Quick thinking, in two languages
March 2, 2011
As a marketing event with a leading airline company was coming to an end in Nice, France, Jason LaMotte’s work was just beginning. LaMotte, who was on co-op at the communications firm Open2Europe in Paris, had three short hours to transcribe the entire press conference from French to English so the agency could quickly generate coverage in other countries across Europe.
“To be at the front of such a global effort was really neat,” said LaMotte, a senior majoring in journalism, with a minor in French.
The experiential learning opportunity caused his social and strategic thinking skills to blossom within a fast-paced, global marketing atmosphere, he said, ultimately helping him gain a post-graduation offer from Raytheon to join the company’s accelerated career track Communications Leadership Development Program.
A pan-European agency, Open2Europe assigns teams to various European countries, and LaMotte was placed on the U.K. team, supporting accounts for clients ranging from IT firms to major fashion labels. On the job, LaMotte acted as a liaison to journalists for pitching tradeshows and interviews with clients who were industry experts. In addition, he was assigned to research the public relations and media businesses in South Africa, ultimately preparing a comprehensive report for the company to better assess the market for its clients.
LaMotte recalls another assignment that left him amazed by the global impact of his work—writing a press release for a mobile B2B client that was later transcribed to reach mobile trade press outlets in Spain and Germany.
“It was a powerful thing to see my work translated into languages I couldn’t even read and appear in major publications within those countries,” he said.
The Open2Europe co-op marked a happy and productive return to France, where he’d had a previous co-op experience at the European bicycle tour company Cyclomundo. LaMotte was involved in creating marketing materials, sales, client services, and developing promotional video slideshows for the Web.
“I followed what my passions were, and thanks to Northeastern, I was able to combine them,” he said.
While his passion lies in PR and marketing communications, LaMotte said he pursued journalism as a major because it provided a solid foundation of essential communications skills that are transferable to marketing.
“It comes down to telling a story in different ways through different channels while effectively reaching various audiences,” he said.