CoJMC alums find friendship, mentorship in New York CityWednesday, November 28, 2018 - 10:45am
by Molly Chapple Roe
CoJMC alumna Lynne Grasz has hosted many CoJMC students in her home. She has opened her New York City apartment to several CoJMC students who had internships in the city and needed a cozy place to stay for a few months.
Jake Bunger was one of those students. When Grasz, a 1966 broadcasting alumna, opened her home to Bunger in 2015, she had no idea the friendship and mentorship that would blossom.
Bunger was interning for PepsiCo, and by the recommendation of Dean Amy Struthers, ended up staying in Grasz’s Upper West Side apartment.
“Lynne would stop by the apartment and we would discuss everything under the sun,” Bunger said. “Her advice was always extremely valuable and helped me with my pursuit of a career in television and film.”
After graduating in 2016 with a double major in ADPR and marketing, Bunger moved to New York City where he works as a producer for Buzzfeed News. He and Grasz still get together at least once a month to discuss the industry and enjoy each other’s friendship.
Grasz has her own business in Manhattan, Grasz Communications. The business focuses on public relations, marketing, new business development and writing.
Grasz formerly worked for United Press International (UPI), CBS, PROMAX International and Broadcasters Design Association. This experience and love for New York City was what helped Grasz and Bunger’s friendship grow.
“Like me, he [Jake] wanted to work in New York City, so after graduation he returned, networked with everyone and persevered,” Grasz said.
Grasz and Bunger meet at least once a month for dinner and to talk strategy, life and career goals.
“Jake is a part of my family,” Grasz said. “We have developed a very close relationship bond. I am his sounding board, and I hope his mentor. We have frank, honest discussions about life, our dreams, hopes and aspirations. Our relationship works both ways for he has become a mentor for me, too, and keeps me focused on my life's goals.”
For Bunger, Grasz is a mentor and friend, always pushing him to pursue his goals and dreams.
“If I pitch her an idea I’ve been working on, she isn’t afraid to tell me what she thinks and will always have suggestions of how I can make that idea better,” he said.
The pair make a great team, actively supporting each other in their careers. Bunger recently supported and attended a fundraiser for the Edgewater Arts Council, which Grasz has led for the past eight years. He also helped Grasz plan the 27th annual Arts & Music Festival in September.
Grasz and Bunger are an excellent example of the importance of networking and making meaningful relationships in the industry. Bunger said he is grateful for Grasz’s friendship and finds her guidance extremely valuable to his career.
“To me, I believe that having someone like that in your life is so important, and I’m thankful that I have Lynne,” he said.