Abby Riviello, ’14, is a copywriter at Cohere, formerly At Media Branding, which has offices in Philadelphia and Baltimore. While at St. Joe’s, she was copy chief for The Hawk student newspaper, a tutor in the SJU Writing Center and a peer ambassador for the SJU Center for International Programs after a semester abroad at the National University of Ireland in Galway.
How did you end up at At Media Branding?
Right at the end of senior year, I was applying for an internship. I was an English and communication studies double major, and I wanted to work in media but also do a lot of writing, and in searching for internships, the one thing that kept coming up was copywriting, especially at agencies. I ended up interviewing at a couple agencies, but At Media was the one that hired me for an internship. It kind of just blended the perfect world of English and communications. They hired me at the end of the internship, and I’ve been here ever since.
As a copywriter, what does your typical day look like?
Oh, boy! So, we are a very small agency. There’s only 13 of us, so we all wear a lot of hats. We have a wide variety of clients: apartment building clients, office buildings, also restaurants and non-profits. On any given day, I could be writing a strategy for a new client to kick off a project, writing a web manuscript for a website we’re designing or writing a creative concept for a campaign with our designers where there’s a lot of proofreading involved. It’s a very wide range of things, and depending on what client or what day it is, my day could look completely different. It’s what keeps it interesting.
How did your experiences at St. Joe’s, perhaps even your experience as copy chief of The Hawk, prepare you for your career?
The Hawk is my favorite thing I’ve ever done. I loved the collaborative nature of The Hawk, working with all the different editors to put an issue together and being copy chief, getting to read and contribute to every aspect of the paper. I never thought I would find that same kind of environment, and yet here at At Media, it’s that small, close-knit office, and we’re very collaborative. I get to work on every type of project. The Hawk definitely prepared me for supervising copy editors under me and how to manage my interns because I do have one or two interns each round, so that was good practice. It helped me in the proofreading aspect of my job and ensuring quality. It helped me think about how to be creative and also push through those hard deadlines. There are very similar parallels.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?
My favorite project was for The Science Center in University City. We did kind of a brand realignment. We updated their website with new fonts and colors and updated their messaging mostly. We are also launching the “We Are All Scientists” campaign. I wrote a video manifesto for that, and it’s basically to say, “Hey, everyone is a scientist. We all experiment, and we all repeat until we figure out what we’re doing.”
Do you have any advice for young writers or editors trying to break into the job market?
Don’t limit yourself if you’re not sure what direction you want to go in because it’s all really good experience. From a writing perspective, I always just like to remember, even when I’m writing as a brand, we’re still talking to a person. Remembering the human aspect when writing and remembering that writing is really to build connections is why I like writing.
For internship and career opportunities at Cohere, check out the “Careers” section on the company’s website.
—Ashley Cappetta, ’17