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Digital technology has revolutionized media, profoundly transforming how we receive information and conduct business. Join Penn alumnae Sarah Kotlova, Senior Vice President of Client Services for Digitaria/JWT, and Doree Shafrir, Executive Editor of Buzzfeed, to hear about their post-Penn career paths and their view of where digital is heading and how it will change our lives.
Sarah Kotlova (CAS '98) graduated Penn with a BA and MA in English Literature. Moving to London after college, and looking for a job that would have key elements of the things she knew she loved—writing, cultural studies, synthesis and expression of ideas, and more than a little drama—she found herself placed as a temp in an advertising agency. Seventeen years later, as Senior Vice President, Director Client Services at Digitaria/JWT, she develops ideas and relationships for brands and campaigns looking to engage with an audience through digital screens.
She has led national and global engagements with Anheuser-Busch, Kellogg's, Johnson & Johnson, Intel Classmate PC, Philosophy, and others. Current projects include MIT, Mattel, Rolex and Petco. Her recent campaign for Del Monte's Nature's Recipe ("Moments") looked to bring to life a pet's experience in a unique way through a wearable digital camera - and turn pet parents into storytellers through the digital medium. It was featured in the New York Times and was a Cannes Lions contender in Innovation in 2013, proving that the internet really does love anything with a cat on it!
Doree Shafrir (CAS '99), the Executive Editor at BuzzFeed, has a BA in English and History from Penn, where she was also the editor-in-chief of 34th Street Magazine. She's able to draw on lots of what she learned at Penn—particularly in terms of critical thinking and writing—in her work at BuzzFeed, where she oversees the site's acclaimed culture, entertainment, and ideas coverage, and is the head of the Los Angeles bureau.
She started working in media in 2004 as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Philadelphia Weekly. Since then, she's gotten an MA in journalism from Columbia; worked at Gawker, the New York Observer, and Rolling Stone Magazine; and freelanced for New York Magazine, the New Yorker, Slate, the Daily Beast, the New York Times, and Marie Claire, among other publications. These days, she's endlessly fascinated by internet culture and the ways in which people engage with social media and journalism online.