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Student of the Year Shadows at MARC USA

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2015 Student of the Year Brittney Lybarger (center), pictured here with MARC USA’s Rob Throckmorton (left) and Jake Bezeck (right) after her shadowing experience.

2015 Student of the Year Brittney Lybarger caught a glimpse of her dream career when she traveled to MARC USA’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, for a busy day of shadowing.

The Richland High School senior first met Tony Bucci, Chairman of MARC USA, at The Challenge Program, Inc.’s Crystal Owl Gala last spring, where she was named 2015 Student of the Year. MARC USA is a full-service integrated marketing communications firm with offices in Chicago, Miami, and Pittsburgh. The firm’s line of work sparked an interest in Lybarger, a young entrepreneur who started her own business, Brittney Lybarger Photography and Video, at age 16.

Lybarger sent her resume to Bucci following the Crystal Owl Gala, and he agreed to have his firm set up a customized shadowing experience for her. She spent half-hour sessions with several of the firm’s departments, including account management, digital media, broadcast, interactive, and public relations/social media to gain a better understanding of the company and its career paths.

For Lybarger, the best part of the experience was observing the range of personalities at the firm—from the creative types to the technical ones. Lybarger was exposed to the firm’s team-driven environment and learned about its major clients and projects.

She also received valuable advice about how education and professionalism play into building a successful career. “I learned it’s not only about your education, but also about your connections, job experience, and even your involvement with the community,” she noted.

MARC USA, which employs 150 people in its Pittsburgh office, had traditionally placed focused on its college internship program for juniors and seniors. However, over the past couple of years the firm has created opportunities to expose high school students to its careers. Rob Throckmorton, Director of Staffing, noted that the company enjoyed the opportunity to host Lybarger, who was well-received across all departments.

Although it’s still early in her senior year, Lybarger believes she’ll attend the University of Pittsburgh to earn a degree in marketing and a minor in a related multimedia field.

Lybarger has already earned several awards for her photography and video, including the Public Service Announcement of the Year Award (Great American No Bull Challenge Teen Awards), the 2015 and 2014 Student Winner at the Johnstown Film Festival for “Looking Up: Sami Stoner & Chloe” (2015) and Yankee Shoe Repair Factory” (2014), and first place in the regional Technology Student Association Leadership Conference for her documentary on the Johnstown Inclined Plane. For more information, email Brittney at or find her on Facebook.

For more information on The Challenge Program, Inc.’s Student of the Year contest, click here.

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