Coffee of Lunch? The Art of the Informational Interview

Curious about a particular company or career path? Having an informational interview with someone who’s experienced on the topic is a great way to explore whether or not this option is right for you. But do you ask this person out for coffee or a lunch? Panelists will discuss the protocol of informational interviews so you can network better than ever.

Josh Lay

Comedian, Writer, Producer
Model Wife
Josh Lay is a writer, producer, and performer with over 10 years of experience in film, television, and multimedia who has experience with several sides of media production from behind the camera, to in front of the camera, to pre and post production. Josh’s work has been rewarded with one Emmy nomination, four Webby Awards, and a Writer’s Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Writing in Original new Media. Josh has been fortunate enough to work with new and interesting forms of entertainment and media such as digital entertainment, podcasts, blogging and social media, as well as film and television.

Reb Carlson

Social Media Strategist

Juan Martinez

VP, Strategic Communications
Sesame Workshop
A committed leader of people and organizations, Juan Martinez has over 20 years of progressive leadership experience with organizations focused on improving people’s lives. He currently serves as the Vice President of Strategic Communications at Sesame Workshop, guiding internal communications and the development of strategies to better connect Sesame with its audiences.

Prior to joining the Workshop, Juan was a Senior Consultant for Teach for America where he counseled the executive leadership team, and designed and implemented a top-to-bottom assessment of the organization’s communications and public affairs functions.

In his role as a Senior Program Officer for Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Juan managed a $20 million grant portfolio focused on increasing public and political will for K-12 and postsecondary education reform. He also worked closely with a variety of large school districts and charter management organizations to improve how they communicate and work with teachers and parents.

The most gratifying part of his career to date was the four years he spent working for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, first as the Communications Director for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, then as the Governor’s Press Secretary. At HHS, Juan managed crisis communications and developed the communications strategies for the state’s largest Secretariat providing services to the most vulnerable residents across 17 agencies with a combined $13 billion budget.

As Press Secretary, he was the lead spokesperson for the Administration, counseled the Governor on all crisis and media issues, and designed and executed the communications strategy for the $4 billion Massachusetts Works jobs initiative that put 20,000 residents back to work across the state. A child of the South Bronx housing projects, he is a passionate advocate for the power of education to change the lives of individuals, families and communities.

Denise Chan 

Senior Account Manager
Denise is a digital media junkie who’s always been excited about the intersection of social good and technology. She comes to Catchafire bearing a wealth of knowledge in digital advertising, marketing, journalism, and the arts. Denise holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from University of California, Berkeley.


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