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Ben Mandel (IMC18)

Communications Specialist at Hu-Friedy
ben mandel headshot

Prior to joining the IMC program at Medill, Ben Mandel (IMC18) worked in media communications at a nonprofit. He enjoyed the work but wanted to get a better foundation in marketing communication strategy, which led him to the Medill IMC master's program.

After graduating, Mandel got a job as a communications specialist at Hu-Friedy—a company that manufactures dental instruments and related products such as PPE. Now he’s responsible for content marketing and public relations strategy and feels lucky to work with a team that understands and believes in the IMC approach to marketing.

How did your Northwestern Medill degree help advance your career?

My degree gave me the foundation I needed to understand the strategy behind marketing communications. It provided a whole new perspective on what it means to communicate with a stakeholder and how that can help drive core business objectives.

How do you use IMC’s “art and science of marketing” in your job?

The "art and science of marketing" is a key component in content marketing, which is a big element of the work I do. I spend a lot of time on strategic planning, thinking through messaging maps for different stakeholders and how they will receive those messages through various touchpoints. That's the science. But, one of my favorite part of my jobs is the actual execution—writing, storytelling and responding to customer inputs. That's the art.

What skills did you gain at Medill that were particularly beneficial?

Strategic thinking, communication skills, project management and teamwork were critical skills that I developed at Medill and use every day in my job.

What did you do during your Immersion Quarter and what did you gain from that experience?

For the Immersion Quarter, I helped develop a messaging strategy for NU for Life, and it gave me first-hand experience into many of the same processes and challenges I work through on a regular basis at my current job.

How has the Medill network helped you?

My current manager is also an IMC alum, and we instantly bonded over our shared appreciation of the IMC approach. While job searching, alumni and faculty were enormously helpful in setting up networking opportunities and evaluating job prospects. Don't be afraid to ask them for help!

Did you use Medill’s Career Services to help your job search?

Career services helped me tighten up my resume and cover letter and gave me great tips for telling my story during the job search process.