Getting Students Across the Finish Line & Into the Working World
COMM Days connect students with working alumni to learn about different communication career paths and the skills, tactics and nuances of the career world required to secure internships and jobs. Dr. Kylene Wesner, instructional assistant professor in communication, coordinates the event with the department’s alumni association board.
By Madison Brown
For seniors – and any student looking for guidance on career paths and jobs in the field of communication – COMM Days is the opportunity to meet alumni whose goal is to help them cross the finish line and get going in the “real world.”
Members of the Department of Communication Alumni Advisory Board will be on campus Thursday, Oct. 24, to participate in COMM Days seminars and networking events. The AAB includes 20 department of communication alumni who represent different fields of communication work, said Board President Benton Hodges. With the mission of providing resources for the future success of COMM students, the board participates in fundraising, scholarships and helping orchestrate COMM Days every year in October, said Hodges. They also want to serve as mentors to current students.
“The point of COMM Days is to educate students on different career paths, different things that are important in the workforce, and to give them skills, tactics and nuance to the career world to help them get internships and jobs,” said Dr. Kylene Wesner, an instructional assistant professor in communication and AAB liaison.
While some AAB members are invited to speak in to COMM classes, most will be in the Memorial Student Center hosting seminars on topics including Crucial Conversations, Media Relations, Transitioning from School to Work, and Finding a Company vs. Finding a Job.
Following the seminars and class discussions, students are invited to join the AAB at The Spot on Northgate beginning at 5:30 p.m. for a networking event with free food and drinks. Students are encouraged to dress business casual and to bring resumes or business cards, said Wesner.
“This is a great opportunity that doesn’t cost [students] anything,” added Hodges. “We would love the opportunity to meet them and for the students to take advantage of this free opportunity for help and advice to help further their advancement once they graduate.”
Students are strongly encouraged to attend COMM Days events, said Nancy Street, associate head for undergraduate studies for the department of communication. Not only will there be an abundance of good information, contacts and resources, but some professors offer extra credit for attending, she said.
“COMM Days offers a lot of things that [students] aren’t going to get in the classroom, but they can get from former students that have been where they are and are now in the real world,” said Wesner. “The AAB can tell them what it looks like to be out there and how best to situate themselves to be successful when they are trying to get their internships and jobs.”
Students unable to attend the COMM Days events are encouraged to visit the AAB website to contact members about jobs and networking at http://bit.ly/AlumniAdvisoryBoard.
“This is a neat board, a neat group of people who genuinely care about people who are on the same career path or are in the same program they were in at Texas A&M,” said Hodges. “We want to give back, and we want to help students by putting their foot in the door at companies they might be interested in.
“We want to help them cross the finish line, try to get some direction, then get them going in the real world as well,” added Hodges.