While many Wisconsinites yearn to escape the Badger State during the winter months, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna and Discover Wisconsin co-host Mariah Haberman ’10, of Madison, embraces every season of the year.
Haberman started her first day of class at UW Oshkosh knowing she wanted to pursue a degree in public relations. With social media just beginning to emerge in journalism, she believes she entered the field at just the right time.
As a student, Haberman jumped right into her coursework and created an advertising campaign for the Grand Opera House.
“Our whole group was so excited about it,” she said.
Haberman got involved in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and helped organize an organ donation campaign, a project that included every angle of PR.
“It was so cool to see it all come to life,” Haberman said.
In addition to her passion and drive for success in the PR field, Haberman also had an interest in television. After one of her best friends competed in the Miss Oshkosh pageant, she put on her own high heels and found herself on the stage competing during her senior year.
Haberman won the title of first runner-up and, with the desire to win, continued to compete until she was crowned Miss Wisconsin Central in 2012.
“The experience really brought back the fire to pursue a career in television,” Haberman said.
With her diverse background in both PR and pageantry, Haberman pursued a position at Discover Wisconsin, the longest-running tourism television show in the U.S. Her skills did not land her just one job with Discover Wisconsin, but two. Haberman is both a co-host and a marketing strategist for Discover Mediaworks.
The TV show produces 18 episodes per year, and Haberman co-hosts each episode.
“We go all around the state to show the rest of the Midwest what Wisconsin is all about,” Haberman said. “There are so many whacky, crazy festivals and hidden gems around the state. I get to help bring awareness and stardom to all these places in Wisconsin.”
Haberman also works behind the scenes as a marketing strategist, managing social media, blogs, radio and TV promotions, a text club and the Discover Wisconsin radio station.
“I feel blessed that I am 26 and working at a job that I never thought I would have this early in my career,” she said.
Haberman’s time at UWO, both inside and outside of the classroom, helped prepare her for life after graduation. She believes her success was driven by the journalism department and the professors who helped show her the fun of PR.
“I was so excited to graduate,” Haberman said. “I felt so confident standing on that stage in May.”
After four years of preparation, she was ready to pursue a career and is now marketing the attributes of the state that she holds dear.
“To love Wisconsin, you have to embrace it,” she said.
Catch an episode of Discover Wisconsin Saturdays at 10 a.m. on FSN Wisconsin or 6:30 p.m. on WFRV 5.