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Lindsey Rietschel: HBO College Program

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.


By: Lindsey Reitschel, a campus agent with GMR Marketing for the HBO College program. 

If you were to ask any of my closest friends (or the girls living with me in my sorority house) to pick one word to describe me, it would with-a-doubt be “busy”. I’m commonly known as the girl frantically running around in business casual attire, studying at the library until 1 a.m., and somehow up again at 7. A normal day consists of checking emails, hanging out with my Zeta sisters and being reffered to as “the girl from HBO.”  Most people think I’m crazy for having a job and internship outside of taking 18 credit hours, all while still finding time to spend with friends, but for me the experiences I have made through these activities is what drives me to be as involved as I can. Specifically, my experience as a campus agent with GMR Marketing for the HBO College program is the topic of today’s article.

I began my experience with GMR Marketing and HBO at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year after learning of the position through Facebook.  Lisa Hipelius is the other current campus agent at ISU and helped me obtain the position. 

After a phone and Skype interview I was told I got the position and would soon be flown out to Charlotte, NC for training.  My first thought was, “this has got to be a joke.”  Never did I think I would have a job in college that specifically relates to my major and gives me the real world experience I need (such as flying out to a different state for job training). I soon realized that this job would provide me with much, much more. Apart from hosting monthly premiere events, promoting shows via social media and handing out HBO premiums at weekly tablings, I was recently offered the incredible opportunity to travel to SXSW to further promote the HBO Brand.

SXSW is the worlds largest music, film and interactive festival held in Austin, TX.  One of my duties for the week, which lasted Thursday-Tuesday, was working at the Mashable House sponsored by HBO’s newest series Silicon Valley which premieres this Sunday at 9 p.m.  While at the Mashable House my main duties were to pass out t-shirts and encourage visitors to come up with a “start-up” company name and share it via social media. During this time, I unknowingly interacted with Vine Star, Jerrome Jarr, attended a VIP appearance with the full cast of Silicon Valley, played with the famous “Grumpy Cat,” and got to take a turn swinging on the Miley inspired Wrecking Ball. Another awesome experience was attending a speaker’s panel with GIRLS star, Lena Dunham.

The other half of the week I spent promoting the Game of Thrones Exhibit, which was located at Austin Music Hall. In the exhibit were costumes of the cast, an interactive stimulation of climbing “the wall” and the official Iron Throne (which I got to take a picture in). In order to promote the exhibit, I worked with five other campus agents from different campuses across the country. One of the most memorable experiences of us promoting the exhibit was when we used Guerilla Marketing by “sweeding.” Sweeding is a term used to describe the action of acting out a scene from a show and tweeting about it. Of course I was chosen to wear the Khaleesi wig and stand in the middle of Austin Convention Center acting out one of the most famous Game of Thrones scenes.

A week after returning from SXSW my partner and I hosted the Game of Thrones Season 4 Premiere Prescreening, which set a record for attendance for any event in the history of HBO College. There were over 1,300 students in attendance this past Monday in the Braden Auditorium and their were over 500 impressions on social media that night using #GoTPremiereISU. There are 22 schools across the country in the HBO College program and two campus agents represent each university.

From being blessed with the opportunity to attend one of the world’s largest networking events for the field I’m in to being privileged enough to host a prescreening of one of the WORLD’S most popular shows, I’ve learned that not only do I have the best job as a college student but the HBO College Program has provided me with experiences that have impacted my ability to achieve my career goals substantially.