By Madison Glaser
<p]>On Oct. 10, the communication studies department hosted its annual Communication Studies Career Night at 6:30 p.m. in the Berman Room in Fromm Hall. The night provided students with guidance on some of the types of jobs and career paths attainable with a communication studies degree. It allowed students to network with USF alumni who have found fulfilling careers with their degrees in communication studies. Pizza and light refreshments were provided to all of those who attended. The insightful event was co-organized by Eve-Anne Doohan and Brandi Lawless, and sponsored by Lambda Pi Eta, the official communication studies honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA).
I asked co-organizer Brandi Lawless if she would answer some questions about the event, and she was enthusiastic to give her insight.
Brandi Lawless, an assistant professor focused on critical intercultural communication in the communication studies department at the University of San Francisco, attended the Communication Studies Career Night on Oct. 10.
What was the purpose of the event, and how was it run?
B: The purpose of the event was to help communication studies students see what types of jobs and career paths they can obtain with a communication studies degree and the necessary skill sets encouraged to apply for those jobs. The event allowed students to network with alumni who have found fulfilling careers with their degrees in communication studies.
The event provided a live Q&A to students and faculty in the communication studies department. Sixty chairs were set up in the Berman Room, and a panel of eight professionals/alumni sat at the front.
Who was in the panel?
Hannah Decker– account executive, inbound sales at Yelp WiFi
Michele Ewing– marketing specialist at PlayStation
Elizabeth Fray– sales support manager at Year Up
Sarah Mangano– recruiting specialist at GoPro
Kelly Morales– merchandising coordinator at Sephora
Julie Richter– director of PR and marketing at Charles Zukow Associates
Jacob Talarman– associate client executive at Voce Communications
Autumn Winston– administrative associate at Burning Man
What were some of the benefits of attending the event?
B: Those who attended the event were able to make connections with alumni, who in the past may have had positions open for students. Students could ask alumni on the panel questions, because they were once students and went through the same things. The event presented opportunities for one-on-one interviews.
What were your major takeaways from the event?
B: As somebody who knew that they wanted to be a professor when they were in undergrad, I never had the opportunity to really think about other career paths. As a result, when I am mentoring my students, it’s always insightful to know what other students have done with their communication studies degrees, what they found valuable, and how they can apply what they learned to those careers. I was always an educator, so I need those outside people to tell me what was really beneficial for them.
What would you say to persuade people to come to next year’s event?
B: I think telling people that students in the past have got jobs out of this might be really inspiring. Also, I can speak to the fact that these individuals we bring on to speak on the panel can help put you in connection with other people, tell you how much a starting salary might be, and help you work out kinks before you get on the job market.
What were some of the questions asked to the panel that you found interesting?
B: One of the really interesting questions asked was: Do all of you live in San Francisco, and how do you make it? It was a really interesting question to me, because people want to stay in the city to work, but they don’t know how to stay in the city. Figuring out if that is realistic is on everyone’s mind.
Other questions that were asked included: What do you do on a day-to-day basis? Do you like your job? Have you made career changes? How do you present your communication studies degree when interviewing for a job?