For 2007 alum Ryan Billings, working behind the scenes (or screen) covers a lot of bases. His career involves up-and-coming technology, social media trends and impressive internet marketing experience.
The public relations and advertising major started out his professional journey as an email marketing associate at Internet Strategy Group, where he had interned between his junior and senior years at Messiah. Billings then transitioned through several healthcare groups, including Blue Cross and Merck, working in internet marketing and social media managing. Meanwhile, he began working on his Master of Science in Publication Management from Drexel University.
Billings has most recently landed another pharmaceutical healthcare position with AstraZeneca in Wilmington, Del., as director of social strategy. In the Customer Experience and Innovation team, Billings says he works “across social, mobile, content and paid media and service [for] AstraZeneca’s 27 U.S. brands.” He has since launched several exciting social media campaigns and completed his MBA in International Management & Marketing through Northeastern University.
Billings credits much of his upward success in the communication and healthcare industry to his internship experience with the Philadelphia Magazine. He also thanks the ethical and practical public relations program at Messiah, which helped him develop fresh, honest tactics to further his career. He also appreciates a profession that gives him the opportunity to maintain a network of Messiah colleagues and travel the world for business and pleasure.
Billings gives two refreshingly different pieces of advice to students looking toward their professional goals and plans. First, he offers that while networking holds value, an effective interview, resumé and set of experiences can be just as effective. Second, he says that although students should know their limits when it comes to a position that may be above their skill set, they also shouldn’t be afraid to apply for a position that might be outside of their comfort zone. He notes, “Many skills are transferable; it’s all about selling yourself and being an eager and quick learner.” Looking at Billings’ success, it sounds like he took his own advice to heart.
Stephanie Bricker ‘18