern Medill. He wanted to explore beyond his boundaries, believing that he still had much more he wanted to learn. Fleet chose the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) master’s program for the tools it would provide. Plus, “Medill’s reputation speaks for itself,” he said.

Fleet, who was selected by his classmates to deliver the IMC commencement address the year he graduated, discussed his 15-month experience, which included numerous activities, such as the student leadership committee and a semester in Paris.

He is now a corporate communications specialist at Beam Suntory. He runs the day-to-day operations of Beam Suntory’s employee global intranet site, populating the homepage with news stories from around the world, and across functions, including Global Supply Chain, HR, IT and more. He is also responsible for the company’s global employee weekly newsletter. Additionally, he coordinates and assists content creation across Beam Suntory’s owned channels, including BeamSuntory.com, and corporate social media. 

How did the Medill IMC program prepare you for your career?

The impact Medill IMC had on me is two-fold: From an academic perspective, I was able to learn from a faculty consisting of great minds with years of experience at high levels in their professions. I was also able to learn with classmates who were knowledgeable and driven to push their boundaries beyond any limit set before them. From a social perspective, the exposure I had to people from all over the world has helped me grow as a person and as a global citizen. It helped me grow my confidence in communicating with many different people regardless of their backgrounds.

What was your takeaway from Immersion Quarter? What did you learn about business and communications?

For the IMC immersion program, I spent three months in San Francisco at a company called FuelX, a predictive analytics and consumer indexing enterprise. We completed a communications project and spent our time talking to employees to get qualitative data from what they had to say about the company. There are so many companies being created and operating in Silicon Valley today. Our work was important to help FuelX distinguish themselves to attract the best talent and the best clients they could.

What did you learn from your semester in Paris during the IMC program?

What drew me to the IMC program in Paris the most was that it was an extended stay—a full semester abroad studying at Sciences Po. The Paris program was also focused on communications, which was an area I was very interested in during my graduate studies.

I'm a young African American male who grew up in a lower-class neighborhood in South Philadelphia. To be living in central Paris and studying at one of France’s most prestigious universities - wow! That's an unbelievable story.

What is a class that sticks out in your mind?

The class that sticks out to me is a class I took with Bob Scarpelli and John Greening called Building Brands with Creative Ideas. This class took me a little out of my comfort zone because it really challenged me to be more creative and much more “right brained.” The course challenged me to come up with ideas and to make anything out of anything.

How did the Medill IMC network help you in your job search?

The Medill IMC network casts a wide net. Through our esteemed faculty, I was connected with communication professionals who hold very high positions at companies in and around the city of Chicago. Through a series of introductions, I was put in touch with my (now) manager. My skill set aligned perfectly with what she was looking for, thus landing the job.

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