Guest columnist David Rosen: Here’s Why I Do What I Do For A Living



David and his family, wife Deborah and daughters Allison, 10, and Jessica, 7, live in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. David has worked in pharmaceutical and healthcare public relations since 1993 and met Bob at an agency where they worked in 1999. After getting caught up in a “workforce reduction” in December, 2008 at Bristol-Myers Squibb, he wandered the earth in search of his next position, and is currently looking for his next public relations challenge. In 2010 he went back to school to become a New Jersey state-certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and answers the call in both Cherry Hill and Berlin, NJ. He’s also a volunteer firefighter with a unit of the Cherry Hill Fire Department that coordinates rehabilitation of firefighters during incidents. Anyone who can help him find a position for a senior PR professional can reach him at


Dear Allie and Jess,


When I went to college, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had always enjoyed public speaking, but did not know what I could do with that. During my freshman year at Ithaca, I got to know a professor I had who saw my potential and suggested I get an internship in a public relations agency. I did just that during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years and never looked back. I interned at this agency during every school break until I graduated and fell in love with public relations.


After graduation, I got a job with a healthcare public relations agency in New York City. I learned a lot about different medical conditions and the medications that are available to help patients living with them. I rose through the ranks and even had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live overseas (in Sweden) for half a year working with one of the companies that makes these valuable medications.

One of the companies in the pharmaceutical industry gave me the chance to work for it and I jumped at it. Your mother and I moved from New York City to Cherry Hill and off to work I went. It was a great experience: I loved getting up and going to work every day. I got to work with very smart people who helped make medicines for serious illnesses like HIV, depression and diabetes. I also developed educational materials that helped people live with and better understand and manage these illnesses.I ultimately worked in public relations for 17 years, my entire adult life.


Then, in December, 2008, something happened. My company decided it had to cut people from its workforce and I was one of those people.

This sudden change in my life came as a shock. At having the job I loved taken out from under me, I felt lost and worth little. Luckily, the two of you helped me deal with it all. I’ve searched for a new job in public relations for almost four years now, and it’s turned out to be hard. A lot of companies have cut jobs and the number of people who are looking for a job grows significantly day by day.Still, I’ve used this opportunity — yes, I’m now actually able to call what happened in 2008 an opportunity – to follow a dream I had pushed aside for many years.

I’m now a New Jersey state-certified Emergency Medical Technician, or EMT. I work both in the town we live in (Cherry Hill) and a neighboring town (Berlin). As with my public relations job, being an EMT allows me to help people. While I spend only about 30 minutes with each of the people I’m helping, it’s very rewarding to know that at the end of each shift, I’ve enabled people in real need to feel better and safe while enroute to a hospital.


I know my job takes me away from you, sometimes for a full day. And I know it’s hard to understand why. I do my best to find balance between spending time with you and helping complete strangers.


Trust me when I tell you this: there are many days I would much rather be home running around after you. On days when I feel like that but have to go to work, I think of some of the people I’ve helped. The little boy who fell and broke his arm. The woman who was in a car accident and hurt her back. The man whose heart stopped and needed me, my partner and some fellow firefighters to help get it started again. Remembering those accomplishments motivates me all over again.

Sometimes I get tired from the crazy hours I work, like when I pull an 18-hour shift and start work at 2 in the morning and go straight through until 8 at night. And I’m sorry if on those days I have no energy left to run after you. But please know I’m doing my best to try to find another job in public relations – I send out letters and go on interviews – to get me back to a more normal schedule.


No matter where I am, though, or how many hours I’m away from you, I love you with all of my heart and think of you always. I work as hard as I do for as many hours as I do so I can try my best to give you everything you want and to make your lives enjoyable. That’s just what parents do, and when you have children of your own, I know you’ll understand.





P.S. — David’s previous guest column:


P.P.S. — David’s appearance on the “CBS Early Show:”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s