High school students who wish to work in public relations, entertainment or marketing may want to consider enrolling at schools that were once attended by successful professionals. For example, Thomas E. Freston, former co-president and chief operating officer (COO) of Viacom and MTV, and current chair of the ONE charity campaign, attended Saint Michael's College (SMC) in Vermont for his undergraduate degree.
After studying at SMC, Freston began a career in advertising. He then became one of the founding members of MTV, according to Viacom. As head of marketing, he worked on the "I Want My MTV" ad campaign that helped make the network a cultural success. In 1987 Freston became the president and CEO of MTV Networks - a job he held for 17 years. In this position, he expanded the company, built an animation studio, produced feature films and developed large consumer product and digital businesses.
In 2004, Freston was named co-president and co-COO of Viacom. He oversaw MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Famous Music Publishing and Simon & Schuster.
Today, Freston is chair of the ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization for global poverty issues that was started by Bono, U2's front man. Most recently, Freston was noted by Time magazine in 2006 as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.
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