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Students Fill Room for Communications Alumni Presentation

Four School of Communications alumni spoke to a packed room of students and professors Monday afternoon, detailing their experience in the field of communications and their internships that helped them lead them to their current careers.

The panel, which was part of Elon University’s Professional Discovery Week, included 2005 graduate Lindsay Porter, 2006 graduate Alex Kreitman and 2007 graduates Kathryn McQuade and Scott Adams.

The alumni explained the responsibilities involved at their current jobs and offered advice to the undergraduate students in the room.

Porter, who graduated with a double major in corporate communications and journalism, currently works for Wrangler—part of the larger VF corporation—in its mass marketing communications department. Porter stressed the importance of networking and using any connections you may have to land internships and jobs.

“The worse thing people can say is, ‘no’,” she said.

Kreitman works as the online editor for the Burlington Times-News, which requires him to run the paper’s multiple Web sites and to provide multimedia material for thetimesnews.com, the newspaper’s main Web presence.

Kreitman said he originally wanted to go into sports journalism, so as a student, he interned with the Times-News, where he covered the Carolina Panthers of the NFL and the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL when they made their run to the Stanley Cup. But eventually, he said he decided to switch from sports journalism to online news, realizing he had a better chance of finding his place in the journalism business of he focused on the Web.

“Think positive,” he said. “You guys are in [college] at a good time, and you’re going to come out of it with great skills.”

McQuade enrolled at Elon as a broadcast major, but changed her major three times before switching back to broadcast. She got a job at CNN a week after graduation, and is now a researcher for Larry King Live. McQuade showed a video of highlights from King’s show that included a personal message from King to Elon students participating in Professional Discovery Week.

One of King’s messages about jobs and internships was, “Forge yourself ahead. If you 90 percent want it, don’t do it.”

When Adams was a freshman at Elon, he was sure that he wanted to be a broadcast major. He said that his biggest regret is that he wasn’t open-minded enough about his major. Adams changed his focus to communication research during his senior year. He told the group that this closed-mindedness is what caused him to wait that long to figure out what he wanted to do. Adams now works as a media information specialist for Arbitron Radio Research.

All panelists, though, said having a successful interview is the key to landing that prized internship or job.

“If you’re interested in what you’re applying for, it’ll show in the interview,” Porter said.

Kreitman said: “If they like you as a person it’ll boost you up, even if you’re lacking in experience or skill set.”

by Michelle Wilco, '12

Colin Donohue,
Staff
2/11/2009 8:25 AM