Students and alumni braved the cold on Tuesday night to attend the second annual COMM Alumni Mentoring Program. There, 27 students and 24 alumni were partnered up based on their career aspirations and encouraged to form a professional mentoring relationship. After getting to know each other, exchanging contact info, and maybe even a few pics in the photo booth students left having started a professional connection with someone in their desired field. While some of the pictures attached to this story will illustrate the event, more will be posted next week.
Becca Bearden, a senior COMM student at UNT, discussed how she was glad she attended the CAMP event. "I was able to expand my professional network, gain insight into various industries, and connect with a mentor whose career goals align with my own." She continued, "my mentor and I really hit it off! Not only do we have the same professional interests, but also very similar personalities. Sarah (Switzer) is going to keep me updated on any internship opportunities she comes across and we have plans to meet again soon. I am looking forward to hearing her advice on professionalization."
In attendance, we had a wide verity of professionals. A few attorneys, distinguished public relations representatives, human resource admins, and teachers were just a few of the occupations represented by the attendees. And this is unsurprising, as a degree in communication studies is very versatile.
Dr. Richardson expanded on this in his address to the guests. "I tell people this all the time" he started. "My wife majored in accounting, and went on to be an accountant. That's what accounting majors do, they go get accounting jobs. In communication studies it's not as clear. Communication studies students can go on to do so many things. This is why connecting them with someone already in the work force can help to make that decision more clear."
And the participants in the event agreed that this event provided a plethora of direction for students. "As an anxious, graduating senior, I genuinely enjoyed the event," remarked Leslie Rodriguez. "It really inspired me by allowing me to see firsthand all that can be accomplished with a COMM degree. Leaving the event, I was highly motivated to continue my relationship with my mentor and grow in a professional manner."
The keynote Speaker, Brittani Youman, is among our line of distinguished alumni. Brittani is the Field Sales Training Manager at Lennox, a renowned HVAC company. There, Brittani has climbed her way up the ladder making a reputation for herself as a hard worker and a humanitarian. Her projects have included Fields of Love, a program that supplies furnaces to families in need. What's more, Brittani is just the third African American territory manager since Lennox was founded over 120 years ago. Her interest in fostering diversity and inclusion at Lennox lead her to start the Women in Lennox Leadership foundation.
After the event finished, students and mentors were encouraged to keep in contact. Over the coming months, we are optimistic that these professional connections will pave the way for great things for our students and our alumni! In the meantime, we look forward to the next CAMP event in 2020!