Meet Melinda Joseph, a graduate and valedictorian of the Marketing Communication Department.
Melinda is the Co-Owner and Director of Marketing & Operations at Cece & Melinda with Raymi Productions, her company hosts stylish, upscale events around the City of Chicago from The Taste of the Gold Coast to Shop IN Chicago.
For students looking to get into event planning, Melinda stresses the need for organization, strong communication within a team, and attention to detail. At a young age, she had been very involved in event planning at each of the schools she attended prior to college. “I didn’t really understand what marketing and PR were then, but I was actually doing it through most of the events I was involved in!”
Joseph came to Columbia because of the Marketing Communication Department’s internship program and industry professional relationships. “These opportunities are unbeatable compared to any other school in Chicago,” says Joseph, “I truly believe that everybody knows somebody. The more people you know, and the more connections you make, the better. You will never know when you need to reach out to a connection.”
While attending Columbia, Joseph majored in Marketing Communications with a concentration in Marketing and had the opportunity to complete The Advertising Practicum course. “This was the most valuable class/experience that helped prepare me for everything beyond college.” Internships also played a significant role in Joseph’s collegiate career. “I completed two internships in two different areas of marketing. The first internship was in the radio sales department at ABC, and the second as an account intern at the Healthcare Branding Group firm. “They were the second most valuable experiences towards preparing me for the real world since I was able to apply what I learned in classes, and observe and gain experience in potential future job positions.”
In her current position at Cece & Melinda with Raymi Productions, Joseph is responsible for everything from managing the company’s website, branding, sponsorship letters, to venue meetings, event signage, email communication, social media, and so on. “When you run your own business you must wear many hats.” Partnerships prove to be a key element in Joseph’s company. “For the events we put on, networking plays a huge role. We partner with a lot of businesses that have a closely aligned target market and with that, there is a win-win opportunity. We also partner with [several] different venues in the city to use to host events.”