Eric Gerrard: Alumni Spotlight

Eric Gerrard: Alumni Spotlight

Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 12:30pm
Eric Gerrard: Alumni Spotlight
Eric Gerrard: Alumni Spotlight

Eric Gerrard Alumni Profile

Major(s) while at CoJMC : Advertising and Public Relations
Minor(s) while at CoJMC : Political Science and I think I had another one that I can't seem to remember
Name a person who helped you be successful at Nebraska and how: : Nancy Mitchell helped me find an internship in Hawaii one summer when I was a CoJMC student. She was also a terrific advisor. Stacy James helped connect me to my first job in Chicago. Clint! Runge challenged me and taught me that late nights can be for working and not just for socializing.
Where are you currently working and what are you doing? : I work with a lobbying firm in Lincoln -- American Communications Group. I also have a small law firm -- Eric Gerrard LLC. I guess I should have come up with a more creative name based on my CoJMC experience. As a lobbyist, I represent the City of Lincoln, a variety of non-profits, small businesses and renewable energy clients. I work to make sure their voices are heard at the Nebraska Legislature. Lobbying and advocating seems like a perfect mix of my advertising background and legal background, so I really feel fortunate.
What was your first job postgrad and how do you think it helped you grow in your career? : I was a communications specialist and a marketing specialist at the OfficeMax corporate headquarters near Chicago, IL. It taught me so much about what I wanted out of a career and how to work for different management styles. It also taught me how to work in a fast-paced environment. This was in 2007 when "The Office" was at its peak in popularity and so it was really difficult for me to not draw constant comparisons to "The Office" while working for an office supply company.
What is one CoJMC class that impacted your current career? : The final Campaigns class that I had to take as an advertising student. That still helps me quite a bit when I am putting together advocacy plans and dealing with clients. It was also really helpful to work with a group of talented people.
Fill in the blank: "The best thing about being a Husker is ___________________.": ... that we are everywhere. You can't travel without running into another Nebraska alum and that is comforting.
Are you currently working on any special projects? : I am working with our new Lincoln Mayor, Leirion Gaylor Baird, on determining the state legislative agenda for the City of Lincoln. She is incredibly bright and positive, so it has been fun working with her and her administration.
Any funky talents or hobbies? Life changing experiences? : I am working on becoming better at video editing. My daughter and I make a video each summer and here is our latest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Q5nny9XSc&feature=youtu.be
Have you completed any other degrees postgraduate? If so, where, when and path of study:: I went to law school at the University of San Diego from 2009-2012. I also studied for a summer in Cape Town, South Africa while I was in law school and had a legal internship at a firm in Cape Town. The World Cup just happened to be going on in South Africa during that summer.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? : A professional basketball player and a late-night TV host. I haven't given up on either of those options just yet.
What would you say is the most important skill or quality to have "out in the real world"?: I think it is being able to work well with others. The variety of people you work with on group projects in college are actually very useful.
Why should Nebraska students enroll in CoJMC courses? : The college really cares about students succeeding and tries to connect you early on with internships and diverse experiences. It is also a good way to avoid a majority of math classes.
What advice do you have for current students, prospective students? : Say yes to as many opportunities as possible. Generally speaking, the unique activities, jobs or experiences on your resume are the ones that future employers are most interested in.