Alums, professionals share insight on careers in communication

Students packed into the lecture hall beneath the Ullman Commons at California Lutheran University in hopes to get a glimpse into what they may be doing in the future on Feb. 23 at the Careers in Communication Speaker Panel put on by Career Services.

According to the Cal Lutheran website, this panel would be bringing in a mix of Cal Lutheran alumni and other experienced professionals from the communication background to help answer student questions about careers in the communication, how to get jobs in the field, and what different salaries accompany those jobs.

“When I heard about the event in class it really caught my interest. I am a marketing communications major,” sophomore Alex Scoggins said. “I really like my classes and what we talk about, but I really wasn’t certain on what sort of jobs are out there for me after college.”

The panel consisted of five members from all different backgrounds in communication: Jim Eichorn, race director at Michael Epstein Sports Production, Chad Phillips, producer for KTLA 5 News, Megan Rubin, assistant account manager at Siltanen & Partners Advertising, Jon Myers, director of Communications for American Red Cross, and Margaret Morales, production manager for Bunim Murray Productions.

“It’s cool for students to hear from people that aren’t professors about all this,” Monica Gracyalny, assistant professor, said.

The majority of the event was spent detailing the busy life of a job in communication and what skills are necessary for success in the industry.

According to speaker Jon Myers, the abilities to effectively communicate and to write proficiently are necessary skills that are used daily and must be learned by anybody hoping to break into the field, an idea that was echoed around the panel.

“I teach interpersonal communication, and its great for students to hear this stuff actually matters,” Gracyalny said.

Above all, the speakers emphasized their passion for their work.

“Do what you want to do,” speaker Chad Phillips said. “When you love what you do, you don’t work, you enjoy it.”

Although each of the speakers hailed from different areas of communication, they all provided similar guidance to students unsure of what it is they love.

“My biggest piece of advice is to get an internship,” Myers said. “Not only did it show me what I want to do, but also what I didn’t want to do.”

Many of the speakers went through several different internships before finally found their niches.

“Pick up a phone and call somebody…talk to people in different industries and see what’s out there,” Myers said. “If you don’t love it, forget about it.”

Following the event students were given a time to ask any unanswered questions to the panel, but few questions were asked.

“The speakers really touched on everything I was hoping to hear about and really answered all of the questions I had coming into the event, so there really wasn’t much else to ask,” Scoggins said. “I’m glad I came, I have a better idea as to what’s out there and how I can get a head start on the whole job process.”

Students hoping to get more information on the event or future events like this can contact the event’s coordinator Cynthia Smith or Career Services.

Evan Underwood
Staff Writer
Published March 2, 2016