This article is the third in a series about SUNY Broome alumni at Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Click here for the first article in the series, which details the diverse career opportunities at the Tioga County business and introduces you to HR director Karen Shelp, a SUNY Broome alumna. Click here to read about Alicia Iacovelli, the sales manager planning the upcoming Alumni Event.
Brianna Sheppard’s job is undeniably a product of her generation.
Not her title, of course. Sheppard is marketing coordinator at Tioga Downs, and marketing has always been an integral part of the business world. After all, businesses exist to sell something – a product, an experience – and marketing is the way you get that mercantile message to the larger population. You target demographics and find ways to communicate that sales pitch precisely.
The medium by which Brianna shares that message, however, is definitely part of an increasingly digital society. The SUNY Broome alumna is the major player in all of Tioga Downs Casino Resorts’ social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as third-party platforms such as Trip Advisor and Telo. She knows the ins and outs of Google business accounts and more.
If you follow Tioga Downs on any of those platforms, you’ve seen her work.
“I am extremely passionate about my job. I live it and breathe it,” she said. “Succeeding at my job is the most important thing to me.”
When she graduated high school, the Binghamton native wasn’t sure what career she wanted to pursue. She opted for SUNY Broome, where she earned an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts in 2011 and then transferred to Binghamton University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 2014.
“I liked Broome; it was a good transition into school, and more cost-effective. You have to push yourself; I learned a lot of that there,” she said.
The workload SUNY Broome prepared her to succeed at BU, she said. She particularly enjoyed taking online classes, which allowed her to keep a part-time job and also inspired her to become more responsible.
“I really liked the structure of it. Toward the end, a lot of my classes were online,” she said. “I learn better that way – researching and doing it myself. I like that they offer a very strong curriculum that you can do online, so you can work and go to school.”
While it’s a common stereotype that English majors can’t find gainful employment – the tired “Want fries with that?” joke that so many Liberal Arts majors hear – it couldn’t be further from the truth. English majors also aren’t confined to a teaching career, which is also a common misconception, Sheppard pointed out. Their options are far more broad, and include careers that you may not have envisioned a decade ago.
“You need to know how to read and write for everything you do,” Sheppard explained. “I also have a little background in art, which currently comes in very handy photographing events. I write a lot to get people excited about Tioga Downs.”
After graduating from BU, Brianna was hired by a small business for content writing and web development. Her familiarity with WordPress helped, and she also handled third party platforms.
Tioga Downs felt like a natural progression. After being contracted to work for the company, she met the owner on the floor and discussed the opportunities that social media presents – which helped her get a foot in the door. It turned out to be a great fit.
She has learned a great deal at Tioga Downs, she said. While the environment is more corporate than the small business – she has a director and vice president to report to now – she has more freedom to be creative.
She also appreciates her start at SUNY Broome. She advises current Hornets to explore, take as many classes as they can and find opportunities to get working experience.
“Going to a school like Broome gives you a chance to figure out what you definitely like and what you definitely don’t want to do,” she said. “They have a great support system; there are a lot of tools they give you to work with. They are there for you. I’ve been to the Writing Center myself, and I’m a good writer. I’ve been to the Math Lab. Use what they give you.”
And don’t let anyone tell you that Liberal Arts majors can’t get jobs.
Stay tuned for upcoming stories in our Tioga Downs Series!