Part of the beauty of a liberal arts education is the unexpected directions your degree can take you. After graduating from SUNY New Paltz, John Hoeschele ’86 (English)—a member of the College’s Alumni Advisory Council— planned on becoming an English teacher. He enrolled in graduate school, completed his student teaching, and was two requirements shy of completing his master’s degree.
“But I had another plan to get into the advertising business,” said Hoeschele. “I always thought it was a cool business and an interesting way to use an English degree. Before I finalized my graduate degree, I scattered my resume near and far, and ended up getting a job at an ad agency in Ithaca.”
Hoeschele entered the industry as a junior copywriter at the small firm, and quickly climbed to the position of creative director. Later, he landed at Sag MarCom, a larger agency in Syracuse, where he became vice president of creative services, before leaving that job to work for a Syracuse-based dotcom business as head of marketing and communications. He then ran his own consultancy, Drum Creative Communications, for six years before landing his current position in 2006 as marketing communications and government relations manager at Anaren in Syracuse.
“Being able to write, to stare at a blank page and not be afraid of it, is a great skill to have,” said Hoeschele. “Advertising, by itself, is a creative and fun process. You get to think and write. There’s editing. You have to boil down messages and make them more succinct and streamlined.”
While at New Paltz, Hoeschele was involved with the English Club and also studied abroad for a semester in London, which was an inspiring and invigorating experience.
“For an English major, it was a dream come true,” said Hoeschele. “It’s where Dickens lived and wrote, where Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock Holmes. I got to go to the Lake District where Wordsworth and Coleridge and all those guys did their writings. It was really cool to see the places they were referring to in their poetry, and the things that inspired them.”
Hoeschele also met his wife, Lisa (White) Hoeschele ’85, at New Paltz, where she majored in French. She currently manages a mental health agency and previously worked as a French teacher as well as a development fundraiser for PBS. They have two children, Maxwell and Margaret, and reside in Cortland, N.Y.
Prior to his involvement with the Council, Hoeschele admits he’d largely lost touch with New Paltz, but hopes to change that with his new position. This past December, Hoeschele decided to partner with fellow New Paltz grad Catherine Fisher ’81 (English) to host an alumni mixer at the Onondaga Historical Association in downtown Syracuse as part of Global Orange and Blue Day.
“I thought it was sort of incumbent upon me to walk the talk,” he said. “I’m trying to create some excitement and a sense of New Paltz community.”