Alumni Spotlight: Holly Hanau

Friday, April 7, 2023 - 12:30pm

Holly Hanau graduated from CoJMC in May 2019. A few months later, she moved to Madrid, Spain and taught English in a primary school as a North American Language and Culture Assistant. In February 2020, Holly launched her freelance copywriting career while working as an au pair and traveling around Europe. In May 2021, she joined the Berlin Boss Babes team (a female empowerment group) as their community and events manager. Today Holly's an account manager for an affiliate marketing agency and works remotely in France. She just launched a travel blog called Alta Adventures to share her experiences living abroad so that others can do the same. Follow Holly's adventures on her blog or her Instagram.

Check out Holly's spotlight below

Hometown: Palmyra, NE

Current Location: Nice, Alpes-Maritimes France

Major while at CoJMC: Advertising and Public Relations

Minors while at CoJMC: Spanish Language and Culture

Where are you currently working? Please describe your role.

I work in an affiliate marketing agency as an Account Manager serving both B2B and B2C clients.


Please provide a timeline of different jobs you've had throughout your career.

After graduating from UNL I continued working at UNANIMOUS where I was an intern for my senior year as the Marketing Coordinator. In September of 2019 I moved to Madrid, Spain to work as a North American Language and Culture Assistant teaching English in a primary school. Shortly before the pandemic I began working as a freelance copywriter for a social media marketing agency and later a feminist magazine and email marketing agency.

I continued freelancing while traveling Europe and worked as an au pair and then a Community and Events Manager for a female empowerment group called Berlin Boss Babes. Now I work remotely from France as an Account Manager for an affiliate marketing agency.


What job do you believe helped you grow the most in your career and why?

Probably either the current role I'm in or the Community and Events Manager. As the events manager, I co-hosted numerous webinars and Instagram lives which greatly helped me gain confidence in public speaking as well as coordinating with many different women to organize events and engage the community on social media.

Being an Account Manager has helped me gain important relationship building skills that are the foundation for a successful career. I have learned how to manage everything from clients' expectations to budgets and various marketing campaigns.


What is one CoJMC class or experience that made an impact on you as a student?

There were so many! Patti Harney's class on creative campaigns and copywriting was fun and inspirational and Professor Starita's class helped me think more critically about mass media. Being in Ad Club and serving as the PR Coordinator was an amazing experience that helped me develop the leadership skills that would later inform my work as a copywriter and account manager. 


Name a person who helped you be successful at Nebraska and how:

This is such a difficult question, but Kelli Britten, Joseph Starita, Patti Harney, Karen Cannon to name only a few! Their compassion and guidance were foundational to my success throughout university and their continued belief in me that I could achieve anything I set my mind to helped shape the person I am today. 

The best thing about being a Husker is…

being part of a community that genuinely wants to see you succeed

Are you working on any special projects?

I recently launched a travel blog where I share my experiences about living abroad and help others do the same. Check out Alta Adventures:


Have you had any life changing experiences?

I feel like the years since I've left CoJMC have been a constant series of life changing experiences one after the other! I've since learned Italian and French, got my scuba dive certification, got married on the French Riviera, went to Machu Picchu and free-climbed a mountain in Slovenia.


What would you say is the most important skill or quality to have "out in the real world"?

Time management and relationship building. I have so many things I want to accomplish and projects I want to do that it's important to manage your time (and prioritize rest!). I've also met many different people and learning to manage expectations within all different kinds of relationships—from clients to employers to friends and students—has been crucial!


Why should Nebraska students enroll in CoJMC courses?

CoJMC courses give you the skills that will set you apart and allow you to think creatively and critically, and taught by experts that are helping to shape the next generation of journalists and advertisers.


What advice do you have for current students, prospective students?

GET INVOLVED!! I REALLY wish I had done this as a freshman. I only got involved in clubs and on-campus events in my last two years at UNL and I really wish I would've started sooner. Get involved in literally anything that might slightly interest you, from sand volleyball to crochet club to photography. And if you don't find a club for what you want, start it! You have no idea who you'll be connected with that you'll become best friends with, or can help you down the road in an unexpected way, and building those relationships and skills will take you far.

Holly Hanau