Alumni and PEEPS volunteer Ritesh Gupta speaks to students

Alumni Ritesh Gupta visits CCI.
Alumni and PEEPS volunteer Ritesh Gupta (middle) visits with CCI students.

Ritesh Gupta is currently producing commercials for the dating web site, however, his visit to Florida State University’s College of Communication & Information (CCI) on Nov. 1 was to help facilitate a different kind of connection.

Gupta stopped by the Shores Building to visit with students as a part of the college’s efforts to connect younger alumni with each other, students and new graduates to help alumni relocate or find professional development opportunities in specific geographic areas by creating regional support groups.

The Young Alumni Partnerships in Educational Engagement, Philanthropy & Social Media – or PEEPS — is seeking volunteers in regions with large concentrations of alums like New York City or Atlanta.  The program’s goals are to create:

  • informal networking opportunities for young alumni
  • mentoring opportunities
  • guidance for new graduates relocating into the region
  • inspirational stories of FSU alums
  • guest speaking opportunities.

Gupta, an executive producer for R&D Media in NYC and volunteer for the program, shared some career advice on his visit to Tallahassee.  The 1998 graduate of FSU talked about his real world experiences and the challenges he faced during the search for his first job after graduation.  Before getting his first on-air sports anchor position at WCTV, Gupta took a weekend assignment editor job at the station just to put his face in front of the producer.

“If you’re not networking, you’re not working,” Gupta said. “Period. Constantly try and get involved and get in front of as many people in the field you want to be in.”

While networking was the main emphasis of Gupta’s visit, he also talked about the significance of being reliable, dependent and consistent in your work, advised students to never to turn down a meeting and spoke about the importance of paying it forward after you do land that first job.

“Don’t ever forget to help people the same way you were helped,” Gupta said. “The greatest thing you can do is to give back. Don’t ever forget where you came from and the university that helped propel you out into the real world.”

During his career, Gupta has worked as a producer for MTV, produced a variety of reality television shows for networks including A&E and TLC, and worked on national advertising campaigns producing commercials for clients such as, Wrigley and Allstate.  As a student, Gupta served as sports editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau (1995-98).

While the PEEPS program has been launched in New York City, the College plans to roll out PEEPS in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta in the spring.

Contact CCI Development Officer Mafé Brooks for more information about the PEEPS program.