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10 Questions: Nikka Suleymanova, '13

Our “10 Questions” to recent graduates continue! Next up to answer my call is new alum Nikka Suleymanova, BA!

2013 COMS graduate Nikka! Isn't she smart?

2013 COMS graduate Nikka! Isn’t she smart?

#1: What is your favorite memory from USF?

I would have to say that laying on the grass outside Gleeson with a few friends, soaking up the sun (since sunny days are definitely rare in SF) definitely takes the win. Although, my first few days at USF were pretty memorable too. I got extremely lost trying to find my classes, and didn’t know a single person on campus. I really had to put myself out there to meet new people and had the chance to explore the beautiful campus, even if it was by mistake. Definitely scary, but looking back now, so worth it!

 

#2: What are you most proud of during your college career?

It may be a little cliché to say graduation, but it truly felt great to walk across that stage, knowing that all my long nights and hard work were worth it. The day I had been looking forward to for years had finally come, and I was there celebrating with my family, friends, and my graduating peers, which made it that much more special.

 

#3: What will you miss most about college?

I’ve loved going to school ever since I was a little girl, so I will definitely miss the atmosphere. College is a time to learn, find yourself, make mistakes, grow, and flourish into someone that can take on the challenges of the “real world.” So it’s definitely bittersweet that it has all come to an end. I’ll miss the wonderful professors, who really did put their heart into the students’ learning, as well as being able to sit next to my close friends in class.

 

#4: What was your favorite thing about being a Communication Studies major?

My favorite (and probably the most important) thing about being a COMS major would have to be the fact that I can apply everything I have learned directly into my career. It is so extremely versatile and I love that about being a COMS major. You learn things that are so important, yet often overlooked, and are given the opportunity to apply those learned skills in a variety of different career paths.

 

#5: What, if anything, would you have done differently if you were starting your college career over again?

I would get more internships! I spent the majority of my time working at one company, and though I enjoyed it tremendously, it would have been interesting to work a few totally different internships just to see what other things I might enjoy!

 

#6: What advice do you have for students in their first or second year of college?

Network, start internships early, never burn any bridges, and don’t forget to have a good time! It’s important to meet new people and make a good (and professional) first impression, because you never know who you might meet. Remember that you go to school in SF, and meeting new people isn’t all that difficult out here, so go out and explore! Start making a LinkedIn account, and make sure your Twitter, FaceBook, etc… are always appropriate (an interviewer once told me that they purposely search for candidate’s social media accounts just to see what they post!)

 

#7: What are you most excited for as you begin this next phase of life after graduation?

I am very excited to finally start applying everything I have learned into my career. Getting a job is one thing, but starting a career that you spent four (or more) years in college preparing for is very rewarding. I’m also excited to meet new people, and continue to grow and learn new things!

 

#8: What do you hope to be doing five years from now?

I hope to start my own business (a recruiting firm for tech companies) and have my MBA by that time as well!

 

#9: How are you different now than when you first started at USF?

When I first started USF, I was still unsure of what I wanted to study, and thinking about the future scared me to pieces. Now, I am excited about what’s to come, and through my experiences at USF, I feel ready to tackle on anything that is thrown my way.

 

#10: What three words describe your current feelings about graduation?

Exhilaration, joy, and anxiousness.

 

Congratulations, Nikka, on your graduation! We are so proud of you! And is it just me, or have you also noticed that our alums are our best advertisement? Love what both Nikka and Azul have said about the Communication Studies major!

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10 Questions: Azul Corajoria, '13

As I was walking to my office this morning, the bells of St. Ignatius were chiming. Sure, they could have been announcing that it was striking 9:00, but I think they were really chiming in anticipation of today’s blog post! At long last, “10 Questions” are back!

I have asked a few of our newly minted Communication Studies alumni to answer 10 questions about their time here at USF and in the COMS department. The first to accept my proposal? Azul Corajoria, who, in addition to just graduating this past May, also just landed her first post-collegiate job! That’s right…. she was employed less than three weeks after she graduated! Congratulations, Azul! Here are her answers to our 10 Questions:

2013 Communication Studies graduate Azul

2013 Communication Studies graduate Azul

#1: What is your favorite memory from USF?

I have a lot of wonderful memories, but to answer the question, my most favorite memory from USF I would have to say occurred second semester Junior year. I met some fantastic people that have forever changed my life, one of them being my best friend Alica (who I just so happened to meet in a COMS class) 🙂 For me, whether it’s traveling or just hanging out, it has never been about the location itself, but the people who surround me while I’m there that I enjoy. This time I was lucky to have both. Beautiful campus in the most amazing city, and the BEST company that hold my most endearing memories. SHOUT OUT TO MY LOVES (you know who you are) <3

#2: What are you most proud of during your college career?

Looking back, I am most proud of the way I was able to manage my personal life and academic life so well… if I may so say myself. Graduating with honors, an amazing resume, and many many amazing memories to look back on, I would say is definitely something to be proud about 🙂

#3: What will you miss most about college?

What I will miss most about college is the ability to spontaneously do fun activities with my friends on any given day and the breaks…oh the breaks. Summer break. Winter break. Those random days off that were always welcomed. No longer will I be able to travel for weeks or months at a time…for now.

#4: What was your favorite thing about being a Communication Studies major?

EVERYTHING 😉 Seriously though. Besides our amazing faculty and fellow classmates, Communication Studies classes have challenged me in ways other classes (not pointing fingers!) have not. Almost every single one of my courses helped me grow academically AND personally, not many other classes have the ability or curriculum to both those things.

#5: What, if anything, would you have done differently if you were starting your college career over again?

I transferred from a community college, which had very many benefits and I DO NOT regret choosing that path, however I did lose the whole “dorm experience.” I also wish I would have gone and explored the city more. It is all too easy to sometimes convince yourself on a Tuesday (for example) to stay in and study some more. While keeping your priorities straight obviously, try to remember that you are still in college, COLLEGE, and these are the time you will look back at for the rest of your life. So go grab a beer, eat a taco, and have fun!!

 

#6: What advice do you have for students in their first or second year of college?

Ah. ENJOY. Seriously. It goes by way too quick. Good grades are satisfying, really satisfying, but don’t forget you only have (well…usually) four years of your life in college. Make some bad decisions (I’m not condoning anything!). Learn what you can from your classes, jobs, internship, volunteer work, friends, personal experiences, etc… TRAVEL during the breaks! You have WEEKS of nothingness, take advantage while you can. Use the career center before you graduate! My resume looks absolutely AMAZING thanks to them. FINALLY (because I don’t want to type a novel) nothing is the end of the world. I’ve seen and gone through horrible break-ups, I promise, PROMISE you’ll get through it. Family problems, they will work themselves out. Friendships, come and go like the seasons, the important ones will shine 🙂 Bad grade, do better next time and it will all pan out! You get what I mean 🙂 Good luck.

 

#7: What are you most excited for as you begin this next phase of life after graduation?

I’m excited to get my career going and add new experiences and people into my life! I’ve always enjoyed  going to new places and putting myself in situations where I get to meet new people so I’m excited to do that yet again. USF was that for me, a new adventure, and now my post grad life is.

#8: What do you hope to be doing five years from now?

Haha…I got asked this question in my first interview and it was the ONLY question I didn’t prepare for. Honestly, I still can’t tell you. I try not to stress about it. I guess if I had to answer though: I hope to get my student loans paid off as soon as I can and then, in between jobs, travel. I still need to do more traveling. I also want, and WILL get, my own little apartment to live in with my puppy, Kolbie 🙂

 

#9: How are you different now than when you first started at USF?

How am I NOT different would be an easier question to answer (or would it…hmm. Anyways!) I have matured on many different levels, and grown to be the woman I am proud to be today. I think a lot more rhetorically. I am more conscious of my actions and their consequences.

#10: What three words describe your current feelings about graduation?

1. Bittersweet

2. [I’m] old.

3. So…

A big thank you, Azul, for answering our questions! You shared some great advice and we are so proud to call you a Communication Studies alum!

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Internship Ideas Class Edition: Chelsea-Marie at Boutine

Our summer profiles of inspiring internships continue! Up next is senior Chelsea-Marie Sundiang and her internship at Boutine Inc. Many of you may already be familiar with Chelsea-Marie because she is not only a Communication Studies major but a popular fashion blogger! How popular, you ask? Well, her online project for my Interpersonal Communication course received over FIFTEEN THOUSAND (YES, 15,000!) views in less than a 24 hour period! I am not often left speechless, but I am still speechless over this. Speech. Less. But I digress… here is Chelsea-Marie sharing her internship experience at Boutine:

Fashion blogger extraordinaire Chelsea-Marie

Fashion blogger extraordinaire Chelsea-Marie

Q: Where did you intern and what do they do?

Chelsea-Marie: “I intern for Boutine Inc. It’s a startup fashion company that allows emerging designers to showcase and sell their clothing online.”

Q: How did you find this internship?

Chelsea-Marie: “As an avid fashion blogger, I stumbled upon a post on fashionista.com with a list of fashion internships and this was the only one in the San Francisco area!”

Q: Why did you decide to intern there?

Chelsea-Marie: “Besides Boutine being a local internship, I really wanted something that would introduce me to the fashion industry and be a stepping stone for me to work my way up/test the waters rather than dive right in to an established fashion company that could easily overwhelm me. I also wanted to be a part of something where I could say I was a contributing factor to the growth of its success and a startup company is where I felt more comfortable and confident doing that.”

Q: What did you do on a regular basis at your internship?

Chelsea-Marie: “My usual routine at Boutine would be coming into the office bright and early in the morning; researching, writing about, and uploading products to the site; contacting and interviewing designers and bloggers via email, skype, and/or in person; going out into the city and taking street-style photos of well dressed people and recommending our website to them; and updating our social media sites.”

Q: What have you learned from this internship?

Chelsea-Marie: “I’ve learned the importance of making your voice be heard. If you really want you, your work, and your talent to be acknowledged, you not only have to do what your boss says, but also go above and beyond that with your own flare. There’s no way you can make a name for yourself in the fashion industry if you’re just simply going by the book. You have to take a lot of risks and constantly be creating ideas and planning how to execute them. Looking back on how unafraid I was to speak my mind and suggest my ideas made me realize how ready I am to take what I know and love about fashion to the next level.”

Q: What advice do you have for other students looking for an internship?

Chelsea-Marie: “You know that cliché, ‘You’ll never know unless you give it a try’? Take advantage of that saying when you’re looking for an internship. If an internship position interests you, by all means go for it and find out if it REALLY is interesting. It’s kind of like dating too, I guess; if it doesn’t work out, then you know what to look for and expect next time around.  Also, as important as it is to look the part, you have to BE the part. From the interview, all the way down to doing tasks on the job, if you don’t look or feel like you belong, you don’t. Interning for Boutine, I felt right at home and totally in my zone when it came to the journalist/PR and fashion aspect of the job but it was really obvious how out of place I was every time I had to sit in the office and look at and/or discuss numbers and figures about products. I now know for sure that I can’t be a part of something that limits my creative and artistic ability and I dyed half of my head platinum blonde to express that since most office jobs require a very ‘natural’ and Plain-Jane look.”

Thanks for sharing your advice, Chelsea-Marie! We have a lot of Communication Studies majors who are interested in pursuing a career in fashion, so all of you budding fashionistas out there, listen and learn from Chelsea-Marie!

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Internship Ideas Class Edition: Landon at Charles Zukow Associates

Summer is upon us and while many of you students out there are relaxing and enjoying your school-free summer (or summer school, for some of you!), I’m sure many of you are already thinking about internships for the next school year. To help inspire you, I’ll be (finally) posting some internship profiles here on the blog. First up is recently minted Communication Studies graduate Landon Boren, BA, ’13!

Landon, '13 COMS graduate!

Landon, ’13 COMS graduate!

Q: Where did you intern and what do they do?

Landon: “I interned for an entertainment and lifestyle public relations firm called Charles Zukow Associates. They focus on doing publicity locally in San Francisco, and work with clients such as Beach Blanket Babylon, the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, Disney On Ice, and Ghirardelli Square.”

Q: How did you find this internship?

Landon: “I found this internship through signing up for the Communication Studies Internship course!” Side note: Charles Zukow Associates has a long history of hiring COMS majors as interns! They contact us each semester and they are an excellent internship! So be on the lookout if you want the opportunity to intern at CZA!

Q: Why did you decide to intern there?

Landon: “I decided to intern here because it seemed like a place with excellent connections within the city, and an impressive client history. With working from everything such as the Mark Hopkins to the Union Square Ice Rink, I could tell it would be a place where I would grow.”

Q: What did you do on a regular basis at this internship?

Landon: “I would help re-organize and update existing contact lists in the CZA system, do blogger outreach, put media drops together, help discover the advertising rates of local media to create prices for publicity, answer phones, fax, and run miscellaneous errands (such as picking up party favors for a benefit event that night).”

Q: What have you learned from this internship?

Landon: “I have learned how to be self-sufficient and solve my own questions/problems, how to speak to the media, how to put together press packages, blogger outreach, and how one connection in the industry can lead to a hundred more.”

Q: What advice do you have for other students looking for an internship?

Landon: “Do your research!! It is so important to intern at place that is right for you. If that means stalking the website and seeing what ties the business has in your industry, so be it. Make sure that the business is reputable, professional, and can advance you. Be keenly aware of the vibe that you get when you first walk into the office, and how you feel in regard to your interaction with the employees working there. If it doesn’t seem like a nurturing environment where people will guide and help you, you might want to re-consider if it is the place you should choose.

One piece of advice that I want to give from my own personal experience is that you should always be on your best behavior and act professionally. You never know who is going to walk in the door when you are unprepared and get a bad impression from you. I will admit that there were a couple times this semester when I would take little breaks from working to be on my phone, and that is not something that looks good to your supervisor!”

Thanks, Landon, for sharing your experiences at CZA! We hope you keep in touch with us now that you are an alum! We will be waiting to receive your business card!