When Amber Robertson, B.S.C. ’12, graduated from the University of Miami, she had no idea what she wanted to do or who she wanted to be. The only thing she did know was that she wanted to leave her hometown of Miami behind to find opportunity and adventure. Seven years, two cities, and eight job titles later, Robertson visited UM last week to give career advice to anxious undergrads.
“If you want to pivot, your 20s are the perfect time to do it,” said Robertson during her presentation to members of the Media Management Association. “I’m the living example of that.”
During her sophomore year, Robertson found her passion for radio through the university’s student-run radio station, WVUM. As the station’s music director, she selected the music, wrote articles on concerts, and was the on-air personality for two weekly shows. By the end of the year, Robertson was the general manager for WVUM and had her sights set on a career in radio.
“Amber was a terrific radio station general manager,” said Dr. Paul Driscoll, faculty advisor to WVUM. “She was the GM who put WVUM on the national map by winning an mtvU Woodie Award, naming WVUM as the best college radio station in the country.”
After graduation in 2012, Robertson packed her bags and left for New York City. Through the help of a UM alum, she got her foot in the door working for United States Radio Networks in sales. Part of Robertson’s responsibilities included traveling to and from the West Coast while building relationships with national clients and, also, selling radio inventory. Everything seemed to be going just as planned; she was on her own in a big city fulfilling her dreams of working in radio.
After two years with USRN, Robertson realized she was ready to move on to her next adventure and accepted a marketing and partnerships manager position for Thrillcall followed by a marketing manager position for CBS in Los Angeles. This was uncharted territory for Robertson, seeing as she had no previous marketing experience.
“I didn’t really know anything about marketing,” said Robertson, “but I knew I wanted to learn and would give it my all.”
Her career took another turn when she decided to leave Los Angeles and come back to Miami in 2018. Robertson attributes her decision to quit to being unhappy at her job. She encouraged students to not be afraid to leave a job if they are not happy.
When she returned to Miami, Robertson began working for the global advertising agency, Zimmerman, as an integrated digital media planner. But all her career moves came full circle when Robertson was offered the corporate marketing representative position for WLRN, South Florida’s public radio station. She accepted the position and has been with WLRN for three months, sharing with students she is happy to be back working in radio for a company with “amazing news coverage.”
Before closing her presentation to the MMA, Robertson noted that she wouldn’t have been able to explore different career opportunities without the connections she made while at UM. She also encouraged students to reach out to whomever they can and, most importantly, “enjoy your time at UM.”