The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Alumna Jennifer Walsh shares her journey from A&E editor to the gaming industry

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Alumnus Jennifer Walsh, a member of the Class of 2015, has gone from being co-editor of the Arts and Entertainment department of The Classic to being herself a professional in the Arts and Entertainment industry. Ms. Walsh’s  high school passion for film and the arts guided her through college and propelled her into the realm of social media management, where she now works as a social media strategist and audience development manager in the gaming industry.

During her time at THHS, Ms. Walsh also participated in S!NG, the School Musical, and the Latin League, leaning towards clubs that fostered her interest in humanities. Holding a strong passion for the film and the arts during her time at THHS, She went on to major in TV and Film Production with a minor in Theater at Ithaca College.

After graduating with a degree in film and TV, Ms. Walsh expected to end up with a freelancing job in TV production. However, she ended up applying for a job on a whim a few months after graduating for a marketing agency that specializes in YouTube channel management. This unexpectedly led to her working in social media management, handling entertainment clients like NBCUniversal, and the film studio A24. Ms. Walsh favored this transition, as it offered the flexibility she desired, all while aligning with her original interests post college. “I still got to work in entertainment, which is the thing I really wanted to do, but I actually have time for a social life,” she said. She continued to work in social media management in the following years, including working on astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s podcast.

In 2019, Ms. Walsh obtained a YouTube channel management job for Comedy Central, where she worked alongside the social media management department. At Comedy Central, Ms. Walsh helped manage the channels, developing strategies with the social media team to market the network. She says, “Even though you might think with something like Comedy Central, the strategies would be funny, there’s a whole marketing plan that goes into it because they have to make money.”

Currently, Ms. Walsh works for the video game company Blizzard, which has created games such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch. She says her job has switched from day-to-day social media management to more analytic work. “Over time, I started working on more strategic projects where I’d be looking at our social media analytics and saying: this is what is doing well for us, this is something that we could be doing more of or less of, and [just] talking about that strategy with a bunch of different people and companies,” she said. So far, Ms. Walsh has received several accolades for her work in social media marketing/management, including 2 Webby Awards, a Shorty Award, and has been named a Synopsis Rising Star, as well as having been nominated for multiple internet marketing awards.

Brian Sweeney, Classic advisor during Ms. Walsh’s time at THHS, recalls her fondly.

“Jen was a witty, funny person who always had great ideas about arts and entertainment, and the fact that she actually got into the entertainment world and is thriving there is no surprise to me at all.”

Reflecting on her time at THHS, she describes it as the place that allowed her to develop her personal interests and drove her desire to pursue what she has always wanted to do. She says that THHS made her more confident and gave her the ability to take bigger steps into career paths that truly stimulated her. 

“Not everybody always feels comfortable saying, hey, I’m going to get a degree in film… lots of people joke, [saying] how are you gonna make money with a film degree? Well, I figured it out—I found a way to make it work,” she says.

“Jenn was not just our A&E editor, but she was one of our strongest advocates for pun-filled headlines. She always had a clever angle, or a humorous turn of phrase ready to fly, and social media management and strategy sounds exactly in line with her skills. Every good headline she came up with was really about marketing content, and that she could go on to marry her wit and her business sense with her love for film and entertainment is really impressive.”

Offering another example of Ms. Walsh’s ability to bring together a passion for entertainment and a business sense, Mr. Sweeney credited Ms. Walsh with developing relationships between The Classic and major movie studios. Those connections have ensured that Classic critics could attend press screenings of films before they came out and review them. That tradition carries on to this day. 

Ms. Walsh also mentions that when she looks at not only her own accomplishments, but also those of her fellow THHS alumni, it really highlights the strong work ethic and motivation of the students at the school. “It’s just incredible to see the drive that’s there,” she says. “You don’t always realize it when you’re [there] but the people you’re going to school with right now are incredibly driven and smart people.”

Ms. Walsh recently graduated with a master’s degree from Baruch College in arts administration. Although there is a bit of uncertainty in her future endeavors considering that she works in social media, an industry that is ever-changing, she enjoys the uncertainty in regard to what she wants to achieve in the future. Overall, she is excited about continuing employment in the social media industry. “My goal is to keep finding ways to market entertainment brands and stay in that space, whether that’s film, TV, gaming, etc, and keep connecting fans with stuff that they love,” she said.

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About the Contributor
Ana Ramlagan
Ana Ramlagan, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Ana is a junior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys reading romance, binge-watching Netflix and listening to music. Her dream job is to be a dermatologist someday!
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