Winning the NYWICI Scholarship Helped Me Launch My Communications Career

Every year, New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) awards approximately 10 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who intend to pursue or further a career in communications. It’s a life-changing opportunity that opens students up to the NYWICI community to learn and to make meaningful connections. With a deadline of April 8th, there are just a couple weeks left to apply!

Chelsea Orcutt, Vice President of Professional Programming for NYWICI and a Strategy and Operations Lead at Thirty Madison, knows from first-hand experience that this scholarship is too great of an opportunity to pass up. A 2010 scholarship recipient, Orcutt believes this scholarship was her “foot in the door” to this incredible organization and helped open her eyes to career possibilities. “It meant so much to have industry leaders share their time and expertise with me when I was a student,” Orcutt says. 

In addition to the monetary aid, the NYWICI scholarship helps communications students make friends, find mentors and develop their careers. “It gives students a chance to meet and learn from the best and brightest women in the industry,” Orcutt says. This program even helped Orcutt gain the confidence to pursue positions that she may not have considered otherwise. And having a strong network of NYWICI connections also made moving to NYC from Buffalo less daunting for Orcutt. 

NYWICI Executive Board members at the 2021 Matrix Awards reception (from left to right): Abi Evans, Chelsea Orcutt, Laura Brusca, Dustee Jenkins, Ashley Miles, Georgia Galanoudis, Tamika Young, Chardia Christophe-Garcia

While the scholarship application process is simple, it’s important to read through all of the instructions carefully to ensure you meet all requirements, Orcutt says. To apply, you’ll need to fill out a few short questions and submit an essay, resumé and two letters of recommendation. Orcutt recommends letting your personality shine through in the essay to allow the selection committee to get to know your voice better. 

Not only did the scholarship help Orcutt in her career path, it also improved her overall educational experience. It connected her with a community of other communications students. And as a graduate of S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Orcutt even attended college with some of them. From this tight-knit group, Orcutt was able to build a strong foundation for her career. “I’m so grateful that NYWICI invests in students to help support the next generation of communications leaders,” Orcutt says. 

This article has been condensed and edited for clarity. 

Chelsea Orcutt
Strategy & Operations Lead at Thirty Madison

Chelsea Orcutt is a Strategy & Operations Lead at Thirty Madison, a digital health company. In addition to her role on the NYWICI Board of Directors, Chelsea also serves as a producer on the Coffee Break w/ NYWICI podcast, volunteers with NYWICI's mentorship program, and is a two-time NYWICI scholarship recipient. She is a Buffalo, NY native and a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.


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