Graduation date: May 2013 (undergraduate) , December 2014 (graduate school)
Areas of study while enrolled at OU:B.S.C. in Communication Studies and Public Advocacy with a minor in Interdisciplinary Art, M.Ed. in College Student Personnel
Current professional role: Global Programs Coordinator for the Office of Global Opportunities at Ohio University
What campus resources, learned skills, or advice received during college prepared you most professionally?
This is a tough question! I received great advice from so many different people that helped me through many different stages of being a student- from undergrad, to grad, to professional. I took COMS 103 as a first-year student, which helped me significantly through all of my time as a student. It was a public speaking course. I didn’t know at the time just how often I would need to be prepared for giving presentations or speaking in front of groups of people. I still remember some of the advice given to me by the professor years later as I present to groups of students as a professional. Besides that, I think the most important piece of advice was given to me by my UC 1000 instructor. Get involved! If I hadn’t gotten involved on campus, I wouldn’t have my job now. I gained experience that completely changed the direction of my career.
How has your extracurricular or leadership experience impacted your career path?
They have directly impacted my career path. My student position as a peer advisor for the Office of Global Opportunities led me directly to the career I am in now. It completely changed the direction of my path.
Have you ever used the resources in the Career and Leadership Development Center? If yes, which ones and how did it help you?
Yes! As a senior, I visited the Career and Leadership Development Center for assistance in preparing my materials for application to grad school. An advisor looked over my resume and my letter of intent. Additionally, I set up mock interviews during my final year of grad school as I prepared to interview for permanent positions.
What, if anything, has surprised you about the direction your career path has taken?
As a first-year student, I participated in a learning community for students interested in pursuing journalism. From day one on campus, I knew I would work as a journalist, writing pieces related to art and culture. I participated on two quarter-long study abroad programs in London focused on fine arts in order to to prepare myself for this career. Following my two trips, I worked as a peer advisor for the Office of Global Opportunities (formerly the Office of Education Abroad). It was meant to be a fun, part-time job on campus until I graduated, but I learned that my passion was in advising other students. I quickly realized that I wanted my part-time fun job to be a career. So in my senior year, I applied for the College Student Personnel masters program to learn how to better work with students. So here I am! I’m not an arts journalist, but I am the coordinator of the fine arts study abroad programs. And I get to meet with great students every week! So, my lesson from all of this: be open to new opportunities. You never know where the path may lead!
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the job-search process and how did you overcome that?
I knew entering the job search that I would be geographically bound to Athens, as my partner was still a student here. As I prepared for the job search, I networked on campus as much I could. I volunteered as a practicum student in multiple offices to diversify my skill set and to expand my list of professional contacts. As I started to interview for professional positions on campus, I felt prepared to talk about experiences in several offices across campus.
What is your favorite thing about post-grad life?
Being able to read again! I had given up reading for leisure while in college, but I’ve been able to read in my free time again. I also enjoy having the resources and flexibility to travel.
If you could go back and tell your college-self one thing, what would it be?
That everything will be okay! I remember calling home in tears during the first quarter of my first year, wondering if I had what it took to graduate from college. I was a first-generation college student, so it meant a lot to my parents for me to have the opportunity to earn a degree. And I really didn’t want to disappoint them. Because of this, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I would go back and tell myself that everything was going to work out fine!