My degree helped me become a better writer, especially at a company like Amazon, where we have to write a 6-page narrative for 90% of our meetings instead of using PowerPoint. Becoming a good writer is part of what makes one a true Amazonian. My degree also taught me how to develop a messaging framework that I can apply to any industry regardless of the product/service I am marketing, which is a skill I’ve been able to leverage in both B2C and B2B situations.
Where I am today traces directly back to my undergraduate work at Seattle University. I learned how to think deeply and never be afraid to ask questions, which continues to feed my personal/professional curiosity and exploration many years later; I also learned the “why,” my responsibility as a human connected to my community and world, which provides a lens of compassion, care, and service in all that I do. And I do mean I directly owe my specific career path to SU: I had a professor who believed in me so much that he called a colleague and convinced her to create an internship for me, which led to my first full-time (dream) reporting job—in the midst of a super competitive market—when I graduated. That’s just what SU is, a community of people lifting up other people.
My Seattle U education gave me the resources and skills to be successful in my career. I know the importance of telling compelling and authentic stories and of working collaboratively to achieve success.
The foundations of journalism are applied in my career in so many ways. From crafting the story and conducting interviews to staying up to date with current technology and expanding the ways we tell our stories.
The Communications Department at SU encourages students to find their passions and apply them into whatever they choose to pursue within the field. During undergrad, my professors supported my passion to integrate creativity and design into my work. With Communications being a new department at WithinReach, my degree has helped me to think outside the box and comfortable to take my organization in a new direction.
The great thing about the Communications department at SU is that the skills I gained during my time have been easily transferable to the marketing industry. The branding and public relations skills have helped me rapidly grow the success of Jerald McDermott Photography and pave a path for years to come. If you have any questions about what it is like to work in digital marketing or the social media influencing industry, I am more than happy to talk!
My degree ensured that no matter the audience, I can code switch and cater to the audience and accomplish the end goal. Ability to read your client, coworkers (etc.) and adjust to reflect their needs, is irreplaceable in this industry and my degree has set me up for success. Whether it’s a catering team, or the CEO, know who you are talking to and always be kind. My biggest advice would be to seek out as much experience as possible, even if it means you’re volunteering once a month. You can have all of the accolades, but without real life experience and a stellar portfolio, you won’t necessarily stand out.
With my degree from Seattle University, I have been able to travel the world and live and work in some pretty exciting places.
My degree has helped me fine-tune my writing skills. All the essays, assignments and projects definitely help improve your writing, which is great to have coming into the workforce. I encourage communications students to take a business class or two while in school. Knowing the basics of business is never a bad thing and will help you better understand your role as a communications/PR professional.
My study at SU changed me completely. To this day I still remember why I decided to major Communication Studies and not Psychology. The first ever class I took with Mara Adelman [retired 2013], she said "you can not NOT communicate" and that was what grabbed my heart. It was the beginning of my journey into the world of communication, rhetoric, public speaking, interpersonal, and persuasion. Those 4 years weren't easy, but they certainly were some of the best years of my life. My career does not directly involve communications, meaning I am still in the IT industry and not communication or media. However, I do apply what I have studied in my work space on daily basis.
What really sticks with me are the basics from the department, rooted in newspaper reporting and journalism ethics. As a freelance sports reporter and writer, I feel sturdied by my degree with my knowledge of sound fact-gathering, proper use of sources and reporting with a conscience. There was also a demand at SU for high-quality, no-corners-cut final products in the work we did for our professors, a practiced routine that employers and editors recognize and appreciate - and the kind of work ethic that plainly helps me land jobs in an extremely competitive and over-saturated market.
My time at Seattle U was valuable in teaching me about communication, argument and the importance each of our interactions. Moreover, it taught me why communications matter. When I sat down for my first day of class I had clear goals, and the faculty made sure that I maximized my time at SU so that I could accomplish each one. After graduating in 2012, I applied and was accepted into the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. I would not have been able to complete such a feat without the support and knowledge that I gained during my time as an SU communications major.
My Communication degree has taken me to two new coasts! I lived and studied abroad in Granada, Spain, where I applied my Communication Studies knowledge to first-hand experiences in cross-cultural and bi-lingual communication.My time in the Communication Department has provided a strong foundation for becoming an increasingly engaging educator. As a high school Spanish teacher, I am constantly looking for ways to facilitate meaningful communication between me, my students, parents, fellow faculty members, and administrators, so that we can together help students succeed. Beyond my career, the Communication Department has also given me foundation I need to continue to improve my communication and messages no matter who I'm interacting with.
The combination of coursework, activities, workshops, and internships really helped me prepare for my career. I remember being in the Professional Development night my Junior year and having that “Oh crap!” moment, where I realized I wasn’t doing everything I should to prepare myself for joining the professional world. The emphasis placed on networking, internships, and professional organization participation early on were critical in preparing me for the transition. As the younger generations come into the work force, I’ve noticed that there are fewer staff who have been through this type of training. Also, tailoring messages for your audience, using communication to spark specific outcomes, and critically looking at messages in the media have been personally valuable for me.
Alongside of work, my degree has helped me create a mindset of working towards the next opportunity. I left my part time job at the hospital after working there for 4 years in order to pursue my goals in the music & entertainment business. Although doing such a thing can be frowned upon, I crave for the opportunity to do something exciting and different. Although the process of pursuing these goals are still fresh, I find no regrets in doing so and I believe that going to Seattle University helped me realize further that hard work pays off and if you want something then you have to be willing to do things that you have never done in order to get something that you have never had.
My degree in Communication Studies has made my young professional career anything but stagnate. It has allowed me to travel around the country; work for global and boutique organizations; be quoted in local, national, and international media publications; run emergency management exercises; restructure an organization's internal communication strategies; conduct training seminars and lectures; create organizational change through strategic initiatives; and discover my passions while actually in the workplace - not in a classroom. My Communication Studies degree has given me the opportunity to explore and contribute to a just and humane world.
Some of the classes such as speech, which I was already comfortable with, and Jeff Philpott’s class on rhetoric as well as our senior class, have helped me on shaping my messages and delivering them. Mara Adelman [retired Spring 2013] set up some career development seminars my senior year that I attended and they truly did resonate. Also when they brought Alums in from the communications program from all different careers was so helpful. The variety of their jobs and the different directions they went in were a very helpful perspective of how versatile my degree really was. When I was a student I got rat holed into thinking that I was supposed to be a journalist or work in PR but really my world was massive and I was able to build upon it with another degree to expand even more.