Three years out of college, UMW alumnus Jeremy Thompson ’13 has begun building a successful career as a social media strategist at Subject Matter, a public affairs agency in Washington, D.C. But Thompson acknowledges he didn’t get there alone. Crediting the support of faculty mentors at UMW, he’s ready to give back by preparing the next generation of students to excel in the work place.
“Mentoring students is important to me,” said Thompson, a history and political science major. “I didn’t get where I am today without help from the people who came before me.”
This past summer, Thompson got the chance to return the favor when UMW junior Elaina Finkelstein landed an internship at Subject Matter. Mirroring the actions of his own mentors, he guided her as she tackled projects like developing social content for the U.S. Soccer Foundation and executing social media advertising campaigns.
“Learning to write in the voice of a professional organization (especially in 140 characters) was enjoyably challenging,” said Finkelstein, a music and digital communications major. “Social media was more than just clicks, likes and shares – it was a way to explore my newfound passion for digital marketing.”
As part of Subject Matter’s content team, Finkelstein worked with Thompson and a video production crew. She also gathered data and created her own presence on the firm’s blog, The Subject.
“My teammates (including Thompson) empowered me to have confidence,” said Finkelstein, who will graduate in the spring of 2018. “Subject Matter wasn’t just another summer internship—it was a realized opportunity. They gave me a summer I’ll never forget.”
For Thompson, a member of UMW’s Alumni Board and Young Alumni Council, paving the way for others is just another perk of being a Mary Washington grad.
“I know how important it is that we mentor our students and ensure that they are prepared to excel in the world.”