Spotlight on Humanities Alumni: David Leavitt
Education: UR Class of 1998
Current city/state of residence: Washington, DC
Job Title: Senior Vice President
Employer: Weber Shandwick
Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?
It got my attention as an off-the-beaten path school with a great reputation among those who know academics. When I visited the campus, I immediately realized that I fit in both with the people and the setting.
When and how did you choose your major?
I created my own major — media studies — once I realized how the classes I had already taken could best align with my interests.
What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?
I enjoyed playing trumpet in the pep band, but my passion was for the Campus Times. I showed up in the newspaper office on my first day and basically never left for four years. I made life-long friends and learned skills that later became useful in my professional career.
What do you do now and why did you choose this career?
I was a journalist for about ten years and then moved into consulting. For the past few years, I’ve been a digital strategist for Weber Shandwick, which is the world’s largest communications agency. I choose this career because it’s a great intersection of news media and online communications. I especially enjoy our work for our Social Impact practice, which concentrates on foundations and nonprofits.
How do you balance your work and personal life?
Some people draw lines between their work and personal lives. I’m not one of those people. I wouldn’t spend more than 50 hours per week with people I don’t like. I’ve managed to find a place at which I enjoy showing up every day. I both take my work home with me and also have some fun during the workday.