Ursinus College welcomed back recent media and communications studies graduates back on campus for “How to Forge Your Path,” sponsored by the media and communications studies department and career and professional development. It featured Emily Herman ’10, Matt Whitman ’10, Latifah Waddy ’12 and Rachel Brown ’15.
The alumni, differing in their work and interests, gave advice to current students about how to navigate the job market with a communications lens. The discussed the various focuses in media occupations, including jobs in film and radio production, public relations, marketing, higher education and freelance writing.
Other themes throughout the night were the importance of connecting and being present for professional opportunities. This not only means perfecting social media profiles like LinkedIn, they said, but making connections in person as well, especially when students are pursuing jobs in communication fields.
The challenge of forging a career path was also discussed, and the reassurance that success in this field does not emerge from a linear projection. There are many ways to get to the same career, and the panelists encouraged the current students in attendance to try new things in the field as long as they are of interest. Those different experiences could culminate in a web of other professional avenues along the way, they said.
One common theme was the similarities between the fundamental skills necessary for success in the media communications field and those taught at a small liberal arts college like Ursinus.
The panelists urged students to utilize the office of career and professional development as well as the resources the media and communication studies department provides to students. Just like the attention given to a college class, the same attentiveness, curiosity and reasoning is encouraged when embarking on the multitude of possible paths for communications students, they noted.
During the event, students, alumni and faculty supported recent student internships in Ritter Center, where media and communication studies students displayed a collection of their works from their internships. Students also had a chance to connect to the panelists one-on-one after the discussion and during a communications-themed dinner conversation. —By Madison Bradley ’18