The Department of Communication hosted Comm Careers Night, a networking and panel event, this past Wednesday in the Alumni Center, giving University of Connecticut students a chance to communicate and network with alumni who have taken their degree in communications into the real world.
The main event of the night was a panel consisting of six University of Connecticut alumni. Panelists included Tyler James, a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual; Adam Cormier, the Vice President of Consumer Products and Professional Services for Marlo Marketing; Nicole Coscia, an Engagement Marketing Brand Ambassador for Frontier Communications; Ben Goldman, an Anchor and Assignment Reporter for Fox 61 News; Abby Mace, a Digital Communications Associate for Pratt and Whitney and Jacqueline Zenhye, the Director of Marketing and Product Innovation for FENN Metalforming Machinery.
The panelists were asked what a typical day in their job looked like, and they all seemed to agree that in the field of communications, there is no typical day.
“My day definitely varies, my weeks are not always the same,” said Coscia. “I don’t have a typical day… It’s also very rare that I am in the office seven days a week.”
The panelists were asked what they deemed to be the most important lesson that they learned both in and outside the classroom. Goldman and James were both in agreement that the topics they covered in their basic communications classes were invaluable, especially when it came to interpersonal communication. Cormier credited working in SUBOG for preparing him for the working world. He said that working on an event committee made him more detail-and time-oriented, and also made him a more versatile worker.
For the remainder of the event, students had a chance to ask the panelists several questions of their own. The first student question asked panelists how they handled interacting with people with low interpersonal skills.
Zenhye was quick to respond, pointing out that this sort of interaction was inevitable.
“It’s going to happen, and your attitude has so much to do with how you deal with it,” said Zenhye. She stressed the importance of being a mediator and going the extra mile in order to get the job done, even if the people you are working with are at odds with one another.
When asked what advice they would give to their younger selves, many of the panelists stressed the importance of networking and getting involved. Cormier said that you should build a network of people before you needed it.
The final student question was addressed to Goldman, who was asked for advice on how to break into the field of broadcast journalism. Goldman told the student that it was incredibly important to take the chance and get as many internships as possible, not just for the networking but also for the chance to see how different newsrooms and positions operate.
The panel ended with final thoughts from the panelists. Many of the panelists stated that it is important to thank your interviewer.
“[It’s] one thing to set you apart from the hundreds of other people who want your job,” said Goldman.
Cormier agreed with Goldman about writing “thank you” notes, and also stated that it was important to work on your writing skills.
“Being able to write is so critically important… if you learn how to write you can really work across a lot of different aspects,” said Cormier.
Other panelists said that it was important to be yourself, apply for jobs you are unsure about and to not worry about having your entire life planned out as soon as you finish college.
Following the panel, attendees were given the invaluable opportunity to network with the panelists.
“This is my first time coming to a career night kind of panel for communications,” fifth-semester communication and sociology double major Vishrutha Teepireddy said. I thought it was really informational, and just very interesting to see the different ways you can follow the major.”
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.