I was fortunate to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), this past weekend for homecoming and to attend a Communications Media alumni networking event. It’s been 20 years since I stepped foot on the IUP campus. So much has changed. It certainly was a trip down memory lane. From driving past the first restaurant I had waitressed at as a student (Bruno’s Restaurant), to my first apartment, to the Oak Grove (a park-like area at the heart of the IUP campus), to the Hadley Union Building (HUD), Stouffer Hall (where the majority of the Comm Media classes are held), WIUP-TV and more. The emotions came flooding back.
However, what tugged at my emotions most, were the conversations I had with up-and-coming Comm Media students. Some were freshmen and others were well on their way to stepping out into the “real world.” I felt honored to offer career advice and answer questions along with my peers from the public relations industry. You never know what is going to resonate with young minds.
Also, it was a privilege to speak to Comm Media alumni and students about the path I had taken and how IUP equipped me with the foundation to transition from a nearly 10-year career in broadcast TV to public relations and marketing.
Below is an excerpt of the speech should you be interested in reading. If nothing more, I hope some of you may take to heart what I’ve learned and experienced throughout the years.
Keep setting goals and aiming high!
President & CEO
“Fast forward nine years to today. I was able to adapt easily from broadcast TV to public relations and marketing because of the foundation IUP gave me early on. Today, I’m still evolving, learning and growing—all things which the IUP faculty take great effort to encourage.
So my advice to you is this: Stay open to new opportunities. Don’t think that because you start out in one field, you have to stay the course no matter what. You have options, and you should always remember that.
Since we know mothers give some of the best counsel out there, here’s one piece from my own mom which I’ve really taken to heart.
My mother was a sales rep in a male-dominated business for 25+ years and she regrets never venturing out on her own to try her hand at something new. She said that if she could do it all over, she would reinvent herself every decade.
The path I chose many years ago wasn’t clearly defined. And it still isn’t today, either. Embrace change. Take a leap of faith. Don’t limit yourself. Always work hard, take risks and be intellectually curious. Expand your knowledge, but have fun. Be respectful, be kind and most importantly, love what you do.
While my title and position may have changed throughout the years, the same could never be said for the passion and pride I feel each and every day.”