Alumni Spotlight

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There was a time in Marteena Oliphant’s life when she when wasn’t sure she even wanted to go to college. Today, the Philadelphia native and New York City transplant has two degrees – a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication with a concentration in Public Relations from Millersville University and a master’s degree in Organizational Development and Leadership (ODL) from Saint Joseph’s University.  

She now works at her self-described “dream job” as a Communications Coordinator for MTV, a ViacomCBS brand, where she helps to get the word out about big-name shows like, ”RuPaul’s Drag Race.” But it took a lot of hard work to get there. 

“My mom actually talked me into going to college,” says Oliphant. “[How I ended up at MU] was kind of haphazard, but visiting the campus really solidified the decision for me.” As an undergraduate student at the ‘Ville, Oliphant was involved in many on-campus organizations. “[One of the most meaningful parts of my time at MU] was being the president of the Black Student Union,” she says. “I was really able to advocate for the African American student population and learn about my potential as a leader. I credit all of my extracurricular activities for shaping who I am today as a person and as a working professional.”  

Oliphant landed her job at ViacomCBS after interning with the MTV Communications Team in the summer of 2017, while she was completing her master’s degree. “A year later, I officially joined the team as a Communications Coordinator, which today has become the Entertainment and Youth Group at ViacomCBS,” she says. Currently, she’s working from home, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and says no two days at her job are the same. “I’m typically drafting press releases and managing press outreach, pitching and reviewing coverage for our programming, booking press for network talent, and helping develop press strategies and campaigns for show launches,” says Oliphant. “I‘ve worked the MTV Movie and TV Awards, and Video Music Awards, as well which are always highlights, because I love special and live events.”  

While she says her role is high-pressure, Oliphant says she’s thriving in it. “[I love] being able to see a story idea come to life and [then dissecting it to] use different parts of the content to create stories,” she explains. “I also enjoy working with the other teams who strategize around the same programming our brands have but bring it to life and present it to the consumer in a different capacity.” 

Oliphant has this piece of advice for prospective students thinking about going to MU: “DO IT,” she says emphatically, “and once you get there, take advantage of every resource and opportunity that an education at Millersville affords you. Talk to your advisor and professors often, get involved on campus or in the surrounding community, and make lots of memories. Oh, and make sure you get moz fries from The Sugarbowl!

 
  


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