PAB Spotlight: Reflections of a Past Spartan to Current Spartans

By Genevieve Stjean

Once a spartan, always a spartan.

This sentiment rings true for Nick Lucido, an advertising alumnus working in Chicago at Edelman, a global communications marketing firm. As an alumnus, he finds his way back to MSU to serve on the Professional Advisory Board of the Department of Advertising + Public Relations.

He has found his role as being a Spartan has changed but is just as important as when he was in college.

“I had a lot of people who were extraordinarily helpful and generous with their time and energy here, so I feel like it is my turn to pass it on to the next generation,” Lucido said.

However, he didn’t get to his current position as Vice President of Global Brand Practice Development at Edelman without hard work. His journey to be a Spartan advising other Spartans started with a knock on his door. A neighbor to his parent’s house who worked in PR was the first one who put the idea in Lucido’s head to work in the industry.

“I just thought it was really interesting whenever he [the neighbor] would talk about the work,” said Lucido. “Then I thought advertising and

PR would bean interesting path and I haven’t looked back on it. I never changed my major, which is kind of surprising because people go in and out of things, but I knew what I wanted to do.”

After coming to MSU and navigating his way through college, Lucido got involved in the Public Relations Student Society of America where he worked his way up to be the National President.

“Without PRSSA, I wouldn’t have ended up at Edelman, because I ended up applying to a scholarship that Edelman sponsors through PRSSA and part of the award is an internship through Edelman,” said Lucido.

PRSSA also gave Lucido the opportunity to learn skills that you can’t find in a classroom. “Companies in general just do such a bad job of preparing people to be managers,” Lucido says. “I have been lucky to have great managers that I have been able to pick different things from, but then PRSSA was incredible in building the ability to manage people.”

Lucido advises students that even if they are learning a lot from clubs and organizations, don’t forget about classes. According to Lucido, some of the most helpful classes were the most surprising: the classes focusing on research.

Another thing Lucido was surprised about after breaking into the industry, and now looks for in interns, is attitude and commitment to learning.

“Your attitude and willingness to learn is just as important as core skills to show you are ready to advance your career,” Lucido says. “Agencies are a people business. The best assets we have are our people. When I am looking to hire people, it is nice for people to have skills, but I want to hire someone I want to work with. I am more willing to spend time with someone who wants to learn and has a good attitude.”

For nearly a decade, Lucido has worked at Edelman in different roles. He started out as an intern within the company and advanced through the company to become the vice president of his division. Along the way, he learned a lot from his positions, especially in his time where he worked in Brazil.

Lucido jokingly attributes his need to get out of the cold Chicago winters as the reason he went to Brazil, but he gained more experience than just a weather change. He learned Portuguese and was able to gather a better world view into insights on culture and advertising. He now advises others to learn a language and experience another culture to understand people.

“We as an industry are not really defined by borders; we are at a time when the world is bigger and smaller than it ever has been, said Lucido. “It’s insane we can so quickly be connected to another culture, and the work that we do should represent that.”

His experience as a Spartan pushed him on the path to become the vice president of global brand practice and serve on the alumni board. As the saying goes, Spartans Will, and Lucido did find success so that he will continue to help Spartans in the future.